Real Stories: Sarah's IVF Success

Are you on your fertility journey? You are not alone. Find inspiration from Sarah Lay’s win over the infertility battle in her story below:

The ART Fertility Program of Alabama changed my life forever. My husband and I were married in July of 2013. I gained three children from his previous marriage; a ready-made family as some would say. After his third child was born in 2010, he had a vasectomy, vowing he would not have any more children. Little did he know he would meet me, and his mind would change!

He had a vasectomy reversal done in the summer of 2014. We didn’t expect infertility issues, since he’d only had the vasectomy 3 years earlier. We tried to get pregnant on our own for a whole year. Without success, my doctor referred us to ART. There we discovered that we each had our own issues. I’ve had anovulatory cycles and ovarian cysts since my youth, and my husband had a low sperm count due to the reversal. We were working against each other. Our doctor suggested we try intrauterine insemination. Over the course of a year and a half we had 4 IUIs, none of which were successful. Because of our financial situation, IUIs were what we could afford at the time and were more practical than IVF. Before our last IUI, I had surgery to remove a cyst from my ovary as well as endometriosis that I was unaware I had. This surgery answered some questions for us. Shortly after, we did the last IUI. It was unsuccessful. Failure after failure led us to believe our last hope would be IVF.

We began saving money and looking at our options. We prayed constantly. I will say this experience brought me a lot closer to God. I only wanted to do His will, and I struggled with whether IVF was the right thing to do. But I received sign after sign pointing me in that direction. In January of 2017, we started the process. After the egg retrieval, I developed OHSS and could not go forward with the embryo transfer. Therefore, we had to freeze the embryos we had, which ended up being four total embryos. It was very disappointing that the plan had changed, but I believe it happened for a reason. It gave me the opportunity to focus on myself and my body.

I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to help this be successful. I changed my diet and started having acupuncture done on a weekly basis. In April, after recovering and waiting the recommended amount of time, we went through with the rest of the IVF procedure. When we went for the check up to see if I was ready for the transfer, there were NO cysts on my ovaries (first time occurrence) and everything looked great! Dr. Honea did both of my procedures. She is wonderful! I knew I had made the right decision when after the transfer she prayed with us. I will never forget that. And the wait began.

On that special day, early in the morning, I had visited the office in Birmingham to have the bloodwork done. That afternoon, I was so nervous, stressed, and tired. I laid on the couch waiting for my phone to ring. I will never forget the feeling when it did finally ring. Nurse Lauren said, “Ashton, how are you feeling?” I was thinking “Okay, is this good or is this bad?, but I said, “I’m fine I guess?” Then she said, ” Well I have great news! You’re pregnant!” I was in total shock and disbelief. It was surreal. I cried, and poor Lauren asked if she needed to call me back! I said “No! Please tell me everything!” That was the best day of my life (other than December 23rd, 2017 when we welcomed our sweet Everleigh Grace into the world!)

Now I’m the mother of a wonderful, happy, healthy almost three-month-old baby girl! I could not be more grateful for the doctors, nurses, and staff at ART Fertility. The Birmingham and Tuscaloosa offices were both great! They all found a way to make you feel like there was still hope, after all the unfortunate experiences. I do not regret one thing on this journey. I have met some of the best people and made new friends throughout this experience. And best of all, I have my sweet baby girl! Our family is complete!

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