Hearing the words, “you’re pregnant,” can be an exciting, life-changing moment. But for us, and many other couples who struggle with infertility, the journey to parenthood is frustrating, stressful and can feel hopeless.
My husband Daniel and I know this feeling far too well. For almost two years, we struggled to start a family and infertility issues got in the way of achieving our dream of being parents.
My OB/GYN ran several tests and it turned out my numbers were really low and my ovaries were not releasing eggs, so my doctor recommended I consult with a fertility specialist.
After initial consultations with other providers, we chose Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and Dr. Paul Zarutskie, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Family Fertility Center. After meeting with him, we decided in-vitro fertilization (IVF) was our best option. The first step in the process was ovulation stimulation. I was treated with hormones and other medications to stimulate the production and release of eggs.
I was really lucky — my numbers began to improve and they were able to retrieve 41 eggs and 39 of them were fertilized successfully. After five days of incubation, however, the number of living embryos had fallen dramatically.
Every day, Dr. Zarutskie would come to me with an update. By day three, we only had 12 or 15 embryos that hadn’t died.
At the end of day five, 12 of my embryos were still living and we implanted one embryo on Feb. 5, 2016. The other healthy embryos were cryogenically preserved for future implantation.
Typically, the physicians want you to wait 10 days post implantation to have a pregnancy blood test with your fertility doctor. They don’t want you to use an over-the-counter pregnancy test because sometimes your results can be false-negative or false-positive.
I couldn’t wait any longer and ended up taking a pregnancy test. It was positive! I took a photo of the test stick, texted it to Dr. Zarutskie and said, “I’m so sorry I cheated, I know I’m not supposed to take a pregnancy test, but I did.” The line was really obvious and he said, “Oh yeah, you’re really pregnant!’”
After blood work confirmed I was pregnant, we told my parents. My dad said, “This is great, but I don’t believe it until Dr. Z says it’s true.” So, Dr. Zarutskie texted my dad, “Congratulations, you’re going to be a grandpa!”
Our daughter, Sophia Schmitt, was born Oct. 19, 2016.
It’s the most surreal feeling to know you’re a parent and you’ve made this baby. We know we couldn’t have made her without the help of Dr. Zarutskie and the Family Fertility Center team. Between the talent and state-of-the-art technology at the Pavilion for Women, it was a perfect combination that produced a perfect outcome.