When my husband and I decided to grow our family and try to have another child, we didn’t expect to have any trouble. Our first pregnancy was relatively normal. We didn’t have any major hiccups and we gave birth to a happy and healthy baby girl. Six years later, we weren’t having as much luck, and we began to wonder if a second child was in our future.
At first, things seemed fine. We didn’t have any trouble getting pregnant, but eventually we learned that staying pregnant was going to be an issue. Each miscarriage was devastating. And the tests that followed left us with no answers. My regular obstetrician couldn’t find any clues as to why I wasn’t able to keep my pregnancies and chalked it up to “bad luck.” Maybe we would have just believed it, but after our third miscarriage, I couldn’t shake my gut feeling that something was wrong.
I confided in one of my co-workers about the problems we were experiencing. She said that she had gone through something similar, and that Dr. Allemand had helped her. She encouraged me to go see him for further testing. Remembering that feeling in my gut, I decided to go. My husband and I were truly anxious about what that initial visit could uncover. It was one thing to believe in bad luck, but it was another to know that another child was not a possibility. At the same time, we knew that we wanted our family to grow, so we took the plunge anyway.
Sitting in the ART Fertility waiting room, I couldn’t stop fidgeting. My mind was racing a mile a minute as I clutched my husband’s hand. Then I was called back and everything was really a blur until I saw Dr. Allemand. He was great. He sat down with us and reassured us that he would do everything that he could to help us. He was kind and gentle, but he also warned us that we might not find anything, or we might not like what we did find. That being said, we left the appointment relieved. Our minds were put at ease, and we knew that if there was a way for us to have a baby – that Dr. Allemand would help us get there.
The tests they had run on me during my visit yielded results pretty quickly. I was really grateful that ART was able to get me my results back so fast – it helped curb my anxiety as much as possible. They found that I had two clotting genes that may be associated with miscarriages in some patients. Dr. Allemand said that blood clots can cause a lot of complications in a pregnancy most often because they reduce blood flow to the placenta. He said that many women with these clotting genes are able to have totally normal pregnancies which explains why I had no serious complications with my first child. We discussed the results and my husband and I chose to receive blood thinner injections in pregnancy rather than expectant management.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was happy, but I was also scared. I think the miscarriages had conditioned me to be anxious when I was pregnant. I was so scared that the blood thinners wouldn’t work. During the first twelve weeks of my pregnancy, I went to ART once a week. They did ultrasounds and lab work to keep an eye on our baby, and make sure everything was okay. After 12 weeks, I was sent back to my obstetrician because I was “out of the woods” so to speak. It was definitely bittersweet. I was glad that my pregnancy was going well enough to not need such close supervision anymore, but at the same time, ART was like my security blanket; they were my support system. Getting back to “the real world” was emotional. But I was so grateful for the help and support I’d received.
My son was born on January 23, 2017. He made it full term, a healthy eight pounds and ten ounces.
I keep thinking that my husband and I could still be fighting through our “bad luck.” That we could still be a family of three. I owe my newfound joy and my new baby boy all to Dr. Allemand and ART. Without their expertise and support, it’s scary to think about where I’d be. I’ve decided to share this story, our story, because I think that it’s important for people to know that ART has many different capabilities far beyond IVF. My husband and I had no idea how integral ART would be in helping us grow our family, and so I want to make sure that people that can relate to our story take the plunge, just like we did.