Testimonials - Alabama's Fertility Specialist in Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa.

Celebration of Life

Testimonials from Patients of the

ART Fertility Program of Alabama

At the ART Fertility Program of Alabama, we are proud of the impact we are able to make on our patients’ lives. Each of their journeys are different, and we’ll share them here and on our blog in our Success Story Series. We hope these stories help to build hope and inspire those of you still on the journey.
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Amanda and Tim’s Success StoryAmanda Fleming Success Story Pic
My husband and I started trying to get pregnant in 2012 when I was 35 years old. We had tried a couple of times before, but this time we were really serious and started using ovulation tests. At this point in trying to conceive, infertility had never really crossed our minds. We have a ton of kids in our family with my aunt having eight children, so no one in my family had ever dealt with infertility before. Eventually my husband and I both got checked out, but nothing really showed a problem. Read Amanda and Tim’s full story here.

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“When my husband and I made the decision to have a child, we knew we were facing an uphill battle. My husband had previously had surgery that we knew would impact our ability to have children. At the time, we did not know that I also had issues – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – that would also play a role in our process. These factors, along with our age (he was 50; I was 36), impacted our decision to seek help early in the process. We contacted the people at ART and began a year-long journey.

After a series of tests I was diagnosed with PCOS and began treatment. The early treatments seemed to work and I soon learned I was pregnant. We were ecstatic. Then, three weeks later, we learned we’d had a miscarriage. It was devastating but our doctor gave us encouragement. We’d become pregnant once and hopefully could do it again.

At this point, we opted to go with IUI. We felt this was the least-invasive procedure and one with which we were both comfortable. We began another series of treatments, doctor’s visits and blood tests. It was very draining and emotional. However, throughout the entire process the staff at ART’s Huntsville location was wonderful. They were supportive and encouraging and became our partners in this process.

Our first IUI was unsuccessful, as was our second. We became pregnant on our third IUI but lost the baby within three weeks. We felt we were at the end of our rope. We were just about ready to move on to other procedures. We even began considering adoption or struggling with the idea that we wouldn’t be able to have children. We decided to do one more IUI. At the time of the procedure, we learned we were dealing with a particularly low sperm count. We considered not proceeding but opted to go ahead.

I will never forget what the nurse practitioner said when she readied the sample. “Every time I say we have a low sample, someone ends up getting pregnant,” she said. We underwent the procedure and had no real hopes of getting pregnant. Then, two weeks later, we learned we were pregnant and the early numbers were the highest they had been. It was a definite sign of hope. We held our breaths and went through more tests. Each came back positive.

Then, at five weeks, we went for our ultrasound. When we saw our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, everyone in the room cried.

Nine months later our baby girl was born on July 21, 2007. She weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces and was perfect. She is truly our miracle.

The decision to go to the ART Program was a difficult one but I will always be grateful for the support and help we received there. Dealing with infertility is a hard process but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

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I cannot believe that our baby is fast approaching her 3rd birthday or that the twins are already 16 months old! It seems like only yesterday that we had our first meeting with you and began our “journey” to becoming parents. But at the same time, it feels like we have had them in our lives forever and we cherish every moment with our little “miracles”!

I just wanted to share a recent photo of them to let you see how “successful” the ART Program is and to let you know how much we appreciate you and your staff.  Without you, we would not have these babies in our lives and we can’t imagine life without them. Because of you, we have a complete family and our experience with you and your staff could not have been any easier or successful.

As you know, we used donor eggs for our success, but I cannot tell you how many times people have said that they look like me! It just proves the ART Program is a success and dreams really do come true. We were blessed with three beautiful, healthy and smart children and I just want to thank you for what you do.

We look forward to the 25th Celebration in 2011 and bringing the “whole family”.

T.O.

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“Thank you all.

Infertility is hard. Treatment is harder because it is constantly in your face. What makes it bearable is how completely nice everyone is. As medical professionals I know you are competent and you all, from the doctors to the office staff show you care. But it is the fact that every single person I’ve met there is always cheerful and always acts like I am a person as well as a patient that makes it a place I am happy to be even though the reason I’m there is so difficult.  Thank you again for all you do – and how you do it.”

M.B.

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 “Thank you so much for all your help and support in helping us get our 2nd son.  He is a great baby and we are so excited to have him as a part of our family.

Again, thank you for all you did – I highly recommend the ART Program to those in need.”

A.B.

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The ART Success Story Ends With a Double Blessing
by Laura Mann

After a year of marriage, my husband Michael and I decided to start a family. We tried unsuccessfully for over a year, so I scheduled an appointment to see Kathy Hill, CRNP at Dr. John David Wheeler’s office. After some routine tests, they determined that Michael had azoospermia, or no sperm in the ejaculate. Then we saw a urologist who determined that we could have children with assisted reproduction. A friend who had been a patient of the ART Fertility Program of Alabama in Birmingham recommended them based on their expert and compassionate care. I scheduled our first appointment in 2002. They determined that we would have to do IVF (in vitro fertilization) along with TESA (Testicular Epididymal Sperm Aspiration) and ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection).

Several months later we began our first in vitro cycle. The entire cycle took about three months. The first month was pretty easy. Take a pill a day, and come in periodically for blood work and ultrasounds. The second month was a little more hectic. I was given a calendar that showed me day by day which shot(s) to take, which pill(s) to take, when to have sex, when to abstain, and when labs, ultrasounds, or procedures were scheduled. It was very precise. However, there was always a nurse available to answer my questions; I never felt abandoned during the whole cycle.

The last month was mostly a waiting game. You wait to see how many eggs were retrieved, how many embryos are developing, how many are ready to implant, and most importantly, the results of the pregnancy test. I had my pregnancy test at the satellite office in Huntsville. They took the blood and told me to go home and relax; they would call me by the end of the day. I went home, but I certainly didn’t relax! The call came and the tone of the nurse’s voice gave me my answer immediately. She said, “Hey Laura, the results came back, and I’m so sorry but it was negative.”

I assured the nurse I would be okay. Then I cried for a long time. It seemed really cruel. What happens for most people in the privacy of their home had been turned into a cold, sterile procedure that was unsuccessful. I had put my body (and my check book) through a lot without any compensation.

But we moved on and decided one day we would try again. Last year I got a call from my grandmother. She told me that if I was going to have a baby I better get to it, or she would be too old to rock!  Michael and I decided to try again. Since it had been four years since we last saw ART, I had to do some of the preliminary stuff again. Everything was fine so we began our second IVF cycle.

When they found a cyst on one of my ovaries we had to wait another month. We started again in August, 2006. They implanted two embryos without a hitch. Then, on October 17, 2007, I got the best phone call that I have ever gotten: I was pregnant! A few weeks later we learned it was twins. In December our doctor released me to the care of my Ob/Gyn. On June 6, 2007, Noah Michael and Lexi LaJoyce were born. They were both healthy and held a record for 2007 weighing in at 7 lbs. 13 oz and 7 lbs. 6 oz.

Overall it took us 7 years to have these babies. They were definitely worth the wait. The knowledgeable, professional, and compassionate staff at the ART clinic is amazing. I never felt like a number or an experiment. I would recommend the ART Program of Alabama to any couple seeking help with reproduction.

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Little did we know when we were purchasing our first home with thoughts of a nursery, we would also be purchasing our second home three years later with thoughts of the same nursery and no pitter-patter of little feet. We were patient. We hoped each month that the time would come, but we also knew God would bless us when the time was right. After four years of trying ovulation kits, temperature methods, old wives’ tales, watching calendars, taking general medicines (Clomid) and months of weekly blood tests, we decided to see a fertility specialist. I asked my OB/GYN who I should see and she, without hesitation, referred me to the ART Program.

We timed our first visit perfectly and I began my first treatment just days after the visit. It seemed that our luck had changed. We wanted to be aggressive and Dr. Houserman agreed. We were young, our tests were good and we had nothing obvious giving us any doubts. God decided it was time and nine months later (January 26) our miracle was born. My pregnancy was a dream. I would do it 100 times to have this baby again. Our baby is almost two months old and we still can’t take our eyes off of her.
Thank you to all of the nurses and doctors the ART Program. Without you and a little luck, our life wouldn’t be complete. We will see you again in a few years when we are ready to try for another miracle!
                                                                                                                        M,J,M J
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I was 23 years old and my husband was 25 when we decided to get pregnant. Having never had a “regular” menstrual cycle and having been on the pill for several years, I thought it might take us a little bit of time to conceive. However, as the months began to pile on top of each other and every single thing we tried resulted in the dreaded one line on the pregnancy test indicating a negative result, my heart began to sink. Having a family was our dream. We felt so alone because there was no one we knew our age who had struggled with infertility. As friends and family members happily announced their pregnancies, we began to feel more and more isolated. As a woman, I felt like the most precious gift, the ability to carry a baby and give birth, was something I would never experience. To say it was the hardest time in our lives is an understatement. Living with infertility is a struggle every single day. It consumes your every waking thought. Our lives were completely filled with dreams of babies and disappointments when we would fail to conceive again. While I know people meant well, hearing things like “it will happen when it’s meant to happen,” or “You are young you have the rest of your life to have babies” left us feeling even more frustrated and alone. The truth is I knew there was something wrong, and when you physically do not ovulate then no amount of “time” is going to change that. I needed a plan, control over the situation, something that would give me a chance.
Having reached the end of our emotional rope, I called the ART Program. I will never forget our first visit with my doctor. After thoroughly reviewing my file, she asked “So what OB will you be using after you get pregnant?” My mind raced; someone actually thought I could get pregnant! I had all but given up, but in that moment I knew I had come to the right place. The testing and abundance of information was so much to take in at first, but I was just so grateful to be somewhere that actually gave me options and tools to get pregnant. The doctors and nurses at the ART Program gave me hope, support, love and most importantly my precious baby. I conceived him through ovulation induction, and he was born 38 weeks later – a perfect 7 lb 4 oz baby boy. I will never forget the first time I saw him on the ultrasound. Seeing a tiny little life growing inside you is something that you do not take for granted when there have been so many other times that there was nothing to see. He is a miracle that ART believed in even when I had given up. I remind myself every single time I look at him that he was more than just “conceived”. He was thought of, planned for, prayed for and oh so very wanted. I know that I would have loved any child I gave birth to, but there will always be a special place in my heart for Eli because we had to work so hard to get him. He is a miracle in so many ways but most importantly because he made us the family we had been dreaming of for so long. We are eternally grateful to the ART Program. Thank you cannot possibly say enough, and we can’t wait to repeat the process for baby number two!
AN
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Let me just start by saying THANK YOU! There is no way to ever express the gratitude we feel for being blessed with our little angel. You all help miracles happen every day. And to anyone who is just starting your journey – hang in there!! It is worth the wait!

My husband and I had been married for 11 years when we decided to have a baby. We were in our mid-thirties. We thought it would be easy to get pregnant since neither of us had any problems previously. Boy, were we wrong! I had my previous tubal ligation reversed and we set out on our journey, blissfully ignorant of what would lie ahead. After about six months with no results we began testing only to learn that I had ovulation issues. We then embarked on the longest and most difficult journey of our lives. We spent four years, thousands of dollars and rivers of tears trying to become pregnant. We did it all: Clomid, injectables, IUI and IVF. I cannot count how many hours I spent in the doctor’s office and lab. We had many, many disappointments and an ectopic pregnancy. Emotionally we were near the end of our rope. Every failed attempt was harder than the one before. We began to feel hopeless and helpless. We decided to give IVF just one more shot and if it didn’t work we would move on to adoption.
And now I look in my little angel’s face and think “what if we hadn’t given it one last try??” Our miracle finally happened. The joy we feel is unimaginable. She is such a blessing to our family. The first moment I saw her, all the years and pain were erased and replaced with joy and happiness. Thank you ART for helping make our miracle; a special thank you to Donna and Nancy. There is no doubt in my mind that we could not have achieved our miracle without your help and support. ART is truly a special place where patients are treated like people, not numbers. The doctors and nurses care about everyone in the program and work diligently to give every patient the best possible outcome. Technology is a wonderful thing but it is only part of the equation. The care and dedication of the ART staff is what makes it work!
                                                                                                                        M and B
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So This is Love ….

I always knew I would have a child. After a year of trying though, I wasn’t sure if my baby would be adopted or biological. It was a relief when we went to the ART Program to turn over the monitoring and analyzing of every detail to someone else. After a few months though, I grew discouraged and thought maybe my baby would come to me through adoption. The wonderful ART nurses assured me on more than one occasion that while adoption was a wonderful option it wasn’t time for me to give up on my own fertility journey.
After eight months at the ART Program, the vivid details of March 5, 2007 will forever be ingrained in my memory. I had spent the morning having my hair cut, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to concentrate at work while waiting for the results of my pregnancy test. At 2:00 the phone finally rang. One of the sweet nurses, Yvonne, asked what I was doing and then said … “I think it was worth the wait!” I laughed, screamed, cried, jumped up and down and had chills over every inch of me. Finally! I was going to be a mother.
It turns out I was SO good at being pregnant that my baby didn’t want to leave my womb. Ten days past my due date, we finally got to meet our beautiful baby daughter. Now, as I watch her crawl around my home and yell “BAW” every time she sees a ball, I am amazed that I am so blessed. It seems not so long ago I was sitting in front of Dr. Honea as she explained the process to me. And it seems like only yesterday that they handed me my beautiful daughter. I still get chills as I remember that phone call and look at my very own miracle baby. She was definitely worth the wait.
                                                                                                                                    HG
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After trying to conceive for almost two years and receiving a diagnosis of endometriosis from my gynecologist, my husband and I chose to visit the ART Fertility Program for help growing our family. I have to admit that I was not thrilled at going through all of the testing and procedures or with the idea of bringing doctors and nurses into something I had always imagined would be a very private part of my life. All of it can be a bit overwhelming. The early test results indicated that we had good odds, so we were very optimistic.
Dr. Long suggested that we try artificial insemination while taking Clomid to increase my fertility. We went through two rounds, but had no luck. At that point, we were told we could try the same procedure a third time, step up the fertility drugs to ovulation induction (hormone shots that produce an effect stronger than Clomid), or go on to IVF. We were too tired of the procedures to endure another month of the same, and we were concerned about the possibility of higher-order multiples with ovulation induction and artificial insemination, so we chose to move straight to IVF. We were very hopeful. We had been told we had good odds and we were young. We felt practically certain of a good result. After about two months of various drugs, shots and procedures, I received a phone call from the nurse. No pregnancy, no luck. I can’t begin to tell you how sad I was.
Luckily, we had signed up for the shared risk program and that meant that we could try another round of IVF with little additional cost. I was so down that I had thoughts of scrapping it all. I didn’t want to go through another round of shots and procedures for another negative result. But this was really our last shot. After this procedure, we would not be able to afford any more IVF attempts. We started to look into procedures for adoption. We knew we would be happy with an adopted child, but still felt a strong sadness that we might not be able to conceive a child of our own.
After a few months “off”, I stared to prepare for my second IVF procedure. I took birth control the month before. I started Lupron shots a few days before the start of the IVF cycle, and then took hormone shots for several days before ovulation. The protocol was very similar to the first time, but was adjusted based on my response during the previous cycle. This time, I decided to see an acupuncturist. It was something I never had thought of doing before, but the sessions were relaxing, and at this point I was willing to do anything that could help even just a bit.
The clinic monitored me closely during the beginning of my cycle and when I was close to ovulation, I was instructed to take an HSG shot to force ovulation to occur at just the right time. 36 hours later, I went in for my egg retrieval procedure. From what Dr. Long told me, it seemed like my egg quality was better this time around, but it had all become so confusing. It was hard to be sure of anything. Five days later, I returned to the clinic to have the fertilized embryos placed into my uterus. Four embryos made it to day 5. This was 2 more than the previous round. Two were transferred and the other two were monitored to possibly be frozen.
I took the 10 or so days between embryo transfer and the pregnancy test off from work. I did everything I could to decrease stress and increase the possibility of implantation and pregnancy. I even ate pineapple every day per the instructions of my acupuncturist. When the phone call came, it was the news we wanted to hear. I was finally pregnant! After three years of trying, it was such welcome news. I returned to the clinic to have my hormone levels checked periodically. A few weeks later, my hormone levels were high enough to have an ultrasound. The ultrasound revealed two well-developing embryos. I was pregnant with twins. At such an early point in the pregnancy, it was hard to relax. There was still a relatively high chance that one or both embryos would miscarry. Luckily, the rest of my pregnancy was mostly uneventful. Except for some early contractions and a brief hospitalization at 26 weeks, I had a healthy pregnancy and carried the babies to 35 weeks.
I am so lucky and blessed to have my beautiful son and daughter. I can’t thank the doctors and nurses at the ART Fertility Program of Alabama enough for all that they have done for us. If you are considering fertility treatments because you fear it may be the only way for you to conceive, I want to tell you that others have been there before you and that you are definitely not alone. It can be such a sad and lonely time. I highly recommend the ART clinic and I know many friends who have conceived with their help, so I know my story is not unique.
LP
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We would like to sincerely thank Dr. Cecil Long and all of the ART staff for sharing your expertise and encouragement throughout our infertility journey.  We feel that God has guided our every step through this time and directed us to your care.After we exhausted all of the standard treatments, we reached the point of needing to move on to the next level of treatment.  When we came to ART, we were so very uncertain about the direction of our future, but we were hopeful.  After two unsuccessful attempts, we conceived during our third round of IUI.It was a long, sometimes difficult, journey, but we learned many lessons and were made stronger by traveling this road.  Now, as we hold our beautiful baby girl in our arms, we know that we must encourage those who are going through the same struggles that we went through.  If you find yourself on this same path, there are no more capable, caring hands to guide you to your destination than the wonderful group at ART.***************Derric and I were married September 8, 2007. That following December I had a tubal reversal done by my local Dr. I thought for sure we wouldn’t have any problems conceiving since I had two children from a previous marriage. Boy, was I wrong!.. Feb. 2008 I got my first positive but was disappointed when I got my cycle two weeks later. I didn’t realize then that was the first of many miscarriages that I would have over the next few years. We decided it was time to see a Specialist… We saw one other Specialist before seeking out the ART Program of Birmingham. Derric and I tried clomid, IUI and injection’s which all lead to miscarriages. After my second HSG (dye test) which was my first with ART we learn my left tube was blocked from scar tissue. So, in April 2012 we decided to try IVF. We made Our appointment with Dr. Allemand and guess what… We were pregnant once again own our own. I was so happy but didn’t get my hopes up due to all the other heartbreaks I’d experienced… And I was right, I miscarriage in May… Now time to start IVF, it took me three cycles of medicine to get the right protocol to continue with IVF. I remember after the second round praying and telling God I was putting it all in his hands that if the third cycle didn’t work I was done.. Third times a charm I finally produced enough eggs to continue with retrieval… 7 eggs and 6 fertilized on their own…Yay!!… Five days later we returned to transfer 2 embryo’s back… Resting and Praying for the next two weeks!!..It’s amazing how God works, five years after my tubal reversal I saw 2 little heartbeats flickering through the machine at me… I Trusted in God, He believed in Dr. Allemand and the ART Staff, now I sit here with my two precious IVF MIRACLES, Sarah Martin and Rowdy Brooks Jordan were born on July 30, 2013… Thank you, ART!!…

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THE ART FERTILITY PROGRAM OF ALABAMA