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.
Amanda and Tim’s Success Story
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.
“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.”
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”.
“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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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!
So This is Love ….
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!!…