Anna & Austin
- Immune system disorders
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Frozen embryo transfer (FET)
- In vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Travel Client
- Robert Kiltz, MD
- David Corley, MD
Anna & Austin's Story:
My husband and I have been married since 2014. We started trying for a family almost immediately after we got married. I was already 28 and he was 27. I knew a baby wasn’t going to come easy and felt my age wasn’t on my side (I know I’m not old, yet!). I have PCOS and hashimotos hypothyroidism in addition to being obese, and was told from a young age that getting pregnant would likely be a challenge. My cycles were never regular, so we knew we were up for a challenge. Little did we know how far our journey would take us in the 4 years it took us to get pregnant.
We tried for 6 months naturally, monitored ovulation at home, and just “relaxed”. Because you know, that’s all it takes! 🙄🤣. At the 6 month mark, I spoke to my OB. While she wasn’t willing to refer me out yet, she was willing to do Clomid. We did three medicated cycles with a positive ovulation, but no success with pregnancy. We revisited the idea of a fertility specialist and started with RUSH. They saw us, and did a monitored medicated cycle but no real deep dive into why we weren’t getting pregnant.
Then it started. “You’re not pregnant because you’re fat.” “You won’t get pregnant until you’re not fat.” “Your weight is the only thing impacting your fertility.” “You don’t qualify for IVF because of your weight.” Needless to say, we moved on to another clinic who was willing to sit with us and see us as people, not a number on the scale.
We had another consult at a Chicago based clinic, and heard all the same things. We moved to our 3rd clinic, Chicago IVF. While we heard from them we weren’t candidates for IVF, they were willing to attempt IUI. We saw three failed medicated IUI cycles with them.
At this point, I buried myself in research. What were our IVF options knowing we were self pay? Was there anyone domestically that was willing to see us? Then I can across CNY. I knew this was our next step, without hesitation. My husband looked at me like I was crazy when I wanted to travel to NY for IVF! But, the price was what we could realistically afford to try and achieve our family.
I had my initial consult with Dr. Kiltz. Other than being absolutely amazed at his kindness and generosity to the world of infertility, I was SO relieved to never once hear that my weight was why we weren’t getting pregnant.
We were all in. We had a beautiful retrieval with no complications and yielded 8 beautiful embryos. Fast forward a year and 6 failed transfers later, and we were back to square one, no baby, no positive pregnancy, and empty arms. 3 years of trying, and our hearts were tired. But, we persisted.
We went back to the drawing board. Dr. K recommended a lap and hysteroscopy. Because of my weight, I wasn’t a candidate to have this done at the clinic. I met Dr. Luthringer at CNY and was able to see him for my surgery. I remember waking up from my procedure and immediately asking the nurse in recovery if he found anything. I cried tears of joy when she told me he had found and excised endo. I know that sounds silly to be HAPPY over finding something- but perhaps this meant we still had a chance at successfully getting pregnant.
We had another retrieval the next month in August 2018 and a frozen transfer in September 2018. The words we had waited to hear for 4 long years: your beta is positive! We were finally pregnant! It was a very long and difficult 9 months full of challenges- and lots of management from reproductive immunology in Chicago- we could have never expected, but we finally got to bring our sweet girl home in May of 2019. We have Dr Kiltz, CNY, and his unwavering commitment to the infertile community to thank. His dedication and commitment to his patients and not just their diagnoses, numbers on the scale, or statistics are a priceless gift, and thank you will never seem adequate.
The photo of Anna & Austin by Cassandra Tribbett Photography
The photo of Baby Eloise is by Sindhi Blanchette
Favorite Team Member at CNY:
Dr. Kiltz, Dr. Corley, Amy (RN)
Dr Kiltz really focuses on inflammation and our immune response to pregnancy. That led me to find Reproductive Immunology and Dr. Kwak Kim in Chicago to help our journey in conjunction with CNY
Hope, Inspiration and Advice:
This journey is long. And hard. So, so hard. The reward is ten thousand time worth it. But it’s okay to give yourself time. Time to grieve when a transfer doesn’t work. Time to grieve if something isn’t an option for you. And while you feel more alone than ever, please reach out. There is a whole community rallying behind you. Those who have been through the trenches and can offer you support and connection. Just because you feel alone doesn’t mean you have to do this alone.