Julie & Julie
- Male factor
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Embryo Freezing
- Frozen embryo transfer (FET)
- In vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Robert Kiltz, MD
- David Corley, MD
- Kelly Testa, NP
Julie & Julie's Story:
My husband and I started trying to conceive near the end of 2018. I knew something might be wrong when I didn't get my period for a few months after stopping my birth control pills. I went to see my doctor, who ordered some bloodwork and an ultrasound. My bloodwork showed I had low TSH, so I started taking Levothyroxine to help my numbers be in a healthy range for pregnancy. At my ultrasound, I was told I had PCOS since I had irregular periods and it could be seen on the ultrasound. Luckily, these were my only symptoms. I was told we would need to do ovulation induction and possibly IUI to conceive.
At the next appointment where we started to talk about IUI, the doctor wanted to test my husband. The result came back that he had a low sperm count. The doctor referred us to a urologist, where he was diagnosed with varicocele. The only options for treatment were corrective surgery or Clomid to boost his numbers. We opted for the less invasive, cheaper approach. We had to wait 6 months to see if it worked, which it didn't. We looked into the surgery, but it would have cost us about $15,000. And even if it worked, we would still likely need to do IUI since I had PCOS.
This brought us to looking at doing IVF. It seemed like it gave us a better chance for baby while still spending less money than the surgery. That's when we found CNY. We were so lucky that the Syracuse office is only an hour from our house and that the prices were so affordable. By this time, it was the spring of 2020. After reaching out and having our consult, the clinic shut down due to COVID and we weren't able to get in for a few months.
We started our first IVF cycle in August of 2020. We were disappointed when 12 eggs were retrieved, 3 were mature, and we only got 1 embryo. We transferred the embryo, but it failed. We were devastated and confused - we were hoping to get a few embryos that would give us more than 1 chance. We weren't expecting to do another cycle, especially so soon. We followed up with a provider, who changed my protocol for another round. At the second retrieval, 27 eggs were retrieved, 12 were mature, and we got 4 embryos! We waited a month to let my body heal and we did an FET on Halloween. Long story short, it gave us our perfect baby girl! Zoey was born in July and we couldn't be more in love.
Thank you CNY for our miracle!
Favorite Team Member at CNY:
Dr. Corley was our favorite! He did both of my retrievals and our second transfer. His calm demeanor put me at ease and helped me relax during such a stressful time. He even prayed with us after our transfer, which was such a sweet gesture.
Helpful resources Julie & Julie found:
I joined a Facebook group that helped me relate to some other people going through the process. I also tried acupuncture before and after our FET which really helped make me relax and focus my energy on a successful transfer.
The most difficult part of our journey was having dual factor infertility. It made it a longer process and our odds didn't seem great at conceiving. However, the silver lining was that we were able to find comfort together as both of us had to overcome the physical and mental challenges of our diagnoses.
Another struggle was dealing with the results of our first cycle. We really had to talk about whether we wanted to pursue another cycle mentally, physically, and financially after the first one didn't end the way we had hoped.
Hope, Inspiration and Advice:
My advice would be to advocate for yourself. You know your body and situation the best. With the help of the doctors you can achieve the results you want if you speak up. I advocated for the testing that diagnosed me with PCOS which ultimately made our timeline much faster than it would have been otherwise. We also asked about changing my protocol for our second cycle, which gave us better results than the first one.
And of course, don't give up!