Lindsey & Calan
- In vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Timed intercourse
Lindsey & Calan's Story:
My husband and I initially planned to get married in August 2020, but the pandemic had other plans. Despite the circumstances, we managed to have a small, intimate ceremony in October 2020. We immediately started trying to conceive that same month.
But I was concerned that getting pregnant could be challenging. When I was in my early teens, I was seen by a pediatric endocrinologist who suspected I had PCOS for my rapid weight gain, mostly in my belly, and painful irregular periods.
I will never forget when she told me I would have trouble conceiving in the future. But, of course, I was young, so it didn't mean all that much to me back then. I went on to have very long periods of time without a period and very painful ones when I did have them
Over time they did regulate somewhat, but I was never truly regular. So, in October 2020, I started tracking my ovulation with OPKs. I found my cycles would be upwards of 50-60 days, sometimes even longer.
I consulted with my OBGYN after a few months of not getting pregnant, and she had me do bloodwork and an ultrasound. By this point, I finally had my confirmation of PCOS. I was eventually put on metformin and myoinositol, and we continued to try for many more months, never losing hope that we’d still have our baby.
By the summer of 2022, my OBGYN suggested I look into a fertility clinic. I was sad, but at this point, desperate to understand why we weren’t getting pregnant. I was recommended CNY Fertility by several friends who either had experience there or knew someone else who did.
We took the plunge, and I scheduled my first appointment at CNY Buffalo in the fall of 2022. My husband was checked for male factor infertility and got the all-clear, so we got moving with timed intercourse, letrozole, and a trigger right away.
Unfortunately, after about three cycles, nothing was happening despite my bloodwork and ultrasounds confirming I was ovulating and responding to the medication. I wasn’t able to schedule my HSG until February 2023, but it was next on our list of things to do.
Well, after the HSG, we got our answer as to why I wasn’t getting pregnant. Both of my tubes were 100% blocked. IVF was our only option. It was heartbreaking, to say the least. We left discouraged that we needed to go another route but still optimistic about having IVF as an option.
After realizing we could afford IVF, we started immediately. The CNY Buffalo team was so supportive and informative about what was to come. They even educated me on how to do my injections and provided many resources about the process.
I finally had my egg retrieval scheduled, and we tentatively had about 7-8 eggs they were watching. I was disheartened to think only eight were growing and had learned that there was usually an attrition rate post-retrieval. I was absolutely terrified the day of my retrieval, but by the time I woke up, I realized what a breeze it was. And to my surprise, they got ten eggs!
I got an update the next day about the status of the fertilization process. Another blow. Only 3 were mature eggs. A sad result of my PCOS. But they said one fertilized, and they were watching the other two to see if they would fertilize later. The next phone call was to tell me the two didn’t make it, and we had one embryo. I was absolutely devastated. We discussed with the team about what to do. We weren’t certain it would make it to day 5 so we opted to do a day 3 fresh embryo transfer.
On March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, we transferred our lone embryo. And all we had was hope. Ten days later, I got a positive pregnancy test at home. I couldn’t believe it. We were very cautiously optimistic about it all, but our betas came back good, and every follow-up ultrasound progressed beautifully.
Seeing the little heart flicker on the screen was a moment I’ll never forget. That was when I finally allowed myself to believe I was pregnant.
CNY Buffalo followed me until about ten weeks when it was time for me to leave. I was so sad, and I wished they could have been the ones to follow me through it all! I moved onto my OBGYN’s office, where I had a near perfect pregnancy.
I did develop pre-eclampsia suddenly at 37 weeks and was induced that same night. Cole was born screaming via c-section on 11/15/23 at 11:18 pm, weighing 6lbs and 15 oz.
He’s perfect and healthy in every way. Our lucky embryo is the most perfect and beautiful baby boy. We will be returning to CNY Buffalo in the future for another IVF cycle and are looking forward to it.
Photos by: Kelsey Graham Photography
Favorite Team Member at CNY:
Alexis Seward was truly my rock through the whole process. She treated me like a person and not just a patient or a number. I wouldn’t have made it through without her. She was always willing to listen to me and my concerns (and I had many!). And she was always willing to do whatever it took and made decisions with me rather than for me.
Carrie (I don’t remember her last name) was fantastic in being so kind and compassionate every time I saw her. Often times it was early, like 7 am, and she was always so sweet.
And Kasey (I believe, sorry it’s been so long!) was the kindest nurse. She was the nurse the day of my egg retrieval and she could tell how petrified I was of the procedure. But her presence was so calming and she was so casual about it that it made me feel so much more at ease. She was telling me about her own IVF journey and her kids and it was amazing to be able to relate to someone who had been in my exact position. She even made it a point to follow up with me during my ultrasounds after I was confirmed pregnant. She truly made me feel like a friend of hers.
These three women are the ones I have remembered the most. When IVF became my whole world so suddenly, these ladies made it so much easier. Each time I talk about my IVF experience I always include talking about these fantastic women.
Helpful resources Lindsey & Calan found:
I actually used Reddit often. They have a huge IVF community with a lot of resources and information. It was very comforting to talk about IVF with hundreds of other people who have gone through it.
The moment I saw those two pink lines had me so stunned I couldn’t even think. I just kept staring at the test. And of course ran out to buy more to confirm! But it didn’t compare to the first time I heard my son cry or held him in my arms. It was incredibly surreal to know he started as our only embryo and how lucky we truly are.
Hope, Inspiration and Advice:
I know how incredibly hard it is to go through the fertility process and how easy it is to be discouraged. I hope others can find community in CNY, where their sole purpose is to help. It was hard being brushed off by doctors and even friends/family who just told us “it’ll happen!” or to “stop stressing!” But everyone at CNY made me feel so seen and heard. It was truly an experience I’ll never forget and one I look forward to again in the future.