Former patient, Michele Flanagan, wrote in her own words about her journey to motherhood with Fertility Centers of Illinois. She wanted to share her experiences so that they could help anyone who might be going through the same struggles, pain and worry. Read on to experience her journey through her eyes.

My husband and I got married in 2007 and started our journey in life as a team. In 2007 never would I have imagined how much our little team of two would be challenged. My husband and I started trying to conceive a year after we were married.  After a year of disappointment (to put it mildly) we were at our wit’s end. We have had enough of “just relax” and “just don’t think about it”. I reached out to a person I worked with and she told me about FCI and her success with IVF. I was very apprehensive because I didn’t want to admit to myself that there really was something wrong.

We made our first initial appointment and were very optimistic that the first IUI would do the trick and it would all be just a faint memory. Well, the first IUI did not work and neither did the next two. So we made the decision to go ahead with IVF.  It was a pain staking process for me and resulted with yet another failure.  We were devastated (again, putting it mildly.  I really don’t feel there are words to describe this type of disappointment and despair). We were advised by FCI to just take a break and my husband thought it might be best too, but the fighter in me said I will not stop until I am pregnant.  Even though my body has been through so much it didn’t matter.  After the fresh cycle fail we went ahead with a frozen cycle which gave us our first miracle baby, Lucas. I will never forget the joyful voice of Donna, FCI nurse in Orland Park, telling me that I am pregnant. A year and a half after Lucas was born we decided to try for a brother or sister for Lucas.  We knew we had more frozen embryos and wanted to start at it again not knowing how long it will take for a positive result.  I met with Dr. Lederer and we came up with a plan that seemed very promising since I did so well with the frozen cycle that resulted in my son’s birth. After three failed frozen cycles I was, for the first time, beginning to lose hope.

I remember meeting with Dr. Lederer and him saying to me “you are the patients that keep me up at night” because everything looks great on paper and no success thus far.  With those words hope was rushed back to me.  I knew that I had a doctor that was as passionate about giving us a baby than we were about getting pregnant.  I could see in his eyes that he felt our frustration, disappointment, and sadness and that he was going to do all he could to take all of that away for us.  We had one frozen cycle left and in all actuality it was our last since we could not afford to go through another fresh cycle.  Dr. Lederer called me in to his office for a special meeting before our last cycle.  He told me about his research into a new protocol of medicine that a doctor in Colorado was using for women with multiple failed frozen cycles.  He also told me of a surgery I could have done to also improve my chances, because I had found out I had two hydrospinx in both tubes.  I was scared  and over whelmed with all the information, but one thing I knew for sure I trusted wholeheartedly in Dr. Lederer.  I knew he was as determined as I was and had my best interest in mind at all times.  So my decision was pretty easy even though I was scared.  I went with all of his recommendations and followed the new protocol of medicine even though I was his first patient to do so.  I think it is worth repeating, I trusted him with everything.  I went ahead with the surgery to remove my fallopian tubes from my uterus and then started the new protocol of medicine.  I knew that Dr. Lederer was putting it all out there and so I was going to as well.  I started doing acupuncture twice a week and making it my mission to have nothing but positive thoughts.  No more, what ifs and I can’t.  The day came and our last embryos made their way back home to me.  I remember laying on the acupuncture table after the transfer and a gentle peace came over me.  There was no worry or thoughts of what if this doesn’t work or how will I handle twins (I worried A LOT about that), I was at peace and just knew everything would be okay.  We found out that I was pregnant with twins and although I was worried about how I would manage that, we were just ecstatic that all of our efforts were worth it.

I remember meeting with Dr. Lederer and crying tears of joy and appreciation and I remember seeing in his eyes how happy he was for us.  He said to me “This is why I love my job.”  You can always tell the people who really are passionate about their line of work and who really LOVE their job and he was definitely one of those people.  I know that he is looking down on all of his miracles he has created from heaven and I know that all of his patients look up to him and thank God for him and his work.

Why did you choose to trust FCI with your fertility treatments?
At first I didn’t know who to trust or what to do or what to think.  I just went with my gut feeling that I thought FCI knew what they were doing.  After time spent with FCI and getting to know the nurses and doctors I knew I had made the right decision.

Everyone at the Orland Park office was AMAZING!!  The time spent at FCI were the most difficult times of my life.  While trying to get pregnant with my son I found out that I was RIFed (reduction in force) from my dream job teaching at my old high school.  When trying to conceive my daughters my Dad had a brain aneurysm.  These were the worst times in my life and through it all, the support of FCI helped me through it and also helped me achieve a family of my dreams. They all hold a very special place in my heart.

What words of advice do you have for those thinking about using Fertility Centers of Illinois to treat their infertility?
Go with what your gut is telling you to do.  When you look in your doctor’s or nurse’s eyes and you see the passion they have for their job you know you will be making the right decision.  I am confident that you will find that is all the FCI doctors and nurses.  Best of luck to all who are trying to conceive to get the family they always dreamed of.  I hope this blog finds you in a peaceful and hopeful place.

If you or anyone you know would like to share your Fertility Centers of Illinois journey on our blog, please email fertilitycentersofil@gmail.com to get started.