Why do you want to share your story?
Within the first few days of my husband’s accident that left him paralyzed, I began researching our options for future children. At the time we had an 18-month-old son and had planned on starting to try for baby number two in a couple of months. While doing my research there wasn’t a lot of information out there about outcomes for men who were paralyzed. Of course, I found a lot of literature that said IUI or IVF would be an option but I couldn’t find much that could give me personal results of real paraplegics.
What led you to Fertility Centers of Illinois?
I began doing research on fertility doctors and clinics in Indiana, specifically northwest Indiana. There are very few options near us. I expanded my search to the Chicago area. When I stumbled upon Fertility Centers of Illinois I began doing research. I joined a Facebook group of women currently going to FCI and asked their opinions. It was rave reviews. At that point I felt comfortable with FCI then I needed to decide which doctor to book my consultation with. I read up on all of the doctors and Dr.Ahmad sounded like a good fit for me. She seemed positive, upbeat and open to unique situations.
What was your infertility diagnosis?
Male Factor Infertility. My husband has erectile and ejaculation dysfunction. After having electro-ejaculation done we found out he had 0 motility, something that research has shown is caused in men with spinal cord injuries, yet researchers have not found why it is a side effect of SCI.
Which Fertility Centers of Illinois Physician(s) treated you?
Dr. Ahmad was my main doctor. While doing a research study I had a frozen transfer done by Dr. Uhler.
What were your experiences with your physician(s)?
I only briefly met Dr. Uhler but she was very personable and upbeat. She knew it was my first transfer and she took her time explaining everything to me. My husband and I both loved Dr. Ahmad. She always treated us as though we weren’t just patients but that she actually cared about us and our outcomes. When we’d be in the Tinley Park office if she saw us in the hallway she always made a point of stopping to say hi and check in with us. Dr. Ahmad went above and beyond every time we saw her to make us feel comfortable and hopeful. She was always upfront with us and when she didn’t know an answer about our situation she would guide us to the right resource.
What infertility treatment(s) did you undergo?
IVF twice. First, we did it as a research study with Ali Chizum and then we did it on our own with Dr. Ahmad.
What helped you get through treatment physically and emotionally?
The physical pain of IVF was not unbearable for me. The days that it felt overwhelming I was able to tell myself if we got through the last year and a half of emotional and physical pain caused by my husband’s accident this was nothing. I was also able to stay positive but feeling like I was fixing something. When my husband got hurt there was nothing I could do to make it better, no problem that I was able to fix. But this problem, not being able to get pregnant naturally anymore was something I could try to fix it. While IVF is draining physically and mentally, it gave me a small sense of control over a problem in my life.
Why did you trust Fertility Centers of Illinois?
Every person I met at FCI from the front desk to the nurses, to the doctors and everyone in between genuinely seemed like they cared about us and wanting to get us a baby. Everyone remembered us, our family and where we were at in our IVF journey. I never felt like a number or just another patient to get through the door. I always felt comfortable and in a sense, at home.
What did you wish you knew before you started infertility treatments?
I wish I would have known that everyone at FCI was a community and they were going to rally around us and help us in every way to get us what we need. They lifted a huge burden off my shoulders by alleviating a lot of the stress I felt in any way they could.
Do you have any words of hope or inspiration for others?
Never give up, no matter how unique or scary your situation is there is someone out there that can help you. Just keep reaching out and asking questions.
Please tell us about your (soon to be) little miracle.
We recently found out that we are having a baby girl. We are ecstatic to add a little girl to our family this May. Our son is so excited and talks all the time about “our real baby.” I can’t wait to see him as a big brother.