KateMacConnell Son Photo1

Why do you want to share your story?

I wanted to share our story because going through fertility struggles and treatment can be such a lonely process. When your friends are getting pregnant by accident and you’ve been trying for years, you don’t know where to turn for comfort. Nobody talks about it! There’s strength in numbers, so I have never been shy about sharing our experience to let others know that they are not alone.

What made you decide to get a Fertility Awareness Checkup? What did you learn?

I went to my regular OB/GYN because I knew something wasn’t right. We hadn’t used any form of birth control in over two years and all we had to show for it was a miscarriage. My doctor recommended that we go for the Fertility Awareness Checkup to see if that would tell us what was going on. It was a simple process that revealed that the problem was with my ovaries.

What was your infertility diagnosis?

After years of insisting to my doctors that I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and being told that they could find nothing wrong, I was relieved to finally have what I had known all along confirmed by the Fertility Awareness Checkup. The ultrasound and bloodwork done as part of the checkup diagnosed me with PCOS. It’s hard to get pregnant when you don’t ovulate!

What fertility treatment did you undergo?

We were very lucky in that our process was as “simple” as ovarian stimulation and timed intercourse. I was put on a couple medications to help regulate my hormones and stimulate ovulation. I was monitored with bloodwork and ultrasounds by Dr. Uhler and her team so we knew when we were in our prime baby-making window. We were given the option of IUI but decided to try a cycle on our own first. Success!

What helped you get through treatment?

We had fantastic support from our families! Our parents were so excited to have a grandchild and, as parents, would do anything to help their babies feel better. They were our constant cheerleaders. We also got tremendous support from the staff at our FCI office. I actually looked forward to my appointments because the nurses, techs, etc. were so caring and encouraging. Being able to rely on each other for support also was huge for us. My husband and I were in it together every step of the way. I was the one physically undergoing treatment, but he was every bit as emotionally invested as I was. We really became an incredible team during this process. Our struggles actually made us a stronger couple and better parents.

Can you tell us about your little miracle?

When I was going through treatment, I initially did not respond to the oral medication I was given first. I ended up needing injections to stimulate a follicle (immature egg) that was big enough to trigger for ovulation, and I was ecstatic when I was told my follicle measured 21. (FCI was hoping for 17) I told Dr. Uhler that I was going to go home and turn my big fat follicle into a big fat healthy baby. That was on St. Patrick’s Day weekend and on April 1st, I learned that I was pregnant. I had been so nervous since it was April Fool’s Day, but it was true! I had an easy pregnancy and wonderful labor/delivery experience! I was measuring big throughout my pregnancy and when our son was born, he set the hospital record as the largest baby ever born in that hospital, weighing in at 12lb 10oz. He’s beautiful, funny, charming, smart – even better than I could have imagined! We love our big little boy!

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That was on St. Patrick's Day weekend and on April 1st, I learned that I was pregnant. I had been so nervous since it was April Fool's Day, but it was true!

Why did you trust Fertility Centers of Illinois?

Initially, I trusted that my OB/GYN would point us in a good direction. Once we met with Dr. Uhler, we knew we were in the best possible hands. We knew she, and her staff, cared about helping us achieve our dream and that they had the expertise to make it happen.

Which physician did you work with to get pregnant? What was your experience?

We worked with Dr. Uhler and the staff at the Oak Brook office. Debbie was my nurse and she was wonderful! I knew I could come to anyone on our FCI team with any questions or concerns I had and they would take the time to really listen and help. I thought of her and Dr. Uhler so often during my pregnancy and right after my son was born. I could not wait to share our success with them! We’re currently in the process of working with Dr. Uhler to get pregnant with Baby #2!

What words of advice and hope do you have for others?

When you think about all of the things that have to happen for a healthy baby to be created and born, you realize just what a miracle human life is. We’re all a one-in-a-million shot! Even healthy people can struggle to get (and stay!) pregnant. You have no way of knowing how fertile you are or are not unless you go through a process like FCI’s Fertility Awareness Checkup. If having a family is something that is important to you, you should do something about it. The Fertility Awareness Checkup is a quick and simple appointment, but it could be incredibly valuable in helping you plan your family. We could have saved ourselves so much time if we had only gone in sooner! I have recommended FCI and the checkup to friends and relatives who are planning on having a family. And if you’re in the middle of your journey to parenthood, keep your chin up and know that you can do this. You are much more resilient than you give yourself credit for. The reward in the end is more than worth it!