Why do you want to share your story?
For the greater good of all people who struggle with fertility and want to have a family.
What led you to Fertility Centers of Illinois and why did you trust us?
My friend enjoyed being pregnant with her own son so much that she inquired about being a surrogate while she was still 7 months pregnant. FCI told her to come back if she still felt the same way after she had her baby. She did and carried a baby girl for a gay couple in Spain. She knew I was struggling with fertility and remembered the name of the doctor she had (Dr. Kaplan) so I called to schedule a consultation with him as soon as I got home. It’s incredible how connected people can be. What a miracle!
What was the infertility diagnosis?
Diminished ovarian reserve and male factor infertility. Aside from that, I have Hashimoto’s, Celiac, and Sjögren’s. I also had thyroid cancer.
Which Fertility Centers of Illinois physician(s) treated you?
Dr. Brian R. Kaplan
How would you describe your experience with your physician(s)?
Beautiful. I had been to two other fertility clinics that wouldn’t let me even try an IVF cycle without passing subjective hurdles (like lowering my blood levels that indicate a sensitivity to gluten). So, when I went in for a consultation with Dr. Kaplan I was ready to advocate for a chance at life for the donor eggs I had purchased but was unable to use at the other clinics. I had it all laid out and ready to present to him in hopes of him giving me just one chance. Instead, Dr. Kaplan agreed with me almost instantly and I didn’t need to make a case whatsoever. I couldn’t believe it. For how hard I was pleading and fighting for a chance before, it almost felt too easy! I was so grateful to even have an opportunity to move forward. I felt such relief walking out of that consultation. Dr. Kaplan made me feel like he genuinely wanted to help me and completely renewed my hope.
What infertility treatment(s) did you undergo?
I wanted the best chance at having a family and the odds with my own eggs were incredibly low. So, I got two sets of donor eggs (14 eggs total) which resulted in 9 embryos. I then had a FET cycle and had the two best embryos transferred with assisted hatching. I did not have PGS testing. The whole successful cycle only took about two months. It was extraordinarily easy compared to a fresh IVF cycle.
What helped you through treatment physically and/or emotionally?
I relied on three people. I needed a small but quality support system because the whole process felt so private and nerve-wracking. My husband gave me unwavering support throughout all the ups and downs of testing. Dr. Kaplan called me at night himself when I had a bleeding scare at 6 weeks pregnant. He told me he would pray for me and was so kind to have done that. And I have a friend who is like my surrogate father who helped me through the entire process of fertility treatment and pregnancy. He seamlessly did everything my own parents would have done for me in their absence. So for me, it was mentally and emotionally helpful to have only a few people I deeply trusted to rely on.
Do you have any words of wisdom for others?
At first, I struggled with the concept of donor eggs as my parents are deceased and I wanted a piece of them in my child. But there is not an ounce of me that would have it any other way now. I would love to be able to help people struggling with committing to donor eggs.
Tell us about your little miracle!
Both embryos stuck, so I now have two miracles who are almost two. I had boy/girl twins. Jaydon means thankful and he is a beautiful soul with a very gentle and curious demeanor. He’s very strong and always doing forward rolls. Bianca means white in Italian and in color theory white symbolizes a fresh start or blank canvas. She’s very into dancing and loves the company. They’re both happy and healthy and have plenty of love and I am beyond grateful that they made it and have a chance at life.