Why do you want to share your story?
One of the main reasons I wanted to share our story is that one of the greatest lessons that I learned from experiencing infertility treatments is that no matter how good someone’s intentions are, unless they have gone through fertility treatments, no one really understands what you are going through. Since coming to Fertility Centers of Illinois in 2011, I have shared our story via my own Facebook page and personal blog numerous times in the hopes that someone would connect with our story and more importantly, connect with FCI for help. Two of the biggest things I was in desperate need of when I came to FCI was hope and direction. I got both of those. So, the short answer is that I am firm believer in “paying it forward” so I want to share our story with other people so they have a sense of hope and have a resource in a real person that has shared their struggles.
What was your infertility diagnosis?
I was diagnosed with PCOS, endometriosis, and unexplained hormonal issues. My husband was just fine :)
What fertility treatment did you undergo?
Prior to coming to FCI, we started off with using Clomid through my OB/GYN and then went to another Chicago area fertility specialist where I underwent exploratory surgery and we did a few rounds of IUI unsuccessfully. IVF was the recommended next step and at that point we looked into another fertility clinic and decided to switch to FCI. Through FCI, we did IVF a total of three times. All were successful transfers. The first round gave us our daughter Eloise, who was born on August 31, 2012. The second round was successful but resulted in a miscarriage shortly after the transfer. Our third round gave us our son Preston, who was born on May 8, 2015.
What helped you get through treatment?
One of the most helpful things that got me through treatment was connecting with other women who were struggling with infertility, both virtually and in person. Thank god for blogs because I found tons of great resources online from other women who were at various stages of their fertility journey. Some of these women I have never met and may never meet but I have developed a virtual friendship of sorts. It’s great to see so many of them raising their little miracles just like me now. Besides finding support online, I found support in other women in my life who shared my experiences. One of the greatest lessons I learned through our treatments was to be “picky” about who you tell your story to because not everyone can give you the support you need. I learned that the hard way in some cases, but ultimately had great support from key people in my life.
Can you tell us about your little miracles?
Eloise will be 4 soon. She is the funniest, smartest, and most imaginative little girl. Her middle name is Joy and we are more and more convinced every day that we picked the perfect middle name for her because she is just that – pure joy. She loves to dance, sing, and play make believe all day long. Preston is almost 16 months and is all boy! He was just over 9lbs when he was born and he has been a bruiser ever since. He loves to try to keep up with his big sister as best as he can. In his eyes, everything is a jungle gym or obstacle course to be tackled. He is the only boy among a sea of little girls in our family. Thanks to him the Kalins family name will live on another generation! Eloise is the light of Preston’s life and he can’t wait to see her every morning when he wakes up. Eloise is the same way with him when it comes time to pick them up from daycare. She rushes to his room and gives him a hug and always asks him, “Did you miss me, Bubbas? It’s ok…Eloise is here now.” It has never been lost on us that these sweet babies are our miracles. Even on the hardest of days when I’ve been up since 3am with a teething toddler and I’m negotiating with a threenager who demands cereal for dinner for the third night, I am reminded of the days that I longed for a sweet baby to call my own.
Why did you trust Fertility Centers of Illinois?
From the moment, we walked in the door at FCI, it just felt like the right fit. It was Gloria at the front desk at the Naperville office who made that initial first impression of trust and genuine concern that carried through every interaction. I really felt like they cared about our story and who we were as individuals. FCI staff was always open and honest with us about every step. Most importantly, they always instilled hope in us about the next step.
Which physician treated you and what were your experiences with him/her?
Dr. Uhler was our physician and she was amazing. We could tell that she was a true expert in her field yet she always found a way to help us understand everything in the simplest of terms. At every appointment I genuinely felt like she cared was excited for us to be moving forward with growing our family. When we had a miscarriage with our first try toward having a second child she was so kind and nurturing in that first visit after hearing the news. I have recommended her to many people over the years because of her patient approach.
What words of hope do you have for others?
All the timelines you may have created for yourself when it comes to starting a family can make struggling with fertility even harder. Take a breath and try to let that go. Focus your efforts on connecting with the right people to help you. There are tons of people out there in the same who are looking for support or who want to help you. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you are struggling with infertility and reach out. Ask for help in whatever way you feel comfortable.