When Vicki met Mark on eHarmony, she was a little skeptical of online dating. To ease the pressure, the two decided to meet for their first date at the airport — that way, if they didn’t like each other, they could “catch a plane somewhere else.”

They never pursued their backup plan, and found themselves falling in love. Mark claims that on their first “real” date downtown, he knew he wanted to have children with Vicki. Already a mother of two children ages 12 and 8, Vicki wanted Mark to know firsthand the joy and love that comes with children.

After getting married in 2010, they immediately started trying to conceive. Vicki’s cycles weren’t regular, and her OB/GYN prescribed Clomid to restore regular ovulation and menstruation. After trying for two years without a pregnancy, they decided it was time to see a fertility specialist.

Vicki and Mark met with Dr. Ed Marut, and both received a fertility evaluation. Dr. Marut found that Mark had low sperm count, and that Vicki was not ovulating regularly. Vicki was 33 years old, and most likely had a healthy egg supply for treatment. By prescribing Mark antioxidant vitamins and supplements, including CoQ10, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E and placing Vicki on progesterone medication, they were able to boost their fertility and begin treatment.

Vicki and Mark began intrauterine injections (IUI), where Mark’s sperm was placed inside her uterus during ovulation. Vicki recalls the next months as both trying and difficult.

“Month after month you go through the emotional and physical rollercoaster,” she explains. “But we never gave up.”

After her fifth IUI, she became pregnant. Her initial joy was replaced by sadness when she miscarried after two weeks.

Vicki remembers being grateful for the staff and doctors at FCI who supported her when she was sad, helping her through the tough times.

After the sixth IUI, Vicki and Mark sat in Dr. Marut’s office. There, he outlined potential next steps for treatment, but said that the additional treatment might not be necessary.

“This may just be a learning lesson,” he said, “you may be pregnant sitting here.”

Vicki shrugged it off, not wanting to become too hopeful. But after two weeks passed, she was ready for her pregnancy test.

She was ecstatic to learn that she was pregnant, and had a hard time believing it was true. During the pregnancy she worried that she would lose the baby, but never experienced any pregnancy problems.

Nine months later, baby Emma was born on November 20, 2013. Vicki was overtaken by her happiness, and recalls tears of joy at Emma’s birth. Vicki’s older daughters acted as her second and third mothers, doting lovingly on Emma’s every move.

Vicki was excited to share her bundle of joy with the FCI staff, and was moved by the sincere excitement they had upon meeting Emma.

She encourages others who are going through fertility treatment not to give up.

“Your journey may not be easy, but at FCI you have the best partners on your journey with you during every step,” she says. “It will be hard sometimes, but remember a learning lesson may just mean that your journey took an exciting twist!”