In her 20s and diagnosed with PCOS, one woman overcomes infertility and financial adversity to achieve her lifelong dream of parenthood.
When Katie met the love of her life and got married in 2004, she and her husband Mike decided to start trying for children immediately. It had always been Katie’s dream to build a family with the man she loved.
At the young age of 23, the thought of infertility didn’t cross their minds. But after two years of trying without success, Katie knew that something was wrong. After many years of treatment with other doctors, she decided to pursue fertility treatment with Dr. Louis Weckstein at Reproductive Science Center.
A sonogram revealed that Katie had polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS causes a hormonal imbalance, affecting period regularity and causing irregular ovulation, which can be the cause of infertility. As many as five million women in the United States have PCOS, with statistics listing roughly 1 in 15 women being diagnosed as young as age 11.
Shocked with the diagnosis but reassured in knowing how prevalent PCOS can be, Katie kept her head high and remained focused on her dream of growing a family. Prior to coming to RSC, Katie was diligent in pursuing fertility treatment, which included taking Clomid and following various doctor orders. She had several intrauterine injections (IUI), a procedure in which sperm is injected through the cervix directly into the uterus. The process was slow and pain-staking. To add to the heartache, the impending financial burden began to present an issue.
They then came to RSC and after talking with Dr. Louis Weckstein, Katie learned of the ATTAIN program. For one flat fee, couples are given discounted rates for three IVF cycles and three frozen embryo transfers. If after all six attempts a live birth is not achieved, they are automatically given up to a 70 percent refund.
“After so many stumbling blocks, I felt like we had finally found something that could work. Knowing the costs up-front and having the reassurance of a guarantee made it easy to decide that the ATTAIN program was right for us,” explains Katie. With economic times so uncertain, moving forward without knowing exact costs was an impossibility. The refund guarantee cemented their decision.
After undergoing an egg retrieval, which involves taking fertility medication and closely monitoring ovaries for 10-14 days, doctors created several embryos using Katie’s eggs and Mike’s sperm. Katie then underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF), a process in which one or two embryos are transplanted into the uterus.
On her second IVF cycle, Dr .Weckstein was excited to announce that not only was Katie pregnant, she was having twins!
Shocked and overjoyed, Katie could barely contain her excitement. “I will never forget the day that our luck changed and we became expecting parents,” she says. “All of the struggles we had experienced immediately faded away. Other than the birth of our children, it was one of the happiest days of my life.”
Katie and Mike are the proud parents of twins Brady and Molly, now 1 year old. Parenthood has taught them priceless lessons while also giving a crystal clear perspective on life.
“Anything can happen, but as long as we have our kids, everything will be alright. Nothing else matters,” says Katie.
The simple things in life bring Katie the most happiness. She puts Brady and Molly in the double seat wagon and heads to the park to play in the sunshine. When the weather keeps her inside, they play patty cake on the living room floor. Family excursions include heading to the beach, mountains, petting zoo or simply playing in the front yard.
Katie plans to grow their family even more in 2012, using the three frozen embryos she has stored. She understands how hard it was to cope with infertility, and hopes that sharing her experience can help women in a similar position.
“It is important to surround yourself by supportive, loving people and always remember that you deserve happiness, and your dreams will come true. Don’t ever give up hope.”