Abra and Ari tried to have a child naturally and through IUI, but that was before coming to us, where everything worked out fine
Abra and her husband, Ari, had always been what she calls “kid people” – without the kids. They knew they wanted a family and to share their love with their own children. But that dream proved to be more difficult than expected. Because Abra and Ari fell in love and were married later in life, they understood getting pregnant may be difficult, but it was more difficult than they expected.
Before jumping to assisted reproductive methods, they decided on a timeline. They would try for one year, naturally, and if that didn’t work, they would attempt a medical approach.
Understandably, Abra was stressed during that year.
Needling from the acupuncturist
“Some of my friends said try not to think about getting pregnant,” recalls Abra. “They told me not to stress out about it because a lot of it is mental.”
To combat the stress, she began visiting an acupuncturist. Abra enjoyed her time with the women at the acupuncture office and shared more about her journey to become pregnant with them. As the conversation progressed, one of the acupuncturists recommended RSC. But the couple followed a different course instead.
Related Reading: Acupuncture and Fertility
The acupuncturist also mentioned attempting a less aggressive approach than in vitro fertilization (IVF) initially. Abra and Ari decided that trying to get pregnant through intrauterine insemination (IUI) was a great next step. After their year timeline of trying naturally didn’t work, the couple tried IUI treatments three times with a different group.
After so much failure, Abra and Ari knew it was time to move on to the more aggressive treatment option – IVF. The couple met with RSC’s Dr. Evan Rosenbluth and discussed their options. They already knew Ari had fertility issues, specifically low sperm motility, which is one of the most common types of male infertility problems. But he was not alone in his fertility problems.
After Abra got an MRI, Dr. Rosenbluth determined she had a septate uterus. This uterine abnormality means that while shaped normally, a center septum wall was dividing Abra’s uterus in half. There are no symptoms of a septate uterus, and it is often not found until the woman has fertility problems.
Dr. Rosenbluth talked Abra and Ari through their options, and the couple decided on surgery to correct the problem.
“Dr. Rosenbluth was really great for us. He gave us a lot of the science behind everything,” says Abra. “I recognize that may be dull for some people, but for me and the way I process information, it was really great.”
Getting an honest look at IVF pregnancy
Once Abra fully healed from the surgery, she and Ari were eager to begin the IVF process. Dr. Rosenbluth explained she would have to take medication, then RSC would gather her eggs. He also was very honest about the chances of success.
“He said we could expect to lose half of the eggs collected in the process,” recalls Abra. “We didn’t want to go into it thinking we were 100 percent going to get pregnant. If that’s not the truth, that’s not the truth.”
Ari and Abra valued the honesty and realistic probability Dr. Rosenbluth set for them. Having all the information helped the couple make the right choice for them.
“To us, it felt like IVF was the last attempt before moving on to adoption,” says Abra. “We were ready to try IVF anyway, but it was nice to hear realistic percentages and success rates.”
Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) was a very important step for Ari and Abra, based on Abra’s age. The testing identifies embryos that have a poor chance of resulting in a successful pregnancy, and those will not be implanted in the mother’s womb. Knowing how much time and energy they put into trying to get pregnant, they wanted to know that the embryos to be implanted were as healthy as possible. While not everyone chooses PGT, Abra said this was something she absolutely would do again.
“I was happy we could get the testing. I was happy RSC recommended it,” she says. “I now feel super secure knowing we have healthy embryos waiting.”
Laughing through pregnancy
With one of those healthy embryos, Ari and Abra moved forward with an embryo transfer and were successful. The couple found out they were pregnant after taking a blood test, but Abra said it didn’t feel real just yet. They were still hesitant to get too excited. But as soon as they were in the office with Dr. Rosenbluth for an ultrasound and heard the heartbeat, Abra remembers that was when they got excited.
“I just couldn’t stop laughing! I know that’s a weird reaction, but it just was so much work and anticipation,” she says. “It was just pure joy and I hadn’t even met him yet. I hadn’t even seen a picture of him yet! All we could do was hear his little teeny heartbeat.”
It seemed like laughter and joy continued throughout the pregnancy. She had a very easy pregnancy with almost no sickness. Abra and Ari traveled around the world while she was pregnant. The couple visited Israel at the end of her first trimester followed by Hawaii in the middle of the second trimester.
“I kept thinking this kid is going to be a nightmare because this pregnancy is so easy,” she laughed. “I know it’s not as easy for some people, so I count my lucky stars every day.”
The joy even extended to the RSC staff and nurses. Abra says, “Every time we went in for another ultrasound or sonogram everyone was super nice, and made us feel like part of the family.”
Welcoming baby Benny and hoping for more
After a breeze of a pregnancy, Ari and Abra welcomed baby Benjamin, or Benny as they call him, in July of 2018. With so much success with Benny, they are both excited to try again. The couple still has two healthy frozen embryos, both male.
“We are anticipating at least a year after Benny’s birth, so late summer or early fall,” she says of trying for another child. “I don’t want to wait too long!”
While they were lucky with their first attempt at IVF, Abra says she knows that is not the case for everyone. For those dealing with infertility or going through fertility treatment, Abra believes it is important to keep your chin up and your options open.
“If you want to be a parent there are ways to be a parent. It doesn’t have to be one’s own medical biological child if that’s what it comes down to,” she says. “IVF is not the end all be all. You can still be a parent.”