Our journey didn’t start here. Like many people, our journey to become parents started innocently enough in a different time, a different place, and as different people. We never imagined how difficult it could be, how long it could take, or the toll it would take on us. We thought having kids would be simple; it almost seemed a given. But as fate would have it, for us it was neither simple nor a given.
By the time we walked through the doors of The Fertility Center, three years had passed since we made the decision to become parents. Three years, five doctors, countless blood draws and analyses, a couple of wild goose chases, one failed IVF cycle, and too many negative pregnancy tests to count. I was struggling to hold on to any semblance of hope that we would ever become parents. But it’s hard to hold on to hope when even the doctors tell you it would be just shy of a miracle for your most precious dream to actually come true. I had even taken to explaining our odds as we were more likely to win the lottery than to have kids on our own, and I don’t play the lottery.
From the moment we stepped into The Fertility Center, that hopelessness began to abate. We were impressed by their facility right off the bat. As our consultation progressed and we met the staff, we were even more impressed. Dr. Donesky was friendly, upbeat, and confident that we weren’t a lost cause. In fact, everyone we met in the office was friendly, upbeat and, most importantly, empathetic. As our treatment progressed, I kept that small light of hope alive with their help. During my recovery from the egg retrieval process, Susan, the embryologist, called me at home to see how I was doing. Over the next few days, I waited with baited breath for her continued calls to update us on the status of our embryos. She was our first “babysitter,” and our little embryos couldn’t have been in better hands. We froze five wonderful little snowflakes and almost a month later, we thawed and transferred two back in. The wait for our beta draw was excruciating. I caved a day before and took an at-home test. Seeing those two little pink lines took my breath away and set my heart to racing. I was overcome with joy and excitement, tinged with worry and fear. The day of my draw, the staff joyfully announced we were pregnant. At each of the following visits I was meet with the reassurance I needed and, when morning sickness struck with a vengeance, the sympathy I craved but wouldn’t dare ask for. Seeing my baby-to-be grow by leaps and bounds on the monitors gave me room to breathe and let my excitement grow. When we graduated from the clinic at almost 12 weeks, I was sad to go, sad to leave behind all the wonderful people who had helped me achieve this tiny miracle growing in my womb and who had soothed my soul in the process.
I remember a distinct moment a few weeks later. I was driving into town and caught my reflection in the rearview mirror. I was stunned, almost to the point of needing to pull over. There was so much light in my eyes, so much life! I hadn’t noticed it had faded over the course of our journey but when it came back it was startling.
Now I see that light every day, not only in the mirror but also in the beautiful eyes of our prefect, healthy baby girl, Lilly. And without The Fertility Center, Dr. Donesky, and all of the staff, she wouldn’t be here. It’s kind of like they put the light back into our lives, and for that I will be forever grateful.
Our journey hasn’t ended, it’s merely changed. For now we are content to be the best parents possible for Lilly. But when the time comes to try again for those three little snowbabies waiting patiently for us, we know exactly where to go and who to trust—The Fertility Center of Chattanooga.