Submit by Claire Perez Castillo
Claire and Rod had one chance to get pregnant with in-vitro fertilization. One.
Rod had a vasectomy before he met Claire, and rather than reversing it and hoping for a successful natural conception, the couple decided their best chance was with assisted reproductive technology and IVF.
Claire credits Dr. David Tourgeman's easy demeanor and down-to-earth bedside manner with her comfort and low anxiety level.
"Rather than grilling us about what we'd tried previously, he just said, "hey, this is a process that works."
Claire admits that their journey wasn't quite as stressful as other couples because she and her husband always knew they couldn't conceive naturally.
She explains, "I never thought to myself 'it's got to work.' It was always 'wow, wouldn't it be lovely if it did work?' And because I wasn't putting too much pressure on myself, I kind of enjoyed the process."
The fact that their budget only allowed them have one IVF cycle could have really added pressure to their situation, but Claire and Rod kept the atmosphere light by laughing together throughout the process.
Luckily, the process went smoothly and they ended up with 11 viable embryos. They opted to transfer two, and one of them took. Nine months later, Claire and Rod had a daughter, Hadley, who is now nearly eight months old.
The couple was thrilled, and even a little surprised. "I'd resigned myself to the fact that having children might not be my journey, and that happily ever after might just be with my husband."
But the gamble for a child had too big a payoff not to give it a chance. After the IVF cycle, Claire also knew that if she didn't end up pregnant she was fine with that. She never felt she was paying for a successful round of IVF; instead, she was paying for a chance at a successful round of IVF.
She says, "It wasn't about winning or losing, and I wasn't unhappy. But I think our 'wouldn't it be lovely if our future included a child' attitude really helped.