Dr. Jennifer Gilbert, an OB/Gyn in Pennsylvania, delivers babies nearly every day. When she isn’t in the delivery room she is helping women through their pregnancies at her private practice. The cruel irony is Jennifer and her husband Matthew Gelber tried for nearly 3 years to get pregnant…and couldn’t.
“Everywhere I turned someone had a pregnant belly in front of me, or there was a baby in a stroller. Friends and family kept asking, ‘When are you going to have a baby?’ I know they meant well but inside we were crushed, thinking this may never happen.”
After trying Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) without success, Jennifer and Matthew decided on In-vitro Fertilization (IVF). Their first attempt was unsuccessful, but they were determined and decided to try one more time.
Dr. John Norian, a specialist in reproductive endocrinology at HRC Fertility in Rancho Cucamonga, California, says some women require multiple treatment cycles to achieve a live birth.
Dr. John Norian
“In favorable candidates (women under the age of 35 years), the likelihood of pregnancy in a first cycle would be around 55 to 60%. In favorable candidates the overall cumulative likelihood of a live-birth using their own DNA (or genetic material) approaches 85 to 90%.” ~John Norian, MD
Matt and Jennifer were simply overjoyed when they found out their second round of IVF had been successful!
“Matt and I went to the fertility clinic to have our first ultrasound. There were two little heartbeats in there. We were a little shocked but super excited!”
On July 15, 2009 Ryan Weldon and Katie Jane were born!
Then came the whirlwind of feedings, changing diapers, colic, reflux and crying times two! It was overwhelming for sure, but eventually Matt and Jennifer settled into a routine that worked for them and their babies. The twins are four now and doing great! Jennifer says they are inseparable and best buddies.
Matt and Jennifer are talking about having more children. Jennifer says they would do IVF again without hesitation. They still have frozen embryos, which were not used during their two IVF cycles.
“Couples are typically recommended to undergo a frozen embryo transfer (FET) if suitable embryos remain. An FET cycle is easier to tolerate and does not require any injectable medications.”
~John Norian, MD
Jennifer says she would love to have another set of twins.
“People think we are crazy! We just can’t imagine our lives without them. To see them together is worth every frustrating step along the way.”
However, with her job, Jennifer says it would be difficult to be pregnant with twins again, so she and Matthew would choose to transfer just one embryo at a time.
“I would tell mothers going through IVF to keep their sights set on the long-term goal. Don’t get caught up in each individual part of the process. If you focus too much on each step you’ll be frustrated and disappointed. Eventually you’ll look at your children and say, ‘Wow, this was really worth the wait and was meant to be!’” ~Jennifer Gilbert
Juli Auclair Lipof spent 18 years as a TV news anchor and reporter before switching gears and launching her own video-based parenting website www.NotSupermom.com.
NotSupermom™ is chock-full of parenting advice and tips with a healthy dose of humor! She is also a writer, producer and social media enthusiast. Juli is married with two children, and lives with her family in a suburb of New York City.
*Disclosure: I partner with HRC Fertility to help spread their message and tell the stories of patient’s experiences with IVF. I am compensated for my time, however all opinions are my own.*