Growing up, our parents always told us to trust our gut instincts. As kids, we don’t really know what that means — our stomach is trying to tells us something? How is that possible?
As we get older, what seemed impossible as a kid, becomes second nature — we know our bodies’ cues when it is trying to tell us something, whether it is a good vibe (intuition) or a bad one.
That context applies to all aspects of our life, whether it is business or personal. LeBron James said, “Warren Buffet said to always follow your gut. When you have that gut feeling, you have to go with it don’t go back on it.”
Walking into VCRM, Kristin did exactly that — she went with her gut instinct.
Her story is one that is very dear to the hearts of everyone at VCRM. She speaks about following her gut instinct and we are so incredibly happy it led her to us!
“I sit here writing this beautiful story, about my not-so-easy journey, as the proud and incredibly grateful mother of a healthy, energetic, and unbelievably adorable 2-year-old boy. However, getting to where I am right now was not so easy. That is, until I found Dr. Sharara.
My infertility journey began when I was around 35 years old, while living in Chicago Illinois. It all started when I had an appointment with my gynecologist and began asking questions like: why do you suppose we’ve never had any accidents? She suggested we begin looking a little more closely at my situation, and encouraged me to see a fertility doctor for testing. After a brief round of tests, this particular doctor suggested that I might have a blocked fallopian tube, and recommended surgery. So, I moved forward with surgery immediately. Next, we tried a round of IUI; however, we found out that my partner had serious issues on his end. Ultimately, it was decided that IVF would be our only option.
So, I researched local doctors and went through one round of IVF with a very well known, and well-reviewed, doctor in Chicago. I remember having an initial consult with the doctor, then beginning my medications pretty immediately. I didn’t receive any instructions, or direction, outside of getting voice messages from a nurse that would notify me of my medication dosages, as they required changing. I had a different person each time I went to the offices for ultrasounds, and got limited information while there. I remember the entire process felt impersonal, and I felt like just another number to them. Anyway, my IVF round ended with a negative pregnancy test. I had poor egg quality; however, they still did the transfer. I remember the doctor saying, something like….’well, if this one doesn’t work, we’ll try for better egg quality’ (as if it was no big deal) next time. I knew at that very moment that I shouldn’t get my hopes up because the doctor seemed to be saying it wouldn’t end well. I was devastated after going through so much. I wasn’t sure how I’d keep going. The only thing I knew for sure is that I wouldn’t continue to go through this journey with them.
So, I thought long and hard and began researching ART success rates data and found Dr. Sharara, in Reston, Virginia. I was familiar with Northern Virginia because I had lived there for a couple of years, and my mother still lived in the area. I felt really good about VCMR’s ART data, so, I set up an appointment for my initial consult. Honestly, within about 5 minutes I knew that this was where I belonged. It was clear that Dr. Sharara was extremely thorough. He provided recommendations specific to our challenges, educated me on my diet needs, and instructed me to purchase specific vitamins/supplements that would assist with my poor egg quality. He even required me to adhere to all of the essential exams (even if completed prior to seeing him). I remember I was really disappointed to hear that I’d have to undergo MORE tests; however, it turned out that I required another surgery before moving forward. Thank goodness I didn’t let the disappointment of more tests deter me because I’m confident that I wouldn’t be writing this story. I only mention this because I often felt a sense of urgency with moving forward, especially because of my age. I imagine some of you may feel that way too. I’m so grateful that I trusted Dr. Sharara, and the process, though. It was clearly the right choice.
So, I returned to Chicago for surgery (with disappointment and tears in my eyes), then set my plans for my ‘IVF vacation’ in Reston. I’m a consultant, so I was able to stay in NOVA for a few weeks while working as much as possible remotely. I was really nervous about being so far from home, but quickly found that it was a nice way to just focus on my mission at hand.
Very early on, this round felt so much better than my first. I didn’t feel terrible while on the medications (physically or emotionally), I saw Dr. Sharara EVERY time I had an appointment, he knew exactly what was happening and where my follicle growth was at, he provided detailed information each visit, and provided clear instructions throughout. My retrieval resulted in 6 eggs, only two making it to blastocyst (I think). I was left with ONE embryo that was genetically tested and ready for transfer. I’ll never forget waiting for the faxed results of the genetic test to come in while waiting with my mom in the waiting room. Nurse Jo opened the door and cheered ‘It’s good!’ and the office exploded with excitement. What a relief!
The transfer went smoothly and I had sweet nurse Jo by my side keeping me company as I waited in my not so eloquent elevated position. That was it. There was nothing left to do but wait. At this point, I felt like each and every one of the staff was a dear friend of mine. I even missed them when I flew back home to Chicago. The rest is history- I got the best phone call that I’ve ever received saying that I was PREGNANT!!! My next appointment was set up, and I flew in to hear my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Words can’t describe that moment. Truly!
Throughout my fertility struggles, all I wanted was to find someone to tell me what to do to get pregnant. I just wanted the answers. Dr. Sharara had them, and I listened, and followed, all of his recommendations. I know without a doubt that he was absolutely committed to giving me the best outcomes. What more can you ask for when you’re going through this terrifying and emotionally exhausting process? I wouldn’t go through it with anyone else. I am forever indebted to Dr. Sharara, and the entire staff at VCRM. I am beyond grateful for their expertise, compassion, commitment, and support. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t look at my son and count my blessings. I wish you the very same happy ending!”
Kristin, thank you for sharing your story with us — infertility is a tough journey and this is why VCRM is here for you. We want you to know you are never alone and we will always be your home away from home.
Follow us on Instagram at @vcrmfertility for more stories!