It’s been a while since we last posted a patient story and we know you missed reading them as much as we missed posting them. We were away trying to procure and curate the ones that made us smile, tear up, and get nostalgic on the magic that happens every day at VCRM.
Melissa sent us her story, and it truly is one that just makes us feel good. Reading it will cheer you up when work gets exhausting but you know things will fall into place. You have to put in the effort if you want the outcome you want, and that is what Melissa and her husband Jonathan did to make their dream become reality.
Meet Melissa and read her wonderful story below —
Sometimes you meet your partner later in life, this was the case for me and my husband. After two years of trying to conceive without success, we decided to look into fertility treatments. This was a difficult step emotionally, but we knew time was of essence as I was in my late 30’s and my husband was is in his mid forties. Trying to conceive and being disappointed month after month was taking a toll on us, like a fertility roller coaster with a ticking time bomb. We would be hopeful and then devastated when my period would arrive each month. We needed answers as to why we weren’t getting pregnant and what our options were, and most importantly, we needed a doctor we could trust.
After doing our research of fertility clinics in the greater Washington, D.C. area, we found Dr. Sharara at VCRM. We scheduled a consult with him and were impressed by his expertise and how he took time with us to explain the process in a way we understood. We knew right away that we would be in good hands. We felt comfortable with him and appreciated how he was direct with us, no sugar coating whatsoever, so we knew exactly what to expect. We could tell he wanted us to get pregnant as much as we did. We left the consultation feeling at ease and hopeful, which was a breath of fresh air after two years of trying to conceive unsuccessfully.
Dr. Sharara takes a proactive approach to determine the cause(s) of infertility, which meant we started with an array of tests. Once the infertility causes were determined, he would discuss our options with us. This required some patience, but it was well worth our time to complete the testing. How can you fix something if you do not know the cause? As Dr. Sharara explained, the goal is not to just get pregnant, but to have a healthy sustainable pregnancy. I learned I had a blocked fallopian tube and poor egg quality, coupled with my husband’s low sperm morphology, which drastically reduced our chances of becoming pregnant naturally. IVF was recommended to give the best chance of becoming pregnant. Dr. Sharara also recommended a supplement regime and dietary recommendations to boost my egg quality and my husband’s sperm quality. Yes, it was a lot of supplements and a new way of eating, but it was a necessary part of the plan that actually made us feel more energetic. After following the supplement and dietary recommendations for a few months, I showed a marked improvement in both egg quality and quantity — two important factors in IVF. My husband also showed improved sperm quality. We were ecstatic to see such an improvement!
So, we began the IVF process, which lasted a little over a year through three egg retrievals. I was a bit scared at first, having never experienced any medical procedures but was put at ease after my first couple of appointments. The level of compassion and care we received was well above and beyond our expectations. We were impressed how Dr. Sharara was present at ALL of our appointments; it wasn’t an assistant or another doctor. We had a few bumps in the road after our first egg retrieval cycle with no normal PGS tested embryos. We felt discouraged, but Dr. Sharara gave us hope and encouraged us to be patient with the process. We are so grateful for his encouragement and support during what could have been a very difficult time. He adjusted my medication protocol a few times throughout my egg retrieval cycles, which yielded better results. He even cancelled an egg retrieval cycle at one point because he felt we could obtain better results after some tweaks. Although I was devastated about the cancelled cycle, he was spot on, and I did have a much better cycle to follow resulting in two PGS normal embryos. We followed his advice and stayed positive about our goal of becoming parents through the ups and downs and I am so glad we did because we got pregnant on our very first embryo transfer! When Nurse Jo called to share I was pregnant, the entire office cheered for us. We had tears of joy having finally received the news we had always hoped for.
Not only is Dr. Sharara brilliant; his entire team is extraordinary. Mary and Ashley at the front desk, nurses Jo and LJ, and Trisha in accounting all made us feel like family. Ashley and Mary always welcomed us and made us laugh. Whenever I had a medical question, and I had many — even at odd hours — and Jo was always available to answer them, which I appreciated. Jo and LJ are two of the sweetest, most compassionate nurses you will ever meet. We would actually look forward to our visits to see everyone, and when it was time to transition to my regular OB/GYN it was bittersweet. The level of personal attention and genuine support from the team we experienced made all the difference. It is a true blessing and we are eternally grateful to have found Dr. Sharara and the staff at VCRM!
We hope you enjoyed reading Melissa’s story as much as we did, and that you have a wonderful weekend and Summer ahead. Please keep sending us your stories and sharing them with others who need them to feel less alone. Follow us on Instagram as well to stay up to date @vcrmfertility !