VERONICA AND HER husband were high school sweethearts with a Hispanic approach to family life. They thought, “We will have a bunch of kids!”
The Houston couple married in 2012, and, although Veronica went off birth control immediately, they put off trying in earnest to get pregnant a while, until their mid-30s, never imagining they might have fertility issues. “It was not a topic we talked about,” Veronica says, citing cultural factors.
There were no miscarriages and no pregnancy “scares.” Veronica had had regular OBGYN checkups, but no one ever suggested running any tests to ensure everything was working properly, or made her aware of any options. Still, she thought little of it.
When they were ready for kids, they got serious and tried for four years. They tracked ovulation cycles, used a calendar. It was a very stressful time.
Veronica was about to be 35 and decided she needed answers as to why they weren’t getting pregnant. Her OB was still not concerned, said she was still young. But Veronica knew that they’d been together 15 years with no pregnancies — this is not normal. They made an appointment at CCRM Fertility in Houston, which took their insurance.
Dr. Katherine McKnight made her feel comfortable and explained how prevalent the issue of infertility is. This was something the couple could see for themselves at CCRM Fertility, where there were so many other women and families going through the same thing. The fact is that misunderstandings about infertility are widespread in Houston, which a recent study by CCRM Fertility demonstrates; for more details about the survey, see sidebar at right.
For Veronica and her husband, CCRM Fertility conducted all the tests only to find out they had “unexplained fertility” — which meant everything was working with her and her husband, but they were not working together. Dr. McKnight offered options for a way forward, including IVF.
The journey to that point had been a challenging one for the couple. At the very beginning, they had the tough conversation: “Are we OK with just us?” And Veronica was finding it emotionally difficult to walk down the baby aisle at Target, or attend friends’ showers, never knowing if she’d ever get her chance. They also had financial limitations, even though insurance would partially cover the IVF.
In the end, they went in knowing it was a gamble, and decided they could be happy with or without kids. They went for it.
Initially they did two rounds of treatments, the first of which was a “fresh transfer,” which is when the embryo is transferred without genetic testing. It didn’t work. But in round two, they did genetic testing, and it was successful! Out of 15 eggs, three were growing, and one healthy egg became their daughter Xiomara, who turns 2 in March.
Veronica completed her third round of IVF in September and is currently pregnant again!
CCRM Fertility Houston, 929 Gessner Road, Suite 2300, 713.465.1211, ccrmivf.com