Hand In Hand

Hand In Hand

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Letter of Gratitude to South Jersey Fertility

Dear Dr. VanDeerlin, Dr. Sawin, and all of the staff at South Jersey Fertility,

It has been on my heart for quite some time to tell you just what you mean to me. I know you see hundreds of couples every year. You are a big and often busy office. As a patient since June 2009, I've grown accustomed to the hustle and bustle of early mornings in the Marlton office. I've grown fond of the warm smiles and sincere encouragement offered by the receptionists and the nurses. There is something so comforting about walking through the doors of your office. And while saying "Thank You" just isn't enough, maybe this letter will help. 

Back in June 2009, I was a nervous woman who had struggled for two years to get pregnant. I fear doctors and really deal with a lot of anxiety and worry with new situations. Having spent two years trying to conceive on our own, Hubby and I were referred to you by my most trusted OBGYN. Trust goes a long way. We followed his advice and found ourselves in your waiting room, twiddling our thumbs and waiting for the consultation that would eventually change our lives. 

We met with Dr. VanDeerlin the first time we visited the office. His laughter and sincerity is something I will never forget. In that moment, he offered us what we needed-hope. He told us we would find success one way or another through their skilled practice. But he let me call the shots. Rather than pushing me towards something that scared me (injectables and IVF), he let me choose more rounds of Clomid. Hindsight shows me that it was a naive decision on my part, but it was huge that he let me take that road first. Baby steps. After four failed rounds, I ordered injectables and was so hopeful about starting. But it was not to be the way I saw it. 

I came in for CD 3 bloodwork and I had been so excited for what was to come of that month. Instead, I received a phone call that changed my outlook and quite honestly, depleted me of my hope. Dr. Sawin called and had the difficult job of explaining to me that my ovarian reserve was not what it should be. My fertility problems were more severe than first thought. My first thoughts were "what does this mean?" And then the "why me?" And then "are you sure?" And Dr. Sawin was so gentle on the phone and he took the time to reassure me and encourage my broken spirit. He set up an appointment to meet with me and regroup. We needed a new plan. I'm so thankful for that appointment and the honesty he spoke with. 

I met with Dr. Sawin in Mid-October 2009. I'll be honest. I was an emotional basketcase. I had no idea what to expect. I had little hope left within me and what was left was compromised by my own negativity. I clung to the little ounce of faith I had left of conceiving a child. Dr. Sawin was so reassuring and so encouraging. There is something that words cannot express for what he did for my discouraged and wounded spirit. I am so thankful for how he handled this emotional woman. He made the decision to move straight to injectables and I had no choice but to agree if I were going to have any chance of conceiving. He was, after all, the expert, not me. And I trusted him. 

November 2009, a month I will never forget. My first month of injectable meds. It seemed easier than it should have and I assumed that meant it wouldn't be successful. But God used your skills as a practice to bless me with the miracle I would eventually name Isabella. That cycle was nothing short of a miracle-elevated FSH to start, stimming for 4 nights, IUI on CD 9, positive pregnancy test on Thanksgiving morning. Nothing short of a miracle. Hearing that heartbeat for the first time forever changed me, filled me with all the hope that had faded on the hard journey, and brought joyous tears to my eyes. 

Fast forward two years, Summer 2012 arrived. With Isabella being weaned and now two-years-old, we were back to try again. This journey would be a different journey filled with bigger obstacles, more challenges, and no shortage of tears. An HSG, a hysteroscopy, four failed injectable cycles, lots of tears, and a diagnosis of early menopause. But as always, your staff was there to offer kind words, smiles, and encouragement. Above all else, they offered hope. Hope is something couples journeying through infertility need. Hope for a positive outcome. Our future and expansion of family won't come as originally planned, it won't be the same journey we took with our daughter. But your staff will be there with us when we embark fully on the journey to donor eggs and IVF next year.  

I can't thank you enough for everything you have done for my family. From the gentle words, to the early morning smiles, to the encouragement and unending support, I am forever grateful. The blessings you have given me are unending. Your practice isn't just about helping couples conceive. It's about offering hope, walking the journey with us, and celebrating the victories with us, whether they be a successful cycle or just an improvement from where we were before. I am forever grateful for all you do. I have one miracle child that you were God's working hands to help me with and if it is in God's plans, I will have another miracle child when the time is right. 

In the meantime, we are taking a year off while we save for donor eggs. I will miss all the smiling faces each morning at 7 am. They truly make the journey brighter and easier to bear. I can't wait to see the great things that await when we return at the end of next summer. I can't imagine ever going anywhere else, you are God's miracle workers! Thank you for all that you do for so many couples. Saying "Thank You" just doesn't seem like enough. We love you all so much and I am forever grateful for your miracles. And we will be back before you know it! 

Forever Grateful,