Lindsey & Eli Powers share with Dr. Ku and the team at Dallas IVF a heartfelt letter of many difficulties trying to conceive
After I stopped taking birth control for over a year, I realized something wasn’t right: I had no energy and I was just going through the motions of life, I was like a living zombie. So, I made an appointment with my local OB-GYN.
During my visit, my doctor determined that I was suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which I hadn’t heard of before. My doctor informed me of the complications and provided me with literature detailing PCOS. After the OB-GYN visit, I walked out of the office and sat in my car and just cried.
Long drive, failed fertility treatments
After several failed fertility treatments with my local doctor, she referred me to a fertility specialist clinic in Little Rock. We made multiple 2.5-hour, one-way trips to this clinic for testing in hopes of receiving answers as to why we were unable to conceive. Once the initial testing was complete, the specialist cleared me to start fertility treatments.
I went through three rounds using letrozole as the primary treatment; during each round we were informed the treatments weren’t working and that we had only one more chance before we moved on to the next type of treatment. Two days after this last visit, I took a pregnancy test and it was POSITIVE! It was the morning of Father’s Day, and I remember waking my husband and telling him Happy Father’s Day.
I phoned the clinic the following Monday morning to tell them I had received a positive pregnancy test. They wanted to see me as soon as possible, so we scheduled an appointment for the next morning. Blood work and an ultrasound were performed during this visit, and we had a heartbeat! It was the greatest sound ever!
Then ultrasound indicated miscarriage
We walked out of the clinic and drove back home elated. Two weeks after our pregnancy confirmation we had another ultrasound performed, but this time they were unable to find a heartbeat. I remember the doctor looked at me and said, “Well, these things happen. Come back and see us when you want to try again.”
As he walked out the door, I was in a state of shock. As we sat in our car in the clinic parking lot, my husband told me that, “we were never coming back to this clinic again.”
Trying to conceive naturally worked, but not for long
During this time, my local doctor had retired, so I made an appointment with a different OB-GYN. This doctor was great in helping me after my miscarriage, so I stayed with this clinic for a few more years. During this time, I had been able to conceive naturally but was never able to carry full term. Through all these miscarriages, the clinic I was at did little to help, and I felt like I was all alone in this fight.
Early in 2021, I decided to make another OB-GYN switch, which was one of the best decisions I have ever made. My first visit with the new doctor was one I will never forget. He walked into the room, sat down in front of me, and we just talked.
Surprise referral to a new fertility clinic, Dallas IVF in Fricso
I informed him that I had been diagnosed with PCOS, and then the conversation about kids came up. I told him we were still trying to conceive naturally, but we continued to have miscarriages. He stated he would like to refer me to a clinic, and I just knew he was going to refer me back to the clinic in Little Rock.
But to my surprise, he referred me to a fertility clinic in Frisco, Texas. I remember him telling me during this visit that it was possible that I could have a baby by my next appointment with him. I walked out of his office with a positive attitude and excitement. He had given me hope – something the other doctors never did. I went home that evening and told my husband the doctor wanted to refer us to a clinic in Texas. After a discussion, we decided we were ready to take this step.
Dr. Ku’s empathy with trying to conceive, failing & undergoing fertility treatments
I remember during the consultation he said, “I notice that you have had some losses and for that I am truly sorry.” That spoke to me. I was seen as a person and not just another patient.
He had a genuine politeness, a caring manner, and understood our situation as having gone through infertility treatments as well. We were “all-in” after our consultation with Dr. Ku. My husband and I knew that he was the doctor for us. He made us believe that this was possible.
Dr. Ku provided us with information about possible treatments. He let us make the decision on what type of treatment we wanted to do. He never pushed us in one direction. We decided to start with IUI treatments. We went through three cycles of IUI with no success.
Deciding to try IVF
After these failed attempts, we had another decision to make. Do we try a round of in vitro fertilization (IVF)? We had long discussions concerning this decision. Living in northern Arkansas, we had to consider the drive, costs of hotel stays and the cost of the IVF procedure. But I think we both knew our decisions before we even talked about doing the IVF process. I think it was more of us voicing our concerns out loud. We knew we were going to at least try a round of IVF.
At advanced maternal age, why not?
As a result, we had a total of 20 eggs retrieved but only one made the final cut. Dr. Ku gave us the option to perform another round to retrieve more eggs or go ahead and follow through with this ONE. Firstly, we couldn’t afford to go through another round. Secondly, at 40 years old, we weren’t getting any younger, so we felt like this was our one shot.
Our frozen embryo transfer (FET) was performed on February 10, 2022. I waited anxiously for the phone to ring, and finally I received the phone call two weeks later; on the morning of February 21, the results were in. My heart started racing when the phone rang – this was the moment we had been waiting on. Kimberly gave us the news that we had a positive result.
We were pregnant!
I could hardly speak. My emotions were so high that I could barely speak the words “thank you” to Kimberly. We were so happy, but with the happiness came a sense of worry. After so many failed pregnancies, it was hard not to think of what could go wrong. I kept telling myself to be happy and to enjoy the moment. I have an amazing husband who was there to support me, he was always there to tell me to get out of my head.
My husband, Eli, is my rock. His support and strength helped carry me through the emotional roller coaster of this journey. I don’t think many realize or think about how infertility affects the spouse. He was on this journey with me. He may not have been the one getting all the tests and receiving all the treatments but he was there with me every step of the way. He was just as hopeful and devoted as I was on this journey. When we had losses and negative results, it affected him just as much as me. Yes, we leaned on each other during those hard times, but I think he took more of the burden than me. He would always tell me, “I got you.” And I would ask, “But who has you?”
When we first started this journey, we kept everything pretty much to ourselves except for a close friend and my brother. It wasn’t until our second IUI that we informed our family and friends. I was invited to go on a beach trip with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, but the trip happened to fall on the same week as one of the IUI procedures, so the gig was up. We had to tell them then, because what’s a better excuse for missing out on a beach trip?
Having the support of our family and friends through the process was a blessing. My sister-in-law gave me a shirt with the statement “Love the Journey.” When I would get in my head, I would always think of that statement. I don’t think she realized just how much that statement helped me through this process. It became my mantra.
IVF success and our growing family
On October 17, 2022, we welcomed a beautiful, healthy baby boy into the world! I tell people our baby boy is like Mary Poppins – practically perfect in every way! I know that we were very fortunate to have success with our first IVF cycle as many couples go through multiple cycles before finding success.
Dr. Ku and the staff at Dallas IVF were amazing. We enjoyed everyone there from the nurses to the front desk. We never felt like we were a number. They treated us like family. We can’t thank Dr. Ku and the staff enough for all they did for us.
Dr. Ku gave us hope. Even after the failed IUI attempts, he had an optimistic outlook for our future. He made us believe that having a child was possible. Dr. Ku and the staff at Dallas IVF will forever hold a place in our hearts! They helped make this journey possible, and for that we will forever be grateful! – Lindsey & Eli Powers