Today’s success story is about a woman named Tara. She is a 34-year-old nurse practitioner who enjoys watching movies, golfing, and exercising. Tara had a spontaneous miscarriage about 7 months into trying to conceive. After consulting her OB/GYN, they were referred to a fertility clinic. They decided that IUI was the next best step for them. Exhausted and confused after 3 IUIs, they took a break. Once they were ready to try again, they switched clinics and started IVF. The cycle resulted in 2 normal embryos. Her doctor felt endometriosis was a factor, so she took Lupron for 2 months before their first transfer. Unfortunately, that cycle was canceled. They transferred both embryos next time, and she became pregnant with a singleton. Join us to hear how Tara was flown to a hospital 2 hours away due to a placenta rupture at 32 weeks and stayed there for 4 weeks before her son was born.

LISTEN HERE.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Tara was outgoing, determined, and less outspoken as an advocate
  • How she met her husband on a blind date with a group of mutual friends
  • As a couple, they are much stronger now than before, and they’re learning daily as a couple
  • How Tara “just knew” she would be a mom someday but didn’t make any immediate plans for it
  • Why she wanted to wait to start a family until she finished her advanced degree
  • How Tara had a cyst removed about four years before she met her husband, and she was told she had endometriosis, but there were no further issues
  • Six months of trying to conceive with OPKs concerned Tara and sent her to the Ob, but her results were normal
  • How Tara became pregnant soon after that appointment but miscarried at 6-½ weeks
  • How counseling helped Tara through the mental health challenges, especially in light of insensitive comments made by her OB
  • How she was referred to a fertility clinic–the ONLY one in North Dakota
  • The first two IUIs with Femara failed, and the third one with Gonal-f added also failed
  • How Tara felt stigmatized and ashamed of her fertility issues as a medical provider, but finally felt confident enough to open up about her treatment to coworkers
  • How Tara struggled to schedule appointments, drive the two hours to the clinic, and get medications into nearby pharmacies
  • Why Tara took a much-needed break and completed a month-long professional development fellowship out-of-town
  • How a family friend who was an experienced embryologist became an amazing source of information and encouragement
  • Why Tara decided to consult a new RE at a new clinic, which required even more travel
  • They prepared for IVF, and 17 eggs were retrieved, resulting in two healthy embryos; her RE discussed her endometriosis with her
  • How lining issues canceled the first transfer
  • How Tara used acupuncture and affirmations to prepare for the second transfer with a positive mindset
  • When they transferred both embryos, the ultrasound confirmed one baby, so Tara felt grief along with her excitement
  • Why Tara always thought she’d have twins someday
  • How Tara had weekly ultrasounds for 12 weeks into her pregnancy
  • In 2017, the day before Thanksgiving brought heavy bleeding, so Tara called her doctor
  • As she started driving to pick up her husband from work, a helicopter met them to transport Tara; she was diagnosed with a dangerous placental abruption
  • More bleeding kept her in the hospital for several weeks, but she got to go home for Christmas; her son was born via emergency C-section on January 9, 2018
  • Why Tara began with her OB in the first place instead of seeing a specialist
  • How Tara had excellent experiences at both clinics she attended but switched to the second one to have the best chance possible at success
  • How Tara had her placenta encapsulated and took it in pill form to help her milk supply and help with hormonal imbalances
  • How Tara initiated a bill with Resolve and started a Facebook page to promote it
  • When her bill failed, Tara felt compelled to start a non-profit, Everlasting Hope, to support those with infertility in ND and SD
  • Tara’s tips: Find support on social media (start small), share your story, don’t judge yourself, and do what feels right for you
  • How infertility changed Tara: “Infertility changed me in so many ways, including how I view anyone else’s hardship or what I say to someone who has a miscarriage or loss. I’m more of a listener and an advocate. I speak up now for people, awareness, and issues. Infertility has made me a better mom with more patience.”
  • Tara’s advice to her past self: “Don’t be so hard on yourself, Tara! Give yourself more grace, compassion, and self-love.”

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