Like many couples today, we found each other later in life, at the ripe ages of 34 and 38. We discussed the desire to have a family early on in our dating, but didn’t want the pressure of rushing a new relationship along just to have children before our fertile years came to a close. Midway into my 35th year I began investigating egg harvesting and freezing and came across Dr. Ekpo and the boutique fertility practice that is Laurel Fertility, at the recommendation of my insurance company.
Dr. Ekpo, with her calm demeanor, focus on facts, and compassion, helped me through every step of this stressful process, offering guidance and answers to my many questions. Within a couple months, with the support of Dr. Ekpo and her team, I had medications on order, a detailed egg retrieval calendar, and a plan to freeze my eggs just after my 36th birthday. With this backup plan in place, I felt as though I could finally relax and enjoy my new relationship without stressing over the “what if’s” of when and whether we might be lucky enough to start a family together.
Fast forward three years to 2019, and my now husband and I were happily married, enjoying our life together and had been trying to get pregnant on our own for more than 6 months without success. At Dr. Ekpo’s recommendation, we decided to proceed directly with the rest of the IVF process. After fertilization and testing, we were lucky enough to have 4 frozen embryos ready to transfer.
We knew going into the IVF process that it could be a journey, and sometimes an emotional rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. This proved true, as our first embryo transfer resulted in an ectopic pregnancy, requiring surgery and removal of one of my Fallopian tubes. After our second embryo transfer in early 2020, in which the embryo never implanted, we were lucky enough to be scheduled for a third transfer just at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and San Francisco shutdown.
The team at Laurel Fertility took the utmost care to keep us and their employees safe during this time, while still proceeding with the round of medication and transfer we had scheduled. Despite the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic, I was able to take a much needed break to relax, catch up on rest, and wait for the outcome of this 3rd IVF attempt.
A little less than 2 weeks later, we were shocked and thrilled to find out that I was not only pregnant but that test results indicated the pregnancy was progressing well. After a full term, healthy pregnancy, 2020 came to a close in the best possible way, with us welcoming our healthy little girl, Yuna, to the world in December!
We felt so well cared for throughout our fertility journey, and are so very thankful for Dr. Ekpo and the entire team at Laurel Fertility for their diligence, compassion, empathy, and hard work to make our dreams of parenthood come true.
Newborn photos by Shefali Parekh Photography www.shefaliparekh.com