My husband and I met at the young age of 19. We met one night in Philadelphia through a mutual friend and essentially fell in love. I know it’s extremely cheesy, but it’s the truth. We were both in college—I attended the University of Iowa while he was at Rowan University in southern New Jersey. Our relationship was long distance, established over the phone—you’d be amazed how much you can learn about someone after six months of talking on the phone.
One of the most important things I learned about Phil is that he is a testicular cancer survivor. When he told me, I was immediately concerned: would we be able to have children? That’s right—at the young age of 19, and after only talking to this man for six months on the phone, I knew I wanted to marry him and have children.
Phil knew that after his surgeries and chemotherapy treatments he was unable to have children naturally. But he calmed my thoughts by explaining that he had gone to a sperm bank to store his semen prior to his chemotherapy treatments. He was guided by a very forward-thinking team of doctors and a mother who was a former labor and delivery nurse.
I vividly remember the tears of happiness streaming down my face when I knew that having children with a person I loved was a possibility. Even better, I’m happy to say that Phil is officially 12 years in remission.
Eyes Wide Open
My fertility journey is a bit different in the fact that I knew very early on that if we were to have children, we would need support. I won’t ever forget speaking with my gynaecologist, Dr. Randee Lopata from Midwest Center for Women’s Healthcare, when she asked me, “Megan, how long would you say you and your husband have been trying to conceive?” I looked her dead in the eye with a smile and said, “Well, I guess you could say about ten years.” After explaining my husband’s health history, she immediately referred me to Dr. Klipstein.
Dr. Klipstein made me and my husband feel comfortable right away. She is not only professional, but personable. When you are with her, you feel like you are her number one priority. In fact, all of the staff at InVia are UNBELIEVABLY positive. The nurses are amazing.
As a teacher, I could only come in early to get my blood taken—and by early, I mean 6:30 a.m. That’s right. InVia is open that early, and the nurses are so positive, so kind, and it was such a wonderful experience—even at the crack of dawn.
But nothing speaks louder about the level of care I received at InVia than what happened at the very end of my fertility treatment experience.
Complications Handled with Care and Respect
I should clarify that I went through a “fresh cycle” experience. The embryo was transferred after five days. My body was still adjusting to hormone levels and as a result, my ovaries were quite swollen.
On June 23, 2017, Dr. Klipstein told Phil and me we were pregnant. We were thrilled! We were so excited to eventually share our news but knew we should wait to be sure the pregnancy was viable. About four weeks later, I worked out with a couple of my friends, and I remember feeling really good, physically and mentally. The next day, I went in for my final appointment with Dr. Klipstein. The baby looked good, I looked good, we received our “exit” papers and we officially “graduated” from InVia Fertility, meaning we would only see my OB-GYN from there on out.
On our drive home, I remember feeling a strange “twinge” of pain in my lower abdomen that proceeded to get worse and worse. After our 15-minute car ride, I immediately ran to the bathroom and threw up twice. Not knowing what to do, I had my husband call Dr. Klipstein.
She told us to come back to the office immediately—no questions asked. We came back in and Dr. Klipstein saw us straight away. She performed an ultrasound and saw some fluid in my ovaries. She told me to monitor my pain for the next several hours and contact her if it grew worse.
The pain worsened overnight. I contacted her via e-mail at 3:00 a.m. because I didn’t know what to do. I was desperate. Dr. Klipstein had me come back in the office to see her colleague Dr. Karande. Dr. Karande saw me immediately, completed another ultrasound, and called Dr. Klipstein to confer.
After their conference, Dr. Karande told me that Dr. Klipstein wanted to speak with me and my husband personally. We were taken into a private room and Dr. Klipstein called my cell phone.
She told us that we could be admitted to the hospital to be monitored overnight or be admitted to the emergency room right then. She would then come to the hospital after finishing her shift at the other location. Given the ultrasound data from the day before, and her phone conference with Dr. Karande, she wanted to perform a laparoscopic surgery to see if my ovary had twisted.
I agreed to the surgery and was profoundly grateful for both Dr. Karande’s and Dr. Klipstein’s cooperation, flexibility, and commitment to us as patients.
When I saw Dr. Klipstein at the hospital, I was overcome with relief. Her presence is undeniably calming, and I knew I was in good hands. She comforted me and my husband by telling us the baby would be fine and we would have an ultrasound right after surgery to ensure the baby was okay.
And she was!
Our InVia Baby - Chloe
The whole process for me was very positive—not least because our first embryo took! Our daughter, Chloe, was born on February 23, 2018. She arrived five days early—I’m a teacher and my water broke while I was at school! It was so exciting. My husband, also a teacher, met me at home and we drove to Lutheran General Hospital together.
I went into labor on February 22nd at 12:15 p.m. and Chloe was born on February 23rd at 1:32 a.m. She weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz. and was 19 inches long.
My Advice for Your Fertility Journey
People think it is so easy to get pregnant, and it’s not. Ask all of the questions you can of everyone you can think of—reach out to friends, co-workers, family. As a teacher, I work with many women. Of course we talk and I am so fortunate to work with open-minded, caring, and compassionate people. Three women I work with have been through fertility treatments and were willing to share their experiences with me—including one who highly recommended Dr. Klipstein!
Not only did talking about fertility treatment ease my concerns, but it also helped me mentally prepare for my journey. It’s encouraging to know that you are not the only one going through this process. Pregnancy is different for everyone. We all have a story to share and each one is unique.
And of course, I recommend InVia Fertility Specialists. InVia is fabulous. I am so happy to have had such a positive experience. I look forward to continuing to grow my family with their support.