Maria had her first baby at 41. She conceived her daughter naturally, but only after experiencing the heartbreak of two miscarriages. Though she realized she was considered “advanced maternal age,” she had embraced motherhood and wanted to give her daughter a sibling. So she tried to get pregnant again.
“With each passing year, I knew it would be harder to conceive,” said Maria. “After another miscarriage, I pursued treatment at a local clinic, where I had four unsuccessful IUI cycles. Then, I decided to consult with other infertility specialists, including doctors at HRC Fertility. I’m glad I took that route.”
After visiting HRC’s website, Maria discovered the clinic was conducting a clinical trial, admitting women up to age 42 at a discounted rate. She also was impressed with HRC Fertility’s IVF success rates, which she researched online at SART, the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies.
Maria attended a seminar to learn more and met Dr. David Tourgeman, who managed her participation in the study. Though her participation was not successful because of the trial’s limitations, she had the opportunity to freeze embryos. Maria subsequently decided to transfer to HRC’s Pasadena office under the care of Dr. Jeffrey Nelson.
“I knew Dr. Nelson was a good match for me. I’m a numbers person and liked how he described my chances of getting pregnant, which were very slim. But I appreciated his candor and patient, kind-hearted manner. Based on his advice, I decided to transfer the three best of my nine frozen, blastocyst-stage embryos. The eggs were retrieved when I was 43. I was shocked, but overjoyed, when I found out I was pregnant at 44 with Arianna, who was born on February 26.”
Like many women, Marie acknowledges she thought she had more time to get pregnant.
“In Hollywood, you see all these women getting pregnant in their mid-40s. Many probably used donor eggs, but most people don’t realize that,” explained Maria. “After every miscarriage, I felt farther away from my goal of having a healthy baby. As a statistician, I knew the odds for women my age were against me. I felt confident with Dr. Nelson, however, because he approached IVF as both an art and a science and went the extra mile to learn the cause of my miscarriages versus simply assuming they were due to my age.”
Based on her experience, Maria advises younger women to freeze their eggs. But if that’s not possible, she hopes other patients don’t give up and understand they may have to pursue several cycles of IVF to statistically beat the odds. As she adds, “Every failure will get you closer to your goal.”
Maria feels infertility has allowed her to fully appreciate her new life as a mother of two beautiful daughters. She is very grateful to both Dr. Tourgeman and Dr. Nelson–and everyone on their teams, including the embryologists who helped her cope with both the medical and emotional aspects of infertility and create her miracle baby.