I Was 32 Years Old When We Started Our IVF Journey.

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By: Candice K.

My name is Candice and I was 32 years old when we started our IVF journey. My husband, Shaun, and I had tried for a baby for 3 years before finally deciding to take the next step in getting some help. I researched and researched writing down every IVF clinic within 20 miles of our home that had good ratings. I then dug even deeper into success rates and that is when I got butterflies looking at the website for Reproductive Fertility Center in Irvine. I immediately sent the website to my hubby and we booked our first appointment.

Meeting Our Success Team

We got to meet Dr. Park very quickly into our appointment and immediately felt so comfortable with her! She made you feel like every question was important and that you didn’t feel rushed when you were with her. She spent all the time we needed with her at our appointments, and you can just tell that she cares deeply about all her patients and their pregnancy journeys. She really knows how to make you feel at ease with her knowledge of the entire IVF process.

The staff is also so wonderful! They are always smiling and greet you by name when you call or come in for an appointment. I really cannot say enough wonderful things about RFC and the family atmosphere they have built. There was optimism from everyone around at every appointment, even if you had fears going in.

This Wasn't Our First Rodeo.

The journey leading up to a retrieval or transfer is and always will be challenging between medications, appointments, and emotions; but your end goal will far outweigh everything you go through, I promise. Dr. Park was with us every step of the way and was able to help us with an easy, relaxing, successful first transfer back in July 2020. We welcomed our beautiful little girl, Demi, in April of 2021 and have been absolutely loving parenthood! So much so, that in May 2022, we decided to move forward and transfer another little embryo.

Now this journey was nowhere near what I had expected initially because our first transfer went so smoothly, I assumed this one would as well. We were in for a treat. Upon my very first ultrasound to do a check of my uterus, Dr. Park found “white dots” showing on the monitor. She was spot on thinking it might be calcified placenta although she had only seen this once before. I was feeling very confused as to how or why this would have happened. I assumed that since I had a C-section with Demi that they would be able to see the placenta to clearly remove all of it. I was wrong. But again, Dr. Park didn’t miss a beat and had me in surgery 2 days later to remove the debris! The procedure was quick and I felt surprisingly well after. I was ready to move forward with our schedule.

Medications Weren't Working.

Well, this was when we ran into the second “hiccup” (as I like to call them). My medications were not absorbing as they should have. My labs continuously came back lower than expected. Dr. Park immediately adjusted my quantity and also the route of administration. Boom, it worked! It delayed me a couple of days since we tried to give it time to build up but I was glad she was able to make that quick decision to get me readjusted.

My Side Effects with Progesterone: Itchy Skin and Large Lumps

Then, as if I didn’t have enough hiccups during this transfer which I expected to run smoothly, I started to get extremely itchy skin at the site of my progesterone injection, AKA my butt! I immediately started using a Benadryl cream to help with the itch to finish off my last bottle while the RFC staff had put in a request for progesterone not mixed with sesame oil. Oddly though, when I started on the new shot, within 3 days, not only was I itchy again, I was getting large lumps under my skin that were painful. I messaged Christie, my amazing coordinator and she went straight to Dr. Park and got me instructions to stop taking it immediately and increase my inserts to 3 times a day instead. I must have been allergic to the nickel in the needle perhaps but this worked to get rid of the itching and pain! Thank goodness again for the quick thinking of staff and Dr. Park.

My Transfer Day Experience

Finally, we were ready to transfer baby #2 on May 30th. Feeling very optimistic about having what I consider the best IVF staff in the world, my husband and I went in with big smiles on our faces. I wore my “lucky socks” that I also wore for my transfer with Demi. They say “Think Positive” and have a positive pregnancy test symbol on them, with one sock pink and the other blue. Dr. Park was, as usual, very steady and precise with our transfer, always being sure to confirm 100% that my embryo made it in safely. It’s one of the best feelings when she points at the monitor and you see your little tiny dot of an embryo placed perfectly in your uterus.

The Wait Felt Like Forever.

The 2-week wait is as dreadful as they say online. I tried distracting myself with everything possible. My little peanut Demi, my job, going to do fun activities with the family. The anticipation is overwhelming but exciting. With both Demi and Baby #2, I just knew they implanted! I got this weird stretching feeling in my pelvis each time. Almost to where it felt like tearing a muscle which didn’t feel good but with baby 2, it brought back memories of feeling the exact way after Demi was transferred.

Day 10, blood draw day! I went in early in the morning forgetting that no matter what time you give blood, it all goes to the lab at the same time. I crossed my fingers and prayed all morning until I got my call, “We have good news, YOU’RE PREGNANT!” I cried of course and had to wait till I got home from work to surprise Shaun and Demi. I pulled into the driveway and hubby and peanut were standing on the doorstep. Shaun said, “Well….”. I replied with a huge smile, “Demi is going to be a big sister!!”. UGH, the joy! You forget all the shots and the inserts and the oral meds. The heating pads and itchy skin from the allergic reaction or the cramping from surgery. It all turns to surprising the family, going for your first ultrasound, posting it to social media, and enjoying every step of the first 12 weeks of pregnancy you get to stay with the RFC Family until transferred to your primary OB.

So, I’d like to announce to the RFC social media friends that Baby #2, Conall Wayne, is expected in February of 2023. A little Valentine’s Day prince to add to our growing family. Thank you, RFC and Dr. Park from the bottom of our hearts for everything you have done for us. For all your hard work, patience, and optimism that you provided to my family. We love you all and cannot wait to introduce baby Conall and do transfer #3 in 2024! <3

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