Clinic: Los Angeles Kindbody Doctor:Dr. Meredith Brower Conditions: Advanced Maternal Age, Fibroids, Endometrial Cancer Treatments: Embryo Preimplantation Genetic Testing, Reciprocal IVF Members of LGBTQ Community
Embarking on the journey to parenthood, my partner and I faced challenges that tested our resilience and determination. Our experience with Kindbody became a beacon of hope and support, guiding us through uncharted territories, even in the midst of a global pandemic.
First Encounter with Kindbody: May 2020
Our initial visit to Kindbody in May 2020 marked the beginning of an enlightening and transformative journey. At 35, I was eager to start trying to conceive. Despite each of us having a uterus, it was I who was ready to take the plunge into parenthood. Kindbody welcomed us warmly, making us feel comfortable and supported as we embarked on what would become a long and challenging road.
Uncovering Health Challenges: A History of Difficult Cycles
With a long history of difficult menstrual cycles and a small fibroid as my only major diagnosis, I was hopeful. However, after my initial fertility visits at Kindbody, my doctor recommended a D&C due to the thickness of my uterine lining. This was a revelation, as just six months prior, another doctor had noted the thick lining but did not mention any issues or recommend further follow-up.
Diagnosis and Decision: Facing Endometrial Cancer
The D&C in May 2020 revealed Grade 1 endometrial cancer and pre-cancer cells. My Kindbody doctor promptly referred me to a reputable gynecological oncologist, where I faced a crucial decision: opting for conservative treatment or undergoing a hysterectomy. I chose the former, hoping to resolve the cancer while preserving my fertility.
Pursuing Reciprocal IVF: A Journey of Hope
After a year of treatment and regular biopsies without full resolution of the cancer, my partner and I decided to pursue reciprocal IVF. In July 2021, we underwent egg retrieval to create and freeze embryos. This decision allowed us to explore alternative paths to parenthood, with my partner carrying our biological child.
Celebrating Success: Welcome, Baby!
December 2021 brought joy and hope as we successfully transferred “Embryo #12” to my partner. The procedure was a success on the first try, and in July 2022, we welcomed our baby girl into our lives. This triumph was a testament to our perseverance and the unwavering support of the Kindbody team.
Ongoing Support: Navigating Through Unique Circumstances
Throughout our journey, the Kindbody staff, including front office staff, nurses, ultrasound techs, and doctors, were incredibly supportive and informative. They helped us navigate our available options given our unique circumstances, ensuring we could make informed decisions every step of the way.
Reflection: Early Detection and Gratitude
Looking back, I am immensely grateful for the attentive care and support of my Kindbody provider. The early detection of my endometrial cancer allowed me to explore options and ultimately experience the joy of having a biological child, which my partner carried. This journey brought challenges, but it also brought unparalleled joy and gratitude.
Looking Ahead: Exploring Future Possibilities
With recent negative biopsy results, I am now contemplating whether I may try to conceive. The journey has been arduous, but the reward has been immeasurable. As we continue to navigate this path, the support and guidance of Kindbody remain invaluable, and the future is full of possibilities.
Advice For Other Patients
Embarking on the journey to build a family can bring a myriad of unexpected experiences and emotions. Here, Rahel offers her heartfelt advice and insights for those at the starting point of their family-building adventure, based on her personal journey through fertility challenges, a cancer diagnosis, and reciprocal IVF.
Reconnect with Your ‘Why’
“I would advise those starting their family-building journey to be open and honest with themselves and, if applicable, with their partners. It’s essential to explore why building a family is important to you. These feelings can act as a compass, helping you stay focused and connected to the reason why you are embarking on this journey.”
Embrace New Pathways with Flexibility
“Being open and flexible to new pathways is crucial. Whether it’s introducing fertility medication when you initially didn’t want to, adjusting your timeline based on new information, or opting for IVF when you wished for IUI — being adaptable prepares you for the uncertainties of parenthood.”
Preparation Meets Unpredictability: A Glimpse into Parenthood
“In parenthood, many things are out of your control. You can start with a plan, do your very best to prepare, and assemble a great healthcare team and support system. However, the picture you’ve created in your mind may look slightly (or very) different, and that’s okay! Embracing the unexpected is part of the journey.”
Step closer to the family you’ve always envisioned.
Kindbody is a new generation of women's health and fertility care. Providing you with the information you need to take control of your health and make the decisions that are right for you. We’re a community of healthcare providers, fertility specialists, and women who get it. We’re on a mission to democratize and de-stigmatize women’s health and fertility care, making it accessible, intuitive, and empowering.