After a disappointing start with fertility treatment, a Denver couple finds help and hope at University of Colorado Advanced Reproductive Medicine
Like many couples, Jamie and her husband, Doug, wanted children. Jamie hoped to get pregnant in 2007, but after one year of trying with no success, she began to wonder if she needed to see a fertility specialist. By October 2010, the couple still had not become pregnant and finally sought help.
The couple headed to a local fertility clinic, where the doctor ran some tests. Jamie and Doug learned that they had a very low chance of becoming pregnant on their own. They would need more help.
But before attending her next visit, Jamie wanted to research her options. She called the fertility office to ask for the numbers from her test results, but they refused to share any information with her until she had scheduled another appointment.
This was frustrating to Jamie. “There was no interaction, no communication, no consultation, and no options,” she says. “They were in it just to treat us, not help us.”
When the couple went in for their next appointment, the doctor was anything but comforting. “He made crude jokes, saying we didn’t have to worry about unplanned pregnancy,” Jamie says. “Then he gave us a cut and dry treatment plan with no discussion and very little hope.”
The couple walked out feeling crushed and devastated.
Eventually, Jamie and Doug realized that this clinic wouldn’t work for them, so they began searching for another resource.
They chose University of Colorado Advanced Reproductive Medicine after the practice was recommended to Jamie by a friend who was going through treatment there.
“I was hoping for a better experience,” Jamie says, not willing to let her previous experience jade her outlook on fertility treatment. “Our physician was Dr. Alex Polotsky. His response was ‘I’m confident this will work for you and I’m saving a place on my wall for a photo of your baby.’”
This was exactly what Jamie and Doug needed to hear. The idea of having kids became a real possibility again.
“He gave us a lot of hope, but not false hope,” Jamie remembers. “He told us what our chances were, and that IVF would be the best choice. We heard the same information, but it felt much more collaborative.”
Dr. Polotsky gave the couple room to decide. Although he advised that in vitro fertilization was likely the best choice, he gave them the option to try less expensive treatments like intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Armed with much more hope and the power of having a choice, Jamie and Doug decided to wait and save money for the IVF procedure.
“UCARM said to let them know what direction we chose to take if we decided to continue, not when,” Jamie says. “There was no pressure, not like the first clinic.”
Even more appealing was the fact that UCARM offered a more reasonable price than the first clinic, as well as a payment plan.
“With the first clinic the procedure and the medications were one big lump sum,” Jamie says. “At University of Colorado, the price was much better. It ended up being half the price for the procedure, the medications were separate, and they let us break up it up into payments.”
The couple started saving. One of Jamie’s long-term goals was to run a marathon, so to pass the time she began training, knowing she would have to accomplish her goal before becoming pregnant – something she could now look forward to.
“Through that waiting period, one of the things I came to love about Advanced Reproductive Medicine was our nurse Colleen Lebkuecher. It was a dark time in our lives and she was there to answered our questions over email, and was very accessible,” Jamie relates. “I felt informed and that they were there for us, not just for themselves.”
Jamie ran – and completed – the marathon in late March 2010. One month later, she and Doug went through their first IVF attempt.
Knowing how anxious they would be waiting for the pregnancy test results, the couple had taken the day off work to await the news. They had been told they would get the results by the end of the business day, so they were surprised to get a call from Colleen at 9 a.m.
On the other end of the receiver, Jamie heard Colleen’s voice deliver the incredible news: “Well, you’re pregnant!”
Despite the odds, the couple had conceived on the first try.
“I just broke down emotionally, sobbing, and my husband was crying too,” Jamie says. “Words can’t describe that feeling of joy.”
Although Colleen was ready with information to prepare them for pregnancy, she offered to call back so Jamie and Doug could absorb and process the news together.
During the pregnancy, Dr. Polotsky called to follow up on the pregnancy and see how they were. Jamie felt he really cared, beyond just performing his treatment duties.
At first, the couple just hoped for a healthy baby. Wanting more than one child and knowing it would be a challenge to save for another round of IVF, the couple was thrilled when they discovered they would actually be having twins.
Even though being pregnant was a bit rocky for Jamie – with morning sickness and other discomforts – it was a healthy pregnancy that carried to the full term. The twins were born Jan. 4, 2012.
“The moment I heard the first baby cry was the biggest moment,” Jamie recalls. “I just wept. I was so amazed, awed… ecstatic. The joy I felt was indescribable.”
The search for help had been a life-changing journey. Now Jamie and Doug are thrilled to embrace their new lives as parents. They also made sure to pay a visit to Dr. Polotsky, Colleen and the UCARM staff to introduce little Dillon and Bailey, and to give Dr. Polotsky a photo for his wall.
“I greatly appreciated the personal time UCARM took for us. They made us feel like we were their only patients,” Jamie says. “UCARM went above and beyond, and that’s what we needed.”