When you ask Kelly and Charles to tell you about their daughter Sophie, they trip over each other’s sentences.
“She’s so funny and sweet.”
“Smart, too smart.”
“She’s a great sleeper, a great eater.”
“She has such a great disposition.”
“She is so much more than we could have ever dreamed of.”
Ask any parents to tell you about their baby and they will have similar things to say. But Kelly and Charles are so eager to talk about Sophie because their experience getting pregnant with her was a long one. Now 20 months old, Sophie is the highlight of Charles and Kelly’s lives.
They were married about a year and a half when they began trying to get pregnant. The couple didn’t think much of it for the first few months. They were both busy with their careers and loved their life in Portland, exploring new restaurants, spending time on the river and attending concerts.
But month after month, they were disappointed. Eventually, disappointment became worry, stress and a feeling of hopelessness. Kelly had assumed she wouldn’t have any problems getting pregnant. They were both healthy, and Kelly was charting her ovulation. But it wasn’t happening. Finally, after nearly two years, they agreed that if they weren’t pregnant by Christmas, their New Year’s resolution would be to get outside help.
When the New Year came and they weren’t pregnant, Kelly and Charles knew they wanted to go to Oregon Reproductive Medicine (ORM) because several friends had wonderful success there. Since Kelly and Charles both work in the healthcare field, they thought they knew what to expect from their initial consultation. They were pleasantly surprised that the appointment far exceeded their expectations.
“From the very beginning, everyone was helpful and kind. They knew we were in a stressful situation and they put us at ease right away.” (Charles)
The couple met with Dr. Bankowski. Their biggest takeaway from the appointment was that getting pregnant is not easy. It’s not simple. So many things have to be aligned perfectly. After hearing about Kelly and Charles’ health history and experience trying to get pregnant, Dr. Bankowski recommended a series of tests and told them they may discover that nothing is physically impeding their ability to get pregnant – an outcome many couples face. Both Kelly and Charles were impressed with Dr. Bankowski’s style.
“He was so detailed, but explained things very simply. We never felt any pressure. We left the appointment feeling relieved to be taking proactive steps. We just felt like we were moving forward after being stuck for so long.” (Kelly)
After a series of tests, Kelly and Charles did indeed learn that they didn’t have any medical issues to overcome. They chose Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and Dr. Bankowski helped them understand that they might have to go through several rounds of treatment.
“The first round was fine, I felt great. We were disappointed when it didn’t work, but we tried again the next month. I thought I was pregnant the second time and when I got the call that I wasn’t, it was hard to take. We geared up for the third round and that one was tough. The Clomid really got to me, my emotions were crazy and I was feeling discouraged. When ORM called to tell me that my pregnancy test had come back positive, I was shocked. Charles was working and I called to tell him right before he was about to play golf with a client.” (Kelly)
“I shot the worst round of golf in my entire life. But it was the best for other reasons.” (Charles)
Early in the pregnancy, they had an ultrasound. “She looked like a little gummy bear on the ultrasound image. She was wiggling a lot. They told us she was really active, which was a good sign.”(Kelly)
One of their favorite moments of the pregnancy was when they found out their baby was a girl. It was Kelly’s birthday, and she got the best present she could ask for.
Sophie was born in December, a healthy 7.5 pounds.
“The staff was amazing. It was like we were all part of the same team.”
“I think they wanted us to get pregnant as much as we did.”
“We always felt like we were in control of our process. We made all of the decisions. We knew we could take a break if we wanted to. There was never any pressure.”
What made their experience so wonderful?
“There is a culture at the office that we experienced with everyone there and I think it starts with their leadership. Every person was empathic and kind. They cheered us on. As soon as we walked into the office, we felt at ease.” (Charles)
Kelly and Charles are very open about their experience getting pregnant.
“There is a stigma about having a hard time getting pregnant and in the beginning, we felt like we were alone—that everyone else was having an easy time with it. But when we started telling our friends that we were struggling, we learned that so many people go through similar experiences.” (Kelly)
“Since we’ve had Sophie, we have learned that several more friends have had success at ORM too. We want to be an open book about it. There are solutions out there and no one should feel alone. We are champions for ORM.”