Infertility: How we got pregnant

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of ten women has a problem getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term. This week, 17's Kristin Price will be taking an in-depth look at fertility issues and how some local women are dealing with them.
Victoria Thomas always imagined having a family of her own. "I left Argentina with two dreams. One was to meet the love of my life and the other was to travel the world taking photos," said Thomas.

She was looking for her perfect match, and wouldn't settle for anything less. She found her other half in South Africa. A chance meeting she says was meant to be.

"It was a perfect moment for us to meet. We both had the same dream, we were both ready," said Thomas.

The couple moved to the United States, got married and started trying to have a baby. They were unsuccessful and eventually consulted a doctor.

Thomas said, "They didn't see anything. I mean, I was perfect. Every single study I ever did was perfect."

In her mid-thirties, Thomas had met the love of her life and traveled the world but she couldn't fulfill her dream of becoming a mother. That's when she went to reproductive endocrinologist and infertility sub-specialist, Dr. Brian Acacio.

"He said, 'your problem is that you're old,'" said Thomas.

According to the CDC, about 20% of women have their first child after they're 35 years old. About 1/3 of couples where the woman is older than 35, have fertility problems.

"A woman is born with as many eggs as she's ever going to have," said Dr. Acacio. "So, we know that the rest of her life, those numbers are unfortunately declining. The double whammy is that the percentage of abnormalities of eggs is also going up."

Thomas was dealing with both those issues. She decided to undergo In Vitro Fertilization, or IVF, combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory.

As part of the process, Thomas took fertility drugs to increase the number of eggs produced in each ovulation cycle.

Thomas said, "I only had six eggs and generally you have like 20."

Of the eggs, three were healthy. Thomas had two embryos implanted.

"I got pregnant for a week, and I felt one night that they were not there anymore," said Thomas.

Thomas was at a loss and consulted a nurse at Dr. Acacio's office for advice.

Thomas said, "I'm always very strong and I go forward with things and how do you deal with this? What she said was, 'you got pregnant. It doesn't matter if it was a week. That means that your body is ready.'"

This gave Thomas new hope and the strength to try again.

"From one second to the other I stopped feeling bad, or crying, or whatever," said Thomas.

Another visit with Dr. Acacio, reinforced her hope. The third embryo, from the IVF treatment, was still healthy.

"He gave us an amazing surprise. He says there's still a frozen one and he's growing beautiful. We both had that very weird feeling, it may seem silly from the outside, but we were there and we both were like, that's Lucas," said Thomas.

This time it worked. Lucas Grant was born January 25th.

"I am very grateful," said Thomas.

Thomas says she plans on trying to have another child through in vitro fertilization.
 
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