One Mom's Uplifting IVF Journey
Hala and her husband Mohamed were on a mission to get pregnant but despite regular periods and on-time ovulation, she still wasn't pregnant after six months.
They sought medical help and were met with the tests that came back inconclusive — medical speak for "we don't really know why." One of her hormone levels was slightly elevated. Mohamed's sperm count appeared low at first, but follow-ups rejected that. On paper, they should have no problems getting pregnant.
"I never saw IVF as a negative procedure or a negative process. I was actually really welcoming it and excited about it. ... I remember thinking, 'This is going to be amazing! I'm going to have twins and I'm going to be done!' "
But it didn't happen like that. Hala didn't get pregnant after the first round of IVF. Nor the second. Nor the third or the fourth. Each time, the doctors tweaked something. And each time, Hala and Mohamed got their hopes up, only to be met with grief.
"It was really hard," Hala said. "I went through a lot of depression."
After four years of IVF cycles she finally gave birth to a daughter and soon after got pregnant again and delivered twins. About 3 years after that, she had another set of twins. Their family of five was complete.
Hala's IVF journey was nothing like she expected, but she regrets nothing, she said.
Each of her doctors played an integral role in the formation of her family, and for that, she is forever grateful. She is glad to have five beautiful, healthy children. And her priority now is to help other women who share similar experiences and struggles. Whenever Hala posts a picture of her kids, she mentions something about her IVF journey. She doesn't want others to feel alone, as she often did.
Hala, who is now an emergency-room physician, set up a large Facebook group for mothers in medicine, where they discuss topics such as sexism in the industry, parenting and infertility.
To women struggling with fertility issues, Hala wants to say:
"Don't ever become paralyzed with grief, paralyzed with fear... There are options. Keep working toward your goal."
Credit to Taylor Seely, USA TODAYPublished 4:59 p.m. ET July 25, 2018 | Updated 10:36 a.m. ET July 26, 2018