IVF Story Through His Eyes

May 29, 2019

IVF: Through His Eyes

Tips and Advice for Support Persons and Families of Women Struggling with Infertility

High school sweethearts Brad and Callie Elliott got to the place that they had been dreaming about and praying for over the past three years – Callie was pregnant after her first round of IVF.  

Brad sat down with us to share some things he learned during the experience with the hope of helping others in their journey.

Callie and BradQ: What were your initial thoughts when it was decided you were going to try IVF?

A: It was an emotional time, but it was like let’s just keep going. Let’s put one foot in front of the other and do what we have to do. I had to take a step back and remember as a man, I don’t know anything of what it’s like to be a woman. I didn’t really understand why she was so upset as to why it wasn’t working because all I could think of was ‘let’s just keep going; one foot in front of the other.’ But, then we were talking one day and she said, ‘I just don’t feel like a woman. I should be able to do this and I can’t.’ That’s when I realized, ‘Okay, this is a lot on her, this is deeper.’ I started to realize that her feelings about it were completely different from mine, and it eventually helped me help her.

Q: What’s some advice you would share with others that are trying to get pregnant and realize they may need to see a fertility specialist?

A: Honestly, you learn along the way. But, as the support person, as a man, remember to listen to what your wife is saying. Be open and really hear her.. It really makes all the difference in how you all walk that journey together. Choosing the right care was also important. Dr. Banks is such a great guy. He answers all your questions and just talks to you like a person. The staff at the ART Fertility Program of Alabama were also great. They were so personable and relatable.

Q: How did this experience strengthen your relationship?

A: It definitely strengthened our relationship. We had to rely on each other throughout this, because we chose to not tell anyone about it while we were going through it. That was one of the things Dr. Honea talked to us about in the beginning that for some couples, this strengthens them and for others it brings them apart. And, one thing we didn’t do was blame each other. With some couples, they may think it’s the woman’s fault if their system is the problem or vice versa and then place blame. We just treated it like it was 50/50 and that made things better. Even when she had to do the injections, I decided to do them for her as a way to take a part in the process. I did research on how to do it, watched videos and read forums to be there for her however she needed.

Brad and CallieQ: What do you wish you had known looking back?

A: That there are so many ups and downs. As we try to remember dates and milestones, it really all goes together because there are milestones during IVF and then milestones during the pregnancy. I remember fairly early in the pregnancy Callie had a hematoma which caused her to bleed a lot one day. It really hit her emotionally, because she thought she had a miscarriage. During this time, Dr. Honea put her bedrest that Friday night and the next morning she told us to come in first thing Saturday, which meant a lot to Callie and I. So we went in and Dr. Honea stayed in there with us which we did the ultrasound, and we learned the baby was still there and doing fine. She just told her to take it easy for a while – no stairs, no heavy lifting and eventually all that went away and everything was fine.

Q: What advice do you have for support persons who might not know how to approach the subject during this journey?

Always remember to choose your words carefully, because you never know what people are going through. Some people would say things to us about when are we having kids as we were trying. We have some friends now that have been married long and we don’t ask them when they are having kids, because you never know what people are going through.

Just a week after we sat and talked with this young couple, Callie went in for her regular Friday appointment, but this time Dr. Banks decided to keep her because Baby Kase was about to come a week earlier than expected.

Tune in next week as this series continues, but this time we learn about what happens during delivery and view the journey through Callie’s eyes.

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