Alexandra gave birth to her healthy identical twin boys, Ronan and Beck in August. “Motherhood is amazing,” said the proud new Mom. “We are having so much fun, this is definitely surreal!”
Alexandra and her husband Jason’s fertility journey was a long and emotional rollercoaster. They had several unsuccessful embryo transfers and a few miscarriages during their four-and-half-year fertility journey.
The American couple started trying to conceive in January 2014, got pregnant over a year later, but miscarried. During the winter of 2015, they sought help at a Seattle fertility clinic and proceeded with intrauterine insemination (IUI), a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. (The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization.) After a few pricey and unsuccessful attempts, they decided to research online and found Dr. Caitlin Dunne, at the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine (PCRM). In April 2016, they drove up to Vancouver to meet with Dr. Dunne and had their first in vitro fertilization IVF cycle that summer.
“I remember Dr. Ken Seethram, Co-Director at (PCRM), calling me on Thanksgiving, it was late at night, and he wanted to get in touch with me because he wanted to know if we should transfer one or two embryos during that cycle. It was a small thing, but it was that personal touch that made us feel like they cared and our outcome really matters to them.”
Sadly, the first attempt didn’t work, disappointment started to feel like the norm, and they almost hit the wall. Alexandra can attest to the strains it put on their relationship. Looking back, she says that anyone who has unsuccessful cycles will have moments of doubt, and she wants people to know that they’ve just got to push through those hard times. “Never lose sight of yourself and the dreams that you have for your family.” There were moments when it became all-consuming for the couple, “my husband and I weren’t sure if it was ever going to happen for us and if we were going through all the steps for nothing.”
Couples don’t feel the same emotions at the same time and can approach the situation in different ways. “It would be a lie to say we were always strong or supportive of one another. All I know now is it’s okay not to be okay, you can’t always be strong.” However, as much as you might wish your partner could read your mind, it’s better to explain what you need than not to receive the necessary support.
Finally, when they’d reached the end of the road, having transferred their last embryo, they found out that we were pregnant. The good news created a lot of worry, since they were pregnant three times before without a baby in their arms. “We were excited but it’s actually just an incredibly anxiety-filled time until you make it to your first ultrasound and hear the heartbeat and then get out of the first trimester.”
After everything they had been through, they had a happy surprise in store for them. “I just started laughing, I was so happy, I couldn’t believe it when we were told that we were having twins. Our last embryo split, so it definitely was a surprise, the universe is funny sometimes.” Alexandra had a complication-free pregnancy, went full-term and delivered her twins August 30, 2019.
“We both were impressed with every step of the way with Dr. Dunne, every doctor that I interacted with, and all of the nursing staff. We are so happy we chose PCRM!”
The couple is now adjusting to raising the twins and reaching for new milestones like sleeping through the night and waiting for the babies to hold on to their own bottles.
“Some days we look at each other and just can’t believe that they are here. I feel pure love, awe and wonder, my babies are pure perfection when I look at them.”