Both my husband and I, born in India but raised almost entirely abroad (he in US, myself all over the world), met purely by chance in 2007 and got married soon after. I'm a career woman who got married very young and had put off having children when I became single again at 25. My husband had also married young and had 4 children, and found himself suddenly single again. After a whirlwind courtship and traditional Indian wedding, I was overwhelmed by gaining an instant family, but also felt a deep longing to experience motherhood for myself. However, I also had a complicated gynecological history and age was not on my side (I am 47), so did not share my husband's hopes that I would ever become a mother (other than through adoption). My husband and I tried one (very expensive) IVF cycle in the US which our doctor advised us against as he knew I had poor ovarian reserve due to age. I was ready to move on with our lives, but my resourceful husband did a lot of research and found Dr. Malpani. We struggled with the many decisions we had to make, whether to proceed, whether we would be comfortable with an Indian clinic, how many times we were willing to try, whether we would be comfortable with going through the donor process and many other factors such as being an older mother, but my husband gave me the love, reassurance and support to move ahead.
From the first meeting, Dr. Malpani's optimism and the lack of judgmental attitude in his clinic put me at ease. I am not going to lie, physically IVF is very tough on a woman's body, even when you use donor eggs. The drug protocol is harsh, and the side effects can be very discouraging. I persisted through 2 cycles, one done with fresh specimens, the second with frozen embryos. Neither was successful and because each involved so much juggling of our work and personal schedules, not to mention the fact that I had moved from one city to another and taken a more senior and stressful position for work, I began to despair that we would ever succeed. Through it all, Dr. Malpani never expressed doubt, and merely advised me to take a break after the 2 back-to-back cycles. Then I started to have irregular cycles and thought this would be another strike against me. However, I took a break and approached the 3rd cycle almost with an attitude of "it's probably not going to work, but what the heck." I was consequently very relaxed throughout the cycle and my husband and I had a very short belated honeymoon in Goa before going to Dr. Malpani's clinic for the third, all fresh, cycle. After some discussion, Dr. Malpani transferred 4 embryos, 2 Grade A, 2 Grade B, and I flew back to the US 2and a half days later and returned to work almost immediately. After 7 days, I was dismayed to find some staining and though I could not possibly be pregnant. On day 16, I went to my ob/gyn for the HCG blood test. A day later, I was advised that the test result was POSITIVE. Because I could not wait until the end of the day to tell him the fantastic news, I called my husband with the test results and he thought I was joking!!! In the meantime, between days 7 and 16, poor Dr. Malpani was living through the tortuous wait with us. At one point he suggested we not wait for the HCG test but take a home pregnancy test on day 14 (in the US, day 14 fell on a Saturday when all medical facilities are closed for the weekend). I was so convinced that I was not pregnant that I did not take the home test.
So now, I am getting into my second trimester. Two ultrasounds have revealed a healthy baby and God willing, everything will continue to progress well. I am due in July 2011, and am feeling great. To all of you out there, I know God will work a miracle as he did for us. And without Dr. Malpani, Dr. Anjali and their caring staff, the miracle might never have happened. My husband and I wish you all the best of luck and a healthy and baby-filled 2011.
It's success stories like this which make being an IVF specialist so meaningful - the fact that we change people's lives for the better ! And the fact that we get so many blessings daily every time our patients see their children is an added bonus :)