Saturday, December 19, 2015

IVF success story at Malpani Infertility Clinic

As I am holding my baby twins, it still seems like a miracle to me.  I know this phrase is a cliché, and my husband and I tend to be very rational, but there is truly no other way of describing what we experienced.  We started trying to have children in our mid-thirties.  By the time we met Dr. Malpani, we were in our mid-forties and we were pretty much resigned to the fact that we would not have children.  We had some very taxing years behind us.  We first tried several rounds of IUIs and then IVF.  I got pregnant, but miscarried the twins.  We were devastated by this loss.  Despite all kinds of testing, our infertility was never explained, although we suspected that maternal age was the most likely issue.

We then decided to adopt.  We spent several years on call, reviewing adoption files, slowly moving up the wait list and hoping every time that we would be chosen and possibly have a child within the next few weeks. We were matched twice, and twice, the adoptions fell through at the last minute.  Then, the agency we had worked with for several years, closed down from one day to the next.  It was the second agency we had worked with that closed. We were truly heartbroken.  And we started thinking that maybe it wasn’t meant to be for us to become parents.

After taking a break, we decided to start over and contacted an adoption lawyer.  We were in the process of redoing our homestudy, when we spent some time in Mumbai to visit family.  Almost every day, I went for a run in the Port Trust Gardens and on my way there began noticing the sign for Dr. Malpani’s clinic.  After a while I decided to look him up online.  I liked the way he made all the information easily accessible.  My husband was skeptical as we had been down that road before and it had been difficult.  But in the end, we felt we had nothing to lose and made an appointment.  We both immediately liked Dr. Malpani.  He listened carefully to us.  And he was reassuring without making any false promises.  He suggested that we try IVF with an egg-donor.  We had considered this option yearsearlier, but then had decided to pursue an adoption instead.  Egg donation seemed too “sci-fi” for us.  We were also worried about how our family would feel about it and how the child would feel about it as an adult.  By the time, we met Dr. Malpani, we had experienced adoption as a very arduous process with uncertain outcomes.  We liked the idea that at least my husband would be able to see himself in the children.  My gynecologist back home told me that in her experience donor-egg-IVF had about a 40% success rate.  And it was encouraging to me when Dr. Malpani pointed out that maternal age doesn’t affect the uterus as much as the eggs.  He was joking that with my uterus I could have children well into my sixties.

I will never forget the day of the embryo transfer.  Dr. Malpani asked everyone in the operating theater to pray and we all fell silent.  What I had previously experienced as a very technical procedure turned out to be a beautiful moment that was full of awe for the miracle of life.  Dr. Malpani and his team were all very encouraging and caring.  It meant a lot to us after what we had been through.  Dr. Malpani told me that all activities were fine and emphasized that things were not really in my control at this point.  It was good to hear this as I had driven myself crazy after my miscarriage over what I could have done differently.  After we left Mumbai, we were very careful not to get our hopes up too much and distracted ourselves the best we could.  The night before my gynecologist appointment to determine whether I was pregnant, I decided to take a home test.  I hadn’t told my husband, so when I saw the pink line, I started screaming.  He came running and we both cried and laughed at the same time.  We were overjoyed, when a little later the ultrasound revealed not only one, but two robust heartbeats.  

I had a wonderful and healthy pregnancy.  I had been resigned to the fact that I was never going to be pregnant.  I am so grateful that I was able to experience how my body transformed and how my children developed inside me. After seven weeks I suddenly had bleeding and rushed to the hospital.  Fortunately, it stopped and everything turned out to be fine.  When I e-mailed Dr. Malpani, he was very reassuring and mentioned that bleeding like this is very common in IVF pregnancies.  Dr. Malpani always answered our queries within a few hours and generally was very available.  We felt that we could ask him anything, even the most trivial questions.  He was always very patient and never condescending.  He deeply cares that his patients make informed decisions and he will go out of his way to make sure that they have access to all the information that they need to know.  We never felt like he was talking us into something or selling us something.  He always made sure that we were comfortable and knew exactly what we were getting into.  He also has a great sense of humor, which made the process less intimidating and easier for us.  And he is someone who has a strong intellectual interest in the matter and deeply cares about the people he works with.  Given our past experiences with reproductive technology, which is a big business in the US as well as in India, this was very refreshing.

If I hadn’t been running again and again past his clinic, all of this wouldn’t have happened.  We are still in disbelief that it turned out to be so easy in comparison to what we had been through.After all the research we did, after all the things we tried, after all the losses and the heartache that we experienced, it was pure serendipity that led us to Dr. Malpani.

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