National Infertility Awareness Month: Courtney's Journey

by Courtney Marincsin

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For years I was fastidious about taking my birth control.  I was slogging through law school, studying for the bar, slaving over clerking and finally landing my dream job.  Then, one day it was time to start thinking about having my dream baby with my dream husband who was my college sweet heart.  So I went off birth control and my period never came.  I thought, huh- maybe let’s dial marathon and triathlon training down a bit.  Still my elusive “friend” never visited.  My gyno prescribed two rounds of hormones that should have induced my period, but still no luck and she told me that it was time to go see a reproductive endocrinologist.

I researched my RE like every expert I hired for one of my legal cases and came upon Dr. Kazer at Northwestern.  I was immediately impressed by him and liked him as a doctor and as a man.  We tried the baby fertility step of Clomid.  Three rounds of that and I still never ovulated.  Then we stepped the effort up to the junior varsity level and tried a month’s worth of injections and IUI (intrauterine insemination).  While waiting the few weeks to see if it worked, my husband and I flew to St. Barts to relax and see if some stress release would make the pregnancy stick.  Over a beautiful morning sunrise overlooking the Mediterranean I told my husband that I was pregnant with his baby.  Soon we found out it was twins!!  We were so excited - two for the price/pain of one!  Awesomeness.

Fast forward 6 months into the pregnancy we were on a trip to Denver and I developed the worse stomach pain ever.  I thought maybe it was gas or something I ate.  I went to the ER and found out I was in full blown labor.  They sutured my cervix closed, gave me a massive amount of drugs to stop the labor and I was on bed rest for a week in the Denver hospital to try and save the twins, but in the end we lost them.

It was very, very difficult to board the plane home for Chicago.  My parents flew out to bring me and my husband home.  My sister was cooking food for us and watching our dog.  I drank probably a case of wine that first week crying over my lost babies.  I drank close to a case of wine the next week strategizing how to get pregnant again.  We consulted with Dr. Kazer who said now that our only option was entering the big leagues with IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and single embryo transfer.  I said that sounds fantastic when can we start?  So three months later I started the shots again, but found out that there were some cysts that were not going away.  So finally after doing two more months of shots we were finally going to get to the egg retrieval.  Everything went smoothly and we completed our first found of IVF-but and I got pregnant, but it ended a week later in a chemical pregnancy.  The next round we did a frozen embryo transfer, but it didn’t work.

At this point I started to really evaluate why I wanted a child, and the scary thing was that I couldn’t articulate a reason why.  Here I am, a deliberate, eloquent, expressive attorney used to writing federal court briefs, I am trying harder to have a child than anything else I have done in my life and I can’t explain why.  But in my heart I just had this feeling like I wanted and needed to have a child.  I would look at my husband and my heart would burst at how much I loved him and I wanted that love to take the form of a child.  So we geared up for another FET (frozen embryo transfer).  As we did that I contacted a surrogacy agency that a friend of mine used so that we could have a backup plan in place.  However, Dr. Kazer kept telling me to be confident, that I would have a baby – it just might take some time.  My psyche was not willing to wait much longer.  But that last FET worked!!!

Dr. Kazer was right in telling me to be confident.  I have my baby, Maximus Hunter Marincsin, who is almost a year old now.  I still can’t articulate the reasons why I am happy to be a mom and a parent.  I can’t tell you totally why I love him with my whole being.  I just know that all of this is right.

And my heart is full.

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about Courtney Marincsin, Shine Founding Board Member and Secretary
I am a native Chicagoan raising my rambunctious young son on the northwestside of Chicago with my amazing husband and phenomenal Pomeranian.  I am a lawyer by trade and currently consult part time for my law firm.  I have litigated mass tort, False Claims Act, aviation and med mal cases nationally, achieving multi-million dollar verdicts for my clients.  By night I am a yoga and spin instructor, with my true love being running (besides it being my husband). I don't understand the word "no" so when I experienced infertility I just told it that I am a force to be reckoned with.  Having a team to work through problems with is an invaluable tool, i.e. in the legal world and the familial one.  That's why I think that organizing Shine and helping it to grow is important- so that we can be that team and sounding board for those who need it while going through the dark period that is infertility.

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