Courtney Finley's Infertility Struggle
Green Bay, WI -
From the ultrasound and growing belly, to the moment you can touch those ten fingers and toes. Tiny miracles happen every day. But for many, the road to that miracle is a struggle.
"When I started back in the 80's, it was very 'hush, hush.'" Dr. Mark Severino is the Medical Director of Fetility Services at Aurora Baycare Medical Center.
"We came here in 2002, and started the fertility clinic, which wasn't here at all."
When he first arrived in Northeast Wisconsin, there was a waiting list of nearly 100 patients for the IVF cycle.
"Patients had been going to Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee," Dr. Severino said.
Since then, his practice has grown each year - with more women realizing - they're not alone.
"It's a different struggle for each woman - almost a quiet struggle," said Courtney Finley - wife of Packers TE, Jermichael Finley.
Her struggle started soon after the birth, of their first child.
"We tried for two years after we had a miscarriage, and you start losing hope," said Courtney.
That's when they decided to see a fertility specialist in their home state of Texas.
"He did the diagnostic work - said my tubes were blocked 70 and 90 percent."
Courtney and Jermichael were then told IVF was their best option to have another baby.
"There's something about finding out you can't conceive naturally, that takes something away from your self-worth... or you feel guilty. What am I being punished for?" said Courtney.
That's when Courtney decided to meet with Dr. Severino. In late 2011, a plan was put in place for her IVF treatment.
"The beginning of January, we started shots that shut your 'woman process' down so the doctors can take over - and the shots do what they need to do," said Courtney.
Shortly after, Courtney went in for some blood work (and within three-hours of leaving the clinic) the nurse called with some unexpected news.
"She was like - 'you're pregnant!'"
Yup. Pregnant. Without even going through the entire IVF process.
"That's typically what we see. Sometimes couples will come in - the week after seeing us - and they call and say, 'I'm pregnant!' and it's been 8-years of trying," said Dr. Severino.
He adds - stress can play a role - and sometimes all it takes is a few tweaks.
"Come early! We see a higher success rate with younger women - seeking help is important."
Words of advice Courtney now hopes other women will take to heart.
"If I share my story, and someone sees it - hopefully it will inspire them - push them - not to give up! If I would have given up, I wouldn't be here... it's priceless."
Courtney's baby is due the end of August - big brother Kaydon already predicts - it's going to be a girl!
For more information on infertility services at Aurora, visit their website.