Michelle & Dave
My husband Dave and I had been married for one year when we decided to start trying for a family in 2007.
We tried for two years without getting pregnant.
We then went to an obstetrician and fertility doctor in 2009.
We were told that Dave had male-factor issues, such as low sperm count, low motility, and poor morphology. I was told I had poor ovarian reserve, low AMH, an antral follicle count of five and FSH of 14.
We tried IUI six times without conceiving. Our doctors recommended we try IVF. On the first round of IVF, I did not respond to the medications, so the doctors were unable to retrieve any eggs. On the next round, two eggs were retrieved, but the doctors were unable to fertilize them due to poor sperm quality.
The doctors told us that nothing else could be done for us. They said our chances of conceiving our own child were less than 2 percent. They suggested that we try an egg donor and discharged us from the fertility program at Massachusetts General Hospital. This was in July 2011. We were both 37 years old. We felt awful and were in a desperate state. I did not want to face that fact that we may not be able to conceive our own child. I was determined that we could conceive and just wanted another chance.
Our doctor at MGH referred us to a fertility doctor at Brigham and Women’s hospital, who agreed to try one more round of IVF on us in November of 2011. We wondered if there was anything we could to increase or improve our chances of a successful outcome. One of Dave’s friends recommended we call Lisa Pugliese in San Diego.
We contacted Lisa and she asked us to send her all of our medical records. We had a phone consultation with her in which she asked us a lot of detailed questions about our fertility history and also our overall health, diet, lifestyle, etc. Lisa put both Dave and me on a customized supplement program, based on our symptoms and lab results. She also gave each of us a Chinese herbal formula. Mine was to improve egg quality, and Dave’s was to improve sperm quality. Lisa also recommended that Dave and I follow a three-week cleanse program, which involved us eliminating certain foods from our diet and drinking a cleansing shake. When she first told me about the diet, I felt hopeful again that maybe this could increase our chances of having our baby and get our bodies in optimal working condition.
The first thing I noticed while doing the cleanse was that I felt more energetic and felt that my body was working more efficiently. I began to shed a few pounds that I had gained from all of the hormone treatments. Also, I was able to get off some of the medications I took for asthma and reflux. Once the cleanse was complete, Lisa asked us to follow a fertility-promoting diet until our IVF and continue to take the vitamins and supplements.
I stayed in touch with Lisa by email during this process. Her support helped me tremendously. She was an amazing fertility coach. Whenever I felt down, she always picked me up and put me on the right track. She always gave me hope, which made me stay positive and focused on my goal. I don’t know if, emotionally, I could have gone though this again without her coaching.
Prior to the IVF in November, the doctor ran some blood tests. We discovered that my FSH was now seven! Dave’s sperm analysis also showed dramatic improvement, with increased count, motility, and morphology!
We proceeded with IVF, and I had a great response. I produced nine eggs; all nine were Grade A eggs, and five were fertilized; three were implanted, and three turned into perfect blastocysts. Two weeks after the transfer, we discovered that we were – finally – pregnant!
Lisa continued to provide guidance on supplements and diet for my pregnancy. I had a healthy, easy, pregnancy, and in August 2012 our beautiful daughter, Lucianna, was born!
We are now back in touch with Lisa in hopes of conceiving Baby Number Two. This time we plan to follow the protocol and conceive naturally!
I feel excited to try again…
Michelle & Dave update 2015
When Luciana turned a year old, Michelle and Dave wanted to try to get pregnant again. They contracted their fertility doctor who, once again, found that their “fertility markers” were less that optimal. Michelle’s AMH (a marker for ovarian reserve) was “undetectable.” Dave’s sperm count was low again. They were told that IVF was no longer an option for them.
Michelle and Dave contacted Lisa at Conception Wellness. Lisa ordered blood work on the couple and, based on the results, provided them with individualized wellness plans to improve their overall health and fertility.
It Worked. Michelle conceived naturally for the first time in her life. Sadly, this pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Michelle and Dave did not give up. Again, they conceived naturally and after a healthy, normal pregnancy at age 40, Michelle gave birth to Gianna Maria in November 2015!