Eyewitness News Photographer Ashley Matulis and her husband, Marc, have been trying for years to have a baby with no luck. Now, they are taking one last chance through IVF.
From shampoo to food, out with the bad in with the good. Ashley takes about 20 pills a day, spending about $200 a month. But she says it’s worth it when you’re on your last chance to have a baby.
Ashley and Mark ease into their seats at Infertility Specialist Dr. Daniel Griffin’s office, nervous, but clinging to hope. Dr. Griffin knows that anxiety.
“Always the first thing I convey to patient is that they are not alone,” said Dr. Griffin. “Very common and just because things have not happened for a reason, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen.”
After dozens of questions, many which are highly personal, Dr. Griffin opens up a whole new possiblity.
“IVF, in vitro fertilization, means the egg is fertilized outside of body in lab,” said Dr. Griffin, “After a number of days embryo is transferred back in uterus.”
So, the journey begins with weeks of preparation and waiting for Ashley’s body to be ready for the process. It starts with an SIS ultrasound to check Ashley’s uterus for any problems. Everything is all clear.
Next up is a daily drug called Provera to induce a menstrual cycle. Then, a barrage of testing is done. Blood is drawn including 10 vials at one time checking for genetic disease risk. Then begins the painful, bruising, emotional injections.
“It’s tough not only on your body and emotions, but on your marriage,” said Ashley. “There’s times when I’m sure Marc doesn’t want to be around me.”
The goal is to stimulate Ashley’s ovaries to do what they would never do on their own which is allow more eggs to reach maturity. Ashley starts at two injections a day, leading up to four a day over a 12 day period.
Dr. Corey Jones treats between two and six fertility patients a day. He says by stimulating a certain remote part of the body, you can help regulate hormones.
“Still a lot of mystery around acupuncture,” said Dr. Jones, “but our main philosophy is that we are treating the body from inside out and letting the body’s own healing system activate.”
He says in the past year about 35 patients have gone on to successful pregnancies.
“I feel I should do everything possible to help it work,” said Ashley, “Will it? I don’t know. The medicine can only do so much. God takes over from there. Have to try everything when it’s your one and only shot.”