Making a Baby the IVF Way

What women really think about news, politics, and culture.
Nov. 28 2011 7:17 AM

My Miraculous Conception

How two infertility doctors, a team of nurses, an embryologist, an acupuncturist, my husband, and I made a baby.

I was 27 when I started trying to get pregnant.  Two years in, a doctor told me that my eggs were no good (he didn’t know why) and that it was unlikely that I would ever get pregnant naturally.  Still, my husband, Mike, and I kept trying for another year, exhausting every affordable DIY infertility treatment imaginable, from herbal and holistic to high-tech. We even ventured into old-wives-tale territory. Nothing worked. Throughout those years, the day my period arrived was the worst day of every month. Its arrival always felt like another nail in the coffin, another confirmation that my dream of being a mother was doomed.

After three long years of trying and much consideration, we decided to spend some of the money we’d saved for a house down payment on in-vitro fertilization. We had no idea what to expect. In February 2010,  I started documenting my first—and as it turned out, my only—IVF cycle, in hopes of sharing the process with other women battling infertility. Ten months and $23,241 later (and five years after I first started trying to get pregnant), I gave birth to our daughter.

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Shawnee Barton is a Texas-born artist, writer, poker player, and mother living in San Diego. You can reach her online at ShawneeBarton.com.