Image courtesy of Allison Rodgers Photography
“Grateful” cannot even describe how we feel about the love and support shown to us by our family and friends. And you, our loyal customers, have played such a huge part in our lives that we feel comfortable in sharing with you the journey that brought us where we are today.
2011 – 1st Pregnancy, 2 Painful Surgeries
So that’s where we will go. The beginning for us was in February of 2011 when Brent & I decided to remove preventive methods. At that time, we could not have imagined the road that waited ahead of us. In August we were thrilled to learn that we were pregnant! As we excitedly went in for our 6-week ultrasound, our joy quickly turned to fear as we learned that the sac was not shaped correctly. Our doctor informed us that there was a 50/50 chance the sac would reshape on its own. Sadly, one week later, it had not. And so in late August, devastated, I went in for a Dilation and Curettage, (D&C) which is a surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated and a special instrument is used to scrape the uterine lining removing any dead tissue.
4 weeks later, in September, Brent & I returned to the doctor for my post-op appointment and shockingly, we were told that I was still testing positive for pregnancy. After further testing, it was concluded that I was not pregnant, but in fact still had fetal tissue that had been improperly left behind from the D&C procedure. I then underwent a second D&C; yet this time it was performed in the doctor’s office and I was wide awake. The pain was almost unbearable, both physically and emotionally. That day really took a toll on our hearts. Scarred from that experience, we felt it best to find a new doctor and so we set up a consult with Dr. Dulaney of Germantown, TN. Our appointment was set for January of 2012 and we looked forward to that time with hopeful hearts.
We looked forward to the holidays as we awaited the New Year and meeting a new doctor. As many of you all may remember, Christmas season for our family that year was celebrated very differently as December 4th was the day my mother had her near fatal accident. That Christmas, we celebrated life and gratitude for my mother’s safety.
2012 – 2nd Pregnancy, 2 More Surgeries
Our New Year was celebrated with my sweet mother’s release from the hospital and as she was healing, we went off to meet Dr. Dulaney. We thoroughly enjoyed our consult with her and she was very receptive to hearing that at 30 years old, we wanted to be proactive. Her initial plan was to do an exploratory ultrasound and we could not believe what she discovered. I was suffering from a uterine septum – basically, some dead tissue in the uterus that can terminate a pregnancy by not allowing proper nutrients to the fetus. From here, our hearts heavy with this news, we were referred to Dr. Kutteh at Fertility Associates of Memphis. Much to our dismay, there was no opening for a new patient until July. We made the appointment, but also did further research for a doctor who could see us sooner.
In March of 2012, we were able to get in with Dr. Martin at UT Medical Group. He discussed with us all the many types of uterine septum's and felt it best for me to have an MRI to get a better look and what type I was dealing with. Unfortunately, during this MRI, Dr. Martin learned that I have a titled uterus, therefore making it impossible to see what was going on.
Another dead-end. Another disappointment. But we were not going to give up. Forward on! We began calling Fertility Associates periodically hoping to catch a canceled appointment. Our persistence worked! There was an opening for May 25 and it had our name on it. Not to mention this was the same day Brent & I were hosting a big surprise 60th birthday party for my mama, but we were not missing this appointment! So we finally got in to meet Dr. Kutteh, and the first step was to perform a saline sonohysterogram to determine what needed to be done about the uterine septum. During this procedure, a catheter is threaded to the uterus and a saline balloon is inflated allowing for better view of the uterus via ultrasound. Through this procedure, it was decided that I needed to undergo surgery to have the septum removed. Dr. Kutteh performed the successful surgery in early June of 2012.
By early September we found out we were pregnant again! You can imagine our joy! Dr. Kutteh wanted to monitor the heartbeat every week, which we were so appreciative of his attentiveness. 6-weeks brought a good heartbeat. 7-weeks also showed a strong heartbeat. And on the 8-week check, we still had a strong little heartbeat. We went in for our 9-week checkup feeling confident we would have the same results. Our hearts were broken when a heartbeat was unable to be found.
With the hopes and dreams of a family getting further and further away, I had my 3rd D&C in early October. Following Dr. Kutteh’s advice, we had the fetus genetically tested and learned that there were chromosomal unbalances. With this news, Brent and I were genetically tested as well, but our results were within normal range.
2013 – Ectopic Pregnancy, Emergency Surgery & 2 Failed IVF Procedures
Another new year was upon us and in early February of 2013, Brent & I found ourselves learning that we were pregnant for the 3rd time! This pregnancy started off on the wrong foot. My HCG levels were up and down and no sac could be seen via ultrasound. And again, we heard the doctor tell us that we needed to have a D&C. This would be our 4th one. During this procedure, no fetal tissue was found; leading the doctors to believe this was an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is very dangerous due to a non-viable fetus being implanted into the fallopian tube. It could cause extreme damage to the tube before it ever miscarried. I was immediately put on a medication called methotrexate, a form of chemo, to stop continued growth of the already non-viable fetus in my fallopian tube.
While working at Itty Bitty Bella one day in March I began to feel very sick and in pain. After tests were run at the emergency room, it was concluded that my right fallopian tube had ruptured and I was admitted into the hospital. Dr. Kutteh preformed emergency surgery at 11:00pm that evening in order to remove the tube. In April at my post-operation appointment, I was ordered to have another sonohysterogram to get the “all clear” to move on with treatment. The results showed that I had scar tissue from the 4th D&C that needed to be removed in order to proceed with fertility treatment. Dr. Kutteh also performed this surgery and my post-op care.
Working from home the week after the emergency Fallopian tube removal
Early summer had arrived and we were exhausted and feeling like a change was needed. So with our future on our mind, we began seeking second opinions from other fertility clinics. We visited clinics in both Atlanta and Birmingham and eventually choosing to move forward with Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta. It was a good fit for us and the location was convenient due to that we travel to Atlanta for Market often.
Out to dinner in Atlanta while there for IVF treatment
So in August of 2013, we began treatment for IVF (in-vitro fertilization). We loved the clinic in Atlanta and the traveling to and from was not a hassle. Brent & I were grateful for the extra time to spend together and of course we still found lots of hours for work!
The girls were so kind to send us packages of things we had forgotten or needed
At the clinic in Atlanta for our first IVF transfer
September came and we were saddened by the news that our first IVF was a failed attempt. We powered through and felt it best to keep up the momentum. So we began treatment for a second IVF in October. On Halloween day, we got the call that our second IVF attempt had also failed.
Watching the embryos on screen at the clinic
We found ourselves now at a crossroad. What were we to do? Where would we go from here? Our chances of having a baby the “natural” way were looking pretty bleak. We started focusing our hours of talking on the ideas of adoption and surrogacy. We also found great comfort in knowing that we still had embryos being stored for us in Atlanta. Thankfully the stores kept us very busy throughout the holidays and it was a blessing to be surrounded by supportive family and friends.
2014 - Life Changing News - 4th Pregnancy
As 2013 can to an end and we were getting ready for a new fresh year with new possibilities, we were utterly shocked to find out on January 1st that we were pregnant again! What were the chances of it happening naturally after countless surgeries, 2 failed IVF’s and with only 1 Fallopian tube? Dr. Kutteh, back at Fertility Associates of Memphis, monitored us very closely until I was 11 weeks along. At this time, he gave us the all clear to return to Dr. Dulaney, my OBGYN. As of today, we are 18 weeks along and everything looks healthy!
This has been an incredible journey, and we know the road is still being built before us. There has been so much pain and disappointment. Not to mention opening a baby store when all of this began, and dealing with the ache of owning a precious store for itty bitty ones and watching so many sweet mommies-to-be come and go over the last 3 years, while behind the scenes our hearts were hurting.
But now, we have our own “Baby Singley” shelf at the store and our hearts overflow each time we add to our little collection. Brent & I look forward to what this next chapter holds for our family and we are beyond thankful that we have amazing family, friends and customers to share in our joy with us!