Our Story:
My story is a real miracle! About eight years ago at the age of 30, I was diagnosed with endometriosis and fibroid tumors. I had gone though lost pregnancies and I was devastated. I always wanted to be a mother from early adulthood. I was adopted into a wonderful family at eh age of two weeks with another boy five days younger than myself. My parents had four children of their own and adopted us at the ripe age of 43. They were already grandparents when we arrived. My parents were devoted to their church and to their family. I was raised in a very loving family that anyone could have asked for. I also wanted to be the most loving parent to a child and raise him with all the love and support I was raised with.

After having gone through two horrible surgeries and drug therapy, the endometriosis and fibroids always returned. Three years after my first surgery, the pain was back so I went for my yearly exam to find out the doctor could feel a bumpy uterus. He said my chances were not good for ever getting pregnant and that In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) would be my only chance. I cried for days on end, feeling empty and grieving over the fact that my dream of motherhood would never come true. I was referred to Dr. Sweet by my gynecologist to see what my chances were of becoming a mother. My first meeting with Dr. Sweet was a very in depth consultation about my chances and the route to go from my past history. He said I had stage IV endometriosis and five fibroids growing on my uterus, He said that another surgery would probably not help me in obtaining pregnancy and that my chances were only about 1% per month. He explained about In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and my chances of obtaining pregnancy with my age of 38 and the internal problems I had would be about 28%.

I was determined to find a way to give me a chance to become a mother. The cost was one factor i was up against: I had to come up with the funds to at least have one more chance. I did a lot of praying and my prayers were answered one by one. This is when the story becomes a miracle. i was determined to find the way to pay for this procedure and after doing a great deal of research on the internet, I found the funds to go through with IVF.

I had no idea what I was going to endure. After everything checked out OK for both my other half and I, the injections started and was scared of needles!!! I'm the type that can't even watch a needle near my body. Again, I prayed my way through the whole cycle and the injections became easier and easier as the days went by. My other half was terrified of injecting them. I think it hurt him more than it hurt me. Then my cycle was almost put to an end. I was not responding to the fertility drugs. My ultrasounds showed that I was not developing enough follicles. Dr. Sweet said that he could only see three follicles growing, so he doubled my fertility drugs. That meant even more injections. I remember it ws three times a day for quite some time. I started praying more than ever. That's when a miraculous sign showed up one night on my mother's rosary.

The power of praying can bring miracles along with faith and determination. I put a little altar up in my bedroom next to my bed and put two angles, a doll and a Rosary that my mother had prayed with for over 40 years. She let me borrow it two years ago and I was supposed to return it and I was glad that I hung onto it. I believe that everything happens for a reason in life and if it is meant to be, it will be. I always kept that in my mind so I would be prepared for the worst outcome. One night, I decided t write a letter to God on a white piece of paper and lit a white candle and put it on top of the letter until the candle burned out. I laid my mother's rosary next to the candle that night. The next day I was going about my business and I looked down at my little altar and saw something lying on top of the rosary. I can't quite explain it, but hrere was a piece of grass that was mysteriously shaped round with a stem on it and it had two buds on top crossing each other with a little piece of grass growing in the center. It was the strangest thing I had ever seen. I thought someone in my house had put it there so i asked my brother and my other half if they had laid this on top of my mother's rosary. They both said no. I knew it just didn't blow in and land on the rosary, so I took this as a sign that God was giving me an answer.
I had my second ultrasound with Dr. Sweet to see how the follicles were developing this time and he found only five follicles. Dr. Sweet was somewhat concerned that it may not work and gave me other options such as embryo donation or adoption. I looked at the nurse and I looked at Dr. Sweet and said no that I was going through with it because I knew I was going to get pregnant! When Dr. Sweet left the room, I told Kim, his nurse, what I had found on my mother's rosary. She said it only takes one fertilized egg to get pregnant and I said that she was right.

I brought the rosary with me on the day of the egg retrieval and showed all the nurses my little piece of grass. I told everyone I was going to get pregnant! After I awoke, Dr. Sweet said that they go six eggs. Then the beginning of the hardest part of the whole IVF procedure was the waiting for answers. I believe it was two days later when i got the call from Emily that three of the six fertilized. The other part of waiting was to see if all the embryos were going to make it. i was nervous, scared, happy and depressed! There were no embryos for cryopreservation and this was my only shot.

On day five, three embryos were implanted, then I stayed in bed for two days -- that was a real killer. The worst and hardest part of the whole thing was waiting the nine days after implantation for the blood pregnancy test. It seemed like years! At that pint, I was getting really down and depressed because I had no symptoms of being pregnant. I never felt different and I wasn't sick at all. I bought one of those evil pee sticks. I suggest that you do not get the EPT test before the nine days because it will show negative! So I got even more depressed as the days past. Then the big day came for my blood pregnancy test. The wait for the results put the biggest butterflies in my stomach I had ever had. Then, the BIG CALL came from the office. Kim said, "Patricia, this is Kim from Dr. Sweet's office," in a very low voice that I thought was bad news. Then she said, "Your Pregnant, Congratulations!" Those were the happiest words I had ever heard. I cried so hard after I heard the blood test was positive and I still cry today!

I gave birth to two beautiful healthy baby boys on May 3, 2002. Finally, my "Two Little Angles Sent From Above" were here.

I can't thank Dr. Sweet and his staff enough be being so caring and helpful through the longest two months of my life. This too could be you. Just a little advice...think positive, stay calm, have faith and say our prayers. You're in good hands with Dr. Sweet!

God Bless and may your dreams come true too-

Patricia Bagby & John Crouse
Parents of Christopher & Michael Crouse

Comment From Dr. Sweet:
Patricia's case was quite difficult. She presented with a very sad reproductive history along with a litany of significant medical issues. Her biologic clock was also ticking away. Her uterine cavity was like a very lucky bystander when bad things are happening all around. In spite of the numerous fibroids in the uterus, the uterine cavity was twisted about but remained relatively unscathed. One of the more important decisions was to not perform any more surgery since this could have inadvertently damaged her pelvis further.

Because of the endometriosis and the residual damage to the ovaries, they did not stimulate well during the IVF process. As a result, we were quite lucky to eventually transfer three healthy embryos. I remember giving Patricia a "heads-up" with the poor stimulation. At the time, I thought it might be better to cancel the cycle and have her put her funds towards a relatively more certain outcome such as adoption. They persisted.

As one can read, they certainly had faith. Faith in their faith and faith in the IVF process. As with every couple, Patricia and John taught me to be more patient and believe in little miracles -- something that often gets lost in the advanced technologies.

The team wishes them well!

updated 1/10/10

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