Thompson Family

Dear Dr. Sweet and Staff:

We are writing this letter for two reasons. First, we wanted to express our deepest gratitude for helping to bring our newest daughter, Grace Katherine, into our lives. She made her entrance when I was 38 weeks pregnant, and was born on January 26, 2008. She weighed 7lbs. 4oz., and was 20 inches long. The second reason we are writing this letter is to tell our personal success story, which might give others going through this process a bit of hope.

We are so very thankful to Dr. Sweet and his entire staff for their part in our miracle. Everyone involved in his practice is so helpful, attentive, and encouraging. We found Dr. Sweet to be very knowledgeable, and the attention to every detail that he gives to each case is probably why he is so successful. My husband and I felt very hopeful after our first meeting with him, despite what we had been through over the years.

Our journey began in May of 2002. At this time, my husband and I were living in Michigan, and had a 1 year old daughter (conceived the "old fashioned way"). Then we decided to start trying for our second child. After an unsuccessful year, a HSG found one of my fallopian tubes to be blocked. Then an ultrasound showed a mass on one of my ovaries. I had laparoscopic surgery, and discovered that I had stage IV endometriosis. After the surgery, we tried one unsuccessful cycle of ovulation stimulation before moving to IVF. In August of 2004, we transferred 2 embryos, and froze four others. Imagine our overwhelming joy when the pregnancy test came back positive, and nine months later we had our son.

In January of 2006, we decided to have another child, so we went back to have a frozen embryo transfer. We transferred 2 of the 4 remaining embryos. When it was time to take the pregnancy test we were very excited and confident that it was going to be positive. But we got a beta level of 7, which is technically a positive test result. However the nurse explained to us that this low of a beta level was in a gray area, and not to get our hopes up. The second beta level was less than 2, so we were not pregnant. We were determined to try again, and in April we did another frozen embryo transfer, using the last 2 embryos. This time we had better news. We were pregnant! But our joy was short-lived. When I was 15 weeks along, we received tragic news. I went in for a routine ultrasound and they found edema around the baby. The doctor performed a CVS [Chorionic Villus Sampling] and discovered that the baby had Trisomy 18, a genetic abnormality, and wouldn't live. Our loss was devastating, and it took a long time for us to recover enough to even consider trying again.

When we were ready to try again, we had relocated to southwest Florida, and had started researching fertility doctors in the area. When we read about Dr. Sweet and his staff we knew he was the right fit for us. After meeting with him, he suggested we try IVF with PGD, a genetic test performed on the embryos before they are transferred. Since we lost our last child because of a genetic defect, we were thrilled to find this option.

In January of 2007, Dr. Sweet was able to retrieve 21 eggs, 10 of which fertilized. After PGD, we transferred 2
embryos, and froze 2 others. The pregnancy test came back with good news, and we were pregnant! Unfortunately, I caught a terrible virus, and days later had a miscarriage. By now we were beyond frustrated, sad, angry, tired, and every other feeling that comes along while dealing with infertility. We decided to try one more time. In May of 2007, Dr. Sweet retrieved 17 eggs, 16 of which fertilized thanks to the ICSI [Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection] procedure. After PGD, we transferred 2 embryos, and froze 7 others. This time all of our prayers were answered, and we were pregnant! Nine months later we had our beautiful daughter, Grace. After all of the tears, we could finally smile again.

Our journey has been long, and has had many bumps in the road along the way, but we are so happy to have our children and the family we always wanted. We will be back to Dr. Sweet again someday to join his "frequent flyer program"!

Kelly and Tyler Thompson

Dr. Sweet’s Comments:
There are a number of details I remember about this wonderful couple.

They already had two beautiful children, one boy and one girl, and were desperately seeking a “tie-breaker”. Her history of stage IV endometriosis made the decision of IVF easier since little is known to help severe endometriosis other than just plain luck or IVF.

In performing her first IVF procedure I was struck by the fact that we had 21 oocytes and only ended up with two embryos that probed normal for the eight chromosomes examined during PGD. The biochemical pregnancy with an early loss was difficult to understand but there were probably other genetic problems with the embryos that we did not see in our screening tests or perhaps it truly was the viral illness.

They both were quite amazing and persevered. We modified the protocol and retrieved 17 eggs for which 16 fertilized with 11 available for PGD. We transferred two embryos and their daughter was conceived.

Their story doesn’t end here. They did indeed return for “frequent flyer miles”. Two frozen embryos were chosen and both survived thaw and were transferred. Now, they are expecting twin boys! That will make five children at home soon!

This is a couple that loves children and we were honored to be chosen by them to help. If they are crazy enough to come back, we still have some more of their cryopreserved embryos! We wish them the very best!


updated 1/10/10

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