How my non-traditional infertility story led to two happy little babies

Rebecca Rothstein, Senior Director, Content Marketing, CooperSurgical, shares her own infertility journey this #NIAW2024

The year I turned 25, I got my first mammogram. 

I had a mammogram, a breast MRI, and a breast ultrasound all in that 25th year. I have been doing routine, bi-annual breast screening ever since. 

I did all of that because I have the BRCA genetic mutation. This was passed down to me and my cousins from our grandmothers and mothers. I didn’t find out that I had it until I was pregnant with my daughter, who is now 7 years old. What I also didn’t know until I was pregnant was that both my husband and I were carriers for Cystic Fibrosis. 

How my non-traditional infertility story led to two happy little babies 1

We were lucky enough to have a team of healthcare providers that guided us through the genetic counseling process. They checked that my daughter was healthy through my pregnancy, and she was, but the first 15 weeks of pregnancy were scary. I wondered, “Would she be ok? Would she only live a short life? Would my insurance cover any of these costs? Would my child not be ‘normal’?” I would lay awake at night thinking about how I always imagined motherhood would be and how it would be if my daughter was affected. 

When my daughter was a healthy 2-year-old, my husband and I started to think about having another child. At this point in our family journey, I was angry that my body could not do the one thing that women’s bodies are expected to do: and I was heartbroken. We discussed at length many important questions that other parents-to-be don’t have to, like, “What are we willing to undergo to grow our family?” We knew we wanted to give baby #2 the very best chance at a healthy and happy life, so after long discussions about emotions, physical challenges, and financial impacts, we decided to embark on the IVF journey. 

Through the wonders of science, I was able to do an egg retrieval and create embryos that were then tested prior to transfer. After weeks of anticipation, we were left with 11 embryos, only two of which were free of both our genetic mutations. Our motto was, “we just need one” and we got two, so we were thrilled. Later that summer we transferred one embryo. Nine months later, my healthy baby boy was born! While my story is not unique, it is your non-traditional infertility story. Though I am able to have a baby without assisted reproductive technology, I needed to choose a family-building path that would result in the happy baby boy I have now. For that, I am grateful for science, genetic testing, and for being a CooperSurgical employee – helping others achieve their dreams of family as well. 

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