Our fertility journey is a shared tale of triumph and togetherness. We’re Tiffany and Andrew West, a partnership forged in love and the shared aspiration of building a family. As owners and operators of two Honda dealerships in Mississippi, we have achieved our professional dream of running a successful business. Our other long-time dream was becoming a mother and father.
Our story of starting a family began with the same hope that fills the hearts of many new couples. When we first got married, we pretty much started trying right away for a family. Tiffany had her ovary removed probably about ten years ago and of course, when we started, it wasn’t coming naturally like it does for most couples. It scared me because I thought that we were going to be people who wanted children so badly but never had the opportunity to be parents. I was blaming myself with the one ovary. And I know Andrew was probably blaming himself for a low sperm count.
Positive Steps Fertility became our ally, our support system through the highs and lows that followed.
Embracing IVF: A Leap of Faith
The path to IVF was fraught with trepidation. IVF, simply put, scared both of us. But as we embarked on this journey, our fear transformed into determination.
Through Dr. Parry’s guidance and our devotion to starting a family, Andrew was able to raise his sperm count by giving up smoking. Tiffany was able to conquer her fear of IVF treatments after several unsuccessful IUI treatments.
The IVF journey, as Tiffany likes to put it, is like a ride on Space Mountain– a roller coaster. We went up, down, all around, never really knowing for certain where the next turn was, or what was at the end of it all. The journey is like one of those fearless moments when you’re at the top and you know you’re about to drop, and you just put your hands up and you don’t grab the bar. You feel invincible once you’re finally past it all, because you feel like you’ve gone through it all. For us, the end of it all was the birth of our son Miles. It was a moment of indescribable joy after a process that at times had left us uncertain.
The Power of Community
Throughout this journey, Positive Steps Fertility became more than a medical facility—it became our family. They stood with us, offering solace and encouragement, becoming an integral part of our lives.
That’s why we chose Dr. Parry in the first place. We could tell from our initial consultation that he was smart enough to do a great many things, but he worked with couples experiencing fertility because he was passionate about it and giving the joy of a child to couples like us.
Every time we had an office visit, it felt more like coming into someone’s living room. Everyone from the administration, to the nurses, to the doctors all knew our story and gave us a sense of belonging. That personal touch makes all the difference, especially in such a sensitive and trying time for us.
And there was a trickle-down effect. After a while, we found ourselves in the waiting room comforting newer patients just as we had been comforted. It’s a two-way street, and Positive Steps helps foster that kind of environment.
When we finally got that positive test, it was a celebration for the whole team. The smiles and hugs were unforgettable. It showed us how truly invested they were in this with us. It was a three-year journey. But we had never felt alone thanks to the staff at Positive Steps.
Talking about Fertility with Friends and Family
Talking about our fertility journey with friends and family was a mix of emotions. At first, we were hesitant. It’s such a personal thing, and you’re not sure how people will react. But we realized how important it was to be open about it. You don’t want people to pity you or give you unsolicited advice. But at the same time, we found that being open helped. It helped us and it helped them understand what we were going through.
We had different reactions, of course. Some were incredibly supportive, offering to help in any way they could. Others didn’t really know what to say, which is understandable. It’s not something everyone can relate to. I remember some friends would avoid the topic, probably out of fear of saying the wrong thing. But when we brought it up, it opened the door for more meaningful conversations. People were curious and empathetic, and that felt good. It’s funny, we became a sort of advocate or educator about fertility issues.
It’s about setting boundaries too. Sometimes we had to tell people we didn’t want to talk about it. There were moments when it got overwhelming. Like when you get those well-meaning but hurtful comments – ‘Just relax, it’ll happen’ or ‘Have you tried this or that?’ We learned to navigate those conversations with grace.
Our families were our rock. They were there every step of the way. They’d check in on us, offer to come with us to appointments, and just listen when we needed to vent. Their support was invaluable.
We found ourselves explaining the process and the challenges, and it was empowering in a way. It helped us own our story. Through this journey, our relationships with friends and family deepened. They saw a part of our lives that was raw and real, and it brought us closer. We felt less alone because we chose to share our story.
Reflecting on Our Fertility Journey and Some Advice
Going through infertility, it changes you. We changed as individuals but also as a couple. We’re stronger now and more empathetic. The challenge can make or break your relationship, but we came out on the other side fortified and closer than ever.
When we reflect, it is impossible not to think of the emotional toll it took on us. But mixed in there was the joy of implantation, the gratitude toward Dr. Parry and his staff, for each other, for Miles. It was a tough ride, but alongside the indescribable joy of welcoming our son into the world, we also gained resilience.
Our advice is to share this journey with someone you can lean on. There were so many times when we felt helpless, even useless. Sharing that burden and walking through that together helps mitigate those feelings and makes the end result even sweeter.
On a practical level, do what you can to personally help the process. For Andrew, it was giving up smoking and cutting back on alcohol to raise his sperm count. Don’t second guess it: if a specialist says it can help, try it. When going in for treatments, consultations, etc., treat every visit like the Super Bowl. Listen and give it the level of importance it deserves.
Create a support network beyond you and your partner. Confide in trusted friends and family, maybe a mental health professional. Your ultimate support network should be the clinic you choose. Finding the right fit in a fertility specialist will make all the difference.
Show yourself and your partner grace. You’re doing everything you can. Sometimes it’s about relinquishing control and trusting the professionals to guide you down the right path. And be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions. Acknowledge them, and talk about them. It’s okay to feel scared or hopeful or both at the same time.
Lastly, hold onto hope. It can be a challenging journey, but many have walked this path and found success. Celebrate the small victories, and don’t lose sight of your goal.
Why Did We Choose Positive Steps Fertility?
Positive Steps Fertility is like coming home to family. They made us feel at home on this crazy, scary rollercoaster journey. It’s like we had someone holding our hand the whole way. And no doctor is ever going to sit on the phone with you for an hour and a half as you rant and rave about the same thing over and over again. And they did. They did that for us. They were there for us every step.
We were welcomed in, and immediately you could tell that there was empathy toward us. We tell everyone that our journey with Positive Steps was so amazing. It’s such a great environment. The people are amazing. They’re so smart. And ultimately, what we were afraid of, they fixed for us, and now we got our perfect “angel buddy.”