Nina*, a corporate compliance office from Connecticut, calls this “a love story.” Her nine-and-a-half-week-old son Max was conceived as the result of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Nine and a half months earlier, her husband William – Max’s biological father – died unexpectedly at age 41. So while this is a story about love, it’s also about assisted reproductive technology.
Years of TTC
Nina and William had been trying to have a baby for five and a half years before they sought fertility treatment for unexplained infertility. Over the course of approximately the next 18 months, Nina underwent nine cycles of intrauterine insemination (IUI), all of which failed. IUI was the only infertility treatment procedure her health insurance plan would partially cover. IUI is also a less invasive and less expensive procedure than IVF. “No one goes through nine IUIs if they’re not desperate to conceive,” Nina said. Determined to be parents, Nina and William decided to try IVF, which Nina called a “huge financial sacrifice.”
"We would have sold our house if we had to,” she said.
“Throughout the [IVF] cycle, which is physically and emotionally demanding, William was really present, excited, and supportive.” Nina says. “I was so bruised [from the injections], so tired, and he was so there … an absolutely amazing guy,” she added.
An Unexpected Death
On June 9, Nina went to her fertility clinic to have an ultrasound to monitor her cycle and developing eggs. As is standard, William signed a consent form allowing his sperm to be used in the cycle. According to Nina, “I did my sonogram and had eight eggs. I needed seven or eight to do IVF.