Infertility Story of Hope for Future Parents

As July 4th gets closer, families are excitedly making plans for the weekend. But for some couples holidays can be a tough time. These are the couples who've decided it's time to have a baby and they do everything right but it doesn't work. For many, infertility is not just a word, it can mean the end of ever having children or the beginning of a long road of treatment. As Edel Howlin from the KUHF Newslab reports either way, this is never an easy journey.

"When I was 30, my husband and I decided that we wanted to try having children."

That's April Jones and the voice you hear in the background is the son she had successfully through hormone treatment. She hoped they could just get pregnant when they started trying but it wasn't that straightforward.

"After six months the doctors look at you and say well, at this point and at this age it's not going to be something that comes easily to you, and that's when doctors and insurance companies label you as infertility."

For many couples, and in April's case there wasn't a red flag that meant they would have problems conceiving, but there was something not quite right with her hormone levels. Once that was treated, it didn't happen as quickly as she would have liked.

"And after five years, we were successful and we carried a full-term pregnancy, and in April of last year we had our little boy. His name is Preston Jones and he just had his first birthday."

April knows five years is a long time, even with fertility treatment to hope, month after month, that this time the pregnancy test will be positive. So how does a hopeful parent stay sane and not let this consume them?

"It is very difficult for it to not be your every waking thought, your every breath. But I sought the counsel of other women going through the same situation. There's nothing like being supported by other women going through fertility challenges."

At any one time in the U.S., six million women deal with infertility, so April's case is not unique. In fact, it's something that's happening worldwide.

"People come from Europe and Asia, Australia and Africa, quite a few places around the world."

That's Dr. Timothy Hickman with Houston In Vitro Fertilization Clinic. He's seen nearly 16,000 patients from all over the world come through his doors since 2001. When it comes to the success or failure of IVF, Hickman is quick to point out the dangers of paying attention to celebrity stories of older women having children.

"There's a lot of misconception out there about IVF. Success rates for IVF pretty much stop with using your own eggs at 45. It's only about a 5% chance at that time. So after that time, women are using donor eggs."

Hickman knows how difficult the whole process is regardless of age. But he says when IVF is successful, the positives completely outweigh the negatives. April can certainly second that.

"Some nights I just sit there and I breathe in and just smell Preston because I'm so excited that I have him here in my arms and I have the opportunity to raise him."

More information on IVF can be found here and for help, go to http://sparklesoflife.org/.

Bio photo of Edel Howlin

Edel Howlin

Producer, Houston Matters

Edel is a producer on Houston Matters and reporter for PBS’s Newshour Weekend...