Future Family Review: Ellaine and Joel
Women struggling with fertility issues can often have complicated relationships with their bodies. Women have been told for centuries that their bodies are built to get pregnant, but what happens when it’s not working? For Ellaine Laboy, her fertility journey changed from being frustrated with her body to loving it.
Ellaine and her husband Joel were high school sweethearts who met more than 16 years ago in Puerto Rico. Early in their marriage, Ellaine was determined to focus on her education with a goal of being a psychologist instead of starting a family.
When the couple moved away from their family in Peurto Rico to Utah for Joel’s career, Ellaine was focused on her education more than getting pregnant. However, when Joel was offered a job in Houston, which was much closer to Puerto Rico, something in Ellaine changed. She had only a year left on her Masters in industrial psychology, but for some reason, her drive for her career wasn’t as urgent as she once felt. She realized that what she wanted more than anything was a baby and to become a mother before she turned 30.
Joel was ecstatic with this news, and they started trying to get pregnant immediately. After several months of trying, Ellaine went to talk to her OB/GYN, who told Ellaine that at her age of 27 and her body being in such good health, she should have no problem getting pregnant. But when Ellaine returned to her OB/GYN not pregnant a year later, she was referred to a fertility clinic.
Initially, going to a fertility clinic was too scary and expensive for Ellaine to consider. It took her almost five months to finally schedule an appointment. She and her husband felt overwhelmed during the first consultation and the diagnosis of “unexplained infertility”. Joel had a good sperm count and Ellaine had a high egg count and no fibroids. IVF felt like a big undertaking, so they decided to wait.
During this time, Joel’s mother became sick and unfortunately died on Christmas 2018. When Joel and Ellaine returned to Puerto Rico, they were surrounded by family. Although he felt at peace with his mother passing, being around his family again made him realize he was still missing something. Joel wanted to be a father and start his own family.
Ellaine and Joel committed again to fertility treatments. To help improve her mind and body for the next stage, Ellaine focused on eating more healthy, using organic products and started therapy as well as acupuncture.
She went to Houston Fertility Institute, and under the careful guidance of Dr. Kim started with IUIs, but there were issues because Ellaine was an “over responder”, meaning her ovarian reserve was so good, that she was producing too many eggs. This meant there was a high risk of Ellaine becoming pregnant with multiple babies. However, this response is great for IVF. The couple decided to move forward with IVF so they could control the number of embryos and have a higher chance of success.
Houston Fertility Institute recommended Future Family as a possible way to finance Ellaine’s IVF treatment. She had heard about the company through her Facebook fertility groups, who loved Future Family for its additional fertility coaching support as well as the low-interest rates and bill pay management.
“We could have used credit cards or taken the money out of our 401K, but neither of those options included access to a fertility coach. I had so many questions of what is normal and instead of going down a Google rabbit hole, I could talk to a Future Family fertility coach, which calmed me down so much. IVF looks so scary from the outside, but having someone to hold your hand while going through it was a lifesaver.”
During the egg retrieval prep time, Ellaine had a lot of doubt about IVF. But on the day of the retrieval, she decided to do something extraordinary. She thanked her body and focused on loving it. It was with this step that changed her mindset because she knew her body was working hard for her. Her body responded with 29 eggs that led to 18 frozen embryos.
On Oct. 23rd, she had her egg transfer and waited almost two weeks before succumbing to an at-home pregnancy test. To her amazement, two strong lines appeared in seconds. After four years of trying, Ellaine was finally pregnant.
For Ellaine, the rest of 2019 was spent with morning sickness and joy knowing that her body was caring for her baby. In 2020 the pandemic turned her weekly doctor appointments into zoom calls. Every month her body made room for her growing baby, making Ellaine more connected to her body and filling her with gratitude.
One day in June, Ellaine had a bad case of heartburn, which had never been an issue during her pregnancy. Something deep down in her body told her that something was off. She called her doctor, who asked her to go to the hospital. For some reason, Ellaine packed her hospital bag and headed there. It turned out that she had an inflamed liver and needed to have her baby that night. Induction would be too much stress on the baby, so she had a c-section and a couple of hours later, she was holding her perfect baby boy weighing in at 5 lbs and 6 oz. Ellaine listened to her body and it made all the difference in delivering her healthy perfect son.
Over the past few years, Ellaine’s relationship with her body changed from frustration to love during her journey to become a mother. She trusted and loved her body even when it was challenging to do. Almost five years later, the end result of her sweet baby boy was well worth the wait.