Stephani and Steve Bartovich were a happily married couple eager to build their family. After two years of trying to conceive naturally without success, they decided it was time to seek out a fertility specialist.
Finding South Jersey Fertility Center
The Bartovichs’ road to fertility treatment originally began at a different practice. After a difficult year of failed IVF cycles, the couple turned to South Jersey Fertility Center for a fresh take on their case. They had a special interest in the latest IVF technologies known to help boost success rates, like embryo preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) and endometrial receptivity assay (ERA), and wanted an experienced care team to guide them through the process. “We wanted a fresh set of eyes and a practice with multiple doctors with many years of experience who could maybe come up with a different approach and out-of-the-box thinking for our situation.”
Looking back, if Stephani could have changed anything throughout her journey, she says it would have been seeking care with South Jersey Fertility Center from the beginning. Stephani shared, “We were feeling really discouraged and overwhelmed prior to coming to SJF. Multiple failures really takes a toll on you. But from our very first consultation meeting, I really felt like I was being heard and that Dr. Weissmann was really interested in doing anything in her power to help us conceive. It was truly a breath of fresh air.”
The compassion and support they received at South Jersey Fertility Center made the couple feel like their care team was a part of their family. “The staff is awesome! They are all so sweet and I’ve shared many laughs with most of them. This process can be very overwhelming, but it truly makes a difference when you feel like every single person you come into contact with in the office is rooting for you and supporting you. My IVF nurse Cat and Dr. Weissmann have become one of my main support people and truly feel like family after everything we’ve been through together.” Stephani said.
About Genetic and Endometrial Testing at South Jersey Fertility Center
Through advancements in technology, the team at South Jersey Fertility Center can now utilize special tests like Stephani and Steve explored to evaluate both the mother and embryos before implementation to boost IVF success rates.
Embryo preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) can screen the available embryos to determine which ones have the correct number of chromosomes and would be most viable for transfer. Additionally, the endometrial receptivity assay (ERA) is a diagnostic tool that can be done to determine the best time to implant the embryo. By taking a biopsy of the mother’s endometrial tissue, providers can take a more personalized approach to determining when in a woman’s cycle she will be most receptive to the embryo transfer.
Together these tests are designed to lower miscarriage rates, increase embryo transfer success, and overall, improve the chances of a live birth.
Finding Support & Raising Awareness
Even in the best of circumstances, the path to parenthood can be a taxing, emotional journey. IVF warriors in particular can all understand that although the probability of success is often high, “the hardest part is that nothing is a guarantee”. That’s why, having a strong support system is key.
Luckily, Stephani wasn’t alone and was able to find support not only from her care team, but her friends in a similar situation. “I was lucky enough to have a few friends also going through IVF around the same time, so it definitely helped to have someone who has been in the same position to talk to.”
Stephani finds it important to be open and continue to spread education about infertility. “I have spoken openly with friends, family, coworkers and even friends of friends to share my experience and raise awareness of infertility challenges.” If she could tell someone else experiencing infertility one piece of advice, it would be “It’s really, really hard at times, and it doesn’t always work on the first try. But you are not alone, keep persevering.”
Life After IVF
Stephani and Steve never gave up on their journey and in December 2020, they were so happy to celebrate their miracle baby Brianna’s first birthday.
Though parenting during a pandemic can pose many unique challenges for first time-parents, Stephani shares, “We truly feel lucky because we’ve gotten to spend so much more time at home with her [baby Brianna] than we ever would have if the pandemic didn’t happen. We’ve witnessed every milestone and have spent so much quality time together, just us three. We wouldn’t change it for the world.”
She credits the team at South Jersey Fertility Center sharing, “This is what we’ve always dreamed of, and SJF, has truly made our dreams come true!”