After years of struggles with infertility issues, the babyless couple who turned to the Internet to raise funds for in vitro fertilization has some good news.
Brittany Barry is finally pregnant. With twins.
She and Chris Barry, who both attended Raritan Valley Community College and are now Phillipsburg residents, have been together for seven years and married for four. They've always dreamed of a large family, but because Brittany Barry has endometriosis (or scarring around the uterus), a blocked Fallopian tube and a low egg reserve count, doctors had told them their chances of conceiving naturally had dropped to as low as 5 percent.
But with the help of a Franklin fertility doctor who read about their plight on NJ.com in June, Brittany Barry is now 12 weeks pregnant. "It's just surreal that we're pregnant and it's like our dreams are coming true," Brittany Barry said. "It's so awesome. We had a 55 percent chance of conceiving and a 40 percent chance of twins, and we just hit the jackpot."
Her only goal in life was to be a great wife and mother, Brittany Barry told NJ.com in June. "My husband and I have planned our lives around having a family," Brittany Barry told NJ.com in June. "I always wanted seven kids, but now I'd just be happy with one."
The Barrys decided to go public with their story and and start an Internet crowdsourcing project to take donations to help pay the costs for in vitro fertilization, or, if that failed, adoption.
But fertility specialist Dr. Michelle Yih of the IVF New Jersey office in the Somerset section of Franklin read their story online and reached out to the couple to help make their dreams come true.
In August, Yih was hoping to retrieve about 10 eggs from Brittany Barry but managed to collect 34 eggs, and 19 fertilized. They transferred two of the embryos back in to Brittany Barry's uterus, and the news was good.
"There were a lot of barriers, I was definitely worried, with her history of endometriosis, the low egg reserve, the testing you had done previously," Yih said. But I knew that if anything was going to work that IVF would be the way to go."
"It felt like it was all my fault," Brittany Barry said, referring to all her medical issues. "Usually by the time patients get to us they've already been struggling for a long period of time," Yih said. "They're stressed out, worried, anxious, scared, because they read things on the internet, and a little misinformation can scare people away."
Yih said she tells her patients to let her take on some of that burden and focus on taking care of themselves. "I tell my patients to just take it one step at a time," Yih said. "If you take all of it into account at once it's overwhelming so you have to break it down into steps."
Brittany Barry said that Yih did walk them through the entire process bit by bit, warning them along the way what would happen and making it much easier to handle. She said Yih and her staff was available day and night with questions or concerns, and never treated them like they were being annoying.
Brittany Barry said that the hardest part of the process once the egg transfer was done was that they had to wait a full 10 days to find out if she was pregnant.
"We went down to my parents' house in Seaside just to relax," Brittany Barry said. "You can drive yourself crazy." "Brittany did a home pregnancy test on Sunday and it came out negative, but we looked online and it said we wouldn't be able to tell until around Tuesday," Chris Barry said. "So on Tuesday it came out positive — she's crying, she's so happy, and I'm a little scared, because I didn't want her to get too excited and get her heart crushed." "I've never seen two lines before, it was the most amazing thing," Brittany Barry said. "I've never seen a positive so I took five more and saved them."
The Barrys returned to IVF NJ to get the official blood test and it confirmed the good news. In fact, Yih told them she was "very" positive. "For the first ultrasound there was just one embryonic sac," Chris Barry said. "But the next time Dr. Yih walked into the room and turned the machine on — and there were two."
"The night before the ultrasound I had a dream that there was two," Brittany Barry said. "Mother's intuition," Yih said. "We might not be able to do this again, we were so blessed to have this happen," Brittany Barry said. "And now we've got two — they'll each have a sibling."
Yih said that a key factor in Brittany's success is that she is so young. She encourages any couples having fertility issues to come in sooner rather than later, instead of waiting until the prospective mom in nearing 40 and could have additional complications. "I think it's wonderful that you shared your story," Yih told the Barrys. "One in seven couple will face some type of infertility, and people think they're all alone. They don't realize how common it is, and that information is really powerful."
Brittany Barry said the most rewarding thing about going public with their plight was the number of Facebook and Interent fans they acquired, and how many woman have gotten in touch. "I don't know them and they don't know me," Brittany Bary said. "But they're going through the same thing or they've been through it, and they throw me encouraging words, or they say I give them hope.
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Article: 24th October 2013 www.nj.com