Georgia couple finds answers, hope on infertility journey

- It's been 7-years since Valencya and Jerrell Thompson of Snellville, Georgia, took a leap of faith, on a stormy spring day back in 2010.

"We had the threat of rain, and we had an outdoor wedding," Valencya Thompson remembers. "But we had a tent, and the rain held back."

Back then, the Thompsons had no idea one-day becoming parents would be so much harder.
"We got pregnant very fast after we quit birth control," she says.

Valencya was in her late twenties at the time.

"My first miscarriage was at the 6-week mark," she says.

So, they tried again, got pregnant, and miscarried. They tried one more time, and lost that pregnancy, too.
All three times, Valencya miscarried at the 6- to the 7-week point in her pregnancies.And no one, Valencya says, not even her OBGYN, seemed to know why.

"Because when I went to her to get assistance on that last miscarriage, and she said, 'I don't know why you're here, there . is nothing I can do for you.'" Valencia says,  "And I went home, grieving."

A friend did some research and told Valencya about Dr. Desiree McCarthy-Keith, an infertility specialist and reproductive endocrinologist with SGF  Atlanta. So, the fourth time Valencya got pregnant, the Thompsons got help.

"We went to her immediately," Valencya Thompson says.

McCarthy-Keith sees many couples struggling with infertility.

"There is a lot of stigma and shame and sadness that goes along with trying and not being able to get pregnant," Dr. McCarthy-Keith says.  "But we have to get past that, and realize these are medical conditions, and we have treatments that we can put into place to help couples."

Blood tests revealed two problems. Valencya has polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, which was making it harder for her to ovulate normally, to get pregnant, and raising her risk of miscarrying in the first trimester. 
She also has a blood-clotting problem known as APS, which was making it hard for her body to hold on to the pregnancy. So, Dr. McCarthy-Keith put Valencya on medication for both, Metformin for the PCOS and a blood thinner for the clotting issue.

 "For the most part, I was confident, as I met that scary 6- and 7- week mark," Valencya says.

She says her strong faith got her through, but she had moments when she wondered if this pregnancy, too, would end in sadness. Getting out of the car to go to church on Mother's Day, she was overcome with anxiety.

"I had an attack where I could hear voices saying, 'You're a fool to believe this baby will come into your life.  You're a fool to believe this baby will live," she remembers.  "I just texted the people I call my baby warriors, my prayer warriors, and said, 'I'm having a rough day. Could you pray for me?'

Today, Valencya and Jerrell are mom and dad to 3-year old Justice and 1-year old Broughton. 
And, they've written a book together about their experience, called "Our Journey to #FertilityHope."

 "It's hard, but it's beautiful," Valencya Thompson says.  "I cried, as I wrote it."

Because Valencya Thompson used to dream about this life. Now, she's living it.

"I look at my baby smiling, and I look at my husband smiling," she says.  "I'm, like, this is what truly matters."

To learn more about PCOS, visit www.PCOSChallenge.org. To follow the Thompson Facebook blog, go to facebook.com/fertilityhopeministry.
 

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