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  • Tara Brandner

Tara’s Story on Beat Infertility

Today’s success story is about a woman named Tara. She is a 34-year-old nurse practitioner who enjoys watching movies, golfing, and exercising. Tara had a spontaneous miscarriage about 7 months into trying to conceive. After consulting her OB/GYN, they were referred to a fertility clinic. They decided that IUI was the next best step for them. Exhausted and confused after 3 IUIs, they took a break. Once they were ready to try again, they switched clinics and started IVF. The cycle resulted in 2 normal embryos. Her doctor felt endometriosis was a factor, so she took Lupron for 2 months before their first transfer. Unfortunately, that cycle was canceled. They transferred both embryos next time, and she became pregnant with a singleton. Join us to hear how Tara was flown to a hospital 2 hours away due to a placenta rupture at 32 weeks and stayed there for 4 weeks before her son was born.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  1. Before infertility, Tara was outgoing, determined, and less outspoken as an advocate

  2. How she met her husband on a blind date with a group of mutual friends

  3. As a couple, they are much stronger now than before, and they’re learning daily as a couple

  4. How Tara “just knew” she would be a mom someday but didn’t make any immediate plans for it

  5. Why she wanted to wait to start a family until she finished her advanced degree

  6. How Tara had a cyst removed about four years before she met her husband, and she was told she had endometriosis, but there were no further issues

  7. Six months of trying to conceive with OPKs concerned Tara and sent her to the Ob, but her results were normal

  8. How Tara became pregnant soon after that appointment but miscarried at 6-½ weeks

  9. How counseling helped Tara through the mental health challenges, especially in light of insensitive comments made by her OB

  10. How she was referred to a fertility clinic–the ONLY one in North Dakota

  11. The first two IUIs with Femara failed, and the third one with Gonal-f added also failed

  12. How Tara felt stigmatized and ashamed of her fertility issues as a medical provider, but finally felt confident enough to open up about her treatment to coworkers

  13. How Tara struggled to schedule appointments, drive the two hours to the clinic, and get medications into nearby pharmacies

  14. Why Tara took a much-needed break and completed a month-long professional development fellowship out-of-town

  15. How a family friend who was an experienced embryologist became an amazing source of information and encouragement

  16. Why Tara decided to consult a new RE at a new clinic, which required even more travel

  17. They prepared for IVF, and 17 eggs were retrieved, resulting in two healthy embryos; her RE discussed her endometriosis with her

  18. How lining issues canceled the first transfer

  19. How Tara used acupuncture and affirmations to prepare for the second transfer with a positive mindset

  20. When they transferred both embryos, the ultrasound confirmed one baby, so Tara felt grief along with her excitement

  21. Why Tara always thought she’d have twins someday

  22. How Tara had weekly ultrasounds for 12 weeks into her pregnancy

  23. In 2017, the day before Thanksgiving brought heavy bleeding, so Tara called her doctor

  24. As she started driving to pick up her husband from work, a helicopter met them to transport Tara; she was diagnosed with a dangerous placental abruption

  25. More bleeding kept her in the hospital for several weeks, but she got to go home for Christmas; her son was born via emergency C-section on January 9, 2018

  26. Why Tara began with her OB in the first place instead of seeing a specialist

  27. How Tara had excellent experiences at both clinics she attended but switched to the second one to have the best chance possible at success

  28. How Tara had her placenta encapsulated and took it in pill form to help her milk supply and help with hormonal imbalances

  29. How Tara initiated a bill with Resolve and started a Facebook page to promote it

  30. When her bill failed, Tara felt compelled to start a non-profit, Everlasting Hope, to support those with infertility in ND and SD

  31. Tara’s tips: Find support on social media (start small), share your story, don’t judge yourself, and do what feels right for you

  32. How infertility changed Tara: “Infertility changed me in so many ways, including how I view anyone else’s hardship or what I say to someone who has a miscarriage or loss. I’m more of a listener and an advocate. I speak up now for people, awareness, and issues. Infertility has made me a better mom with more patience.”

  33. Tara’s advice to her past self: “Don’t be so hard on yourself, Tara! Give yourself more grace, compassion, and self-love.”

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