When Mike and Tina Marsh decided they were ready to start a family, they were surprised when Tina didn't get pregnant right away.
"Our journey to have a baby spanned almost 4 years," Tina relates. "We thought it would be easy. But like a lot of things in life, it didn't go as expected."
As time went on, Tina and Mike felt worry and anxiety creeping into their lives.
"Infertility is very isolating, and at times we felt like we were drowning," Tina says. "But throughout this heartache, we discovered we are much stronger than we ever realized."
The Marshes found renewed strength after talking more openly with friends and family. They also met other couples who had been in their shoes.
"I would advise anyone in the midst of infertility issues to find other couples who are going through or have gone through the same thing," Tina says.
With the help of fertility specialists at The University of Kansas Health System, the Marshes had multiple assisted reproductive technology procedures, including genetic testing, 4 egg retrievals and 1 transfer. Finally, they welcomed their little boy, Oscar.
"My husband and I can wholeheartedly say every tear, every injection, every blood draw and every anxious afternoon waiting for test results was worth it, because we have the most amazing little boy," Tina says. "It's all thanks to the awesome people on our fertility team."
Tina knew reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist Courtney Marsh, MD, MPH, and her nurse, Turri Hall, RN, were rooting for them every step of the way.
"The team was always so kind and supportive. There were times when I called in a panic, and they would bring me right in for an ultrasound or blood draw to put my mind at ease. They didn't hesitate to give me a hug when I was crying … and we also shared hugs when we finally got the news that we were pregnant!" Tina says.
When asked what advice they had for other couples, the Marshes emphasized the importance of relying on friends and family, as well as trusting and communicating with doctors.
"And also, strive to live a healthy life, because that is the only thing you can really control with infertility," Tina says.
"We couldn't be more thankful to our doctors and the entire team. And we can't wait to continue to grow our family. We're hoping to conceive baby #2 in 2017, with their help!"