Oklahoma couple Rex and Amber Largent have been married for 11 years – and trying to conceive for 9 of them.
"We went through a lot before we met Dr. Marsh," says Amber.
Courtney Marsh, MD, MPH, is one of the expert physicians on The University of Kansas Health System's advanced reproductive medicine team. She and other nationally recognized physicians Kristin Holoch, MD, and Michael Lydic, MD, offer the Kansas City region's most comprehensive infertility services.
The Largents' success story was made possible through in vitro fertilization (IVF). In the IVF process, eggs and sperm are retrieved from the patients, and fertilization is induced in a laboratory environment by an embryologist. The University of Kansas Health System’s laboratory is 1 of only 3 in the nation to be named a Center of Excellence by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
"It's worth the travel from Oklahoma to work with Dr. Marsh and her team at The University of Kansas Health System," says Amber.
The IVF journey
Rex and Amber, who initially resided in the Kansas City area, met with Dr. Marsh for a consultation in the advanced reproductive medicine team's Overland Park location. At the beginning of the IVF process, Amber describes "a time of nervous anticipation."
"Infertility is really hard," she says. "No one can make promises. But I knew my entire medical team was working toward the same dream – the dream my husband and I had held in our hearts for years."
To accomplish pregnancy with IVF, several steps are involved, including stimulation of the ovary to produce several fertilizable oocytes (eggs) and retrieval of the oocytes from the ovary.
"Several weeks before the egg retrieval, I was taking a lot of shots and medication. My whole body felt yucky," Amber says. "The team was very encouraging – they were always there with guidance and encouragement."
A month after retrieving mature eggs from Amber's ovaries, Dr. Marsh performed an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to ensure fertilization. This specialized form of IVF involves injection of a single sperm directly into a mature egg. After fertilization, an embryo was placed into the uterus for implantation.
"I received a picture of the embryo before and after implantation," Amber says. "There was so much hope in that moment … it was magical."
Dr. Marsh gave me the greatest miracle. And we now have 11 viable embryos. When the time comes, we plan to try to have 1 more child through IVF. – Amber Largent
A dream come true
Amber and Rex waited a month before they could know definitively that Amber was pregnant.
"After receiving the happy news, we had several ultrasounds to confirm placement and implantation," says Amber. "When you conceive through IVF, you receive more sonograms than usual. We know we'll treasure these images of our baby forever."
The Largents' miracle baby boy, Wayne, was born May 5, 2017.
"Dr. Marsh gave me the greatest miracle," Amber says. "And we now have 11 viable embryos. When the time comes, we plan to try to have 1 more child through IVF."
The region's leading infertility program
Reproductive medicine experts at The University of Kansas Health System offer the region's only embryology lab recognized as a national center of excellence. It's the largest program in the Kansas City region for advanced infertility treatment options, including in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Our advanced reproductive medicine team includes physician specialists, embryologists and genetic counselors working together to meet the individual needs of each patient and family. From innovative IVF treatments to alternative models based on religious or cultural practices, our team offers treatment options that are available only at an academic medical center.
With locations in Kansas City, Kansas, Overland Park, Kansas, and Gladstone, Missouri, as well as collaborative relationships with practices in Wichita, Kansas, and Topeka, Kansas, we provide convenient care options – with limited travel required – for patients from across the Midwest.