Category Archives: #worththewait

juniper sagan #worththewait / a los angeles infertility journey

“it’s hard to get your head around the fact you’ll never have a baby.  and then, it’s even harder to believe you are lucky enough, blessed enough to get pregnant.  the realization that we had a happy, healthy, beautiful daughter made us feel like we were in a waking dream.  it seemed to good, too much, too lovely.  we are filled with awe.

I am 39 years old. I’ve had PCOS since I was a teen but it wasn’t diagnosed until my husband and I had already been trying to conceive for two years. we went through about a year and a half of fertility medication that didn’t work before getting very frustrated and taking a break.  I then set out on several life changes: I left my job as a high school principal and started my own business where I would have time to exercise better, eat right etc. I got a tattoo of cherry blossoms. they are supposed to symbolize the fleeting beauty of life, and the acceptance of one’s path. I got the tattoo as a way of helping me embrace my life instead of fight against what I thought was missing from it.  it was also in reclamation of my body, which I have also struggled to love. it makes me feel beautiful and brave.

after about a six months break we tried medication again, still without results. finally in august, we decided to start IUI. on the day of the appointment we were kept in the waiting room for three hours. in fact my husband had to leave for work. I was 38 at the time. after three hours I was called into the doctor’s office, and they apologized to me for the wait. it turns out they been testing and retesting my urine sample. I had very low, but perceivable, hCG levels. they said I might be pregnant, scheduled the blood test, and refunded my money. for the next 10 weeks it was watch-and-see with an ultrasound every two weeks or so. first it was,  ‘yes, your blood test says says you’re pregnant, but we’re not sure. come back, it might be ectopic.’ then it was, ‘yes, you have a gestational sack. but there’s no fetus yet. so come back.’ next, ‘yes, there’s a fetus but no heartbeat. come back.’ then, finally – ‘we have a heartbeat.’

two weeks later I had a bleed – a heavy one.

the beautiful and amazing thing, was that my daughter was resilient. there she was, after the bleed, perfectly fine, wiggling, moving everywhere, with a strong heartbeat.  in fact, all my blood tests, and all her scans, were perfectly fine.

and here we are now. it seems unreal.

we are amazed at how juniper is already her own little person, with quirks and preferences and a voice to tell us so.  this time has also brought our family closer together.  so much love for one little life.  it’s beautiful.  it took us over four years, and pushed us right up against my biological clock’s timeline. we feel so blessed.”


seraphina + kieran #worththewait / a los angeles infertility journey

“gina and I have known each other since high school, so we have a long history and come from the same place – I love that about us, that we have that familiarity. we also both knew we wanted to be mothers since we were young, and we both struggled to get there. we have wanted kids our whole lives. gina was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure around age 25, but thankfully my ovaries and uterus looked fine, and we were told it shouldn’t be a problem getting pregnant.

we first went to a fertility clinic when I was 30 for our initial meeting – I just gave birth at age 38. it’s been a LONG journey for us, and I think that makes us appreciate motherhood even more.

after 7 failed IUIs (none covered by insurance), we moved on to IVF and I became pregnant on my first cycle. at 12 weeks, I suffered an ovarian torsion, where one ovary was necrotic and filling my body with sepsis. I ended up having emergency surgery, which the baby didn’t survive. 2 hours after the surgery, I began to miscarry. I remember looking at at gina, who was there holding my hand, and I could see the tears in her eyes. a few minutes later, they showed us our 12-week-old fetus in a bedpan. I didn’t cry. I was so drugged up and so grateful to be out of pain. all I could say was, “I’m sorry.”

grief is a weird thing, and I don’t know if this grief is in a category all its own. I’m inclined to think had the baby been still born, it would’ve been harder. or if I’d lost the baby earlier in the pregnancy, it would’ve been easier. I don’t know. I just know that there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that baby. I used to think everything happens for a reason, but I don’t believe that anymore. things just happen, and sometimes things are great, and sometimes they suck.


we adopted two girls through DCFS, both born drug exposed. they made us parents, but I never stopped grieving the end of my pregnancy. our oldest is my biological niece, who was born addicted to methadone. she came home from the hospital to us and lived with us for about 6 months. we were the ones to wean her off of methadone. NOT EASY. she went home to live with my sister when I went to the hospital for my emergency surgery and subsequent miscarriage. she came back to us at 2.5 years old, complete with behavior and attachment issues. it’s been a long four years, full of therapy with her, patience, (and booze for us). our other daughter tested positive for methamphetamine and alcohol at birth, was diagnosed as failure to thrive around 2 months old. she was born 6 weeks after the due date of the baby we lost. she came to us around 8 months old.

we did 2 more unsuccessful rounds of IVF, and then a 3rd where we froze the two embryos we had. that was in 2013. throughout that time, I hadn’t been able to get pregnant again, and it took a long time to finally be okay with that. I accepted that there was a good chance it just wasn’t going to happen for me, and it helped having two rambunctious children. they are delightful in so many ways, and I love them so much, and that love was finally enough to dull the pain of the loss of the baby we lost.

last year, we decided to try to get pregnant with those last 2 frozen embryos. we now have 3 month old boy/girl twins, who I carried for 37 weeks and 6 days, and who were born at 7.3lbs and 7.11lbs respectively.

seraphina may and kieran james.

I have four kids now, and I feel like my dreams have finally come true. our infertility journey has brought gina and I closer. when you go through something terrible with someone, you form a pretty strong bond. we both went through some terrible stuff. and now we look at each other like, how did we get this lucky?”


pj #worththewait / los angeles fresh48 photography

mom and dad tried for ELEVEN years to have a baby. 3 IUIs, 2 rounds of IVF, countless surgeries and procedures. nothing worked. and then, one month she decided to drink, and have sushi, and not think about the fight she had been fighting for over a decade.

and a miracle happened.

at 45 years old, she got pregnant naturally. early on, she experienced heavy bleeding, and the doctor’s told her she was losing the baby. but this little guy fought just as hard as his mama did. and here he is, 4 days new: preston james. a true miracle in every sense of the word.

(an interesting side anecdote- I was connected to this amazing mama through my local infertility support group. we traded fertility drugs that she had left over for a newborn session. the infertility community is a bittersweet family to be a part of, but man- we look out, support, and celebrate one another in a way that is truly beautiful).