Fertility Center Helps Laurene and Chris Rodney Receive the Greatest Gift — Their Son Brandon
For Laurene and Chris Rodney, the decision to start a family was an easy one, but, unfortunately, the path to accomplishing it was initially filled with heartache.
Laurene and Chris Rodney, with their son Brandon.
After being married for a little more than two years and having had time to focus on their relationship and establish their successful careers, Laurene and Chris knew they wanted to enrich their lives with a child. However, after trying to become pregnant for close to 12 months, Laurene began to feel concerned that age might be working against them, she being in her late 30’s and Chris in his early 40’s.
So the couple underwent the traditional diagnostic tests to determine their ability to become pregnant, with all tests, thankfully, coming back negative.
Unsure what to do next, they sought advice from Laurene’s brother, who happens to be an obstetrician on staff at another hospital. He recommended that they consult with the Valley Hospital Fertility Center, telling them that it was an exceptional, state-of-the-art facility.
In August 2008, the couple met with Dehan Chen, M.D., Associate Clinical Director of the center, and found so much more than just the state-of-the-art technological advantages extolled by Laurene’s brother.
“Dr. Chen is such a wonderful, warm, gentle man,” says Laurene, “and the staff is the epitome of compassion and support. We could not have asked for more caring individuals to help us during this time.” After talking with Dr. Chen, Laurene was asked to set up an appointment at the beginning of her next menstrual cycle.
Joy and Despair
Ironically, Laurene did not get her period the following month and after taking a pregnancy test, found that she was, in fact, pregnant. The couple couldn’t have been happier. “I contacted the center to give them the good news and, to my surprise, they offered to have me come to the center to have some early testing done to make certain that my pregnancy hormone levels were okay,” says Laurene. “I couldn’t believe that they still wanted to be involved when we ended up not needing them for fertility services.”
As it turned out, however, after having her blood levels tested and weekly ultrasounds performed by Dr. Chen, results indicated that the pregnancy was not viable and Laurene ended up miscarrying. Because she felt so comfortable with Dr. Chen, Laurene requested that he perform the D&C (dilation and curettage) surgery instead of her regular obstetrician.
Hope Follows a Tragedy
After recovering from the loss, Laurene and Chris returned to the Center to discuss their options with Dr. Chen. After undergoing some testing, it was determined that they were excellent candidates for IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment. The procedure was immediately successful. “We were so fortunate that the procedure resulted in a pregnancy the very first time!” says Laurene.
In the first few months of pregnancy, however, the couple’s joy was often tempered due to a series of false positives on tests for chromosomal disorders. Laurene and Chris got through the frightening time with support and encouragement from Dr. Chen. “I honestly thought that as soon as I got pregnant and was turned over to my obstetrician, that I would no longer need the Fertility Center,” says Laurene, “but Dr. Chen encouraged me to contact him with any questions or concerns throughout my pregnancy.
“The staff's genuine desire to stay involved was so counter to the experiences of others I know who went to different fertility centers," Laurene continues. "When they got pregnant, that was it—no additional contact was ever offered.”
“I am so grateful that Dr. Chen and the center's staff were there for us throughout the pregnancy,” adds Chris. “After everything that Laurene and I had already been through, we now had to deal with all these unfavorable screening test results—adding anxiety and uncertainty to our pregnancy. The staff took the time to explain to us how often these tests do come back as just false positives. Their guidance reassured us and gave us hope that all would turn out well.”
All Is Well
Laurene and Chris Rodney, with their son Brandon, and Dehan Chen, M.D. (center).
Enter Brandon Matthew Rodney on October 12, 2009! When asked about Brandon, Laurene lets out a highly audible “Ohhhhhhh” of happiness. “He’s my life,” says Laurene. “and the most genuine love I could have ever imagined.”
“When I look at him, I still can’t believe that he’s here!” adds Chris. “It was a tough road that Laurene and I had to go through, but it was well worth it. We are so ecstatic to have Brandon in our lives.”
And having Brandon in their lives was something the couple couldn’t wait to share with Dr. Chen. “Literally, the first road trip we took was to take Brandon to meet him before he was even two weeks old,” says Laurene.
Because they are so happy with the extremely positive experiences they have had with the Fertility Center, Laurene and Chris hope that other couples in their situation will seek out the Center’s services. “Chris and I have referred and will continue to refer people in our situation to the Valley Hospital Fertility Center,” says Laurene.
A Perfect Mix of High-Tech Equipment and Down-to-Earth Concern
Citing the fact that the Center has technology capable of growing embryos to five day, as opposed to other centers’ ability to grow to only three days, Laurene says, “But, as I’ve mentioned, it’s much more than the advanced technology they have at their disposal—which is extremely important—that makes Valley so exceptional. It’s also the fact that they exhibit a personal touch that many other fertility centers seem to lack.
“And that’s exemplified through the kindness, compassion, and genuine caring of everyone at the Center, beginning with reception and carrying through to the nurses, medical technicians, embryologists and Dr. Chen. I can’t imagine feeling more comfortable with any medical professionals than I do with them.
“Chris and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their efforts in helping to give us the gift of Brandon!”