Salina and Alexis began their same-sex family-building journey at ArkLaTex Fertility
For a same-sex couple like Salina and Alexis, creating a family would involve a little help from ArkLaTex Fertility. The couple met as older teens and reconnected several years ago. They then married on New Year’s Day in 2021. As they settled into life as a married couple, they each considered the other one “their person.” Salina and Alexis said they “wanted to become parents and make ‘our’ person to tie us together as one.” The road to parenthood, however, would take several unexpected turns.
Taking the first step
To begin the process, Salina and Alexis traveled several hours to our Northern Louisiana fertility clinic to see David T. Vandermolen MD, MS. “No one in Arkansas where we live does this, so we came to see Dr. V,” Salina said.
To help Salina and Alexis in their journey, Dr. Vandermolen ordered a complete fertility evaluation for both women. According to Salina, “As a teenager, I knew I had cysts, but not fibroids,” which were revealed in the standard fertility workup.
After the testing, Salina and Alexis were eager to get started with Dr. Vandermolen. They initially planned to use Salina’s eggs and have Alexis carry the pregnancy. This is an option often referred to as reciprocal IVF or shared egg. “I wanted a biological tie, to have someone I was connected to in that way,” Salina explained.
As they prepared for the egg retrieval and eventual transfer, Salina and Alexis hit a snag. The fertility medications to stimulate Salina’s ovaries caused her fibroids to grow. “With the shots I was taking, the number of healthy eggs for retrieval kept decreasing,” she said. The fibroids had grown, preventing safe access to the ovaries for egg retrieval.
Despite a setback, Salina and Alexis work to achieve their family-building goals
Having to stop the shared egg process felt like a big blow to the couple. As Alexis recalled, “We cried and felt so sad. We were emotionally and mentally broken.” However, they still wanted to have a child together. “We weren’t ready to give up.” And neither was the ArkLaTex Fertility team!
At the time, Salina planned to have surgery to address the fibroids, but ultimately the failed retrieval and stress over another medical procedure proved to be too difficult. “It was just mentally too hard,” Salina said. “I realized it didn’t matter if it was her eggs or my eggs because we were making a baby together.”
Committed to their dream to start a family, Dr. Vandermolen helped the couple develop a new treatment plan.
Operation #makingbabywagner is a success
Thankfully, Dr. Vandermolen was able to work his magic with a new treatment plan, and Alexis became pregnant early this fall. They even created the hashtag #makingbabywagner so that friends and family could keep up with their journey. “So many have followed us from day one,” Salina said. “We were so excited and shared our process with everyone.”
Alexis and Salina are thrilled to be creating a family together, with help from ArkLaTex Fertility. With excitement at an all-time high, the couple happily discovered at their gender reveal party, they have a baby girl on the way. Baby SJ has an expected arrival of June 2023.
With Alexis in her second trimester, they are looking forward to their future together. “It will all be worth it,” Salina and Alexis shared. “We’ve picked out names and are just waiting on the baby.”
If you have family-building dreams, contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vandermolen.