My beautiful little girl was born just under a month ago. I've finally found a few minutes to sit down and tell my story. I hope that I can provide a little hope and support for anyone who feels that their case may be hopeless.
The first part of my story is the same as everyone else's. I had 3 wonderful children during a very unhappy marriage. As sad as it sounds, my divorce was my happy ending. My kids and I were ready to live happily ever after. But as wonderful as they are, I was not willing to have anymore. I had absolutely NO doubts when I went in for my tubal ligation. My ob/gyn was a very thorough man, and performed one of the most effective forms of birth control short of a hysterectomy. I was cut and cauterized 3 times on each side. There was virtually no chance of my ever having another child.
...And then I met Dave.
The man that I was meant to spend the rest of my life with was finally here. He had no children of his own and adored my 3 kids. But as time went on, we decided having a child together was something we both really wanted. So I started researching on the net. The general consensus seemed to be high prices and low success rates. In vitro fertilization started seeming like the best way to go, but I am not a wealthy woman and the price was just too high for a one-shot deal. And with my type of tubal ligation, I felt that a reversal would be a waste of money. Then I ran across Dr. Levin's website and my feelings began to change.
Dr. Levin told me that I had two options. I could either go in for a laparoscopy to check things out and see if he felt he could help, or just go for the reversal. I was the hardest type to reverse but I decided that no matter what he would have said after a laparoscopy, I would have gone ahead with the reversal anyway. So I joined his support group online, met two wonderful women, and we scheduled our reversals for August 26, 2002.
After my surgery, Dr. Levin informed my husband that I had 4.5 cm on one side, and 5.5 on the other. My pelivis was also full of adhesions (scar tissue) that would prove to be a problem later. He took the extra time to clean them all out and felt that I had a 65-70% chance of conceiving!! I was thrilled!
Unfortunately, 2 months later I had an emergency appendectomy. I also had peritonitis and my surgeon said things looked very "murky". My tubes looked GREAT, but he had to clean up my adhesions again, and the peritonitis had caused everything to be very sticky. I began to have increasing pain over the next few months and had to find a new ob/gyn due to insurance coverage changes.
My new doctor told me he felt I had endometriosis and we scheduled a laparoscopy. Afterwards, he told my husband and I that I was loaded with endo and adhesions and both tubes were completely blocked. He told me I would never have my "miracle baby" and that I needed a complete hysterectomy. That afternoon when I got home from my surgery, I called Dr. Levin sobbing. He told me that my doctor was wrong. He showed no endo on his notes and that my reversal went very well. He wanted me to come down so he could do a hysterosalpingogram himself. We made our way to Louisville as soon as we could and Dr. Levin was right. Both sides were open. I fired my doctor...
My pelvic pain at this point had gotten very bad and I found another ob/gyn (an awesome one this time) and went back in for surgery on adhesions on September 18, 2003. Dr. Levin then wanted me to come down for an IUI. We did that on November 5...and on July 13, 2004, Jayne Michelle Bartlett came in to our lives!
This is an extremely long story to tell, but every part is important to hear. It wasn't "smooth sailing" for me after my reversal. There were lots of complications, but Dr. Levin's expectations of my surgery were high and I think he was determined to live up to them. When the reversal itself was not enough, he helped me do what needed to be done. Had I listened to a previous doctor, I wouldn't have my daughter, and would never have known that I could have.
Thank you, Dr. Levin. We will be eternally grateful for the beautiful little person you helped bring into our lives.
Michelle & Dave Bartlett
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2005
Dr. Levin and the whole staff:
My name is Dave Bartlett and I'm sending this email because I want you all to know how you've changed my life. Michelle and I came to you in 2002 with the hopes of having a baby, and with your incredible talents and determination that dream came true. Our daughter Jayne is now 16 months old. My wife's testimonial is on your website, but it's extremely important to me to tell you that I think of what you did for us every single day. I cannot find the words to describe the feelings I get when I look at my little girl. I have been moved to tears several times just thinking about my daughter and you wonderful people. I wish there was some way to repay all you've done for us and every other 'Levin family' out there. You make the world a better place. Please know how much we appreciate you all. I've attached a recent picture of Jayne taken during one of our daddy-daughter walks.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,