As most women seeking a tubal ligation reversal, I orginally had my tubes tied immediately after the birth of a child while in a difficult relationship. I felt relief after having the procedure and was positive at the time I was doing the right thing. However, within weeks I began having my doubts. I quickly came to the realization that it wasn't that I didn't want more children necessarily, I just did not want any more children with my husband! Time passed and that relationship ended. I began dating and I also began experiencing physical difficulties. Unexplained irregular cycles that couldn't even be controlled with birth control pills caused me to search for answers on the internet and I came across post tubal ligation syndrome, or PTLS. I got differing information from my doctors about this...some said it existed and some said it didn't. All I knew was something wasn't right and no one could figure out what was wrong.
In the meantime, I was blessed enough to find the love of my life right under my nose! Tony was my friend and co-worker for years and it was soon apparent that he was also my destiny. We moved in together and married and he even made a vow to my children during our wedding. The only thing that could make our lives together more complete was a child together. Tony had no biological children of his own so we started to look at our options. IVF procedures were out of our "price range" so we focused primarily on reversing my tubal ligation. Imagine our surprise when we found out the most experienced and successful doctor performing this procedure was right in our home town! It seemed like fate and I scheduled our consultation as soon as we were able.
We were lucky to be able to meet Dr Levin personally for our consultation. He answered all of our questions and was so down to earth. We liked his policy of being there to help us after the surgery at no additional cost if needed. It seemed he really wanted to help us have a baby, not just perform surgery and send us on our way. Tony and I felt incredibly comfortable with Dr Levin and his staff and decided to schedule the TR procedure as soon as possible, just a few weeks later! Tony's semen analysis had come back fine but Dr L had some concerns about my history of irregular cycles after my tubal ligation so he ordered some additional blood tests. We left his office elated!
A few days later I heard from Dr Levin. My test results had come back and my FSH level was elevated to 16! I started researching what this meant and the news wasn't good. In fact, this level was high enough to be considered "infertile" and most IVF clinics would not even consider me a candidate for that procedure without donor eggs. I was only 35 years old and I appeared to be in premature ovarian failure, which I was convinced was the result of my tubal ligation. Tony and I were devastated...until talking with Dr Levin. He told me not to let one test result be the "nail in the coffin of my dream of having another baby." Tony and I talked about it, prayed about it and decided to take a leap of faith. This was our one chance and we were taking it so we went ahead with the scheduled TR.
My TR was done on April 29, 2004. My treatment at Jewish Hospital in Louisville was fabulous and I was lucky enough to be able to go home afterwards. I also wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as I thought I would be. My post op report looked great, my tube lengths were excellent and Dr L gave us the go ahead to begin trying to conceive as soon as we wanted!
My irregular cycles ceased as soon as the TR was done. I immediately felt better and though my cycles were shorter than average, the charting software Dr Levin recommended showed a clear pattern indicating ovulation, despite the FSH test results. Dr L examined all my charts and responded to me whenever I had a question, by email or by phone. I got a positive pregnancy test on July 15, 2004 which was confirmed by blood test on July 19, 2004. Dr L ordered all the tests I needed, the supplemental progesterone he felt would be beneficial for me and my baby and called me personally with my results after most of my tests. On July 30, 2004 we went in to Dr L's office and he performed an ultrasound to make sure the baby was implanted in my uterus and not my fallopian tube. We had tears in our eyes when saw our tiny baby's heart beating and she was right where she was supposed to be. We had achieved our goal in only three months! Dr L then told me "you're just a regular pregnant girl now!" and released me to the care of my OB/GYN.
Juliet Martine Bruce was born via emergency c-section at Baptist Hospital East in Louisville, KY on March 23, 2005. Her umbilical cord had prolapsed and it turns out she had a true knot in her cord as well. Despite having no measurable heartbeat for six minutes, she came out squalling and shows no signs of any adverse results of the cord accidents. I awoke from my c-section convinced she had died but she was beautiful and healthy and safe. Juliet is truly a miracle baby and her Daddy and I are so grateful to Dr Levin, his staff and the amazing medical care teams at TWO Louisville hospitals who made our dream of a child together come true!