Like many women, I made the decision to have my tubes tied because my then-husband did not want any more children. His choice was understandable, as he had four (two before me and two with me). If I had become pregnant again, he wouldn't have wanted the child; nor did he consider getting a vasectomy, because he didn't like the idea of having non-essential surgery. So, knowing I could never terminate a pregnancy after having two beautiful children, I let myself believe that modern technology would save me should I one day change my mind or have a change of life circumstances. I told myself I had convenient egg storage (my ovaries), and I could always do IVF. Then, with no further counseling or research, I had a tubal ligation in 1998.
Less than two years after the tubal, my marriage was over. I fell in love with the love of my life and we were married in December of 2002. Even before we got married, we knew we wanted a baby together and had started seeking advice. My husband has two children, a boy and a girl, and I have two children, a boy and a girl. We each had always felt we wanted more children, and we liked the idea of bonding the family with a little sibling in common. When we went to various fertility doctors, we were told that a tubal reversal was not a good idea, and I got frightened by the prospect of ectopic pregnancy. We let ourselves be persuaded that IVF was the way to go, even though I was heading into my 42nd year.
What we did not know is that IVF is a bad idea for someone as old as I was. We figured out later (after more than one try) that IVF is very hard on the eggs, and being over 40 means the eggs are more fragile. We had one pregnancy, but it ended in miscarriage in the 8th or 9th week. I considered using an egg donor, keeping my mind closed about a tubal reversal. Finally, when I was 44 years old, I realized we were coming fast to the end of the possibility of ever having a baby. I looked up tubal ligation reversals on the internet and found Dr. Levin's website.
My husband and I consider ourselves rational, sensible people who would not make hasty decisions based on emotion or instinct. But I have to confess that I had an intensely positive reaction to Dr. Levin's website and to him after we had our initial phone consultation. We did in fact look into other reversal doctors. We were told by one that the chance of me getting pregnant after a reversal was zero. I can't say exactly why we decided to ignore the nay-sayers and go with Dr. Levin. I recall believing him when he told us something like, "I can restore your tubes, but your fertility is up to you." Having had two perfect pregnancies without a hitch, I wanted to believe we still had a chance. Contrary to logic, statistics, and advice from several doctors, we signed up for surgery with Dr. Levin based on crazy hope and trust in a man we'd never met.
In May of 2004, we flew from Southern California to Louisville. I was 44 years old. My husband likes to point out that everything went just as advertised, from the airport shuttle to the hotel to the follow-up. The only unexpected event was finding out that Dr. Levin had removed some large, unattractive fibroids during surgery. That was fine with me!
Five months later, in October, we were pregnant. All through the early weeks of the pregnancy, Dr. Levin was in constant touch with me, monitoring the hormone levels to make sure everything was okay. It was very comforting to have regular contact with him via e-mail and phone calls. His responsiveness amazed me.
On July 21, 2005, at the age of 45, I gave birth to a perfect baby boy. We named him Roman Alessandro, a nice, strong Latin name to go with our Italian last name. I can't begin to describe how ecstatic we feel having another baby--a baby together.
And like all the other testimonials express, we feel immeasurably grateful to Dr. Levin. He's our miracle doctor. Thank you, Dr. Levin, thank you for doing what you do.