In the Spring of 2010 at 34 years old, my husband and I began trying for baby #2, after having given birth to our first child in February 2009. By July of 2010 when nothing had happened, I told my OBGYN and she ordered a blood panel to be done. To my surprise, we discovered my FSH level was at 13.9. No worries, I was told. A little Clomid and I could probably easily get pregnant, but first I had to get my underactive thyroid under control. By winter of 2010 with my thyroid in check, I underwent my first round of Clomid and an attempt at “natural” conception and it failed. My gynecologist suggested seeing a reproductive endocrinologist and gave me the contact information of one she “trusted.” In the spring of 2011, I underwent 2 failed IUI’s and was firmly told not to waste my time with IVF unless I had a donor egg. My FSH was up in the 20’s, my AMH was at 0.8, and things were not looking good as my menstrual cycles began becoming unpredictable and my ovulation predictor kept telling me I was not ovulating at all.
After doing some online research, I came across the contact information for Dr. Kim. On my first visit in April of 2011, she agreed with the diagnoses of low ovarian reserve, but said we could try for natural pregnancy after 3 months of acupuncture and herbal medicine. I followed Dr. Kim’s suggested regimen of supplements and herbal medicine. Within three months, Dr. Kim’s treatment had begun to regulate my menstrual cycles and my ovulation predictor kit showed I was indeed showing all signs of ovulating again. Meanwhile, I found another, very well regarded reproductive endocrinologist, who told us that my husband was having a morphology and motility issue. My husband began seeing Dr. Kim as well. But after 5 rounds of bloodwork over 5 menstrual cycles, the RMA doctor excused me completely from their practice. I was told that there was “no hope,” as my FSH was just too high to pursue any fertility treatment, claiming that my latest number was somewhere in the 40’s.
Dr. Kim had said if natural pregnancy hadn’t occurred within 7-9 months of seeing her, I should really go to IVF if I could find a provider who would agree to do so. In early 2012, on the recommendation of a friend who had found success, I made an appointment with Valley Hospital’s Fertility Clinic and met with Dr. Ali Nassieri. He was very straightforward that there were a lot of hurdles to get through to have successful IVF, but that they were willing to try to help me. I had to undergo all the initial tests again, showing that our only issue was my diminished ovarian reserve (my FSH was now back down in the teens), and that my husband was “perfect.” Agreeing to forgo any attempts at IUI’s again, we went straight to IVF. My first two cycles were cancelled due to little-to-no response. Then, my husband discovered he would have to undergo some unexpected neurosurgery, so we put our baby plans on hold. All the while, I continued to see Dr. Kim on a regular basis and drink my Chinese Herbal Medicine and take my supplements. Dr. Kim kept me from becoming discouraged and always gave me comfort when things seemed most bleak.
In July 2013, at 37 years old, I underwent my third round of IVF. The best news I had ever received was the day I was told there were 3 follicles, which developed into 3 viable eggs, and that I would indeed undergo egg retrieval for this cycle. Egg retrieval day came and they were able to get 2 viable eggs. Five days later, we had two viable embryos that we were told looked “very promising.” Dr. Kim suggested that I try to undergo at least one more cycle to have more embryos, so we froze the two we were able to get. Over the next several months, two more times I tried, but both cycles were cancelled due to little-to-no response. My husband and I agreed that this was God’s way of telling us to be happy with what we had gotten, and give those embryos a chance.
In March of 2014, we signed the paperwork to have our embryos thawed. I underwent all the medicinal prep, and continued to see Dr. Kim throughout. With a successful thaw, the day finally came in early April for embryo transfer. That same day, right after the procedure, I went to see Dr. Kim and had a treatment. For the next three days, I followed her instructions to get lots of rest, feet up, no heavy lifting, and acupuncture treatments. I had to return to work after 3 days of being out. Still, I continued acupuncture, and sat at work as much as possible.
Dr. Kim knew by the third day that I was indeed pregnant, but because my pulse had always beat like a “pregnant” pulse, she did not tell me until nearly two weeks later. On a Sunday morning, two weeks after the embryo transfer, I took my first at home pregnancy test. It appeared negative and I threw it in the garbage. But something told me loud and clear to go retrieve the test and have another look. I did, and was amazed at the emergence of a faint blue line indicating “pregnant.” I called Dr. Kim and she confirmed what the test was telling me, since she already knew. Each day leading up to my initial bloodwork, I continued taking at home tests. Each day the blue line grew darker and stronger. My first bloodwork confirmed what Dr. Kim had known, I was indeed pregnant, and the Beta number indicated there was a strong possibility of twins.
After years of prayer and 4 different reproductive endocrinologists, an undying spirit of hope, determination and faith, and the miraculous work of Dr. Kim, in November of 2014, my twins were born. I saw Dr. Kim for the first 14 weeks of my pregnancy to keep my blood flow going and my babies healthy, and when I was diagnosed with a hematoma in my placenta, I continued seeing her until 20 weeks to help shrink the potentially dangerous problem.
I don’t just believe, I know that Dr. Kim’s treatments work. She knows what she is doing and understands Eastern medicine and its restorative properties. I know that without Dr. Kim, we would have never been able to have the quality of eggs I was able to produce for my twins to be born. Western medicine alone is not always enough, it wasn’t for me. Over the years of trying to get pregnant I read books, articles, attended seminars, retreats, workshops, whatever it took to find the answers to my issues. I saw women in my position, some who had undergone 10, 12, 15 IVF cycles. Some who had tremendous ovarian response and were able to bank countless embryos, and yet were still plagued with the inability to get pregnant. I will always believe it was the quality, not quantity, of my embryos that resulted in my children being born. And that my embryo quality came from all the goodness that was given to my body through Dr. Kim’s treatments, herbal medicine, and knowledge of what is best for the body.
We love you Dr. Kim. And we thank God for your work and the blessings that you helped make happen in our lives.
Jude and family*