Most new moms call on their own mothers for advice and support when they have their first baby. But Dana Brown needed her mom’s special brand of expertise long before she came home from the hospital with her twin boys.
You see, Dana’s mother is Fertility and Endocrine Associates’ Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Director, Dr. Kit Devine. From an early age, Dr. Devine suspected it might not be easy for her daughter to get pregnant.
“Both my mother and I had significant endometriosis so when Dana began experiencing severe menstrual pain, we were certain she had it as well,” Dr. Devine says. The inflammation and irritation caused by the endometriosis can significantly affect a woman’s fertility.
Dana was officially diagnosed with endometriosis in 2004 at age 30 when she and her husband, Jarrett, were first trying to have a baby. From that point on, their journey to have kids truly became a family affair. “It was really a blessing to me, sharing it with my mother,” she says.
A Very Special Journey
From the beginning, Dr. Devine and Dr. Robert Homm were determined to maximize Dana’s chance for success. Dana says they approached her treatment like a partnership, going out their way to make both her and her husband comfortable, reassuring them that there was no shame in what they were going through.
First, Dr. Homm performed CO2 laser laparoscopy and hysteroscopy to treat her endometriosis and remove an endometrial polyp that would likely have made getting pregnant more difficult. Then, Dr. Homm and Dr. Devine put Dana on medication to stimulate egg production, first Clomid and then low-dose gonadotropin injections. Dr. Devine also prescribed over-the-counter Robitussin for Jarrett to thin his semen and improve sperm quality.
During the summer of 2004, Dana underwent four intrauterine inseminations. The first two did not result in a successful pregnancy. Dr. Devine performed the third on Sept. 24, and Dr. Homm performed the final IUI on Sept. 25, so Dr. Devine says they “share credit” for the fraternal twins they found growing inside Dana a few weeks later.
“They weren’t willing to give up,” Dana says of her mom and Dr. Homm. “They were aggressive in their treatment philosophy. When they saw a problem, they jumped right on it. And when something didn’t work, they moved on to something else. They wanted to try everything they could before we moved on to more complex and expensive treatments like IVF.”
Dana’s twins were born on May 27, 2005, the day after her mother’s birthday. “They were healthy and gorgeous,” she says. Today, 12-year-old Sanford and Shepherd are happy, active kids who play basketball and do all the typical things boys their age do.
Dana is convinced that her boys would not be here without Fertility and Endocrine Associates. “They were determined. They had a willingness to try everything they could to make our dream come true. And they did,” she says.
Everyone is Family at Fertility and Endocrine Associates
Dana really appreciated that everyone at her mother’s practice took a holistic approach to her care. “They don’t just take care of the problem, they take care of the people,” she says.
“Infertility is a very stressful and hard-to-handle situation,” she adds. “But with them, we felt supported. When things were going well, they were there to cheer us on. And when they weren’t, they were still our biggest cheerleaders.”
Dana also says that going through the emotional and physical ups and downs with her mother created another bond between them because her mother could relate to the experiences as both her mom and her doctor.
Dana is quick to emphasize that she did not get special treatment — patients don’t have to be related by blood to get the full benefit of Dr. Homm’s and Dr. Devine’s services. “There is something so nurturing about what they do,” Dana says. “It’s not just me. They would go the extra mile for anyone. I have seen that many times over the years. They take care of everyone like their own family.”
“This isn’t just a job for them,” she adds. “It is a mission and a calling. God put them on this Earth to do this special work.”
Dana’s advice to others who are struggling to get pregnant? “Quit guessing and go get some answers. Fertility and Endocrine Associates will work with you every step of the way. It’s a warm, loving place with open arms, and they will walk this journey with you.”
Thank you, Dana, for sharing your wonderful story! We wish you and your family continued health and happiness!