For Karen Mannoia and her husband, Michael, life was full. Karen had a job in New York City’s bustling hedge fund world. Michael worked in printing and packaging, while devoting even more hours to an organization serving older autistic adults. They had married in 2008, when Karen was 38 and Michael was 44. It was a happy second marriage for both of them, yet something was missing. They would finally find it through IUI at our New York fertility center.
After about a year and a half of trying to conceive, Karen turned 40, and the couple knew that time was short.
“I had always said to myself, if I’m not pregnant by 40, I’m not meant to have a baby,” she recalls. But when that milestone birthday finally came, she and Michael weren’t willing to give up on their dream.
They turned to her OBGYN for answers, where they were referred to our New York fertility center for a deeper evaluation.
Dr. Joel Batzofin learned about their medical history and ordered a full round of fertility testing for both Karen and her husband, including a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and bloodwork. The results immediately identified the problem: A blocked fallopian tube and the age of Karen’s eggs were both contributing to the couple’s infertility, greatly reducing the chances of a natural pregnancy. Her menstrual cycles were also irregular, making it difficult for the couple to pinpoint ovulation.
Because Michael’s male fertility testing revealed no issues, Dr. Batzofin recommended starting with intrauterine insemination as a first-line treatment.
Thanks to the convenient location of our New York fertility center, working IUI into their hectic schedules was easy.
“I worked in the city at the time, and Dr. Batzofin’s office was within walking distance of my office,” she says. “So we would plan the IUIs so that my husband would just come into the city, and I would walk down.”
At every visit, Karen and her husband felt welcomed and cared for.
“Dr. Batzofin is such a nice guy,” Karen says. “He’s a funny character, and he really made us feel comfortable. He was always cracking jokes with my husband. Everyone in the office is so nice and friendly. They made it a very seamless, easy process. It was a really great experience all around.”
After the first two IUI attempts failed, Karen and Michael decided to try one more time and then take a short break.
“But lo and behold, the third one took, and I got pregnant,” she says. “We were very lucky. The IUIs were covered by our insurance. We were prepared to take that next step and move on to IVF, but thankfully, we didn’t have to.”
She found out the good news after a positive pregnancy test at our New York fertility center, but wanted to tell her husband face-to-face. So, she went back to work and waited for the hours to slowly tick by before they would finally be together at home.
“I found out at 11 a.m. and had to keep it to myself the entire day,” she laughs. “His birthday had just passed, and we had agreed to not give gifts. But I ended up going shopping for baby clothes and ‘happy birthday’ wrapping paper to wrap them. When he opened the gift, he didn’t get it right away. It took him about 10 seconds to figure it out. It felt like a lifetime.”
Karen was 41 when she experienced the most joyful moment of her life: giving birth to her daughter, Emilie.
“I have a beautiful, bright, smart daughter who has had such a tremendous impact on our lives,” Karen says. “She is just wonderful, and so funny. She’s a little bit of both of us, but she has my looks. She is a mini me. She is the happiest kid alive. I have this beautiful little girl who I can offer the world to. I can’t even explain what a difference it has made for us. There is nothing like it.”
Not only has Emilie enriched the lives of her parents, her birth was a gift to the entire family.
“Our parents were older when we got pregnant, so it was very exciting news for them, too,” she says. “My husband and I are both the babies of our families. Our parents were ecstatic. Since she was born, three of them have passed away. But they all got to meet her, and that was wonderful.”
It was a hard, high-risk pregnancy, but Karen says she would gladly do it all over again. Now that her family is complete, she has this piece of advice for other women who are approaching their 40s and thinking about pursuing fertility treatment: “You have nothing to lose. Just go for it. It’s literally the best decision I have ever made in my life.”
To schedule a consultation at our New York fertility center, contact us here.