Episode 171: Finding the Right… Everything: A Journey of Trial and Error
Today’s guest walks us through her experience with the wrong physician, the wrong clinic, the wrong treatment, the wrong coverage, and the wrong…well, everything. Sherri Sawyerr describes her experience of trial and error in pursuing parenthood, and how taking the wrong path can often pave the way for the right one.
During her journey with multiple physicians and IVF cycles, inadequate coverage, limited representation, and ultimately, the decision to use donor eggs: Sherri realized that it’s important to have a voice through all of this. And she uses that voice on her YouTube, @iamSherriYvette, where she encourages perseverance and togetherness through an experience that so many women are silently living through. In this episode, hear from Sherri on the other side of trial and error. She dives into how she found Progyny through her new employer, a clinic that suits her needs, and the progress she’s been able to make in her journey.
Guest: Sherri Sawyerr, Progyny Member
Host: Dan Bulger, Progyny
For more information, visit Progyny’s Podcast page and Progyny’s Education page for more resources. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, @ThisisInfertilityPodcast and use the #ThisisInfertility. Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at email@example.com.
Here are some highlights from this episode:
Physicians — One Size Does Not Fit All
02:49 – 08:57
Sherri Sawyerr: We actually ended up with a doctor that just did not give us great experience at all. You know, you’re already nervous going into that situation. And it’s a very vulnerable state. And you don’t know anything about fertility treatment. And we were not pleased at all. I got to the consultation, and he was like, “Oh, I see that you have a blocked tube.” And I’m like, “Do I? Nobody told me that.” And then he kind of had to verify and make sure that he had the right results in front of him. I just kind of felt like he wasn’t really prepared for our conversation. You’re already feeling inadequate, and you’re already feeling vulnerable and like, you’re not good enough. And that doesn’t help at all. And I feel like as a practitioner, that it is not your job to reinforce that, you know?
During our first round of IVF, we went through five embryos, and only one made it far enough to biopsy for testing and we lost four in the process of waiting for them to grow to day five. That one came back as normal and I did not have coverage for genetic testing, even though I had insurance coverage at the time. So, we still had a good chunk of money to pay, even though we had coverage then. We did one more cycle with them. And it actually turned out worse. My eggs didn’t even get big enough to be able to get to an egg retrieval the second time around and by the time they caught it, it was too late. So that cycle got cancelled and turned into IUI, which did not work for us.
Follow Your Gut
08:58 – 11:22
Dan Bulger: Changing doctors and clinics midway is not always very easy. And sometimes it can actually be a bit restrictive. Every new doctor will need to run their own diagnostic testing, which is time consuming and can be costly. And the original doctor can actually learn quite a bit from a failed IVF cycle and then change things accordingly. Of course, I’m speaking broadly here and anyone going through this is actually going to go through their own experience. So, Sherri is certainly right to follow her gut and her gut brought them to another clinic.
Sherri Sawyerr: I just felt like there was a lot of support with the clinic, a lot of information available. And then during the lives like you can literally ask any question. So, I would always join, you know, on Sundays or whenever they would have them. And I would ask all the questions that I would have. So, we did an egg retrieval in February, we got 12 eggs, and ended up with five embryos, we had a frozen embryo transfer on 26th of April. And that, unfortunately, did not work for us.
Sherring Her Story
11:38 – 12:49
Dan Bulger: Sherri is a content creator with a YouTube channel called Sherri Yvette, we asked her why she started sharing such a personal experience in such a public way.
Sherri Sawyerr: A lot of the research that I did was on YouTube, you know, I watched other people’s stories, I watched you know, them go through five, six cycles, and then finally get to their baby, I watched some people go through one cycle. And I really saw that there was a gap for people sharing their stories in the African American community. I wanted to create a place for women to share and for also for people to just feel comfortable in sharing because by sharing our experiences, other people feel comfortable and that they can have access to the same things and become parents because so many people just give up.
Fast Forward to Progyny
13:30 – 17:22
Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the past ten plus years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he has interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility and the producer behind the Progyny YouTube Channel which features interviews with dozens of the nation’s leading fertility specialists. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.
The journey to motherhood can be a lot more challenging for some women than it is for others and infertility is a lot more common than we think. Sherri McDonald Sawyerr is an engineer and fertility vlogger who creates content about her journey to motherhood and her infertility journey. She is passionate about black maternal health and breaking the silence of infertility in the African American community. Sherri is from Gaithersburg, Maryland, and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband Tulashi Sawyerr and her two dogs Blu and Lena. After a long infertility journey, Sherri and Tulashi are expecting their first child in November of this year.
YouTube, Instagram and Tik Tok: @iamsherriyvette
Music From This Episode:
Artist: Kai Engel
Track: Brand New World
Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: Maximum Relax
Track: All the Answers
Track: Easy Life
Track: Sad Marimba Planet
Track: Making a Change