Thank you to everyone who entered our Q1 2020 Fertility Massage Therapy Grant! There were 26 nominations and while The Center’s jury of 4 [all Center employees] struggled to make a choice, in the end, Kimberly’s heartfelt nomination of her wife Amanda was the winner. You both touched and inspired the jury with your story and commitment to your vision for your future family. Congratulations!
Kim’s nomination of Amanda:
My name is Kimberly West-Herzog and I would like to nominate my amazing and wonderful wife, Amanda Herzog, to receive this grant for Fertility Massage Therapy. We are both patients at The Center. Our journey with The Center started in October 2017, with my first intake with Dr. Schmidt. We got engaged in February 2018 and my first IUI attempt was in June 2018. My second IUI attempt was in August 2018. My third and final IUI attempt (September 30th, 2018) was six days before Amanda and I got married (October 6, 2018). Through every blood draw, ultrasound, Clomid pill, ultrasound, having to pee on a stick, Amanda was right by my side. Our three IUI attempts were unsuccessful, and thus we embarked on the journey of IVF in October if 2018. Although I was the IVF patient, Amanda took the lead on all medication administration. She mixed the Menopur; she dialed and injected me with the Gonal-F. She did it all. Our first IVF attempt (my attempt) resulted in the one embryo, which failed to cleave on day two. Our second IVF attempt (my egg, donor sperm, my uterus) yielded in a day three transfer. We were pregnant for 13 weeks and six days. Throughout my pregnancy, Amanda was amazing. She was patient and kind, caring and loving, and dealt with my nausea and mood swings like a seasoned champion. She was the perfect partner, the perfect wife, and the perfect mate. Sadly, we lost our son on May 1st, 2019. In June, Amanda became a patient of record at The Center. Now we were both cycling. Her first retrieval surgery was July 2019, my caregiver became the patient and I mixed her Menopur and dialed up her Gonal-F. As of today, February 10, 2020, I have gone through four retrieval surgeries (my fifth retrieval surgery is coming on Wednesday, February 13, 2020). My wife Amanda has had two retrieval surgeries, with her third retrieval surgery is coming up this weekend. On Monday, September 23, 2019, we had our retrieval surgeries on the SAME day. What are the odds?!
I am nominating my wife because of everything we have gone through in this IVF journey. From the unsuccessful IUIs to the loss of our son (Trisomy 13), she has been by my side, in my corner, and has had my back since day one. She’s been the most amazing wife and most amazing support system – all while being an IVF patient too.
I think she would greatly benefit from these fertility massages as she continues our pathway towards parenthood by continuing with her IVF. I know that this acknowledgment and these massages will greatly improve Amanda’s fertility journey as she has earned some extra TLC with everything, everything she’s done for me, for herself, and for our future family.
“I am absolutely honored that my wife nominated me for this recognition. In our fertility journey, we’ve gone through hell and back, and we continue to walk and march forward, up this rugged road; and, there’s no one on this Earth, but my wife, Kimberly, with whom I could endure and preserver through this adventure. Our love story started with me tricking her into our first date and continued with “I do.” Our story contains triumph, tragedy, heartbreaking setbacks, and beautiful awakenings. She’s everything that I needed in a life partner –but never knew I needed. She’s my everything. Despite her humble, meek, mild, and gracious determiner, she’s a tough, formidable fighter and the sole reason why I fight so hard as we traverse through the rough terrain of fertility. I love her. Endlessly. And forever.”