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A dream come true for the Wagner family

While not often discussed, few situations are as challenging and overwhelming for couples as infertility. Wayne and Kim Wagner of Onalaska, Wis., can relate.

After getting married in 2011, the Wagners were ready to start a family. However, their first six months of trying to get pregnant were discouraging. They reached out to Gundersen Health System's Fertility Center where specialists determined Kim, age 35 at the time, had endometriosis and ovarian dysfunction.

"It took us three years of fertility treatments, one surgery, three rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and a lot of ups and downs along the way," notes Kim.

In the spring of 2014, Wayne and Kim received wonderful news—they were pregnant—and on Jan. 10, 2015, they welcomed 9-pound, 3-ounce, Kendall Adele, to the world. "Kendall is the most amazing gift. She is always so happy and she makes us happy," says Kim.

Because only 5-10 percent of couples require procedures like IVF, an experience at Gundersen's Fertility Center begins with a customized evaluation. "We offer many options for couples prior to IVF, such as stimulation of the ovaries when a woman has difficulty with egg production or placing sperm in the uterus," explains Joy Peterson, BS, TS, ELD, Fertility Center embryologist and laboratory director.

"We considered stopping after two rounds of IVF; me, in particular," notes Kim. "I couldn't remember the last time I felt normal—physically or emotionally."

But the Wagners, both athletes, aren't a pair who gives up easily. "We were persistent," says Wayne. "I wanted to be able to look back on this experience and say I did everything I could," adds Kim.

Rather than repeating the entire IVF process (egg production and recovery), frozen embryos were used for Kim's second and third rounds of IVF. "Cryopreserved embryos have a proven track record with no increased risks to the mother or baby. It is less invasive for women and allows us to put the embryos back into the body in a more natural state," explains Joy.

Despite the long road to getting pregnant, the Wagners cannot say enough about the support from the Fertility Center staff. "Dr. Catherine Ryan was completely honest about our chances of getting pregnant and didn't give us false hope. We felt comfortable asking questions because we knew we'd get straight answers from everyone." Equally impressive, according to Wayne, "...was how Fertility Center staff got us through the process and their personal relationship with us. It wasn't simply about getting us a baby but rather understanding our situation and giving us options."

We can bring fertility care to you. Our telemedicine service uses interactive video, audio and a secure, high-speed connection to link you, from your hometown clinic or hospital, with a medical consultant at Gundersen in La Crosse or Onalaska—in real time.

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Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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