Emma Nicole being held by her mom and dad as a baby

Danielle and Alex – Story of Hope

Hi my name is Danielle and my husband’s name is Alex Alsup.

My husband and I got married when we were 22 and 23, so when we wanted to have a “honeymoon baby” we didn’t think we’d run into any issues because we were young. We were wrong.

For 1 1/2 years I trusted a doctor who didn’t find anything wrong other than I have an auto immune disease. After feeling like I wasn’t being taken seriously I found a new doctor.

My very first appointment he informed me I had PCOS. Once he explained the symptoms and how that can affect fertility, everything seemed to make sense. Every symptom that he stated I had, and for 2 years had wondered what was going on (I had gained weight before our wedding right after I got off the pill even though I worked out regularly).

Month after month we dealt with metformin and chlomid, ultrasounds, ovulation tests, and failed pregnancy tests. Finally he called us and said he didn’t see any reason why I wasn’t getting pregnant, so it was time to have my husband tested.

We were then referred to MCRM, and shortly after we found out that his sperm were abnormally shaped. Dr Aubuchon then called us in and explained in great detail what that meant- there was no chance of us conceiving on our own. We were devastated. After taking some time off from meds and figuring things out, we decided to move forward with IUI in the beginning of January 2018. We knew that if this didn’t work we would have to do IVF and we were no where near ready financially for that step.

First attempt failed and I was a mess, and second attempt we both were crushed. We felt defeated and like this wasn’t going to happen for us. Then on a Wednesday when I was at work I got a phone call. I knew it was going to be bad news. Then I answered and heard it was both Christina and Ceara. They never both called me. Then they told me the best news ever- I was pregnant! I couldn’t believe and had to sit down. It finally hit me and I just started crying and couldn’t stop. I was now 26 and after all of this our dreams came true. So we thought…

On September 13 at 24 weeks pregnant my husband had to rush me to the hospital. I was then transported to Barnes downtown and diagnosed with cervical incompetence. The baby could be coming. After tons of poking and prodding they sent in the St. Louis Childrens NICU doctors to explain our situation and some decisions we were about to face. Suddenly I felt like everything was being taken away from me. Our baby had less than a 50/50 chance of survival. I received an epidural in case I needed to have an emergency c-section. At this point every hour was precious. We made it to the next day, then the next, and then at 26 weeks 4 days I started to have stomach pains and cramps. By the time it was realized that I was in labor there was no stopping it. Our Emma Nicole was born October 1, 2018 at 9:36 pm. Three months early….

Our little fighter cried right when she was born, and continued to be feisty. There were plenty of bumps in the road and was the scariest thing we have gone through, but on Christmas Eve we brought home the best gift ever- our baby girl was finally graduating and coming home with us.

We have now been home for a month and a half and she is doing so great.

None of this could have been possible without the amazing MCRM team, and NICU doctors and nurses at children’s hospital. We can’t thank you all enough. Our dreams came true and we are a family!