Fertility troubles can be a hard grind. Just ask sarah La Fleur. It took years of fighting to get pregnant and stay pregnant. But finally she had the baby she’d wanted so much. Yet seven weeks after her little one entered the world, she felt the trauma of birth earth all over again. Not that Sarah is a stranger to hard work. She loves it. Yes. Not content with one career path, she swapped a career as a high flyer for a second work chapter in the fashion industry.
Her husband, Chris Schoenberger, may not have such a recognizable face, but he too is a successful entrepreneur, creating and producing web shows watched by millions. Still, having a baby was, as we noted, an uphill struggle. Sarah had to fit tons of meetings with doctors into her busy days. Add to the ups and downs with her weight and the problems of clothing a body that regularly changed shape, it all proved tough work for the entrepreneurs.
On top of that, she had to overcome an extremely rare condition that made having a child at all unlikely. The company that Sarah started, Mm Lafleura, grew out of her fury at her wardrobe. She felt she didn’t have anything good to work in, viewing herself as at the mercy of illfitting and poorquality clothes. So she started a company with designer Miyako Nakamura, focusing on a range of work wear. It was a great hit, pulling in millions. Sarah’s choice of man wasn’t bad either.
Chris had started his own media concern first we faced. It was a successful blog that branched out into YouTube. The show that made its name was Hot Ones, to which 3 million people subscribe in it. Host Sean Evans chats with celebrities over some very hot wings. The two had first got together back in their college days, but their twenties weren’t exactly a blossoming love story. Sarah worked incessantly in the corporate world with barely a moment to take a breath, let alone spend time with Chris.
It wasn’t until 2015 that they were able to find time for each other and get married. And during such a busy schedule, Sarah had had no thoughts of starting a family. But as she entered her 30s, her priorities began to shift. Two years after her marriage, she was still arranging her wedding party. But children were on her mind. As she later told magazine Marie Claire, she was thinking, oh, my gosh, I need to be careful not to get pregnant because I don’t want to be pregnant at my wedding party.
That’s because Sarah was convinced that she’d get pregnant as soon as she started trying. And after the wedding party, the couple really started to focus on increasing their family. They finally had the money for it with her company starting to get properly onto its feet, so the time seemed right. It so happened that a girlfriend of Sarah, who had been trying to have a baby for a year or so, had begun to see a fertility expert. She told Sarah that she wished she had known a few things when she’d started, so she advised going to see the specialist before even starting on the process of trying.
The specialists, though, when he heard how long they’d been trying not at all yet, just snorted. He said to come back when they had been trying to get in the family way for six months. But Sarah told Maryclear magazine in 2020, he did say, if you really want to run some basic tests, we can do that. But one of those basic tests seemed a bit more than basic. It involved being put into a sort of stirrups and puff full of dye. The pain brought tears to Sarah’s eyes, and the news afterwards was disturbing.
The doctor had only seen one fallopian tube. Soon after, Sarah was on her way to the hospital in significant pain. There, another doctor found that Sarah did indeed have a problem. She had a unicorn uterus. Now, while that might sound cute, it very much isn’t. Sarah had only one half of a uterus and a single fallopian tube. This condition is not at all common, but when it occurs, the result is often infertility. The main concern with having such a condition was that while Sarah might in fact become pregnant, her fetus would be unlikely to survive. She might well miscarry after a few months or deliver prematurely.
When the couple spoke to a specialist, they asked whether she really wanted to endure the likely outcome of pregnancy, adding perhaps she should think about other paths to expanding her family. Fewer than one in 500 women have a unicorn. You at uterus, and of course, it’s not visible to their friends and family. Lots of people just couldn’t understand why a healthy woman would have issues with pregnancy. But Sarah was stuck with this condition, which even doctors didn’t know much about. And as she told Marie Claire, a lot of them said she should just go for surrogacy, while the couple considered surrogacy.
But initially they felt uncomfortable with the idea and decided to just give getting pregnant ago. Sure enough, one happy day, Sarah saw a line on the pea stick and suddenly she was excited. Delighted by the idea of being pregnant. She passed on wine at a lunch with a good friend, a treat she’d normally have insisted on. But when Sarah traveled back to her office after that lunch, she could feel that her period was starting. And when the bleed just went on and on, she knew that she’d miscarried. The same pattern would occur a couple more times, so she knew she could get pregnant.
But it didn’t seem like a baby would ever result. So the couple tried out in vitro fertilization beginning in February 2018. Unfortunately, the clinic could only get a few eggs on the first cycle. In the end, the seven that were harvested ended up with only three fertilized and viable. So one was transferred. But there was no joyful news this time. A specialist informs Sarah that the cramping she experienced at period time might be down to endometriosis. This is another little known condition, but there was a test.
She did have it, and that meant she needed treatment. But before that began, there was an opportunity to grab some more eggs. Second time around, the process ended with some good embryos, and medication dealt with the endometriosis, although it was an unpleasant treatment involving experiences similar to menopause. Still, two months later, sarah was all set for a fresh transfer of a fertilized embryo. But to the puzzlement of her doctor, it failed again. Once more, the experts told Sarah that surrogacy was her best bet.
But there was another option. She could try another fertility clinic that did some autoimmune stuff right at the bounds of science. This definitely wasn’t your regular IVF treatment, but Sarah was ready to give it a go. So the new doctors confirmed the entrepreneurs had endometriosis and needed surgery. And then she’d have experimental treatments. And because this was right out on the edge, they came at a high price. Sara was looking at $3,000 plus a week for several weeks. This wouldn’t even cover the many other meds that she was also taking.
The whole fertility process seemed to be just getting out of hand, just fitting the appointments into the business owner’s hectic schedule was difficult, and the business itself was taxing, demanding huge amounts of her time, unwilling to just give up, cyra prepared to double down. But in January 2019, she was due to undergo a transfusion, a five hour process. And she admitted to Marie Claire that when she came to schedule it, she’d had a realization. She just couldn’t spare 5 hours for this. It had all become too crazy. So she quit the whole fertility round about canceling the appointment with no intention of ever rescheduling it.
So the couple went with the route that had been suggested to them so often surrogacy. Sarah matched with a woman called Trisha who lived in Minnesota. She felt that she would be the right pick, and when they talked, that was confirmed. Tricia just seemed like a perfect choice. Tricia and husband Mason seemed ready for the undertaking. So when the time came, sarah flew to Minneapolis to transfer an embryo. The entrepreneurs were just amazed that someone would do this for her.
They held hands as the transfer went ahead in December 2019, and more than a few tears were shed. All went well, and the weight was then on to see whether the embryo had taken, sarah told Marie Clear that she’d said to her surrogate, tricia, I hope you know, whatever happens, it’s going to be okay. Even though she was stunned when she got a call telling her the attempted pregnancy had failed. Yet after so many false starts, she had already stealed herself for more disappointment. Mind you, she didn’t know how much more she could take, at least financially.
The couple had spent nearly their whole savings on the pursuit of a baby. But Sarah wasn’t completely ready to give up. By her own account, it had been in excess of a year since she’d quit the IVF. Now she asked for Love Knocks, a drug that had previously brought success for a friend. Her doctor was a bit skeptical, but she was willing to give it a shot. So Sarah started on the latest round of treatment. It was December 2019 when Sarah underwent another transfer, hoping against hope to avoid yet another miscarriage.
Given the small chance of success, she had decided to pair up with her choice of surrogate again. And this time, Tricia had asked to use two embryos, reassured by medics that because the embryos were not high quality and twins were consequently unlikely, sarah okay Tricia’s double transfer in the new year. Well, as luck would have it, this time Tricia’s transfer took. And not only that, but it looked very much like twins. Six weeks after the procedure, tricia went for a scanner’s plan and her doctor listened out for a heartbeat. There were indeed two after all this time.
Soon, Sarah would likely have not just one baby, but two. She was over the moon. And maybe, just maybe, a third child was on the cards because Sarah had fallen pregnant. Too busy with a viral advertising campaign, sarah hit her own pregnancy. After all, she knew she was no safer than before from falling prey to yet another miscarriage. But she was able to comfort herself with the knowledge that Tricia was pregnant with her fetuses and maybe at least one would remain viable until birth. Tricia had known Sarah was pregnant since before her second cycle.