COVID-19 pandemic delays plans for many, including growing a family through IVF


(WTNH) — The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on families in all different ways. For some, it is preventing them from growing their family.

Samantha Christensen and her husband of Simsbury knew the only chance they had to grow their family would be In Vitro Fertilization.

“My husband and I always knew this was going to be our only option. I think you go through this phase of there’s a certain magic that’s going to be taken away from you,” Samantha Christensen says.

Earlier this year, they were ready to give it a shot, and then COVID happened.

“I think we drove home in silence to kind of let it all soak in.”

They were one of 275 families in just one fertility center to have their plans put on hold at the height of the pandemic with no clear answer when they could get started again.

Many times, families struggle to walk through the doors of a fertility center to begin with. Often times it means they’ve been through some sort of personal struggle. So by the time they get here, they have some hope, maybe their luck will finally start to turn around.

Kim Crone is a psychologist at the Center for Advanced Reproduction in Farmington where there’s a “Wall of Hope” that keeps struggling families optimistic their time is coming.

“We didn’t have good information about when we are going to start back up again and how long their wait would have to be. It was heartbreaking,” Crone adds.

Heartbreaking for everyone, but a physical and emotional challenge for the women who had already begun the process of taking hormones, tracking cycles and undergoing a series of precisely-timed tests.

“The patients I was talking to were really struggling with some of that and we worked on how to cope with it how to get through it.”

It was an emotional rollercoaster that finally saw some relief. Operations resumed at 50% capacity this summer and has gone up since then. Many families have started back up while Crone says others have been hesitant amid the pandemic.

Christensen however opted to try her luck at the center as soon as she could. You could say it was meant to be.

“So I am pregnant,” Christensen says.

It worked, and she is on her way to becoming a mom in the spring to a son or daughter. It is the surprise ending even a pandemic can’t take away from her.

“I think this is the one thing I can control about it and I can have that joyful moment so I think we’re going to hold tight and wait it out.”

Crone says research shows stopping an IVF cycle in the middle of it, and then starting over, typically doesn’t play a major role in whether someone can ultimately conceive.

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