ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - In her late twenties and early thirties, Amy Isom's career was taking off. She was single, successful,
not ready for motherhood.
"And then when I hit about 32, I definitely started thinking about it," Isom remembers. "Thinking, what is my plan going to be? How am I going to make this happen?"
So, at 34, Isom decided to freeze some of her eggs at Reproductive Biology Associates, or RBA, in Atlanta.
"It felt kind of like an insurance policy, to buy a little more time," Isom says.
Two years later, Amy met Jeff Isom.
By 38, they were married, ready to start their family right away.
"I didn't actually think I would have to use those frozen eggs," she says.
But after 3 miscarriages, and an ectopic, or tubal, pregnancy, Amy and Jeff turned to Dr. Scott Slayden at RBA, who'd helped Amy freeze her eggs years earlier.
"We decided instead of using those eggs, we'll try to go get more eggs, to stockpile enough to hopefully build a family," Dr. Slayden says.
The Isoms began the first of 7 IVF cycles, using both Amy's stockpiled eggs, and fresh ones.
But each time, the same problem: Amy's eggs would be fertilized with Jeff's sperm.
But, the embryos wouldn't survive long enough to be transferred back to Amy.
And the two times they did, she didn't get pregnant.
"Her losses, as are many of our patients, are related to egg-aging," Dr. Slayden says.
Isom took the setbacks hard.
"In a lot of ways I felt like failure to my husband," she says. "In a lot of ways, it was a private struggle. You don't talk about it too, too much when you're going through it."
By 2017, Amy Isom was 40, two years into fertility treatment, and still not pregnant.
"I know the emotional toll it was taking on her with each failure we went through," Jeff Isom says. "I didn't know how many more of those she could handle."
So, after two years, they agreed to try one more time.
"And it was just really a final push, to see where we could go," Slayden says. "We really got aggressive to produce the pregnancy, and we took some risks."
This time, Amy's eggs were retrieved, fertilized with Jeff's sperm, and then the embryos were quickly frozen, before they became unviable.
Four were thawed and transferred to Amy.
"We we got the positive results, I started crying," Jeff Isom says.
Amy was pregnant.
Savannah was born April 15th, 2018, by caesarian section.
Jeff handed her to Amy.
"To see my wife kiss our daughter was one of the greatest moments of my life," he says.
Amy Isom, is -- at long last -- a mom.
"Every day I wake up and I am thankful in a slightly different way," she says.
The Isoms estimate they've paid about $70,000 out of pocket for their treatment.
Amy's employer covered an additional $15,000 before she reached her lifetime coverage limit.
The Isoms still have 3 embryos on ice.
They have not decided what to do with them.