My infertility story


Amy Savannah Schutt

Years ago I wondered if I would ever successfully carry a pregnancy. I’d had a miscarriage, two surgeries, countless ultrasounds and many infertility treatments without success, and doubt began to set in.

Would I ever be a mother? Would my husband and I build our family in other ways, such as through adoption? Why did no one tell us that infertility is more common than we had known, affecting 1 in 8 couples? And if infertility is so common, why did it feel isolating, stressful, and at times, hopeless?

These were thoughts and experiences I had while I was a medical student. Deep in my medical education, through stacks of textbooks, lectures and rounds on the units, I was on one hand learning how to be a physician. On the other hand, unknown to most family, friends and colleagues, I was also learning how to be a patient. I was living, what seemed at the time, a paradox. What I didn’t know then, but know now, is that facing infertility taught me lessons about caring for women in ways that the classroom never could teach me. I have come to appreciate that these roles – physician and patient – aren’t mutually exclusive.

My daughter was ultimately conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The first pictures in her baby book are of her as an embryo – first on day 3 as a morula (Latin for “mulberry”), and then on day 5 as a blastocyst – under the microscope in the embryology lab. She was born in my fourth year of medical school – a living, breathing testament to the medical and scientific advances that made her possible – and is now 7 years old, in first grade and obsessed with soccer. I am grateful to the physicians, embryologists, nurses and staff who helped us bring that brown-eyed and curly-haired girl into this bright world.

My message – and I am truly passionate about this – is that I want to make our patients’ dreams of becoming parents come true. Because I had those same dreams, and because I understand what they are going though. Through my three years of fellowship training at Baylor College of Medicine, I have expanded my clinical knowledge and surgical skills, and I have also participated in exciting research. These are the ways I hope to help our patients – with compassionate care and through research to advance our understanding of, and treatments for, infertility.   

So as I join the Family Fertility Center team at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, I look forward to meeting our patients. I want to hear their stories and their dreams. I look forward to calling my patients with positive pregnancy tests, to celebrating pregnancy ultrasounds and to receiving birth announcements. My personal and educational experiences have taken me full circle and I look forward now to joining the team at the Family Fertility Center.