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The ride of their lives

Samantha Busch reflects on infertility struggles, joy of conceiving


Samantha and Kyle Busch are a team.

Together, they built a powerhouse stock car racing brand and became one of the most recognized couples in the motor sports industry. But when they decided it was time to grow their family, the couple couldn’t conceive.

In this case, they found it wasn’t speed that counted but perseverance and courage to win.

“It was a really hard time in my life,” Samantha Busch said. “First, it began with the excitement of trying but, as months passed, the excitement turned to frustration and fear. Eventually, I became very upset with the whole situation.”

After some extensive blood work and an ultrasound, Busch’s OB-GYN diagnosed her with polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, a common hormonal disorder where the ovaries are enlarged and often have tiny cysts around the outer edges. It is also the leading cause of infertility in women.

“From there, we were put on fertility medications but those failed us,” she said. “I was very depressed because I really thought they would work for us. I had had so much hope.”

And as more of her friends announced they were expecting, Samantha Busch became discouraged. “I felt ashamed and embarrassed that I couldn't give my husband a child,” she said.

They were referred to the REACH fertility clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina, and learned they each had reproductive “issues” and that in vitro fertilization was their only option to conceive.

She wasn’t sure if in vitro fertilization was the path she’d want take. For someone who was terrified of needles and prefers natural remedies over medicine, the IVF process was a bit overwhelming at first.

Samantha Busch said she leaned on faith, family and friends to help her along the way. She started a blog where she daily posted photos, videos and detailed accounts of their journey to help other couples facing similar challenges.

In her blog, Samantha Busch details how she felt every emotion imaginable – anxiety, anger, shame, hope.

“I am a strong, confident woman who endured needles, medications and surgery to conceive our child,” she said. “There's nothing to be embarrassed about not being able to conceive naturally. Everyone's body is different and mine just needed a little help in the right direction.”

After weeks of painful injections and a strict treatment regimen, her eggs were retrieved for doctors to inject her husband’s sperm. Of eight possible embryos, one was implanted back into her body.

They were told to wait 12 days and come in for the first of three blood tests to detect whether the procedure was successful. By the eighth day, good news came in the form of a positive over-the-counter pregnancy test.

“God answered our prayers,” Samantha Busch wrote in her blog. “We are having a baby!”

While she plans to have her baby boy at the hospital, Samantha Busch chose a midwife for care during her pregnancy and delivery. During a recent visit to Novant Health Huntersville Obstetrics and Gynecology in Denver, North Carolina, the couple met with nurse midwife Barbara Metzelaars, who checked on the health of both mom and baby at 23 weeks.

“Lots of women are looking for a different model that’s more hands-on,” Metzelaars said. “It’s a great model of care.”

The past two years have been quite the bumpy ride, and now the Busches are racing to the finish – all the while enjoying every minute.

“From first hearing the heartbeat to seeing him for the first time on an ultrasound to feeling that first kick, the joy we feel is absolutely overwhelming and like nothing we’ve experienced,” she said. “It's almost unexplainable.”

Team Busch is expecting their son in May.





Published: 3/9/2015