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Healthierme: Wishing For A Baby - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Healthierme: Wishing For A Baby

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Trying to start a family can be for hard, even frustrating for reproductively-challenged couples, especially if you're taking on those challenges alone. One Moorhead family who knows all too well the challenges many couples face and say it never hurts to seek help. 

"All of the challenges it took to get to this point, she's going to be so spoiled!" says new dad, Ben Hammer. "I would walk through a mile in broken glass to get to this point because it's wonderful. It really is. She's our little miracle."

She's only one month old, but for Caren and Ben Hammer, they're celebrating a milestone.  

"It's hard enough when you're trying on your own and unsuccessful each month and then when you're going through treatment and trying everything you can and still unsuccessful, it's kind of discouraging," says Caren Hammer.

Caren knows too well. She's an embryologist at Sanford Health's Reproductive Medicine Clinic. After trying for four years, and two failed rounds of artificial insemination, the couple said it was time for in vitro--where an egg and sperm are combined externally in a lab. The question was should she go undergo treatment at work?

"One of the challenges was trying to keep this confidential from her coworkers," says Dr. Stephanie Dahl, a reproductive specialist at Sanford Health. "We tried ingenious ways to keep things under wraps."

In the end, Caren and Ben knew they couldn't find a better support system -- that would keep them going, physically and mentally.

"They were just as disappointed as we were and just as happy at our success as well," says Caren.

With the ups and downs many reproductively-challenged couples go through, they say seeking that help is crucial.

"To know you're not alone, you need that," she says.

And they're far from alone now. Alyssa Hammer was born 7 pounds, 13 ounces, 19 and-a-half inches long and a whole hat of hair.

"All the nurses, I mean, there were nurses who weren't even ours that were coming, 'Look at that hair!" says Ben.

And like the way she fits in Ben's hand, they knew this Daddy's little girl was meant to be.

"So she's got mom's hair color but baby Alyssa has dad's hair thickness. I have plenty of hair!" he laughs.

Ben and Caren say they do plan on adding to their family in the future whether it's on their own or through treatment again. If you're dealing with a similar issue like the Hammers, don't hesitate to meet with a physician. Dr. Dahl recommends women under 35 to seek help after a year. Those older should seek help after six months. 

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