IVF Babble

Maxim model Tess Annique talks to IVFbabble about her journey through miscarriage, IVF and infertility

We are excited to bring you our exclusive interview with Tess Annique Souray, Maxim model, actress and wellness influencer.

We have the privilege of delving into a deeply personal aspect of Tess’s life as she opens up about her courageous journey through IVF and her determination to bring hope to other women facing similar challenges

Tess’s story is not only one of strength and resilience but also sheds light on the often untold struggles that individuals and couples face when trying to conceive. Alongside her husband, NHL superstar Sheldon Souray, she embarked on a difficult path of three rounds of IVF over the course of three years, facing heartbreak and disappointment along the way.

During one of her trials, Tess endured the devastating loss of a miscarriage at 10 weeks

However, her unwavering spirit led her to seek answers and advocate for herself. Initially denied testing to uncover the root cause of her miscarriage, Tess’s determination led her to discover a program called Pregmune and a doctor who was willing to investigate further. Through this testing, she discovered that she had a blood clotting disorder that had been the underlying cause of her miscarriage.

With newfound knowledge and medical intervention, Tess is now 20 weeks along with her “rainbow baby,” a term used to describe a baby born after a miscarriage.

Inspired by her own experiences, she is eager to share her journey, lifting the veil on the often-challenging process of IVF. By doing so, she hopes to bring hope, encouragement, and support to women who are currently undergoing or considering IVF.

Tess firmly believes in being an advocate for oneself and wants to emphasize the importance of testing in preventing another miscarriage.

Her willingness to share her story is a testament to her strength and compassion, as she aims to provide solace to others who may be navigating the intricate world of fertility treatments.

It is with great honor and gratitude to Tess Annique Souray for sharing her story with us “Through our partnership with IVF Babble, we aim to shed light on the realities of IVF, break down stigmas, and offer a beacon of hope to those who may be facing their own fertility struggles.”

Tess, tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in southern California as a first generation American. At 15, I signed with my first agency and began modelling throughout school. I have always loved working in business and fashion. I graduated university and moved back to LA and started working as a content creator.

How did you and your husband Sheldon meet? How long have you both been married?

We met seven years ago at treatment. We both are so open in our journeys of sobriety. We dated for four years and then got engaged. We just celebrated our second wedding anniversary! I love being married to my best friend.

When did you and Sheldon decide to go the IVF route to conceive your child?

After a year of trying (and nothing happening), I wanted to get our levels checked. Since something seemed ‘off.’ I was 25 at the time and my husband has 2 children from his previous marriage. So something wasn’t adding up. I’m so glad we asked for help when we did!

Did you try other methods (IUI, etc) to try to have a baby before considering IVF?

No, we never tried IUI, we were told that IVF was our only way. After trying naturally for years, this seemed like the best option for us.

What struggles did you endure during the process of undergoing IVF?

Three egg retrievals, 2 transfers, 1 missed miscarriage at 10 weeks in IVF. I feel like I’ve been through it all.

Take us back to the moment when you and Sheldon first learned that you had conceived your first baby through IVF. What were your feelings and emotions?

We were so incredibly excited! It took 3 years of IVF to get there, so we truly were overjoyed.

Throughout the trials, at what point and when did you suffer your first miscarriage and how did you find out?

After our first transfer, we went to our first ultrasound at 6 weeks, and everything looked amazing. At seven weeks, we saw the most perfect heartbeat. At 10 weeks, there was no heartbeat. We had a missed miscarriage. I was devastated. I thought everything was perfect. I trusted my body and couldn’t be more wrong. It was the darkest point of my life.

What feelings did you and Sheldon experience upon finding out that you had miscarried? How did you both cope with that experience as a couple?

It was a really dark few months for me. My husband was there for me in ways I couldn’t even explain. It was something we both never thought we would go through, but we got through it together.

How soon after did you both decide to try again?

My miscarriage happened in November. We had to do additional testing in January. In Feb, I went through another retrieval. I had a few more months of additional testing after the retrieval to make sure my body was ready for transfer again. It gave me time to heal but also look forward to the future.

When and why did you decide that you wanted to test and screen for the cause of your miscarriage?

After my miscarriage, I knew it just wasn’t about ‘bad luck’ something else was wrong. To have a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I got so many second opinions. One of the doctors recommended I look into a test called Pregmune. A pregnancy autoimmune related test. This test gave us all the answers I was looking for. I have blood clotting disorders that are only active in pregnancy that I had no idea about.

Tell us more about your experience with genetic testing and finding a provider. What, if any, difficulties did you experience in your journey to get testing done? What positives did you experience during this journey?

Most IVF clinics in the states offer genetic testing. We knew it was always something we wanted to do if we were doing IVF. There’s so much testing that is done in IVF, that taking another step to do genetic testing once the embryos were made, seemed like the correct choice for us.

What did you eventually find out through testing that was the cause of your miscarriage?

When I did the Pregmune test, I found out I have 3 blood clotting disorders that are only active during Pregnancy. The great thing about this test is that they tell you their recommendations based on your results. I implemented their recommendations for our next transfer, and we are currently 21 weeks with a healthy baby boy.

What was that process like to get back into starting another trial? What therapies and interventions are you currently going through right now to manage your pregnancy after finding out about your disorder?

I take a lovenox shot every day (blood thinner) and a baby aspirin every morning. I loved acupuncture at the beginning as well!

How far along are you currently in your pregnancy journey and have there been any complications thus far?

I am 21 weeks along and have thankfully had no complications this far!

Maxim model Tess Annique talks to IVFbabble about her journey through miscarriage, IVF and infertility IVF Babble

What advice would you like to give other families who are considering IVF?

It can definitely be a long journey. It’s never a straight shot, there’s always some setbacks. Don’t put yourself on a timeline and remember that you and your partner are a team. It’s a long journey but so worth it in the end!

Stay tuned as we delve even deeper into Tess’s journey

IVFbabble’s co founder, Sara, will be chatting more with Tess as she shares her insights, her resilience and messages of empowerment. If you have any questions that you would like Sara to ask Tess, do send via DM on Insta @ivfbabble



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