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A Fertility Specialist, a Royal Highness, and Me

Published on October 7, 2015 by Wendy Burch
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I went out to dinner a couple of weeks ago with the newest member of the SCRC team, Dr. Carolyn Alexander… well actually, we were invited to attend the same dinner. And it wasn’t just any dinner. This one was in honor of a Royal Highness.

Dr. Alexander and I are far from royalty… but we do have a number of things in common. Both of us are advocates for fertility awareness. (I blog about it for Southern California Reproductive Center and she is the latest doctor to join their team). We both are working moms… and we’re both friends with a fabulous woman named Ghada.

Ghada has girlfriends all over the world and people simply gravitate towards her. She’s a rare beauty, the perfect hostess and is loved not for her wealth… but for her heart of gold. So, when she invites you to a dinner party at her home in Bel Air on a beautiful summer night… you quickly RSVP. And when you see the evening is in honor of an H.R.H…. you arrive early.

Dr. Carolyn and I showed up nearly an hour before Her Royal Highness made her elegant entrance. That was plenty of time for me to Google and get some info on the guest of honor. Turns out, the Sheikha is a leading educator and one of the highest ranking women in one of the richest countries in the world.

That evening, I also learned more about the wealth of knowledge behind Dr. Carolyn Alexander. The Los Angeles native (which makes her a rare commodity, indeed) received her bachelor's degree from UCLA and her medical degree from the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. She then went on to complete her residency at some place named Johns Hopkins. Her area of expertise—reproductive endocrinology and infertility. And she’s not just accomplished, she’s published. Perhaps you’ve read her recent study evaluating patients' perceptions of embryo cryopreservation? Oh… and did I mention, in her spare time, she lectures around the world?

We are lucky that Dr. Alexander recently found a new home right here at the Southern California Reproductive Center. Carolyn is quick to point out how happy she is to be part of the ‘family’ of doctors, scientists and specialists—who work together to make parenthood possible for patients like me.

And speaking of family, Dr. Alexander has a beautiful one of her own. She’s the mother of two young boys. And, don’t think her M.D. degree saves her from the angst and anguish that comes with being a working mom. Like the rest of us, she pushes forward while feeling the pull (of the heartstrings) every time she walks out that door.

But this good doctor possesses a degree of understanding that her patients (and her friends) should prescribe to. Turns out, her approach to parenthood is one our mutual friend, Ghada, has been telling us for years. When it comes to being a Mom—worrying about it too much can rob you from the joy of the journey.

It’s an adage I wish I would have adhered to more all of those months I was trying to get pregnant. I spent so much time concerned about every part of the process.

Looking back, all of that worry seems like such a waste. Sure I had setbacks, but I also had wonderful experiences along the way. I may have been a patient at SCRC, but the doctors, technicians and nurses there became my friends. I learned so much about my body—how it works and why it wasn’t. I even uncovered an inner strength I never knew I had.

So, as you move forward towards motherhood: embrace the struggle, but leave the worry behind.

It will all work out, and trust me when I tell you all of your doubt disappears once your baby is born. And if you don’t believe me, just ask Dr. Carolyn Alexander…who by the way, quickly diagnosed my anxiety that evening. Turns out, I was experiencing a case of new-mom-guilt-for- leaving-my-baby-with-the-sitter. Carolyn recommended I sit back, enjoy some Mediterranean cuisine, and told me if I needed a friend…I could always call her in the morning.

I followed the doctor’s orders.

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