AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — This Father’s Day will hold extra meaning for an Akron couple.
After being told they would have no children of their own, the science and technology at the Cleveland Clinic helped them welcome a son late last year.
“He’s just a happy little guy, he’s always smiling. He’s so easygoing,” said mom Brienne Alves.
Baby Noah’s smile is a blessing to his parents. “Even the journey to have him, I don’t know if we would change that. I think it’s made us better parents in the process because we truly wanted him,” said dad Eric Alves.
Married in 2014, the couple had stopped using birth control in 2016. Two years later they still hadn’t gotten pregnant and were referred to a fertility specialist.
“After that first test, the lab gave me a call back saying you know, no sperm was found,” said Eric.
He was diagnosed with azoospermia, a rare condition that causes male infertility. “You start feeling you know shameful and guilty, really that’s when there’s a lot of pressure put on you.”
After no success with several doctors, who told them they had no options, they were devastated.
But they still had faith and eventually found Dr. Neel Parekh at the Cleveland Clinic. “It’s important for the population to know it’s a couples’ disease,” Parekh said. “You really need to be at a large center that has those resources and all the up-to-date technology to really be successful in this field.”
After trying various medications and testing, Eric and Brienne chose to try a surgery called Microtese. “You know all the emotions, the expense, the difficulties that you put into something and you know there’s no guarantee in the end,” said Brienne.
But it worked. “He went in for surgery, I went in for my egg retrieval at the same time. I came out first and his doctor actually found me in the hallway to let me know that they had found sperm,” said Brienne.
Four months later, an embryo was transferred into her uterus. “On March 19th which just happened to be Eric’s 34th birthday, we found out we were expecting our son.”
Baby Noah is healthy and seven months old now and his parents call him a miracle.
This Father’s Day, Eric says he will cherish every moment. “But at the same time I know other individuals are also going through the struggle and so hopefully this story helps provide them some ounce of hope to continue the journey and hopefully have a similar story.”
Eric and Brienne plan to continue growing their family through the same process that helped them conceive Noah.