Patient Stories

Whenever any of our patients' treatments result in a baby, we celebrate their joy in the miracle of life. From time to time, however, couples with extraordinarily intractable cases come to us with very little hope for success. When such a couple is successful (to our amazement) the joy is just a little sweeter!

Due to the very personal nature of fertility treatment, we are very careful to maintain our patients' anonymity. Although the names and places in the following "believe it or not" stories have been changed, the facts being reported are faithfully accurate(unless patients have agreed to allow their actual names to be used).

Dear Dr. Smotrich, and the Entire staff at La Jolla IVF

Do not ever underestimate the place you have on this earth – the influence you exert most unexpectedly – this remarkable thing. It is easy to know how you impact your family, your friends, your colleagues, but do you ever wonder how your presence – the work you do and the way you carry yourself when you do it – can entirely transform the destiny of a life, of a family, of people whose name you will forget in a year or a decade.

I am only one, but there are no doubt countless others that feel, but perhaps cannot place in words, our gratitude for the transient but extraordinary role you have had in our lives.
One small word of compassion, an act of kindness, a humorous exchange, a gesture of understanding have over and again lifted my spirit, disconsolate and worn down by so many failures. You have no idea the strength you have imparted to me, the willingness to forge ahead because I knew I would be nurtured with kindness and with grace. You have been a cocoon that comforted no matter how ferocious the world outside, no matter the stark reality that the likelihood of success for many of us is indeed slim.

We who have failed to conceive by traditional means have not arrived on your doorstep out of weakness, but out of strength, determination and perseverance. And after months and years of these small tortures of injections and surgeries and endless ultrasounds, we have learned stoicism because we had no choice, and because we are inherently hearty stock. But I for one, have had many cracks in my armor, yet I have always felt safe and unjudged by you in the decisions we have made. You have been the warm blanket in the coldest hour, solace in times of mourning. Your ministrations have always been genuine and we have never felt humored or placated; only cared for deeply. I wonder sometimes if we would have persevered so long had you not made this journey livable. And had we not endured -had not your ministrations been so tender- we would not have the family -born and unborn-that grows around and within us now.

In this way, take due credit for the miracle which you have so carefully crafted. Know that your presence, in a very tangible way, in even the smallest expressions of being, has profoundly influenced the course which our lives now take.

So, when you wake up fatigued and cranky, reluctant to come to work, anticipating tedium -just remember that in ways which you cannot even fathom: a word, a tender look, an empathetic hug- in a fleeting moment imperceptible to you, you may very well transform the path -the very destiny, the entire course of life of another human being that will fulfill them and bring them immeasurable joy for the years they have left on this earth. This is the remarkable thing.

With our sincere gratitude MOST,

- Alex and Nick and Magdalena, Anastasie, Luca and Avalene

God's Gift

We are forever grateful and indebted to La Jolla IVF, Dr. Smotrich and his wonderful crew.Love,

-Teddy, Ronda & Jada C

Dear Dr. Smotrich and the wonderful staff at La Jolla IVF,

We were just notified that the ”Thank You” letter that we sent you after the birth of our wonderful baby girl - Roee, has returned to sender and in fact didn't reach you.

So we are sending you this mail to happily let you know that on March 14 2013, after 38 weeks and 5 days of a perfect pregnancy, Michelle delivered our perfect little baby girl.

The birth, which took about an hour, was a water birth and went by without any complications. We stayed at the hospital for two days and were discharged with baby Roee after we received a green light by the doctor that everything is perfectly fine with her.

After being discharged, we stayed for three weeks until all the legal procedures and paper work were finalized. During this time we got to know Roee and had a really wonderful time bonding and taking care of her.

We returned to Israel on April 5, and received a very excited and warm welcome from our family and friends. It made us so proud and thankful that we fulfilled our dream.

Now Roee is two and half months old and it is just pure pleasure to be with her, play together and take care of her. Since the beginning she was a very easy baby – doesn't have gas related aches, sleeps and eat very well. As time passes she is getting bigger and as of today she weighs 5.3 Kg.

She is very alert and communicative – smiles and laughs a lot. Always talks to her puppets and to us and is the light of the house. She sleeps through the night and has even started to turn over.

No words can express our gratitude and thanks to you all for making our dream come true and we are so proud of you all for the great attitude and for your level of professionalism.

As you probably know, having a child through surrogacy is a very complicated and stressful procedure. We are happy to be so lucky to have had a really wonderful journey with zero complication and we are so thankful to you for that.

Your work is sacred and you have all the reasons in the world to be proud of it.

“כִּי אֹרֶךְ יָמִים וּשְׁנוֹת חַיִּים וְשָׁלוֹם יוֹסִיפוּ לָךְ” (משלי, ג, 2(

For length of days, and years of life, and peace, will they add to thee

Hope to see you soon in the next round.

Best regards,

- Mickey, Shai and, most importantly, Roee

P.S. It is our pleasure to attach some pictures for your enjoyment.

Dear Dr. Smotrich,

I hope this finds you doing well. Anthony and I met with you the later part of 2011 and the beginning of 2012. Your assistance and guidance has brought us our newborn son. We are extremely excited and proud to introduce you to Eli Alexander. He was born on December 31st, 2012. He weighed 6 lbs., 6 oz. and was 18 inches long. He’s 4 month old now and is a very healthy 15lbs, 12 oz. and 25.5 inches long. My sister Helen, you may remember, was the surrogate. She is doing very well and can’t be more excited about her new nephew.

You were part of this exciting process and we wanted to share this great news with you. Going through this has been worth every moment. Seeing Eli change and grow almost daily brings us joy like nothing else. We also want to thank you for giving us something we thought may be impossible.

We hope this finds you, your family and your entire staff doing well.

Take Care,

- Alex and Anthony

Dear Dr. Smotrich,

Just wanted to bring you up to date. Our baby girl is healthy and continue to amaze us.
We’re so fortunate! A big THANK YOU to you.

Please share our photos so others may see the good work you do.


Tod and Alex

Dear Dr. Smotrich and the entire La Jolla IVF Staff:

I can’t say enough good things about my experience with everyone at La Jolla IVF. Everyone was always kind, caring and concerned. One thing that really impressed me was that after my first visit, no one ever asked my name. You may think that is strange but no one ever asked my name because everyone in the office knew my name! Not only that but everyone always greeted me warmly by name both in person and on the phone. I felt like a valued customer. I had worked with another center prior to going to La Jolla IVF. Although I liked the doctor, the staff treated me about the same as you are treated at an urgent care center. No one ever greeted me by name or even acted like they had seen me before. Even though I had been in several times a month. I wanted another child more than anything in the world that I didn’t already have. I had started late not realizing how young a woman’s fertility beings to decline. Dr. Smotrich always treated me with kindness and respect. Even more importantly, he treated me as an equal partner in the process. At one point during my treatment I had an urgent medical issue on a Saturday afternoon. Dr. Smotrich called me back in less than 5 minutes. He was able to help me treat the situation at home and saw me the next morning (a Sunday) in the office. He also called back Saturday evening to make sure I was doing okay. Another thing I appreciated about working with La Jolla IVF was the fees. My budgeted fees were the same as what I actually spent. At the other fertility center I paid for a global package but as I went through my treatment I found more and more things were not included in the “global” fees. I thought global fees would include everything that was not specifically excluded but it seemed like every time I walked into the office there was yet another unexpected charge. I found this very frustrating. It’s rare to find the best technical expertise, an outstanding embryology lab and excellent patient care all in the same center. La Jolla IVF exceeds expectations in all areas. I wholeheartedly recommend La Jolla IVF to anyone looking to start or expand their family!

~ An Older (51) Expectant Mother

Dr. Smotrich,

gracias por su profesionalidad, por su trabajo y principalmente por la seguridad que nos transmitió desde el primer día lo conocimos… Usted ha sido una de las piezas fundamentales en todo este proceso.

Es complicado expresar en pocas líneas el AGRADECIMIENTO que sentimos hacia usted y hacia el todo el equipo médico que trabaja en La Clinica La Jolla.

Todas y cada una de las personas que pusieron su granito de arena en nuestro proceso estarán siempre en nuestros pensamientos.

Nuestras hijas nacieron con buena salud y con mucha fuerza en Julio del 2011, con 33 semana de gestación y a pesar de ser pequeñitas, diríamos que dentro tiene un motor muy grande, tan grande que ahora ese motor también mueve nuestro mundo.

Hoy somos 5 y juntos formamos una familia, ellas siguen creciendo saludables y nosotros estamos cada vez más orgullosos.

Lo que hoy en día estamos viviendo es una realidad mágica y maravillosa.
Mil Gracias y reciban un fuerte abrazo de nuestra parte

- Angel & Miguel

Dr. Smotrich:

I hope you are well. The boys meat at 31 ½ weeks early November 28th and Have Been in the NICU at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

We named the boys Levi Caleb Ryan Harris and Ryan Harris. I've attached some photos for you.

They are doing well, and we are hoping to bring them home in the next couple of weeks. Levi was born first at 3 lbs 4 oz and Caleb was 3 lbs 2 oz. Levi is now 4 lbs 7 oz and Caleb has overtaken His big brother and now weighs 4 lbs 15 oz.

It has been a busy month for us as you can imagine, so I have not got the chance to write you. But, I wanted to say thank you again for helping us, and for Being an instrument in God's hands to help bring These two little blessings in to our life. I will always remember when we Said a prayer together Leanne HAD right after her IVF procedure. That was a great moment. You are not only a physician, but a man of faith, and I appreciate that.

God bless.

- Ryan and Leanne

Dear Dr. Smotrich,

It has been almost 1 year since Cooper has come into our lives. Parenthood has been more than we ever dreamed it could be. Cooper is healthy and growing. He has a wonderful personality, and has given us so many laughs and almost as many tears of joy. Cooper is walking already! He is rather independent and will let go of our hand and tear off to explore everything! He has also become quite a climber, so we have had to baby proof our home with gates and such! Now in a few weeks we are planning a little birthday party for him. We can’t believe that a year has passed so quickly.

We had a wonderful Father’s Day a few weeks ago. We remember the previous Father’s Day when you called to tell us that you wanted to help us continue our struggle to become parents. We had learned just days earlier that we pregnancy attempt, and were devastated…believing that we had another long wait ahead of us. Then you called again (on Father’s Day) to speak to us about continuing with different donor and surrogate etc. There is no doubt that without your dedication to us, we would still be waiting…perhaps several years more, before we could have tried again.

Thank you again to you and your staff for all you have done for us.

God bless you all.