'She knows she's a miracle': West Fargo couple tells story of long road to pregnancy

After years of trying, Kayla and Dan Dornfeld welcomed their daughter Rivyn to their family in December of 2021.

Kayla and Dan Dornfeld, with their daughter Rivyn.
Mike McGurran
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According to data from the Mayo Clinic, nearly one in eight couples struggle with infertility while trying to have a child.

It can be a painful thing for people who want to have a child of their own. One such couple is Dan and Kayla Dornfeld of West Fargo.

Dan and Kayla knew they wanted to have children even before they were married.

"Our first date, I talked about wanting to have more kids or wanting to have any kids and he said he wanted to have more kids," Kayla remembers.

Their journey to pregnancy was a challenging one. After trying and failing to get pregnant, they went to the Sanford Reproductive Medicine clinic.


"For Kayla and Dan, we didn't find anything," said Dr. Sheena Rippentrop, a physician at the clinic. "And that's what we call unexplained infertility. It's a very frustrating diagnosis."

Dr. Rippentrop said it's an issue many couples struggling to get pregnant face.

The Dornfeld's still had options. After trying a few different treatment options to no avail, they decided to pursue IFV treatments, a medical procedure where an egg is fertilized by sperm outside of the body.

It still wasn't easy for the couple. The failure of their first IVF was especially difficult.

"That was so hard," Kayla said. "And I just, I shut down, completely shut down, depressed."

With each other's support, they didn't give up, and with a lot of prayers, it eventually paid off. Kayla got pregnant, and Baby Rivyn was born in December of 2021.

"She knows she's a miracle," Dan said. "And she knows how many prayers and tears and blood and love came into every part of her being here. So she is an amazing gift."

"Yeah, she is," Kayla agreed, staring adoringly at her daughter.


Kayla and Dan both say they're grateful for the hard work of Dr. Rippentrop, and all the staff at the Sanford Reproductive Medicine facility.

They hope that their success story, and their openness with the challenges they faced, reduces the stigma that couples who struggle to get pregnant sometimes face.

Even though the journey to meeting Baby Rivyn was a long one, they have no regrets.

"I would do it all again, and again, and again," Kayla said.

Kayla and Dan are getting ready for another embryo transfer in December, so they can have a sibling for baby Rivyn.

Related Topics: ON THE MINDS OF MOMS
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