In honor of NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week), I thought I’d give you a little background on my infertility story and also update you on what’s been happen the past few months.
What kind of infertility do you suffer from?
When I first started to think something could be wrong, I went to my normal PCP to try and get some answers. After a very normal hormone check, they went ahead and looked at my husband. After his semen analysis, they tried to tell us he had a morphology issue. He went to see a Urologist right away and it took almost 2 years to find out, he was actually completely fine. I can’t begin to tell you the struggle we went through with him being gone all the time, test after test, and finally, them saying he was perfect.
Now it was time to come back to me and see what the real issue was. We waited till we moved to Flordia before we looked for a Reproductive Endocrinologist. No point starting with one doctor to move to another. Got to love military life. We met Dr. Ripps in December of 2014 and began some more in-depth blood test. I prayed for a simple solution because after all, it had to be something easy, right? Sadly, I was wrong.
My blood test concluded I had a low egg reserve for my age. To put it simply, I had very little eggs left and they were bad quality. I was a 34-year-old with the reserve and quality of someone over 40. Not good. When Dr. Ripps stated this could be due to endometriosis, I elected to have surgery right away to see if this was the issue and hopefully have it removed. It turns out, I did have endometriosis, stage 4, and had a lot of it removed in February of 2015.
Did any treatment work and what have you had done?
In April 2015, only 2 months after my surgery, we became pregnant on our own. I thought it was a miracle, my baby, so meant to be but sadly, I was wrong. During my ultrasound at 7 weeks, the baby had stopped growing at almost 6 weeks and had no heartbeat (you can read more about it here). We were devastated.
I had to wait a few months to recover from my miscarriage and by that time, my husband was deploying for the rest of the year so, I took a break.
Upon my husband’s return, we tried for a few month to get pregnant once again on our own using OPKs, lubrication, soft cups, charting and temping but unfortunately, it didn’t work.
We decided to go back to Dr. Ripps in February of 2016 and try some natural cycles with medication. We would try a few and then move on to IVF. IUI was never an option to us since we felt like if we were going to pay, IVF would be our best shot. Low and behold, our second natural cycle did work but it was short-lived. Just a week after a positive pregnancy test I had a chemical pregnancy.
Did you find a treatment that worked?
After 2 more failed cycles, it was time to move on to IVF. It took us a few months to work out the money situation and become mentally prepared but in August of 2016, we started out first IVF. It was a general success. We were able to make one-5 day blast out of the 9 eggs that were retrieved. I did become pregnant and this time, we had a wonderful heartbeat at 6 weeks and 5 days. I was able to see the baby and heartbeat again at 8 weeks but sadly at my 10-week appointment the baby had stopped growing and that lovely heartbeat was no more. That was on November 18, 2016; my husband’s birthday.
After some mental and lots of physical recovery from almost dying because of my miscarriage (you can read about that here) we saved up the money and were ready to try again. In March of 2017, we started IVF #2 and I’m happy to say at this time, I’m assumed to be pregnant with not one but two babies. We will find out in just 2 weeks how many are in there and if they are doing ok.
So what’s next in your journey?
We are really hoping that this will finally be it and we will have our take-home baby. If, God forbid once again, I’m left empty-handed, I think we may move on to an egg donor with some time to process and accept our fate. I really hope we don’t have to go that route and all will be well with these babies. Right now, I’m just trying to stay positive and do everything in power to make these babies safe and healthy.
To my sisters who see no end in sight right now, please don’t give up. Remember, you are strong and driven and one day, you will have your hearts desire. This journey we are on isn’t easy but I know in my heart, it will be worth it. Please spread the word about National Infertility Awareness Week so we can educate others and bring this epidemic to light. No one should be left feeling alone and helpless. We are in this together!