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Friday, October 30, 2009

My Infertility Journey

As promised in my first post I said I would share my infertility story. (Warning long post)

When Todd and I got married in March of 1997 at 20 (me) & 21 having a child was the furthest thing from our minds. We wanted to enjoy each other before we had any children of our own. Don't get me wrong we loved children, but just other people's. I guess maybe you can say we were a little too immature to have kids. We still wanted to go as we please. A child would have slowed us down.

Shortly after I got married my menstrual cramps got unbearable. I went to a new OBGYN for answers. He told me that I could start taking birth control pills continously without having a period. OMG! Really? I can go without having a period. That was the best news ever for me and it actually helped. I didn't have the pain any longer. When I went back to him the second time he asked how I been doing. I said great! He then made a statement that if I wanted to have a laparoscopic surgery to find out what exactly is going on I could. He did not say I should. So I thought to myself why would I if I am feeling good. If only he would have mention if you have what I think you have you might have trouble getting pregnant the older you get. Never once did this doctor say Endometriosis (Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrial stroma and glands, which should only be located inside the uterus) is found elsewhere in the body.) to me, so my life went on. Todd and I did as much as we could together.

Then I turned 27 and the baby bug hit me. All of the sudden I wanted one bad. We tried for a year on our own before I found a different OBGYN to go to. She was not too concerned to begin with, but since we had been trying for a year she put me on Clomid for 3 cycles. Nothing happened. She then mentioned Endometriosis, but could only be certain after laparoscopic surgery. We scheduled the surgery. After the surgery Todd and I got the worst news we have ever received as a married couple. Her exact words were " It would be a miracle for you to conceive on your own." She explained I was the second worst case of endometriosis she has ever seen. One of my fallopian tubes was completed blocked with endometrial lining and the other
was partially blocked. I had a endometrioma on my left ovary. She said our best option is in vitro fertilization. This is when she recommended me to who I think is the best RE (reproductive endocrinologist) Dr. Eli Reshef.

Once Todd and I got home we realized this wasn't going to be a easy journey, but we were determined to have children. We made the appointment for the consultation with Dr. Reshef. Let me just say this first. We absolutely loved him. He made us feel like we were his only patients. He took his time with us. I truly feel like he cares for each and every patient he sees. He did some tests on me and some on Todd. We found out the best option for us would be IVF with ICSI. ICSI is when the embryologist inject the egg with the sperm. Todd's count was
good, but they were slow swimmers.

In March of 2007 we went throught our first IVF cycle. This consisted of alot of trips to Dr. Reshef's office, alot of shots and blood taken numerous time. I just kept thinking of the end result. It helped get me through the process. Todd and I knew our chances at the beginning. Dr. Reshef was straight up with us. He gave us a 50/50 chance of getting pregnant, but that was a 50/50 shot of hope for us. At the time of my egg retrieval only 5 eggs were retrieved.
We knew it was going to be low, but we were hoping for 8. My ovaries don't produce as many as most IVF patients do, because of all the scarring and the cyst from the endometriosis. Out of those 5 only 3 fertilized. With such a small amount we went for a day 3 transfer. That day was bitter sweet. We were so excited, but it could also be the end of this journey. It was a Sunday. The embryologist gave us the update on our embryos when we arrived. They had divided into 6,8 and 9 cell embryos. Dr. Reshef would be transferring the 8 and 9 cell that morning. If the other embryo made it to a certain day it would be frozen for future use. The transfer went good. I was told to go home start my progesterone shots and come back in 2 weeks for a
pregnancy test. They recommend you stay in bed for 3 days. It was the longest 2 weeks of our lifes, but I had a feeling it didn't work. My feeling turned out right. We did not conceive with our first IVF attempt. Our other embyro did not make it either, so this first attempt was a total loss.

It took a couple of months for Todd and I to decide what to do next. We were torn between adoption and IVF. IVF cost us alot of money with no results. We could put our money towards hope of conceiving with a second IVF cycle or towards adoption that would get us a baby. We
researched adoption and discovered it was a long hard process. We talked it over with our family and decided to go with IVF again. But Todd and I said this was it. If I didn't get pregnant this time. We were done. Adoption would be our next route.

August 07 we begun our second cycle of IVF. Dr. Reshef was a little more agressive this time around. He wanted me to produce more eggs. He wanted me to be able to have a day 5 transfer this time, but I am just not a egg producer. On the day of retrieval he got 8 eggs. Only 5 were mature and only 4 fertilized, so it was going to be another day 3 transfer. On the day of transfer (Sunday, August 19th) the embryologist once again gave us an update on our little embryo's. We had a 8,9,13 & 14 cell embryo's. She seemed very pleased to tell us Dr. Reshef would be transferring the 9,13 & 14 cell embryo's that morning. Again I was sent home to start the progesterone shots and the long 2 week wait before I came back for the pregnancy test. I took the whole week off of work and spent it in bed the entire time. I was determined to do whatever I could to make it work this time. The beginning of week 2 I started feeling queasy. I was so afraid to even get my hope up, but I told Todd. Then 2 days before I was to go in for my blood pregnancy test I bought a home pregnancy test in morning on the way to work. I talked myself out of taking it by the time I got home, but Todd insisted. I read on the test that you were supposed to test in the morning, so I was scared it was going to be negative. Todd got in the shower and I went to take the test. OMG.... it was positive, but the doctors office tells you not to test at home due to all the medication you take for IVF could result in a false/positive. Talk about exciting, but we did not tell anyone. We waited until I went that Friday for the blood test. The nurse asked me what number she needed to call with the results and this time I gave her Todd's number. I didn't want to hear it was negative from anyone other then Todd. It was the longest 2 hour wait. Finally Todd called me and announced "Well you are knocked up". My husband always the romantic. He told me the doctors office needed me to call them so they could give me some instructions. I talked to BJ and she said your number is beta # is 345. She said anything over 75 is considered good, so don't be surprised it there is more then one. I was to continue the progesterone shots and come back for a second blood test in a couple of days. They make sure your beta number doubles every 24 hours. My next number was over 1200, so that was great! I was to come back in 2 weeks for the 1st ultrasound. After the 1st week I started spotting. I called the office and they said come in for some blood work, so we can check your beta. This number come back over 12000, so it was still good. The spotting never really stopped, so they told me it be vanishing twin syndrome. Not what I wanted to hear, but it was to soon to do a ultrasound. They did move the ultrasound up 3 days. We were warned it could to soon to detect the heartbeat. Todd and I were still hoping we were pregnant with at least twins. As soon as Dr. Reshef started the ultrasound we saw the 2 sacks. He measured the fetus's and they both measured 5 weeks and 4 days. Their heartbeats were 107 and 109 at this time. He said that is what they should be at this early. I was to come back in 2 weeks for my final appointment with Dr. Reshef for the 8 week ultrasound. Between the 7 & 8 week I started bleeding heavily. I called the office and they said come right in. I knew I was losing 1 or both of my babies, but when he did the ultrasound they both looked great. I took a few days off of work and finally the bleeding stopped completely by 12 weeks. I will post my pregnancy story 0n another day. I think this is enough for now.

3 comments:

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Your story sounds so so similar to mine - ivf with icsi, 1st ivf negative, next one positive, bleeding............ :)

Onesie Mommy said...

Same! We were told that the only way we could get pregnant was with IVF/ICSI. Considered adoption, gave up on that. Unlike you and Todd, we decided not to proceed with IVF/ICSI and gave up the dream of having babies.

9 months later, I was "knocked up"! I bled at 8 weeks as well. I had a subchorionic hematoma (blood clot in the uterus) and had a 50% chance of miscarriage. I held on to that baby and the dream of having one with every cell in my body.

In September, my little Miss B was born!

So glad to have found your blog!

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

So happy to have "clicked" upon your blog...we both kicked infertility in the "you know what"!! Wasn't easy but so worth it!!

You have inspired me to share my own story...thank you!(it too will be long so might take me awhile to get it posted...LOL)

It is so comforting to read other peoples journey to parenthood through IVF, I haven't found many during my short time in the blogging-world. I loved your pregnancy story, well not what you went through...you know what I mean...I hope! :)