National Infertility Awareness Week. What a difference a year makes! Reflections on my IVF journey.
Today I came across my post from one year ago when I made my journey of IVF public. All our prayers were answered! Although I wouldn’t have chosen this journey of infertility and it’s struggles, it sure does make having my angel baby all the sweeter. I just sit here rocking her to sleep overwhelmed with tears of joy and gratitude. I am so grateful. My heart is complete.❤️ #forthischildwehaveprayed #infertilityawareness #ivfbaby #miraclechild #answeredprayers #invitro
April 24th, 2018
It’s National Infertility Awareness Week! For the past year and a half I have been on a very private journey that has been one of the most difficult of my life and very eye opening. Greg and I have been actively trying to conceive a child and it has come with its difficulties. It has been one of the most emotionally and physically challenging experiences of my life and on top of that financially draining as well. I had no idea that at 36 I’d be diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve and would need to default to In Vitro fertilization in order to have a child. And that has been no guarantee. 4 years ago a CT scan discovered a fibroid tumor the size of a large grapefruit in my uterus. They gave me several options one of which included a hysterectomy, It was the first time I was faced with the question that I may never be able to have a biological child and in that moment I realized there was nothing more in the world that I wanted than to experience the joy and miracle of motherhood. I decided to have the surgery to remove it and discovered I also had remnants of endometriosis. The past year and a half has been quite the roller coaster of hormones and emotions and true test of faith and patience. We tried for 6 months naturally and nothing happened. I was concerned that my surgery 4 years ago could be causing an issue. After going through three months of testing both Greg and I, the process began. Turns out at 36, my ovaries were acting more like they were 46. Two months worth of daily hormone injections in the stomach (the most aggressive dose protocol), weekly acupuncture appts, Drs appts galore, and then egg retrieval. This process is a full time job. My retrieval was a success and we got three healthy embryos from the procedure which was a great outcome. I ovulated 15 eggs, 10 of those were mature, 7 of those fertilized, 5 of those made it 5 days to the blastocyst stage and out of those five we had genetically tested, three came back a grade A quality normal embryos. 1 boy and 2 girls. This was normal. Then the wait for the next cycle and the month of daily injections began again preparing for the embryo transfer. My dream of having a child was coming true. We decided on the boy, named him Gabriel Alexander and I was pregnant..for two weeks and then I wasn’t. I was devastated. My body had been tricked by the hormones for a month that I was pregnant and then I was for two weeks and then it all goes away. The highs and then the lows. Depression set in. I lost our boy. I am determined to try again right away, do my best to process the grief and gain some hope and cautious excitement for the next round. Another month and a half of acupuncture, daily hormone injections, and drs visits. I’ve become quite friendly with needles. We transferred one of the girls and I was pregnant again and then I wasn’t. Again. I was just numb and completely discouraged and depressed. What if I couldn’t have a child? I’m not sure anyone else can quite understand the pain of wanting something so badly not being able to except for a woman who has yet to conceive a child and hasn’t been able. It’s heart wrenching. I had experienced heartbreak but none like this. My medically termed “biochemical pregnancies” were miscarriages but it sounds a lot less serious to have to tell friends and family who know what is going on and ask that “it just didn’t take”. But to me I lost my children. My little girl and my little boy. I will not give up. And if God has a plan that I cannot conceive a child then we will adopt but I still have hope. Yesterday I went in for surgery on my uterus and my Dr. found scar tissue and inflammation and a polyp and removed it all and in doing so “freshened” up my uterus. So there is real hope that the first two couldn’t completely implant because of the scar tissue from my prior surgery but now with a tidied up uterus, hopefully third time will be the charm. I have hope. I have hope our little girl will make it this time. Say a prayer for us please! I’m still working through the grief of losing the first two. I’m just grateful that I am even able to be going through this process. A lot of people who experience infertility can’t even afford to go the in vitro route. Most insurance policies do not cover any of the cost. I’m one of the lucky ones that we have the resources to go through this process at all. What has been a surprise to me is how many women go through infertility and miscarriages, but no one really talks about it. There is a stigma and some superstition to the whole thing. It can be painful to talk about but ultimately I believe in sharing there is healing. Everyone is different and has different comfort levels of openness into their private lives but I feel that it is important to tell our stories for all the women struggling with infertility