I thought I would do something a little different and share our infertility story. It is a large part of our recent story. Our road to having children was certainly not without its challenges. We never thought that having children would involve treatments for fertility. Ultimately ours is one of the IVF success stories.
Plainly it is the inability to have children. Generally, if you have been trying to have children for over 12 months and have no success. There are many reasons as to why a couple have difficulties – and they say approx 40% of the “issues” are female, 40% are male and 20% is just unknown. Hormones certainly can play a factor, as do a number of different medical conditions.
FERTILITY TREATMENT OPTIONS/INFERTILITY TREATMENT OPTIONS
There are many different treatment options and can range from simple hormone treatments, all the way up to fertility drugs, surgery and other interventions like IUI and IVF.
We tried for many years to get pregnant. We sought natural fertility options and over the course of several years tried to get my body back to balance and doing what it should be doing naturally. None of these worked for me.
The next step was to run all the tests with an endocrine fertility specialist. It certainly was not fun dealing with all the tests (and insurance) but we wanted to know answers and what we were dealing with.
There was a long laundry list of things that were wrong (some we knew already) – PCOS, MTFHR gene mutation, Hashimoto’s Thryroiditis, inability to ovulate, etc. etc. etc (or so it seemed). My husband also had an unexplained low sperm count. It felt like it was coming strongly at us from both sides.
Our doctor was fantastic. He was encouraging and would answer all my questions. He did say from the start that we would probably need IVF but he knew I needed time to process it all and he was willing to try less invasive options at first.
We did several rounds of clomid with trigger shots – none of them successful. It was a rough time. But I am so thankful for the support we had during this time. A number of friends really stepped up on the days I just needed to cry. Some even came to appointments with me when my husband couldn’t.
IVF SUCCESS STORIES
We, thankfully, have one of the IVF success stories. But I honestly never thought that it would end up that way.
We started during the Atlanta ice storm of 2014. It was stressful. I was delayed in responding and therefore they almost cancelled it! (After already having $5000 worth of shots.) This meant more meds, but we couldn’t get them in Atlanta. They had to come from up north and got stuck in the ice. FedEx said they would deliver but didn’t. Then they sent us to the wrong facility to get them. We finally got them, with help from a friendly FedEx employee who was watching me come undone. I shot up with the meds in the parking lot, just making it in the window of opportunity that wouldn’t mess things up.
Egg retrieval day came about and they were able to retrieve 7 eggs. I was disappointed in the number, but my doctor said he was so encouraged, considering my egg reserve numbers. From those 7 eggs, 3 embryos were created and survived. They used ICSI, where they drill a whole in the tiny, tiny egg and then hand select a strong sperm to insert. We chose to froze the embryos to give my uterus time to heal and then get all ripe and fluffy (one of my issues had been not producing enough uterine lining).
On April 9, 2014 we had the 3 embryos transferred (due to my age and what had been going on in order to get a better possibility of one sticking) and we crossed our fingers (and legs) for the 2 week wait.
frozen embryo transfer success rate
I honestly thought it was not going to work. I struggled to hope….after all the years, the shots, the loan we took out to go for IVF. It was utter disbelief that the blood test was positive. I had taken a test on Easter Sunday morning (2 days before the blood test) and it was negative. Boo!! (Funny story, all 3 tests in that box were duds! Because the blood test was most definitely conclusive……as were the greatly increasing numbers in the tests every 2 days.)
Oh that first ultrasound…..I was nauseous and I was ready to puke on someone! When they told me it was twins I didn’t know what to think. We knew it was a possibility in transferring 3 embryos but I didn’t think it would happen. I had to drop Carsten off for work thing but we were a little early so we went to Chick-Fil-A. Bless them. It was breakfast time but I didn’t want has browns, I wanted fries…..which I sobbed to them….and they made them fresh. I cried all the way home too. It was suddenly so real.
Fast forward to December 2, 2014 and two precious girls were born 4 weeks early. (The birth and hospital story is a whole other saga.) They were perfect and worth it all. Soraya Loren and Kira Miranda were earth bound and in our arms. This is something I do NOT take for granted.
WHAT NOT TO SAY TO SOMEONE WITH INFERTILITY
We had so many things said to us over our journey that were sadly unhelpful or hurtful. I know that people mean well, but sometimes it is best to leave things well alone. I am of the opinion whether or not people want children is up to them. And even if they want them their time frame might be different to the norm.
- But you are so good with children, why don’t you want them?
- Just don’t think about it.
- If you only do x, y or z.
- When are you going to have children?
During the time we were trying to get pregnant I had friends and family members have 2 or more children. I had really rough times. Of course I was happy for my friends that were having children, but there was still sting and a fear I would never have my own. Some feelings were very irrational. Some were legitimate.
HOW TO SUPPORT SOMEONE WITH INFERTILITY
Be there for them. Go to appointments with them if they need the emotional support. Let them cry without saying anything except perhaps “I’m sorry” or “That sucks”. Bring ice cream or chocolate. Having a friend who can just let you be you without comment is such a blessing. If you have a friend or family member who is going through infertility and you don’t know what to say or do, drop me a message and I can help you. It has blessed me in the past when friends have said “I have a good friend going through this and I want to support them. What should I do or say? And what SHOULDN’T I say?”
Thank you for taking time to watch the video and hearing our story. If you have any questions or just need to talk, I am here for you. Drop me a message and I will get back to you!
If you are struggling, Resolve is also a great resource to learn from, to get answers, to find ways forward.