“Unexplained Infertility, a diagnosis I thought I would never hear especially since I had two children, both boys, from a previous marriage. This of course led me to believe that it had to be my new husband’s fault, not mine. Ok, ‘So where do we go from here?’ was my next thought once diagnosed. After what seemed like hundreds of tests and thousands of dollars later, this was their best explanation for me: Unexplained!
The money spent was a little thing at first if it meant we would be getting what we wanted. As the months passed, it felt like everyone around me was getting pregnant. How unfair, I thought as each friend, married or not, or not even trying, was blessed with a miracle. Every month felt so long and uncertain, every woman goes through the same emotions. First there is hope, then the two week wait, which drag by and woman either start to lose hope or gain more of it as the symptoms either show or not. A woman’s period is the most dreaded thing to see each month, especially if you’re trying to conceive. It’s like studying hard for an exam and finally getting that grade. You sometimes work your butt off but don’t like the results you see or sometimes you get lucky and everything goes according to plan. Every month is a complete roller coaster of emotions.
I used to laugh and joke with friends about how we were paying for our little miracle. Truth is, the real money and pain would come a year later, and that was no laughing matter. After two painfully failed IUI’s, the doctor explained we could continue down that route or try something more aggressive like IVF. Our first IUI was more or less a fluke, but of course you always feel super hopeful. The second IUI we actually had a positive test for the first time! I went in to the doctor for the actual blood test, called a BETA test, to confirm, and unfortunately my count was at a 3 which was considered NOT PREGNANT. We ended up having a chemical pregnancy, which was not only painful physically, but emotionally too. After my first ever miscarriage I felt even more determined to have a baby and beat this infertility nightmare.
Our next plan of action was the aggressive IVF treatment. Never in my life did I think I would get to that point where I would be spending all that money to have a baby! I watched a few YouTube videos and talked to a few friends who went through IVF and decided it wasn’t for me. I just was in total denial that we had gotten to this point. We tried for a couple months naturally on our own. I did EVERYTHING in the books to make it work naturally. I was on different supplements, eating a healthy diet, timing our ‘baby making’ time, feeling hopeful once again, on to be let down once again. It was at that time that I decided we go for our final option: IVF.
I remember it like it was yesterday, the explanation, cost and the time, this was going to be no easy journey. I had already been documenting my whole journey on YouTube and other social media outlets and was well aware of what we were about to get ourselves into. I went into our IVF journey feeling the most confident I have the entire journey. I remember thinking, ‘I’ve carried two kids before and have nothing wrong with me. Essentially, we’ve got this!’ Unfortunately, we had to pour most of our savings into infertility treatments prior and didn’t have the funds to make this happen. It was like being able to see the finish line but not being able to get there.
After jumping through many financial hoops, we found a company who worked with us and gave us a loan of $10,000. Finally, we can move forward and start our journey. Silly to say this but the day my meds came in was like Christmas for me. I felt like it was the beginning of the end of this infertility journey. And more importantly, it was the beginning of our story to meeting our sweet baby. As any IVF patient knows, the whole thing with IVF is to hurry up and wait. Our trajectory retrieval and transfer dates changed many times, we kept getting pushed back further and further into the year. Meanwhile, my boys were watching me stick needles into my body wondering what’s going on. We tried to hide it for as long as we could since it was hard to explain to them, but eventually we came clean. Retrieval day was among us. I was hopeful for the doctor to pull a good amount of eggs, but was also extremely nervous since I had never had minor surgery before or ever been put under.
I woke up from surgery and the first thing on my mind was, ‘how many did we get?’ As the days went by numbers tend to drop, sometimes dramatically. By day 5 we sent off 5 little embryos to a special facility where they would be tested for genetic abnormalities. We felt so confident with this testing and my diagnosis that this would be it for us. The only embryos to survive the testing were a little boy and girl embryo. With no hesitation at all we told them that we wanted to transfer both! I knew the chances of both sticking and having multiples were high but that didn’t matter to me. I was delighted that I would be finally getting my little girl. It was one of the happiest times in my life, carrying those two sweet embryos.
The two week wait seemed to drag since I was both anxious and excited for these two babies to be ours! I started testing just 6 days past transfer and was already getting a positive test. My husband and I were on cloud 9 — I mean, this was a complete dream come true. After several days of testing I noticed that the color of the lines were staying the same, not getting darker. I called the doctor and asked if I could come in for a blood test. The same day I went in for the blood test my hubby and I tested on a digital: NOT PREGNANT. We both didn’t want to believe it and went in for a blood test anyway. My level came back 9, anything over a 5 means pregnant, but at this point I was 14 days past 5-day transfer. My numbers should have been higher than they were. The doctor, still being hopeful, told me to come back in a couple of days to test again. Me on the other hand, I just knew.
Two days later I went in and unfortunately got a beta result of 3. It was over. I cried myself to sleep that night feeling defeated and upset. The worst part was waiting for the babies to pass. I always tell people you don’t just loose the embryo, you lose the person. I had already named them and saw what they looked like and made my plans with boy/girl twins. After many weeks of pain, depression and defeat I decided to pick myself back up off the ground and try again. This time around we decided to go to another fertility specialist for a free consultation. Feeling very confident in what the doctor was telling us, we decided to transfer clinics. There was once again just one problem: finances. We had to start over from square one. Grateful and blessed, our family decided to come together and help us out this time.
Going into our second IVF we felt less confident and more nervous. Of course, the obvious question ran through my head, ‘what if it fails again?’ We had no other options. Thankfully our doctor had us test for something new and hallelujah, he found the issue! As explained by him, it wasn’t the seed, it was the soil.
The doctor found a blood clotting disorder in me due to endometriosis and put me on the necessary medicines to help correct the problem. Because of the blood clotting, our first IVF failed and it was determined that IUI’s were pointless, which was hard to hear. By this time we had quite the following and support on my social media outlets. This helped me immensely get through some of the roughest times which I am grateful for. I felt more excitement and pressure for this round to work. On retrieval day, the doctor pulled a whopping 22 eggs, which was amazing. By the time 5 days came around we were down to just 1, feeling defeated once again. On top of that, the doctor decided to push back our transfer date by a month. I was starting to lose confidence in the process again. By day 6 we got a call that another embryo caught up! Dismissing the PGS testing this round, we decided we were going to put both in.
This time around I ate what I wanted, got massages and just relaxed, doing what I wanted to do and what made me most happy. Three days after transfer I went to Oregon with my mama for a girl’s weekend. Of course, it was on my mind the whole time. ‘Am I pregnant, did they stick?’ On the last day of our trip I told my mom, ‘I am going to test!’ I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t see anything and it would be too early, but I once again, I was hopeful! I took the test, came out and told my mom, ‘I can’t see anything!’ I felt super let down even though it was early, I just was hopeful (one of the main side effects of trying to conceive). It was actually my mom who went back to looked and said she saw something. I then looked and saw for myself, the line had gotten darker the longer it sat.
I came back home to my hubby and the first words out of his mouth when he saw me were, ‘You tested didn’t you?’ I laughed and said yes and showed him the test. Three days later we went in for our beta test. We had been testing every day up until with positive tests but due to the shock of last IVF we had our reservations. The nurse called, and of course my husband was in a meeting, but I got the go ahead to find out. 165 for our first test and 398 for our second (we took 2 days later)! This was it, we were finally pregnant. I have never cried so much in my life! Telling our families was one of the best days of our lives and seeing the baby’s heartbeat was a day I will never forget. Unfortunately, we lost one of the embryos along the way, but we still had one miracle. I am happy to report that I am currently in my second trimester with a happy healthy baby boy! Yes another boy, but I believe God only gives us what he thinks we can handle.
We are truly blessed and couldn’t have gotten through this journey without the love and support of all our friends and family. We are excited to bring baby Elias into this world, and as many of us IVF moms would agree, it was all worth it! I still am doing shots in my stomach every day and will continue to until delivery, and I am taking multiple vitamins to help me have a healthy baby. This journey was unexpected and definitely one I never imagined myself taking, but I have a newfound respect for all those women out there who have and continue to fight hard for their babies. In the end, it all comes down to one thing: Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about. We did just that and would do it again if it meant we would be getting our precious miracle.”
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