“This is what infertility looked like to me. These are my needles, the needles my husband gave me every day, sometimes up to three times a day. These are my two embryos that we prayed would take. These are our twins, that came from those embryos. This is the reality of infertility. This is our journey.
I met my husband in grade school, yes you read that right…Grade school. We lost touch for a bit and then re-connected in college. As soon as we reconnected I knew he was the one. Within 6 months we were engaged. I was 19 at the time, and my now husband was 20. We always knew we wanted to have kids. There was no question. In September of 2008 we got married. As soon as we were married we said, ‘If it happens it happens.’ We were not really trying at this time, but not preventing it. Well 1 year went by and then 2 and we thought, ‘It should have happened by now, let’s go get checked.’ And the story of our infertility journey begins.
Infertility was one of the hardest things I have ever been through. It has so many downs, a few ups but mostly downs. It consumes you, takes up your entire world. You eat, sleep, breath infertility. The process is long and drawn out, you feel like a number and not a person, and most days you feel like you can’t go on. I started with going to see my family doctor who took some blood and did a sperm count on my husband. Let me tell you, the guys have it easy. Everything came back fine, so we waited for a referral to see a fertility doctor. This alone took 3 months. At our first appointment we had to answer a bunch of health and family questions. After all the paperwork, we were given information to complete more blood work and my husband had to complete another sperm test. Nope, the one he just did didn’t count as they wanted to conduct their own. After all the results came back normal I had to go and have a tube test done. Again, more waiting for the appointment. This checks to see if your tubes are open or not. This is done at the hospital, they put a balloon in you and expand it. They then insert some dye and watch the screen to make sure it went through both tubes and back out. This was not pleasant and my husband was not allowed in the room. (They use X-ray equipment). Again, this came back normal so we moved on to IUI’s (Intrauterine insemination).
IUI – This is where a large needle is inserted in you with your husband’s sperm inside. They inject the sperm and hope for the best. Most IUI’s involve some sort of medication to make your eggs grow, it’s super fun…
We did 7 IUI’s, all resulting in no pregnancy. Usually after 3 you stop, but we tried different drugs in hopes not to have to do IVF. After the third IUI, I had a laparoscopy done. This is where they put you under, make a small incision in your belly button and then one lower. They put a camera in there to take a look around. Again normal. Nobody could understand why nothing was working since all my tests were normal.
This was getting expensive for no results. I did not have any coverage and my husband had $1,200 per lifetime. HA! We went through that in 2 cycles. Nothing is covered, and you need to have ultrasounds while on fertility meds which are not covered, meds which are not covered… you get where I am going with this. $10,000 later with no baby, we were out of money and frustrated. After every negative pregnancy test I fell deeper into depression. Every pregnancy announcement hurt. I was jealous, jealous that it wasn’t us, jealous that they ‘didn’t even have to try.’ Jealous that they planned it perfectly to be off for the summer. I just wanted a baby and didn’t care how it happened. Jealousy is an evil emotion. We took a break for the summer and then in the fall decided to do IVF.
We did IVF 3 times, yes 3 full cycles.
IVF #1– This IVF cycle we did in Canada. (Where we live). They do not complete the procedure of taking out the eggs and fertilizing them in our city so we had to drive 4 hours there, stay overnight and then 4 hours back after they took the eggs.
In order to have enough eggs to take out you need to do injections in the belly. You start at one and then eventually I was at 3-a-day. I didn’t give myself one needle. My loving caring husband did them all. I was too chicken. I had to go back and forth to get blood taken to check my levels and ultrasounds to check my eggs. Once the doctor determined they were ready, we went on our 4-hour drive to get them taken out. Let me tell you, in Canada, they keep you awake while they take your eggs out, and that was awful! At one point they hit a blood vessel and blood was just pouring out of me. They were shoving wash cloths inside of me and they were coming out soaked in red blood. They then keep you in a chair for an hour, drug you up and send you home. I had to endure a 4-hour car ride home after that, thank goodness for drugs.
After being home you wait for your results to find out how many eggs they took and how many fertilized. 24 hours later we were told they took 22 eggs out, 9 fertilized, but only 4 were growing normal. 2 days after this procedure I had to have a follow-up with my doctor. Once there he told me that our embryos were not doing well and would not make it until day 5 as hoped and we needed to go back now to have them put back in with hopes they would stick. Back we went. Once we got there we had 2 embryos, but they were bad quality so we put them both back in. Two weeks later, negative pregnancy test. I was devastated. $12,000 gone and no baby. It was determined I had bad quality eggs.
So back to the fertility doctor who suggested we try another clinic in the states, so U.S. money. It was state of the art facility with great doctors. We would do all the tests in Canada and then go to the States for the procedures. We agreed, and spent another $12,000 this time in U.S. funds. The main difference from U.S. to Canada is they put you to sleep to take your eggs (yes please) and the lab was state of the art with cameras to watch your little embryos 24 hours a day.
More drugs, more needles, more appointments, my eggs were ready to go. Off to get them taken out. With this facility they do not call you to tell you how your eggs are doing. You just wait the 5 days and go back to get them put back in. We didn’t know this, so we called. We were told they got 22 eggs again, but didn’t know how many fertilized. 24 hours later the actual doctor called to say we have 6, but they are not looking good. That’s it. Nothing else. Day 5 comes and we heard nothing, so we head to the States. They tell me to get undressed, take my blood to check my levels, have my husband get a gown on and we wait to go back. Here we are excited that our embryos made it and are ready for the transfer. The doctor comes in and says, ‘You have no embryos, none of them made it, get dressed, “and walks out. Right then and there my world came crashing down. I had no words, nothing to say. I was shocked, upset, angry, hurt. I had so many emotions. Why didn’t you call me, why make me drive all the way here? Why make me get undressed. Why get my hopes up. I was so mad. So, IVF #2, another failure.
After this experience I needed some time. I needed to think, to determine what was next for us. We decided to look at the adoption route. So many kids out there need families. We had a home study done. They come to your house and make sure your house is good and talk to you about why you were looking to adopt. We told our story. During this meeting we were told we had to be done with the fertility treatments and I couldn’t commit to that, so adoption went on the back burner.
After some thought, we decided to do IVF again, different medication, different process. I know I am crazy, and as I write this, I don’t know how I did it all. We went back to States for another consultation and it was going to be about $20,000 U.S. dollars. We didn’t have that money, so we took a break.
August 1st, 2015, I called my mom to see if she wanted to go to bingo with me. She was sick and declined. She must have heard how sad I was as she called back and said, ‘OK, 1 session.’ Once we go there, is was packed. The accumulator was at $24,000. I called my mom to say, ‘forget it, it’s so busy,’ but she was already gone. Once she got there I tried to convince her to leave but she wouldn’t. We buy our books and I buy 3 cards instead of my usual 2. My mom notices and does the same. This day changed the course of our lives forever. My mom won the $24,000 and gave us all the money to do IVF#3.
IVF #3 – We ended up with 10 eggs, 9 mature and 8 fertilized and growing normal. We then had to make a decision. How many embryos to put back in. 1 or 2. Since we already had 2 failed IVF’s, it was a no brainer. Put 2 back in. When we got to the hospital our first question was, ‘Do we have embryos?’ based on our last experience, we needed to know before anything. They told us we did and the transfer was good to go. The doctor told us we had high quality embryos and asked how many we were transferring. We obviously said 2. They even questioned us if we were sure. At that time we had 7 failed IUI’s and 2 failed IVF’s, and this was it for us. YES, we are sure, let’s do it. So we did.
I had an addiction to peeing on sticks. It’s a real thing. From the second day of the transfer I was taking tests like a crazy person. On day 4, I saw a very faint line, my husband thought I was crazy so I thought nothing of it. Day 5 the line was still there but faint. On family day we went and bought a real pregnancy test, not the ones I bought off Amazon for $10 for 20 ( I told you the addiction was real). To our surprise we saw our first positive pregnancy test EVER. We cried and then my husband asked if I had any pee left and made me pee on the one that says pregnant or not pregnant. HE didn’t believe the lines. Sure enough, I was pregnant. Little did we know our lives were about to change forever. Our bingo babies were conceived.
We went to the doctors and had my blood taken. They wanted to see what my HCG level was. They said, ‘don’t be surprised if it is low as it’s really early.’ They were looking for the range of 20. My level came back 71. At this time everyone said, ‘You’re having twins.’ I was in denial.
March 10th was my ultrasound. Sitting in that waiting room was awful. Is this a real pregnancy? Does my baby have a heartbeat? How many babies are in there?
Then the doctor says, ‘There is one baby and here is the heartbeat, and here is another baby and here is the heartbeat.’ At first I thought he was kidding. Nope, meet baby A and baby B. TWINS!
The pregnancy was not easy. I had bleeding at 5 weeks and then again at 7 weeks. I was taken off work until 12 weeks. I threw up every day. I was tired and sick all the time. Pregnancy was rough but oh so worth it. At 18 weeks we did a gender reveal and found out we were having boy/girl twins!
I was admitted to the hospital twice. Once at 28 weeks for 3 days and the second time at 31 weeks for 4 weeks. At the time I was 3cm dilated and my cervix went from a 3 to a 1.5. They kept saying anytime the babies would come. Being in the hospital away from family and friends is so hard, but I had a great support system. My friends/family would visit me and bring me dinners. My parents spent their wedding anniversary in a hospital room with me. My husband would come be with me from morning to night (he knew how much I hated hospitals). He would take me outside in my wheelchair just to get some fresh air.
At 34 weeks and 1 day they decided I could go home, still pregnant and no signs of babies. I made it home for 2 whole weeks and went into labor at 36 weeks and 1 day. I went in a 7 a.m., 5cm dilated and had the babies at 6:12 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. Vaginal delivery for both babies. What came next was unexpected and scary. I had a postpartum hemorrhage after each baby was born and they could not get it under control. My blood pressure was 60/30 and my heart rate was at 200 BPM. At one point I remember asking my mom if I was dying. I kept thinking, ‘How did I go through all this and not be able to see my babies grow up?’ I am grateful there was a high risk doctor on call that day, he saved my life. Two blood transfusions later and a 5 day stay in the hospital, I was going home with my sweet babies.
Harper Christine Beverly Hosburgh born 6:1 2p.m. weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces.
Maxwell Richard Joseph Hosburgh born 6:20 p.m. weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces.
Both babies needed no NICU stay and came home with us. This journey was a rough one, but in the end I made it out with two wonderful babies to show for it. At most times I didn’t think I could continue, but if I gave up I wouldn’t have these two babies here — Our Bingo Babies.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jaylyn Hosburgh of Canada. You can follow them on their Facebook page. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
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