I never really planned to write about our IVF experience. My hopes in sharing is to maybe help someone going through the same thing, or something similar. When I got pregnant with our first, Beau, it happened the first month I was off birth control. I just assumed it would be the same for all my children. I thought I was one of the lucky ones who never had to worry about not being able to get pregnant. When we were ready for baby number two I had it all planned out of when the baby would be born, how far apart the kids would be, the perfect plan. Month after month and still not pregnant we finally decided it was time for reproductive doctors to help us. We went to Dr. Heiner at Reproductive Care Center in Sandy. I love everyone there and would recommend it to anyone struggling with infertility.
It’s a slow process trying to get pregnant at a reproductive care center. They start out with testing the man’s sperm to make sure they’re doing their job, if that comes back ok (ours did) then they test the female on everything. Of course these are always more invasive and embarrassing. I can’t even tell you the number of doctors that have seen my business. I’ve had more vaginal ultrasounds than I ever want to have in my life. I’ve had dye shot through my fallopian tubes to make sure they weren’t blocked, an ultrasound while you’re on your period so you get to bleed all over the doctor while he checks your ovaries, hormone injections in the belly. All of it sucks, but the entire time you just think of the baby you hope will one day finally be in that uterus they keep prodding at.
While they determined my egg reserve was lower than it should be for someone my age (29 at the time), there wasn’t anything seriously wrong with us. They started us out with IUI (intrauterine insemination) Basically I take meds to up the number of eggs I release, like Clomid or Femara. Then they inject me with a concentrated dose of Blake’s sperm on the exact day I ovulate. You wait two weeks and pray it worked. We did this twice with no luck. Each time it didn’t work we were crushed and saw another month wasted. Time, money, Beau’s chance for a sibling, all of it gone. I even added in hormone shots and still nothing.
Blake and I were debating with doing one last IUI before moving on to IVF, or if we just skip IUI altogether and go straight to IVF. If we tried IUI one last time and it failed it’s like throwing hundreds and hundreds of dollars in the toilet. Plus the heartbreak of another failed attempt. We weren’t hopeful for it working. But after so much talking, going back and forth, and lots of prayer we decided to try IUI one last time. Right before my insemination they did yet another ultrasound only to find that my hormone shots overstimulated me and I couldn’t do the procedure. We were devastated. A complete waste of time, money, and meds. I cried all the way home.
That night my doctor called to see how I was, and if I would be interested in doing IVF the next day! He explained that while I had too many eggs releasing for insemination, he could take them out and do IVF instead. When things like this happen IVF is half the normal cost. We were beyond thrilled and knew this was an answered prayer. Had we decided to go straight to IVF we wouldn’t have saved so much money and my body from being injected with quadruple the hormones. The next day they were able to retrieve 6 eggs. After they fertilized them only 3 survived. When we went in a few days later we were told that our 3 embryos didn’t look great and to not get our hopes up. Once again we felt defeated and overwhelmed with sadness. They told us to come back in two days and see how they were doing. It was a long, sad two days of zero expectations and thinking we had just wasted thousands of dollars and would have to start all over again. Two days later we received a call that we had one embryo that survived and was ready to be implanted. Our doctor was very optimistic and gave us a 50% chance of getting pregnant! Our sweet, tiny embryo was implanted on Jan 10, 2017 and two weeks later found out I was pregnant.
We didn’t find out the gender until the birth which was an amazing surprise. Our sweet baby girl was our little miracle embryo that had survived even when doctors thought she wouldn’t. It was worth all the pain and heartbreak we went through for over a year. She was worth everything. I often hear tragic stories of infertility, miscarriage, or loss of a newborn and feel grateful that my experience wasn’t worse. So many couples go through far more than we did, and my heart breaks for them. For us this was the biggest trial we’ve yet had to face. But we got through it with support of family, friends, doctors, and Christ.