Friday, February 1, 2013

One Family's Secret Miracles - Molly

 This story proves that IVF isn't a "fool-proof" procedure. 
There are no guarantees.
But you just have to keep trying, because you never know when it will all just work out.
Thank you to the reader who shared it.

Our story starts out like every other story....boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, get married and start trying to have a family. First it's fun...then it starts becoming a chore with all the charting, ovulation sticks, the planned sex and the disappointment month after month after month. And while you are trying so hard to get pregnant, everyone around you seems to get pregnant the first month they try or they get pregnant "on accident" while on birth control. And then you have to sit and listen to them give you advice on how to get pregnant. Really?! The worst was when a friend who had always told me that she never wanted kids sent me a picture of her positive pee stick and then told me that all I had to do to get pregnant was have sex and then lay with my legs in the air for 10 minutes afterward. If it was really that easy we would have been pregnant the first month we tried! 

After six months of trying, a physician that I work closely with suggested that we start testing to find out what was taking so long for us to get pregnant. I really didn't think we had a problem though...I was sure it was just the stress of our jobs or for some reason the timing wasn't right. After almost a year of trying we decided to go ahead and get a semen analysis done. We received a call saying that every thing looked good on my husband's end so we tried on our own for a couple more months before I finally made the appointment with my OB/GYN to have me tested. The day of my appointment we found out that in fact there was an issue with the SA (sperm analysis) but that the report from the infertility clinic had been incomplete and it wasn't caught until my OB/GYN was reviewing my chart right before she walked in the door for my appointment. At that point I was relieved yet angry. We wasted precious time thinking that everything was okay on my husband's end due to someone else's error. 

Luckily, we were able to get an appointment with another fertility clinic in town the following week due to a cancellation. We were told that we had a 1% chance of ever getting pregnant on our own and were advised to go straight to IVF with ICSI. Fortunately, I work for a company that covers quite a bit of IVF costs so the money wasn't an issue. However, we struggled with the decision to move forward because we were both raised Catholic and IVF is against our religion. We didn't feel like we could really talk to anyone in our family about it. We didn't want them to think any less of us (or our future children) if they knew. Eventually I opened up to my sisters and parents and surprisingly they were open to the process. After agonizing over the decision for weeks we ultimately decided to go ahead with IVF and scheduled me for all the necessary pre-work so we could get the show on the road. 

Once we made the decision, everything went smoothly. I was told that everything looked perfect on my end....the numbers were where they were supposed to be and my uterus looked great. Our concern at this point was creating too many embryos. Because of our religion, we wanted to make sure that we gave all of them a chance at life and therefore didn't want to attempt to fertilize more than 10 eggs. Our RE told us that if we wanted 2-3 children, we would want to at least attempt we did. Our fert report came back the first day....all 10 had fertilized. The next day we were told that they were all growing beautifully. Every report we had was awesome. What happened to all those eggs that weren't going to fertilize? Only 8 out of 10 were supposed to fertilize and out of those 8 only 5-6 of them were supposed to mature into beautiful embryos. At the rate we were going, I was definitely going to get pregnant the first time we went through the embryo transfer....and we did! 

Forty weeks later I delivered a beautiful baby girl. Everything was perfect. The pregnancy was a piece of cake. The delivery was the frosting on top of the cake. After our daughter was a year old we decided to go ahead with a frozen transfer because I wasn't getting any younger. The shots were a lot easier this time around, yet the process wasn't any easier. It was still an emotional roller coaster. The second time around we didn't get the news we had hoped for. Throughout the process we were given encouraging news....the numbers were right where they were supposed to be. When we received the call with the bad news, the nurse told me she was shocked that we weren't pregnant. I was numb. I fell into a funk. I felt like I had lost a child. My body had failed me. I finally understood the guilt my husband felt for not being able to get me pregnant without medical intervention. My husband told me to get over it. 

As soon as we could, we started the process for a second frozen transfer. This time I did acupuncture for a month leading up to the transfer as well as the day of. All the needle sticks paid off. It worked! The second pregnancy was not as picture perfect as the first but the end result was a healthy baby girl. All in all, our IVF road was pretty smooth compared to others. We are very fortunate to have our little girls. 

I wish that we could be more open about our journey because even though it was relatively easy, it was still a very difficult process. I was fortunate to find an online support group of women who were going through the same thing and they were they were the people I turned to
during the darkest times. Some day we may come out and share our story with more of our family members but for now, we keep our secret hidden.

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