IVF for the 3rd time.

After my miscarriage and the subsequent discovery that it had been a ‘blighted ovum’ which was not compatible with life, I started dreaming of ways to do one more round of IVF.

I was in the process of selling the house I owned with my Mother (but didn’t live in) and buying another property where we could both live in separate abodes.

This certainly wasn’t leaving me with any disposable income but what it did do was to clear my debt.  In order to qualify for a mortgage I had to roll my existing debts into my new mortgage.  My fertility loan had a very high interest rate due to lack of collateral… they can’t very well take the baby away if you fail to make payments and in my case there was no baby.  It was a relief to do this.

So there I was, with a new home and no debt.  It seemed like the perfect time to get back into debt and try again!  I made an appointment at the bank.  I remember the loan officer asking me if I was doing home improvements with the money.  I told her that a baby most certainly would be a home improvement for me!  Luckily I qualified and within 6 weeks of buying a new home I was back on the IVF train.

I’m telling you this because people are often mystified as to how I afforded IVF.  The answer is that I worked my ass off, picking up as many shifts at work as I could. After 2 rounds of IVF I rolled my debt into my mortgage.  In addition, I burned through all $15,000 of my savings doing IUI’s, buying sperm and meeting my health insurance deductible.

IVF Round III

This time I decided to come at it a little differently.  I decided to do PGD testing.  This is where they take a few cells from a day 5/6 embryo and test the chromosomes to ensure that the embryo has the best chance of viability.  There’s definitely some controversy to it but I wanted to try to reduce my risk of miscarriage if possible.

I was sure it wasn’t going to work and had steeled myself for the phone call with bad news that none of my embryos were viable.  It took almost 3 weeks for the results during which time I did my resolute best not to think about it.

Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and I sent an email to the PGD coordinator asking if she had any news.  I remember the day so vividly.  I was about to attend my end of season work party.  I opened my email to the news that I had one, viable male embryo.  I happened to be with my heavily pregnant friend moments later.  My lost child would have been born within 2 weeks of her imminent baby.  I had missed her baby shower and she had been unaware of my pregnancy as I didn’t want to make her feel bad.  I explained all of this to her that night along with the wonderful news in my email.  We both shed tears of sadness and joy for each other.

I decided that I was going to wait for 3 periods/cycles until I transferred my perfect embryo.  I ate well, took good care of my body, rested and made space in my heart to receive a boy child.  I let myself imagine him (something that I’d never allowed myself to do before now.)

During this time, the relationship I had been in all year abruptly ended which was a blow.  He had been a great source of support and comfort during my miscarriage and a big distraction from the craziness that is infertility.  Whilst upsetting, I hadn’t been sure that I wanted his influence around my future child so I did my best to see it as a blessing.

I went to see my abdominal massage therapist and told her that once again I was preparing to accept a child into my womb.  She helped me to free the tension I had been carrying there since the loss and the break up.  We visualized my child.  I was finally ready.

On Tues Dec 8th 2015 I transferred my last hope into my uterus.  It was the most traumatic and uncomfortable of all the transfers but once done was declared to be ‘perfect positioning’!

I went out for celebratory dumplings… I wanted the first meal I had as a potentially pregnant woman to be a delicious one.  I kept the chopsticks for his memory box.

I swore I wouldn’t test early.

5 days later I caved and peed on a stick.  It was 7am and a squinter of a line appeared on the stick.

I awoke my mother to tell her!

Later that day I met with two friends who had also struggled with infertility and were miraculously both pregnant too!  I told them the news.  It had been my dream to be pregnant at the same time as these women and it had happened!

After more than 2 years of fertility treatments I was finally pregnant and this time, in spite of the fear, I felt like I might actually bring home a baby.

 

 

more IVF and a Loss….

First off let me start with a trigger warning because Loss is mentioned and I know that can be hard for a lot of women.

 

My RE was perplexed as to why I wasn’t getting pregnant.  He decided he would do  ERA testing.  This is where they take a scrape from your uterus and send it off to establish the ideal time for transferring an embryo.

At the time I did this, it was in early stages and my sample had to be sent to Spain for analysis!  I remember thinking it was very strange that now Spain was involved in my fertility.  It came back that we were doing everything right.

During this break I went to see an acupuncturist whom my Mother used to work for.  After an extensive list of questions she told me that she didn’t think that acupuncture would help my fertility.  She gave me the name of a woman that she thought would be able to make a difference to my story.  This woman practiced Maya Abdominal Massage.

I went to see her right away.  It was very emotional and quite strange.  Its a very gentle practice but you can definitely feel something happen.  It connects you mentally with your uterus which is something that I’d never even contemplated beforehand.  I left with exercises to do at home.

A couple of weeks later I had another embryo transfer and miracle of miracles… a positive pregnancy test!!

My betas were strong and they doubled, then doubled again.  I went for an ultrasound and immediately my heart sunk.  A perfect yolk sack but no fetal pole.   The embryo was measuring behind.  I had seen others go through this.  I knew what this meant.  They made another appointment for a week later and told me to be pessimistically optimistic.

What an awful week.  I couldn’t justify taking the whole week off from work to wallow so I carried on as if nothing was happening.  I went to work, I went to friends dinner parties.  I didn’t drink.  I faked it.

Sure enough a week later the worst was confirmed.  At nearly 7 weeks I had lost the pregnancy.  I had options on how to proceed but I knew I needed answers.  I chose to have a D & E so that they could analyze the embryo and hopefully discover why it had happened.

The day of the D & E was one of the worst days of my life.  I felt utterly hopeless.  I had told myself that I was done trying and that this would be my last attempt.  I cried all day long.

Then the results came back.  The embryo had not been compatible with life.  It had the most common genetic errors for miscarriage.  It was not due to my age.  It was nothing I had done wrong.  My RE told me that this is the same reason that 25 year olds miscarry and that in so far as it could be, this was a good thing.

I found such solace in knowing this.  Light started coming back into the edges of the dark corners of my mind.  I felt empowered by knowing that my Uterus wasn’t broken, that it could maybe nurture a life….

I needed to find a way to try one. last. time.