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.