After 34 months of trying to conceive and a roller coaster of emotions, we once again are lost in this maze of craziness called Infertility. It seems like every time we think we’ve found the exit and we’re finally going to be parents, another brick wall gets placed right in front of that opening with a big sign on it that says “Try Again”.
When we conceived on our own back in November 2009, it took us 8 months. It seemed like forever, but we were blessed and excited and this was finally it. Then we lost our baby at 10.5 weeks. Still, to this day, that loss was the hardest thing for me to deal with. We saw our baby’s heart beat, we were 1.5 weeks away from 3 months. We had fallen so in love with our little “bean” and then BAM “there isn’t a heartbeat”. Now, almost 2 years later, I still mourn for the loss of our second pregnancy, and just talking or writing about it brings tears to my eyes.
After trying for another 6 months on our own, we decided to get some help. Little did we know seeing an OB that thought he was an RE (reproductive endocrinologist) was a HUGE mistake. (For those of your TTC, do not waste your time with an OB, see an RE right away) However when he suggested we try IUI and guaranteed us it would work, we both, in our mind, and heart, thought this was it! BFN (Big Fat Negative)! So we decided to try a second IUI. Once again our hopes were high and once again, another BFN! Our OB kept telling us over and over that we were young and nothing was wrong. He barely did any tests on us and refused to do any more invasive tests, because of OUR AGE! So, we decided to stop seeing him.
This past Christmas, Chris wrote into a local radio station and told them our story. He was hoping for a spa day for me or a small get-a-way for the two of us. Instead they took it one step further, and shared our story with New Life Fertility. Dr. Soliman offered to take on our case and become our Fertility Doctor. Finally, someone actually cared and wanted to find a solution. After a very long month of tests we were told that Chris had a morphology problem. That, coupled with my irregular cycles made our chances of conceiving on our own pretty slim. Our Doctor recommended we try IVF with the help ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). We accepted this diagnosis and went forward with our first IVF cycle in April 2011.
Although my emotions were up and down throughout the month of our IVF cycle, I had very high hopes. Everyone did! I was a little concerned though when my follicles weren’t developing very quickly and we only had 8 eggs at retrieval, but no one really said anything, so we both assumed it was fine. 10 days later we got the call that we were indeed PREGNANT! Everyone cried. I cried, the nurses at New Life cried, Chris cried, my mom cried. FINALLY we were pregnant. Finally we saw the way out of this crazy maze.
Or so we thought. Only 3 days into the bliss of being pregnant and I started to spot. We were informed that it was normal and everything was fine. In order to ease my mind we decided to go back and have my levels checked one more time. Once again that brick wall came down and blocked our exit. My levels, although they were still going up, were not even close to where they should have been. After four long days and two more rounds of blood work, the levels started to go down and we were faced with the loss of our third baby. Neither of us could wrap our heads around it. I stayed up all night one night in what would have been the baby’s room crying harder then I’ve cried in a very long time. I begged God to let us keep our baby. I asked Him over and over again how he could do this to us again. I just couldn’t understand, I still don’t understand.
We made a review appointment with our Doctor to go over what happened and find out what we should do next. As if the brick wall that was blocking the exit wasn’t our largest obstacle to date, but we were faced with what seemed like brick walls that surrounded us, with no exit, period. Based on our IVF cycle, I was on a very large dose of stimulants and yet I only made 8 eggs. That was the first indication that something wasn’t right. Of those 8 eggs only 1 egg looked great. That was the second indications something wasn’t right, and of course recurring miscarriage was the third indication.
Then we were told something that no young wanna-be mother ever wants to hear. My AMH levels were extremely low. I was told my ovarian reserve is that of a 40 year old. He went on to explain how this finally all made sense, but to me it just sounded like the teacher from Charlie Brown. My head was spinning. I didn’t know if I was going to pass out of go into a murderous rage. I later found out, from my husband, that when eggs are “old” something goes wrong in the cell division, which seems to be why we keep miscarrying. Our Doctor recommended that if we planned on trying IVF again, that we should use an egg donor. In the mean time he told me to look into DHEA hormones. He mentioned that although they are not FDA approved in Canada that there have been many studies proving that DHEA does improve egg quality.
As difficult as being told we needed an egg donor was for both of us, we did consider it. We looked into finding a donor. We had some wonderful friends and strangers come forward offering to be a donor for us. In the mean time while we weighed our options, we decided to take the summer off and just focus on getting over this heart break. We took a trip to the United States and purchased some DHEA tablets. It wasn’t until mid summer when a close family member of mine asked “If you’re using an egg donor, then why are you taking the hormones? Wouldn’t it make sense to try again to see if the hormones are working?” All of a sudden a light bulb went off and we realized he was right. We have decided we just aren’t quite ready to give up on ourselves. That one IVF isn’t enough to throw in the towel, no matter how low our chances are. My eggs may be old, but I’m still young and there is a good chance this can still happen with my eggs.
We stuck to our word and took the summer off from infertility. It’s now been 4 months since our successful/unsuccessful IVF in May. We have spent the summer healing our broken hearts and trying to move forward. I am still mourning the loss of our third angel baby, but each day I get a little bit stronger. We are ready and willing to be moving forward with IVF 2.0 in October (only a few weeks away now). We are staying hopeful that the hormones mixed with a new protocol and new fertility drugs that we will get our miracle baby this time.
So that’s our story in a nut shell. I could go into a lot more detail and write for days if I wanted to or had the time. I should probably write a book; although I’d like to wait until we have a happy ending. I hate books that don’t have “happily ever afters”.