Who knew that getting pregnant could be such a challange.
My husband Kory and I were so excited to start our family, we had some insight that maybe we would struggle or have a little bit of difficulty, but never in a million years did I think that this journey would unfold the way it has. I’ve had suspected endometriosis since I was a younger teenager. I remember being 15 the night before I got my period and begging my mom to take me to emergency room as I thought something was majorly wrong with me. Then long and behold the next morning I got my very first period. Eventually I was able to manage my endometriosis Once I got to my low twenties my obgyn asked me about kids, if I wanted them what my thoughts were, I told him yes of coarse I had always pictured myself being a mom. That is when he explained to me that sometimes women with endometriosis could have fertility issues, but then again some women don’t. With that at age 24 ( as soon as I knew I had “the one”, before we were married ) my husband and I started trying for a baby.
The first year went by, no luck, and then the second year, still no luck. It was stressful but didn’t consume me. We just kept trying month after month, I didn’t do temping, charting , or ovulation kits at that point, it hadn’t taken over my life then like it does now.
After two years of trying I decided to go through with a laparoscopic surgery. My surgery was planned to last about a half an hour or so and I was going to go into the hospital in the morning and then be out by that afternoon. I woke up 5 hours later, being told that I had stage 4 deep severe endometriosis. My obgyn had to consult other drs to help him while I was under because it was everywhere. I got held overnight, got released the next day, only to end up back in because I had a fever and was the sickest I’d ever been. I was admitted for 6 days that time, never really figured out what was wrong, infection maybe. I finally got out of the hospital- the plan was to go into a medically induced menopause for 3 months to allow my system to rest post op. So that’s what we did. Let me tell ya, menopause at 25 is NO JOKE.
Finally the time came when we were able to try again, I wasn’t feeling optimistic but we kept to our routine, has sex frequently and continued on with life. I remember thinking jeez it’s been a while since I had a period, but then I looked on my phone app and I was almost a week late. I didn’t think too much if it because things had been a bit wonky since my surgery. I decided I’d wait another 5 days before I took a test. Then 2 days later my boobs started getting more tender and sore. I thought there’s no way, I’m holding out the 5 days. Right then though I think I knew I was pregnant, I was just scared to really know. Then on day 5 I got up super early, my husband was at work and I took my very first pregnancy test after 2.5 years of trying. The pregnancy test was my first ( and only ) positive I would ever get!
I was on top of the moon! So thankful! So relieved I wouldn’t need to do IVF ( which was going to be the next steps). My little baby! It was happening it was my turn! Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. I was very nervous I would have a miscarriage, as so many people do. Finally at 12 weeks I went into my obgyn, got an ultrasound and saw my little bean jumping around in there! That was the best moment of my life!!! We told our family’s and friends, everyone knew! At 17 weeks I made a big long pregnancy announcement online! Everything was going so well. I was sick, barfing everyday right up untill 18 weeks, but We were so happy! At 21+3 weeks I felt my baby move for the first time.
Then at 21+4 weeks I delivered our son Calvin stillborn. I want to say that was the worst day of my life, delivering your dead son in the hospital, you would think it would be. When I held him, I had so much love for him, it was overwhelming really. Who knew you could love someone so much. There’s nothing like the moment you get to meet your baby for the first time. The worst days of my life where the days, months and years that followed. Is there anything worse then going into the hospital to have your baby and then leaving the next day empty handed. Walking out of those hospital doors leaving your baby behind. Calling funeral homes trying to make arrangements. Listening to a pregnant lady complaining about her already existing kids in the elevator. Having to make a post online telling everyone that you had your baby but he was dead, because you just can’t bare to run into people and have to tell them in person. I wish I could tell you more about the following weeks and months, but to be honest I don’t event remember them.
Sure we tried again, but everything was ruined. I didn’t even really want a new baby I wanted Calvin. We tried every month, I was depressed, I didn’t want to have sex, but we did anyways just to try. We had to keep trying before my endometriosis got out of control again.
After about 8 months at the recommendation of our obgyn we went to see a RE. She recommended going straight to IVF so that was the plan. I was going through it but I was angry, I didn’t want to have to do IVF. I wanted my baby I already had, but that wasn’t an options. So we pushed forward with little hope. The recommendation for me was doing another 3 month medically induced menopause. Yay. So that’s what we did, after 3 months of that miserableness we started stims. I finally began to come around to the idea of needing IVF. Things went along pretty smooth. Its all very overwhelming (IVF) but you just kind of do it. We finally got to retrieval day and they were able to retrieve 6 mature eggs. They assured me that 6 was a great number, we found out we had to do ICSI on the day of, but we pushed forward.
The hard part was over, or so I thought. The following days would be harder then I ever could have imagined. Our numbers just kept dropping. Each day they called the numbers dropped. Only 3 fertilized and only 1 made it to a day 5 blast. I was completely devastated. One chance at a baby, that’s it after all of those needles and medications, and money that was all we had. I then felt guilty for being upset felling like I should be thankful for what I had, and I was, but I was mostly pissed about it all to be honest. I cried for a whole day. Never the less we went in, got the embryo transferred, and then we waited. If you’ve been through this before you know the wait, it’s just a life crippling anxiety that takes over you for two whole weeks. Finally two weeks was up and we got the news. Our one embryo we had, failed to implant. That was it. Just like that it was over
I didn’t understand why this was happening to us, it was all just so much to digest. I was still angry and still grieving my son. I wanted him so bad and I missed him so much.
After an appointment with our RE and some time to think. We decided to give it another shot. One month after our first round failed we started prepping for our second round. I started stims, they upped the dose this time in hopes that we’d get more eggs, which we did. Our second round we had 13 mature eggs, 9 fertilized and 7 made it to day 5 blast. That’s 7 chances of a baby. We were much happier with these results. We couldn’t do a fresh transfer this time, which sucked, but I was at a very high risk of OHSS. So we waited.
Finally we got to do a transfer, we started prepping and got the go ahead. My husband was away for the transfer so my friend came with me. Then we did the dreaded wait again, only to find out that that transfer had failed too. AT this point I’m losing my hope, I don’t want to do it anymore, why is this happening to us, why can’t anything work out for me. I’m angry, tired and so frustrated. I say go ahead let’s do another one, get it over with. So we do. This time I just do it, without putting much into it, no pineapple, no Macdonald fries, no acupuncture. Secretly hoping that maybe if I relax a little that it’ll happen for me. Well that didn’t work either transfer number 3 was also a fail.
I feel deflated, like I have nothing left to give. Everyone from my stillbirth group has a baby by now, people I was originally pregnant with have or are having their second child. I can’t do it anymore.
We meet with our RE she suggest some things, some new procedures, and again a 4 month medically induced menopause. We agree to it, even though I’m drained, we might as well try these last 5 embryos.
I am now prepping for my 4th transfer. Some days I feel like I have no hope left and some days I feel as excited as ever. I go back and forth non stop. I think that’s what infertility is, feeling all over the place. I struggle with debilitating anxiety and depression ever since losing Calvin.
I don’t know the answers to how to go through infertility or loss. I know it’s complete shit most of the time. I know it can be isolating and hard and brings on so many emotions. I know it takes over your life and somehow fundamentally changes who you are as a person. It changes all your relationships and strips you of your heart piece by piece. Leaving you as an empty shell of a person. You just have to find some support somewhere, try to appreciate the good days when they come, and try to find little things that help, even if it’s just for a little bit.
I wish I had some amazing and helpful advice but the truth is it’s just so hard. I wish I had the answers on how to get though this. The truth is I don’t, all I can do is say that I’m here with you, I know you feel pain. If you’re struggling reach out to one of your infertility sisters. We are here for you, always.
I am happy to announce that since Amy sent in her story, she is now expecting her miracle babe!
You can follow her on Instagram at @amys_journeyttc