My “Infertility Story.” A story I wish I didn’t have, but one I feel strongly about being open and real about.
My name is Kelsey, and I’m a 33-year-old mama to my adorable ginger son, Reese (2.5) and wife to my hubby Ed. Conceiving Reese was literally the easiest thing we’ve ever done. Month one of trying and BOOM, we were pregnant! Straightforward pregnancy. Totally average birth story. Healthy babe. I was convinced from then on that I was the most fertile human on earth. #KnockOnWood
Fast forward to when our little guy was about 11 months old, and I was ready to try for #2. I always wanted kids very close in age and was quite obsessed with this idea of a small “age gap.” I tracked ovulation and still, after 2-3 months, I was not seeing those two pink lines. Hashtag WTF? I began to get discouraged. Still, I knew that conceiving a second child often took longer, so we persisted. By month 5-6, I was getting worried. Ed and I discussed seeing a specialist, but figured we were just being paranoid and continued to try naturally whilst tracking “O” and all that good stuff. By nine months, I had had it. Sex was no longer fun. It was a chore, and frankly, it wasn’t working (in more ways than one).
In June 2017 we had our first meeting with a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Thinking we’d go in, they’d hook us up with a quick IUI, and we’d be good to go, I was very positive from the jump off. However, as the tests results started to come back (I questioned why I had to be tested; I was sure it was my husband that had issues), we were faced with a harsh reality: I was diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR). Basically, fewer and less quality eggs than I should have for age 32. Hubby also had sperm count and motility issues. It was a double whammy, and we were told that IVF was our only option (if we chose to use Assisted Reproductive Technology). Of course, we could’ve technically continued to try on our own. After all, Reese happened (though now I think he was just a true miracle.) But, we were sick and tired of waiting and trying. It was taking a toll on our marriage and family. So, we jumped into IVF head first.
IVF #1: While we didn’t end up with TONS of eggs, we did end up with two blastocyst embryos, transferred one and, SURPRISE, got pregnant! Yes! I knew it, our story of “infertility” was ending. Unfortunately, at our 10-week appointment, we learned that our little guy’s (found out the gender through fetal tissue testing) heart stopped beating.
Devastation is an understatement. This loss threw me into a deep state of postpartum depression. It was even debilitating at times. I took a break from fertility to focus on my mental health and my family. Most importantly, being a mommy to my son.
IVF #2: In January 2018, we embarked on our second egg retrieval. This time, we did PGS testing. Our two blasts became one, which we decided to freeze. I was not ready for a transfer yet and was still reeling mentally from my November loss. In March, we decided, as a family, we were ready to transfer our beautiful, PGS normal embryo.
Once again, I WAS PREGNANT!!! And, once again, I lost the baby. This time it was earlier, at 5 weeks. Another loss. Another twofold devastation: grieving a child and re-entering my infertility journey… again.
Nevertheless, I persisted. I had to. We decided to explore new options and found a new doctor. By now it was summer 2018 and we were ready to gear up for…
IVF #3: New doctor, new protocol, but like clockwork, two blastocyst embryos in the end. We opted NOT to do PGS testing and did a freeze-all cycle (as our new doctor prefers frozen transfers).
So here I am, it is September 2018 and I’m gearing up for my frozen embryo transfer (FET) tomorrow – September 5! I am transferring two gorgeous day-5 blastocysts. I am excited, but at the same time completely petrified. I am SO scared it won’t work. I have come to expect this: loss and failure. It is sad that this is what infertility does to you. But I am hopeful that sharing my story helps others.
I have SO much more strength (physical, emotional) than I ever thought I would. I am very active in my local infertility community as well as online. I seek support from friends and family, as well as a counselor. I take care of MYSELF and my family, while still remaining dedicated to this mission.
I hope to share amazing news soon (and will update at The TTC Tribe!), and finally bring home the rainbow baby that I have been dreaming of for over two years. Please continue to follow along with me on Instagram at itskels_life.