I always had a feeling that I would have issues getting pregnant, however I had no idea to what extent. My husband and I were a couple at the age of 25 and the thoughts of not being able to conceive became my reality and nightmare. I worked with my gynecologist for her to confirm my thoughts that I would need to seek more help than she could give me, so she referred me to a reproductive endocrinologist.
At the age of 29, I proceeded with my doctor. We moved forward with 3 medicated cycles and then, 2 IUI cycles with no success. After the failed cycles, my husband and I decided to put the infertility treatments down and live life. We weren’t in the place financially and emotionally to continue pursuing treatment.
I had hoped that during the years of trying naturally with fertility supplements, ovulation tracking and with living a healthy lifestyle, I could achieve a pregnancy, but it never happened. I got to a point where I accepted that I wouldn’t have children.
By the age of 35, I had lost my period. I was coaching CrossFit, worked out entirely way too much, experienced adrenal fatigue and had 10% body fat. My body was in overdrive and stopped producing a period in order to fit my lifestyle. When this happened, I had to make a hard decision on whether or not I was going to continue with this lifestyle or if I would give getting pregnant one last shot before I was seriously out of time. My husband and I decided to give it one more shot. We weren’t ready to say goodbye to having biological children. We then decided to pursue IVF.
In December of 2018, I started on birth control pills to start the IVF process. In January of 2019, we went through our stimulation cycle and had our egg retrieval. We had great numbers and at the end of it all, had 4 pre-genetically tested embryos to try to get pregnant with.
After the egg retrieval in January, my husband and I decided to go to Puerto Rico where my family is from to relax and wind down from all the medications I had been on. When I returned, my doctor told me that we would have to wait 3 months for our first embryo transfer because the CDC guidelines stated that if a woman had traveled to any location where the Zika virus was still a threat, she would have to wait 3 months before transferring.
This was such a hard pill to swallow. We decided to do a hysteroscopy while waiting and polyps were found.
We had the green light to finally transfer in May of 2019. Two weeks later after transferring our first embryo, we found out that the cycle was unsuccessful. It was an extremely hard phone call to receive from my doctor. We had not tested early so we had no idea if the transfer worked or not. I had all the pregnancy symptoms from the progesterone shots I was on and hoped it was pregnancy. It turned out that my HCG level was less than 1 so yet again, nothing implanted.
We are approaching our second transfer in July of 2019. We can only hope that we will be successful on this next transfer attempt. It’s a very scary thing going through IVF. You spend thousands of dollars with no guarantee that it will even work. It’s so hard to let go of control during this process, but I have found that letting go has given me the most peace about the outcome of our infertility journey. I have gone through emotions of bitterness and anger and now years later, I am at a place of surrender. I have accepted that this is out of my control. For anyone reading this dealing with infertility, I’m sorry that you’re going through this. It’s unfair and incredibly painful. Just know that you are not alone. You are strong, you can and you will get through this.
On July 18th we transferred a single embryo. As I write this, I am now 12 weeks pregnant. We are incredibly overwhelmed with joy that after 10 years of trying, we are finally here. We have a long way to go, but we are so grateful each day to be here. Just like all that I’ve learned from this very long infertility journey, I’m taking it one day at a time.
You can follow Salina's journey to mamahood on Instagram at @letsmakelemonade_salina or on YouTube "Let’s Make Lemonade"