Being told in your early 20’s that you have fertility issues is not something I imagined ever hearing. What the shit!? What do you mean the only way I can have children is to go through IVF!?
After trying and trying to fall pregnant, I was adamant there was nothing wrong with us. I told my husband we are young, we are fine, let’s just go to a fertility specialist get the tests done so he can tell us everything is cool we just need to stop stressing about it. That’s how we learned we did indeed have something wrong and in vitro would be our only option.
So we embarked on our first IVF journey. I was scared. I hate needles and knew I would have to have quite a few in a short period of time. My husband did every single needle because I was too afraid to do it myself. We had a fairly successful egg retrieval, 13 eggs of which 9 fertilised. Woo hoo! We thought. We won’t have to do it ever again, just freeze some of those embryos and life is good. The next day we received a call from our doctor, all but 1 embryo had died off overnight so he wanted to do the embryo transfer asap to give us the best possible chance of success. Lucky for us, it worked and we now have a beautiful child from that strong little embryo.
When we were ready to try for our second child, we knew we would have to go through IVF again. So back to the doctor we went and got all the needles and started the journey again. This time I did the needles myself. I was no longer afraid of needles after the last round and all the blood tests etc required during an IVF cycle. Something was different this time though. I felt like my stomach was going to explode, I was nauseous and crampy and ridiculously uncomfortable. My doctor determined I was becoming overstimulated which can be dangerous. On egg retrieval I had 22 eggs taken. My doctor told us it was too risky to do a fresh transfer given how sick I was becoming and we would need to freeze any embryos and do a frozen cycle in a couple months when my body had settled down. Out of 22 eggs, we got one embryo. It was pretty disappointing, but at least we had one. So into the deep freeze it went while my body healed.
The frozen round was quite different to experience after IVF. The daily blood tests took their toll though and the veins in my arms started collapsing. Then when it was time for the transfer we received a call advising us the embryo hadn’t done too well during the thawing process. We could go ahead with the egg transfer but needed to be aware that our odds for success were lower given the embryo quality. Our desperation pushed us forward however, the transfer was unsuccessful.
The heartbreak of going through all of that and having a negative result was very painful. I really take my hat off to the people that endure round after round of IVF and have multiple unsuccessful rounds. The physical and emotional toll it takes is so huge.
We waited a few months before trying IVF again. We made the decision that this would be the last time we would go through it given the impact on my body the previous round had. We were armed with extra needles on top of the usual ones and some tablets to prevent hyper stimulation occurring again and were determined to make this one count.
I started to become hyper stimulated again despite the precautions taken.
We had 18 eggs retrieved. We made the decision to push ahead with a fresh transfer and monitor my health closely to make sure everything would be ok. Out of 18 eggs, this time we got 3 embryos. We transferred one and froze two.
The transfer was a success and we now have our second beautiful child.
We are extremely lucky and blessed to have had 2 successes with IVF when so many others don’t even get one.
My journey is an easy one compared to some, and hard compared to others. No matter your journey, you are amazing for doing whatever it takes as a mother or to become a mother.
Wow, what a photo. Thank you to Sher Fertility St. Louis and Dr. Dayal patient Angela, who shows the true definition of love that went into making this gorgeous new baby girl.
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