The trying to conceive journey can be a difficult and long process, especially when you have to go through multiple rounds of IVF and fertility treatment. The fertility clinic becomes your local hang-out and the vaginal wand your NBF (New Best Friend). You might face unrealistic expectations from the fertility specialists and clinics that you visit. This is what Jess and her husband Ryan faced for 7 years, although there’s a happy ending on the horizon. It’s an inspiring story that will leave you feeling optimistic.
Over to Jess…
A Childhood Dream
Growing up I had always envisioned being a mother. In answer to the popular question in school: ‘What would you like to be when you grow up?’, my first response was always ‘a mother’. I never once thought of being a teacher, a chef or the President – I just wanted to be a mom. Growing up I watched my Mom raise us five children and do it flawlessly. She could nurse a newborn, help my brother with homework all while making us lunch and looking gorgeous while doing it. She was such an amazing caretaker, cheerleader, best friend and comforter. I knew when I grew up, I would be just like her and have a house full of kids running around. Sadly, that dream vanished, and we entered the dark world of empty bank accounts, bruised, battered and botched up bodies from countless fertility treatment procedures and a home with carpet soaked in tears. Not being able to conceive children has really taken a toll on me both physically and mentally and I have become accustomed to a life of infertility, as it has been apart of me for so long.
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Our Fertility Journey
We began our fertility journey in 2013 and, after the old-fashioned way was not working for us, we mustered up the courage and made an appointment with my OBGYN to see what might be prohibiting this oh so simple task. My OB performed all the base-line tests and found nothing. He said we are still so young and not to worry (note to all the doctors out there: never use this line on a patient because it fills the couple with false hope). To speed things up, he prescribed Clomid with timed intercourse and we did the baby dance for a year. Naively we thought this would do the trick. I had never taken hormones before and obviously they were working because I was bat shit crazy, but in the end there was no baby. After a year of Clomid, we were referred to a fertility specialist who we saw from 2016-2018. During our first consult, our new fertility specialist looked at us and said, “I will have you pregnant within three cycles of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)”. We left that appointment on Cloud 9 knowing we would have a child soon.
Sadly, we underwent six failed medicated IUI attempts and were back at square one. Looking back, this is when we should have switched fertility clinics as our fertility specialist had absolutely no answers and wasn’t willing to try anything different in between cycles – our protocol stayed the same for each insemination. Feeling that we had invested so much time in our doctor, we decided to give IVF a shot and began in September of 2018. We had a great stimulation cycle and ended up with 19 eggs and 8 frozen embryos once all was done. Our fertility specialist urged us not to test because our embryos were of perfect quality and again “we were young”. From there, we endured three failed frozen embryo transfers (FET), an ERA cycle which was pre-receptive which was followed by another failed FET (totalling four), not to mention the loss of 8 embryos resulting in no baby.
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Switching Fertility Clinics
We finally decided to switch clinics in May of this year (something we should have done years ago) and began afresh. We took a few months off to give my body time to heal and geared up for a fresh, new round. After several tests and procedures, we received the all- clear to begin IVF. We started another IVF cycle; a completely different protocol and we were able to create 5 PGS tested normal embryos! It was recommended to do an HSG test, a hysteroscopy and another ERA cycle before transferring, so that’s what we did. The HSG and hysteroscopy came back clear – tubes were open and no scarring or polyps found. We completed our second ERA cycle and discovered I was receptive. On January 27th 2020, we transferred one perfect embryo and finally, after years of failures and negative pregnancy tests, we received our first ever positive! When our nurse called to tell me the news, what I heard her say was “ I am sorry, but the results are negative” and she had to repeat herself several times before my brain registered the good news!
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We are now 28 weeks along with our miracle baby boy and are adjusting to this new journey. To be completely honest, we are still in shock and disbelief. We have had a fight or flight mentality for so many years that it has been quite the adjustment to accept that our time has finally come, and that I am growing a child in my womb. Along with adjusting to our new life, there is PTSD that is embedded deep into our souls. I still come across pregnancy announcements with a pit in my stomach and scroll fast so as to not hurt my heart or see a mother and a child walking hand in hand and long for that reality. Infertility lives within you forever, once you become pregnant you do not suddenly become fertile – now you are just pregnant through the grace of God and science.
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Keep on Going
IVF and any kind of fertility treatment takes a toll on your body, mind, spirit and all relationships in your life. For years, my husband and I have put ourselves on the line for what we believe in, not once giving up or thinking this was the end of our story. No matter how tough the battle is, never give up. We learned to endure until we overcame all the adversities we were facing. Miracles can and will happen – they just might take a little longer than expected. To all the Warriors out there, I see you, I am you and I love you – keep climbing, Mama.
Related Article – Conception Help – How The FERTI·LILY Helped Me to Conceive Naturally
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