Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Infertility, Part 1

OK, so this post has been coming.  It's the start, it will probably take a few posts to get it all out.  There's so much to it, but I want to share.  If it ever helps someone else, that would be the best thing possible!

July 25, 2008 was the day my world fell apart.  The pieces of my life, and my heart, were scattered so far and wide that I didn't think they could possibly ever be put back together.  I became a broken person, a wounded soul.  I pulled back from everything I had once loved and became someone that I didn't even recognize when I looked in the mirror.  This was the day that we found out all of our infertility nightmares had come true.  The day that had been over 2 years in the making.  The day we hoped would give us new life, new hope, new meaning.  Instead it was the day that we were told our latest attempt at concieving a much prayed for baby through IVF (invitro fertilization) with ICSI had failed.  After all the heartache, all the emotions, all the shots and blood draws and ultrasounds.  All the visits to doctors of all kinds.  All the hope because 'our chances were so good.'  All the money, time, and sanity that we poured into infertility testing and treatment, and it was not to be.  Again.  I felt like I died that day along with our two fertilized embryo's that were transferred back into my body.  The embryo's that were supposed to burrow themselves into my lining.  The embryo's that my body rejected.  Along with the fertilized embryo's that were supposed to make it to be frozen so that we had a chance with FET (frozen embryo transfer).  Everything was gone.  My babies.  My hope.  This is the day that I realized that I was a Mother, but a Mother without a child to hold as my own.

Ironically, July 25, 2010 is when those pieces were put back together.  The day that I found a love so strong that nothing, EVER, could break it.  This was the day I became a parent for the second time.  This is the day that our baby, our everything, graced us with her presence.  This is the day that I delivered a healthy, screaming 7 pound, 2 ounce bundle of joy at 4:23 in the morning.  This is the day that Kevin and I had been waiting for.  This is the day that made everything we went through worthwhile.  The day that I handed over my heart to never again be my own. 

Let's start from the beginning. 

I met K in January 2000.  By June 2000 we were dating seriously, and December 2000 we moved in together.  March 2001 we were engaged.  June 22, 2002 we exchanged vows and rings and became one family in front of God, our friends and family.  We were young.  I was just 22 and K was 23.  Not as young as some, but definately young.  We were still working our way through college and both working full time, so we agreed to not to try to start a family until we had graduated.  This allowed us to enjoy each other, and learn everything we could about each other.  We did, and it was the greatest decision we could have made.

Fast forward.  May 2005 K graduated with his bachelors degree.  March 2006 I came off of birth control.  May 2006 I graduated with my bachelors degree.  June 2006 we travelled Europe for 3 weeks and really enjoyed no longer preventing pregnancy.  At first it was great.  No birth control, no other prevention, and just having fun.  After some months of trying we thought that maybe we just weren't hitting the right time of the month.  So we started temping and charting, and using OPK's to make sure that we knew when I was ovulating.  So, now we KNEW we were trying at the right time of the month.  In all reality, we both knew in the back of our heads that there was going to be some IF issues, but I think we both didn't want to admit it.  So, just under a year after we began trying, we agreed to find out why we were not yet pregnant.  My Ob/Gyn had our testing done.  I had some low progesterone, but otherwise I was OK.  K had dealt with an issue at birth that was corrected sometime around his 6th year that caused him some issues.  Unfortunately, all of his numbers were low.  So, my Ob/Gyn recommended we see a urologist that specializes in Male Infertility.  We did.  She ran another analysis on him and we had a consultation.  During that consultation she prescribed him Clomid.  Apparently it's not just for women!  There were all kinds of other recommendations, but when it boiled down to it she advised us that even if we did them all, with the reason for his fertility issues, the chances of us getting pregnant were not going to increase by any noticeable amount.  Unfortunately we fell into the category of severe male factor.

So, we self referred to a prominent Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) in our area.

We got in pretty quick.  They did another analysis.  We sat down and talked with the doctor.  His picture that he drew for us was bleak on the one hand, but on the other it gave us loads of hope.  He said that if we DTD at the right time every month for 10 years, we had about a 1 percent chance of getting pregnant within that 10 years.

Wow, slow down.  Step back.  1% chance?  That's LOW!!!  We felt deflated.  But wait, he said, there are options!

He advised that while we could try IUI/AI, he did not recommend it as he did not think in our situation that it would increase our chances.  He was willing to do it, but he basically said he thought it would be a waste of money.  He felt our option was IVF with ICSI.  We decided to discuss and let the office know what we wanted to do.

For those who are not familiar, and probably over simplifying:  IVF is where they keep you from ovulating, then feed the eggs, then take them out with a nasty looking needle, and then put them in a petri dish with the sperm and let them do their thing.  ICSI is where instead of just putting them in the dish to do their thing, they use a needle and inject the sperm right into the egg.  Either way they then feed the fertilized embryo's for a few days, then transplant them back in.  At that point there's nothing else to be done, you just have to hope that your body accepts them and that they burrow into your lining.

OK, we thought.  We can do this.  It won't be so bad, right?  We have some money in savings to help pay for this.  We'll just do this IVF with ICSI and it'll work.  We'll be pregnant in a matter of months, right?

Wrong.  So very very wrong.

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