Before my egg retrieval, I wanted to find a support group in my area. I could not find one, so I ended up starting one myself.

My husband and I got married in November 2014 and 3 months later he was deployed. He returned in early 2016 and we started trying for a family. I got a positive pregnancy test just a few months later.

I continued with my doctor appointments, and according to them, everything was going fine. We had a gender reveal party and found out we were having a boy. Unfortunately, at our 18-week appointment, we discovered that half his skull was missing, his brain was leaking into the amniotic sac, and his kidneys were 20 times the size that they should be. These were all signs of a rare, fatal genetic disorder called Meckel Gruber Syndrome. We lost our baby boy at 20 weeks, and we were devastated.

We started trying again as soon as my body was ready, but I was still suffering from depression. After a year of trying, we decided on IVF. When we started, I was nervous but excited. I felt like we were finally moving forward, and maybe this time next year, I’d be holding our rainbow baby. Before my egg retrieval, I wanted to find a support group in my area. I could not find one, so I ended up starting one myself.

Egg retrieval day felt amazing (emotionally), and I started crying when I found out that we had 17 eggs. However, as the days went on and our numbers kept dropping, I started getting worried that we wouldn’t have enough. We got to day 6 with 5 embryos and those were sent to PGD testing. After 3 weeks of waiting, they found that 3 embryos had abnormal chromosomes and 2 had Meckel Gruber. Our hearts broke. My husband said he felt like he had lost his son all over again.

My doctor and geneticist told us that it’s a numbers game and that we should try again straight away. The women I met through my support group have provided me with a hope that I thought I had lost. I start another cycle today, and I am just as excited as ever. We will keep trying and keep holding onto the hope that we will have our rainbow baby. All we can do is hope.