My fertility journey began when I was 34 years old. My fiancée and I were starting to “try” with no pressure. When we got married a year later, I still was not pregnant so we took some measures to see what was going on. I went to my acupuncturist and started weekly sessions along with herbs. I also went to a fertility doctor in New York City.
We had a hormone panel and a semen analysis done. We discovered that my husband had really low sperm morphology. Further investigation showed my husband had varicoceles, which is like a varicose vein in the testes. We decided to do an IUI procedure but still no luck. After 7 IUIs my husband decided to have surgery to remove the varicoceles. After the surgery, the urologist happily said it was successful but to wait 6 to 12 months before trying again. At that point, we had gone through many IUIs and I remember thinking it is time to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist. After the first visit, the RE gave my husband and I a good probability of getting pregnant. He advised IVF with ICSi. Off to my first round of IVF…
Early mornings with shots and feeling like we were our own lab finally came to retrieval and then a transfer of three embryos. The 12-day waiting period was hard but I felt optimistic. When we went in for blood work we waited for the test results. Anxiously waiting, I got a call from the nurse that afternoon and she told me, “we got your test results back and unfortunately, they are negative, please come in day 2 of your cycle.” Needless to say, I was pretty sad and upset over this news but also hopeful because we still had two frozen embryos from the first round.
At that point, I decided to take a break. I took three months off and tried not to think about getting pregnant, although it was in the back of my mind. Three months later, my husband and I decided to transfer the two frozen embryos. This time when I went in for the transfer, I felt like I did everything. Yet instead of feeling optimistic, I felt deflated. When it came time for the pregnancy test, I already knew I wasn’t pregnant. I felt no different and I didn’t have any pregnancy signs.
When I got a call that afternoon, the nurse said “we got your pregnancy tests results back and you are pregnant”! I was in utter shock and disbelief. I quickly called my husband to share the amazing news. Here we were sharing this moment together – our journey. When we went back to do the sonogram, the RE said you don’t have one fetal sac but two. We were pregnant with twins!
The next nine months were joyous. The last stages were hard. I went to 39 weeks with twins. My twins were born on November 2nd 2011 via vaginal birth. I had a team of doctors who were there to bring my twins into the world. I share this journey with many of my patients. It is a journey of hardship, emotional ups and downs and putting a smile on your face when your friend, relative or co-worker is pregnant. My own fertility journey has made me a better practitioner.
Now I understand my patients better and I also have more knowledge of navigating the IVF process. I also feel grateful to my patients, because just as I was there to help so many other women get pregnant, it helped me in my journey, too. What I tell my patients is do what you can to help get pregnant and then release control. Nourish your body but also nourish your mindset. In Chinese Medicine, there is a saying “ in order to nourish the child you must first nourish the mother.”