My husband and I tried to get pregnant for one year before going to see my OB. After an examination by my doctor, I learned that not only did I have PCOS, but that my left fallopian tube had also (somehow) become infected, died, and needed to be surgically removed via laparoscopy surgery. After that, we tried Clomid for 3 months – this had me really excited. I had so many friends around me that had success while on Clomid that I thought for sure this would be it – wrong again. We moved onto IUI, had three failed cycles, and jumped into IVF. In Nov. 2014, we had our first embryo transfer. 9 days after transfer we found out that we were pregnant, for the first time. We were both beyond ecstatic and tears streamed down our faces. Our dreams came shattering down on us a few weeks later when we learned at our first ultrasound that our baby didn’t have a heartbeat. It was devastating and soul crushing. Since then, we have done 7 more embryo transfers. 3 have ended in miscarriages, 3 have been failed attempts (BFNs) & our most recent IVF transfer (transfer #8) we are currently waiting to see if it worked. In total, since 2014, we have done 4 egg retrievals and 8 transfers.
We’ve tried it ALL – no caffeine, acupuncture, eating pineapple core for five days starting on day of transfer, eating McDonald’s french fries after transfer, etc – you name it, we’ve tried it! Most recently, I started a weight loss journey and have lost 50 pounds to date. I’m also seeing a reproductive immunologist (Dr. Kwak Kim) who discovered I have heightened Natural Killer Cells and high levels of inflammation in my body. Basically – my body thinks the fetus is foreign and kills it off. Since going gluten free and being on a steroid, we have gotten these levels back in the normal range.
Very early in our journey, we had decided to go public with our struggle. We didn’t know much about what we were about to embark on, nor did we know anyone who did IVF (at least not publicly) and we really wanted to raise awareness. Sharing our journey is the best thing we have ever done. It has allowed us to be surrounded by thousands of people – family, friends, and strangers – that are praying for us, cheering us on, and want nothing but the best for us. It helped me feel not so alone in our struggle. I’ve also connected with so many other women struggling with infertility through social media and that has helped me immensely.
This journey isn’t easy. There are times you’re going to want to give up, pull your hair out, and not get out of bed. But what is important is that at the end of the day, you get out of bed and keep going. Surround yourself with positive people & others that understand what you’re going through. Know that the end result to this nightmare will be one of the most beautiful, rewarding, and extraordinary things that will EVER happen in your life. I promise, you have the strength in you to keep going. You are WARRIORS. Never forget that.
Since being featured last year – SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED! After our sixth loss, my husband and I knew that it was time to take our journey in another direction. One of my best friends had offered to be our surrogate. We knew it would be a big undertaking, with lots of new processes, but we were ready. Along with everything else, there are LOTS of costs involved with surrogacy. Since we started, we have held a few fundraisers to help us with all the bills. Matt and I began the process in August 2017. We didn’t have any embryos left, so we needed to do another egg retrieval. This last egg retrieval yielded our best results yet and we were able to freeze 6 embryos! During all of this, our surrogate, Rachel, and her husband were doing things on their end. They had to be checked out medically, and both sets of couples had to go through a psych exam as well. After legal was complete, it was time for TRANSFER! We transferred two embryos on January 12th. Rachel’s first beta was on January 21st and it was POSITIVE! Her numbers continued to rise into our first ultrasound when we found out we had one, sweet little rainbow baby growing in Rachel’s belly. Cue the tears. We had our last and final appointment with our fertility clinic on February 28th, and our rainbow baby is still thriving and flourishing. We had our baby in September 2018! We would have NEVER guessed our fertility journey would take us on this path almost six years ago. Matt and I are forever grateful and indebted to Rachel and her family for giving us our dream. Each day that passes is a milestone and brings us one day closer to our baby. It has been a HUGE adjustment not being the one to carry our child, but I know it’s the right thing to do. My husband said something to me at dinner recently that will forever stay with me – “being a mom is more important than being pregnant.” Mic drop. We persevered over the years and here we are. We are extremely thankful to everyone that has helped us get to where we are today – we could not have done this without any of you.