When Aspen (our daughter) was only a few months old, Jimmy and I knew we wanted to add another baby to the mix. We really wanted to have a boy (Jimmy has a total of 5 girls and 1 boy) and only had 2 frozen female embryos left from our first round of IVF, so we decided to start the process from scratch. Jimmy was adamant he didn’t care about the sex of the baby, he just didn’t want me to have to again endure the emotional rollercoaster that comes with IVF. But I insisted: I was more comfortable with going through IVF again since I knew what to expect.
We began the IVF process after baseball season ended so Jimmy could be ever present. I’m not sure if it’s because I knew what to expect or if maybe my body was used to the hormones, but it I felt like I handled this IVF much more in stride. I ate super healthy, cut out most alcohol (next to impossible to do while filming Real Housewives of Orange County), had regular acupuncture sessions, and took daily walks. I also prayed, meditated, and read a lot. I didn’t even watch emotional or negative TV shows.
My amazing nurse convinced my doctor to use the Erickson Method (aka “spin the sperm”) to produce as many male embryos as possible. There is no medical proof that this method is successful––in fact it has been proven time and time again that it doesn’t work––but we wanted to try it. The embryologist suggested we defrost 5 vials of sperm (as opposed to 1) to give the scientists more room for error in order to apply this method.
All in all I produced 10 mature eggs, all 10 fertilized, and all 10 made it to zygote stage (which was INCREDIBLE!). We did another PGS (preimplantation genetic screening) and found that of the 10 embryos, only 4 were chromosomally normal: 3 boys and 1 girl! We were a bit shocked that 60% of our embryos were abnormal but so happy to have 4 strong and healthy ones. Fast forward to today and I am pregnant! I’m not feeling the greatest but we know that it will all be worth it in the end.