Our Infertility Journey

DH and I were married in March of 2005. I knew I had endometriosis-I had been diagnosed the year before after an exploratory laparoscopy. In August of 2005, we met with our fertility specialist (Dr. M). We had an HSG which showed a blocked tube vs. a hydrosalpinx. We were referred for a "high tech" ultrasound which didn't show my dilated tube, so it was thought to be a blocked tube. DH had a semen analysis which showed poor morphology, poor motility, low count, and decreased survivability. IVF with ICSI was the recommendation over IUI due to the sperm issues. Insurance would not cover this until we'd been married a year.

In March of 2006 we started lupron for our first IVF cycle. April 5, 2006 we had our egg retrieval which yielded 18 eggs. 11 were mature enough for ICSI, 8 fertilized. On April 8, 2006 we had our transfer of one-7 cell embryo, and one that was compacting into a blast. None of our embryos were of good quality. April 10, 2006-None of our other embryos made it blast to be frozen.

That two week wait was the longest ever! I had sharp cramping the night of the 14th, and starting on the 15th I began spotting. In a panic I called the RE (fertility doc) and asked if it meant the cycle didn't work. He told us that we wouldn't know until our beta which was still 6 days away. I was convinced we weren't pregnant. I always spot before my period and this was nothing different. I continued to spot until the 18th. My friends on a group pointed out the fact that the spotting probably wouldn't have stopped if I was going to get my period. On April 20, 2006 we find out we are indeed pregnant with a beta of 161.

I was sick as anything during my pregnancy with constant nausea and frequent vomiting despite being on zofran, zantac and tums. I gained a total of 6 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight by the time our son was delivered on December 11, 2006 at almost 38 weeks. The good news was that he was healthy and I was 20 pounds lighter 6 weeks after delivery!

January 2008, we started trying to conceive on our own again knowing that it has happened for others who have needed help to have their first and they go on to have babies without assistance later. In February of 2009 we met with the fertility specialist again and decide that due to the mild OHSS from the first cycle, we will try antagonist to try to better control me during the second one.

March 3, 2009 we have our second egg retrieval. When the anesthesia wears off, Dr. M tells me that on his first attempt to retrieve the eggs, he got a few hundred cc's of blood from my pelvis, and is unsure of the cause. We ended up with 9 eggs, 6 were mature enough for ICSI, and 3 fertilize. Embryo transfer is scheduled for March 6, 2009-the day after our 4th wedding anniversary! On our anniversary we get a call from Dr. M telling us that all of our embryos are "genetically abnormal". They all had multiple nuclei. Transfer and cycle cancelled. I slip further into my depression. I happened to have an appointment with my urologist a few weeks after our cycle was cancelled, and he confides in me that he and his wife went through 6 cycles (they had one son from all of that, but wanted another child like us), and finally adopted a little girl. We decide to look into adoption, I have something else to focus on, and my mood improves.

In May 2009, we began planning our first fundraiser for adoption and met with Catholic Charities. We have meetings scheduled with two other agencies in the coming months.

Mid-June, we met with Adoptions Together. The end of June we had our first fundraiser and did really well! In mid-July we met with Bethany Christian Services, and in late July we began planning our second fundraiser and decided we were going to start the domestic adoption process with Catholic Charities. We planned to apply and be ready to do our homestudy by January 2010.

In late September we had a fundraiser which was a total flop. 30 people out of a possible 210 showed up, we lost everything we'd raised at the first fundraiser and then some. We debated whether we will continue down the adoption path.

In October 2009, we found out that our fertility clinic was merging with another major one in the area. One more IVF cycle will only cost us about $5K (compared with about $20K for adoption) because they can only bill us for what the insurance allows and whatever the insurance doesn't cover will be ours to pay~$5K. We decided to wait and see what our taxes look like at the beginning of the year before making a decision between adoption and IVF.

February of 2010 I decided we were both going to go on some natural supplements that are supposed to boost your fertility in the hopes that our sperm count and quality would improve and we would be allowed to try an IUI. In March of 2010, I broke my wrist in 4 places, and was out of work, so everything was placed on hold. In May I had surgery to have a screw placed for one of the fractures that wasn't healing properly. In June we get our info for open enrollment and any changes in insurance coverage. We find out that the cap will be increased for infertility expenses (sort of increased, if we'd done IUI prior to our IVF cycles it would have now been grouped altogether, but because we weren't candidates it actually worked to our benefit and allowed us more funds for another IVF attempt). Because our cycle will be paid for by insurance with the exception of a large copay (still less than out of pocket or adoption), we decide we will attempt another cycle.

In mid-September of 2010 we met with Dr. M for our initial consult. In October, my day 3 bloodwork was all within normal limits, and I scheduled my HSG for a week later. The HSG shows a moderate hydrosalpinx on the right side, normal patent tube on the left. Dr. M feels that we were able to have a full-term infant with it the first time around we should be fine this time, but if it's our last chance I want to make sure everything is as perfect as it can be for the best chances, and opt to have surgery to have it removed. Semen analysis results are the best we've ever had. 15 million sperm, but still not great morphology and motility, at least it was better than before! Mid-November my tube is removed. My surgeon advises waiting two full periods before we attempt another IVF cycle. He also tells me that my endometriosis is causing extensive scar tissue to build up on my rectum and recommends that when we are finished building our family that I have a hysterectomy to prevent further complications from the endo.

January 11, 2011, my surgeon has cleared me, my day 3 bloodwork looks great. I just started birth control pills, and in 2 weeks should start lupron and in 3 weeks start stims! Let's get this started!

January 25, 2011-I started lupron. Scheduled for an ultrasound and bloodwork on 2/4/11 and if all looks good, we'll start stims that day!

February 11, 2011-Started follistim and menopur shots.

February 24, 2011-Egg retrieval, 20 eggs, 15 mature enough for ICSI, 12 fertilized.

March 2, 2011-Transferred 2 hatched blasts good quality on day 6. Froze 4 embryos. 2 of the frozen are hatching blasts, 2 are expanding blasts. 1 is good quality, the other 3 are fair.

March 11, 2011-BFN. May attempt FET #1 (cycle #4) after AF arrives. Depends on insurance money left and cost of FET.

March 17, 2011-BCP's in the hopes of starting a FET.

April 15, 2011-Start Del Estrogen shots every 3 days.

May 1, 2011-Lining looked good, transfer set for May 6.  Add Progesterone in Oil shots to my regimen.  These are given daily, still on Del Estrogen every 3 days.

May 6, 2011-Transferred two expanded, good looking embryos.  Started pineapple core for next 5 days.

May 12, 2011-POAS with an internet cheapie, negative.  I knew it was too early, but I was convinced this didn't work anyway.

May 13, 2011-Friday the 13th of all days!  POAS with an internet cheapie and came back to find a faint line.  Bought digital tests not expecting my HCG levels to be high enough, but it read "Pregnant"!!!!!!!  Praise the Lord!

May 16, 2011-First beta 10dp6dt=284!!!!!

May 18, 2011-Second beta 12dp6dt=653!!!!  Next beta on May 20, 2011 (our clinic does betas every 2-3 days until you reach close to 2000)