My husband and I started trying for a baby about four years ago. We were super excited; we were young and healthy and didn’t think we would have to endure a long journey towards parenthood. About seven months after we started trying without luck, I was getting impatient as I am a flight attendant so it was getting hard to manage my schedule to allow me be home on the days I needed to be in order to conceive.
I decided to make an appointment with my OBGYN. Right away she got my husband and I in for an appointment and we did all of the blood tests to check my hormones. Everything came back great but she decided to put me on a drug called Clomid. I didn’t really need to be on Clomid as I was ovulating on my own but this would help enhance it and help me track my schedule better. After four months on Clomid we were still unsuccessful. It was at that time we had reached one year of trying so we were referred to the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine (PCRM) to see a fertility specialist.
I was really excited about going to PCRM as I had a few colleagues who had gone there and had experienced success. It was finally feeling like it was our time! PCRM got us to do all the proper testing before our first appointment which was great because we would hopefully have some answers right away. At our first appointment we got our results and everything looked good. We were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. We had an ultrasound a few weeks later where Dr. Roberts discovered a huge fibroid. It was at that point we were told that it was almost a blessing we hadn’t gotten pregnant because my fibroid was so big there would have been no room for a baby and a greater risk of miscarriage. I felt relieved that maybe I finally had that answer to why I was not getting pregnant. A few days after that ultrasound I was scheduled to have a myomectomy. After my surgery, I took about six months to recover before getting the go ahead from our doctor to start trying again. We were told to try naturally and if after a few months if nothing happened to call PCRM to book a follow up appointment.
Once again, months went by and still no pregnancy. At our follow up appointment at PCRM, we decided we would do a hysteroscopy to make sure the uterus looked good so we could try an intrauterine insemination (IUI). Everything looked good and we got the go ahead to proceed with treatment. I started another drug called Letrozole and waited for my peak ovulation. The day of the IUI everything went well but unfortunately it was unsuccessful. We decided to do another one the following month and at this point I had to tell my employer I was no longer able to fly and I would have to be on modified duties. Our heart and soul was into this and I just wanted to be close to home without the worry of missing treatment. We decided after two IUI’s if it was unsuccessful we would roll right into in vitro fertilization (IVF). At this point we were well into our third year of trying with all the setbacks including the recovery time after the fibroid surgery.
Unfortunately IUI number two was unsuccessful but it was okay because I just knew IVF was going to be our answer. Right away we started the IVF process and we were more than ready. I actually found the whole process reassuring as the nurses and doctors literally take over. They just tell you what to do, when you need to do it, and when you need to be there and I actually found comfort in that. We started our treatment and at every ultrasound things looked good but almost too good. I was producing a lot of eggs which put me at an increased risk of hyper-stimulation, so I was told we were no longer allowed to do a fresh transfer and would have to wait a month before actually transferring an embryo. It felt like another setback but I looked at it as a positive set back. We ended up with 26 eggs, 21 of which fertilized and ended up with 10 embryos to freeze! I will never forget the day I got the call that 21 fertilized. It was the first time in this journey that I finally felt like I had a chance at being a mom! I technically had 21 babies! After a month of rest and letting my body calm down, it was time to prepare for the frozen embryo transfer (FET). On Aug 22nd we transferred our very first 4AA embryo and we couldn’t have been more thrilled! This was it! It had to be it. Well a few days after transfer things started to change; I’ll never really be able to explain it except something in my heart was telling me the FET hadn’t worked. It was confirmed 9 days later by a blood test that our transfer had been unsuccessful and it was at that moment I felt the most broken.
IVF feels like it should be a guarantee but it’s not. How could every appointment be so good but in the end have it fail? Dr. Roberts called me a few days later and we discussed a new game plan and once again I was starting to get my hope back. I had another hysteroscopy and that’s when he told me that I had tiny fibroids in my uterine wall and that he thinks I should have one more surgery to try to remove them. I knew once these were gone I would just have to get pregnant! After the surgery I took time to heal again but this time I only had to wait about 6 weeks and before I knew it, I was in prep mode for another frozen embryo transfer.
November 23rd we transferred another 4AA embryo. I was cautiously optimistic going into this transfer and during the nine days post-transfer as I waiting to go for the blood test to see if it had worked, I kept extremely busy and tried not to over think. The day of blood test to see if treatment was successful, I really didn’t feel any different because I knew this could go one of two ways. To my shock my blood test results came in and I was staring at a positive result! My first ever positive! It was one of the best days of my life. Slowly after my positive pregnancy result my excitement started turning into fear and anxiety as my gut feeling was telling me something wasn’t right. I started spotting and I was literally calling the nurses every day. The nurses were absolutely amazing and were so supportive. Unfortunately this pregnancy ended and I miscarried at home. The next day it was confirmed by ultrasound that I had lost my baby. My husband and I were just numb. I felt every emotion you could possibly feel and Dr. Roberts called me later that night to check in. I thanked him for getting me pregnant as I had only ever dreamed of what that felt like. He told me that wasn’t his job; his job was to get me pregnant and stay pregnant. Miraculously there I was sitting there with hope again, not ready to give up. At that point we still had eight frozen embryos and I wasn’t stopping now. I waited patiently for my blood work levels to return to normal so I could start preparing for my third FET.
Right after New Year’s, my body was back to normal and I started my medications to prepare for transfer number three. This time I went into it not knowing what to expect but staying hopeful. On February 6th I found myself staring at another positive beta result. As thrilled as I was, my anxiety was extremely high but I learned to accept this pregnancy for what it was, taking things day by day. After a bumpy start with this pregnancy, I experienced such great care from the nurses and especially Dr. Roberts who scheduled me in for an ultrasound every week to help reduce my anxiety and fear. I’ve gotten to see and hear the baby’s heartbeat a few times now.
My husband and I are beyond excited but I would be lying if I didn’t admit the amount of fear I currently have is huge. Infertility can be such a roller coaster. It took so long to get to this point that sometimes it’s hard to believe every pregnancy milestone. I’ve learned to take one day at a time and count it as a blessing. Through all the fear and tears and meltdowns it made my husband and I even stronger than I could imagine. We know how to fight hard for something and not give up when things don’t seem to be working in our favor. I feel like we had the best team and support behind us and this wouldn’t have been possible without Dr. Roberts and everyone involved in our journey.