Prior to our infertility journey, my husband and I worked hard to purchase a home, finish college and put ourselves in a good financial position in preparation for kids. After a year of trying, we jumped onto the roller coaster ride known as infertility. We went to my OB/GYN for a routine checkup and to discuss why we weren’t getting pregnant.
She prescribed Clomid. After 2 rounds of Clomid, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive!
However, I went to my doctor and she said something did not look right and she wanted to run some tests. The next day I received an urgent call and was told by my doctor to go to the ER immediately because I was having an ectopic pregnancy.
Our excitement of being pregnant lasted less than 24 hours. I was fortunate that my doctor caught the ectopic pregnancy early enough that I did not lose my fallopian tube, but I did have to receive methotrexate injections. After our ectopic pregnancy, I struggled a lot. It would be fair to say I felt hopeless and was severely depressed.
Coming to SGF
After the ectopic pregnancy, my OB/GYN referred me to Shady Grove Fertility where my husband and I met Dr. Yazigi. He reviewed my chart, spent time discussing treatment options with us and assured us he would do everything he could to help us reach our goal of becoming parents.
We decided to try IUI first, but after 2 rounds and no signs of ovulation, we met with Dr. Yazigi again and decided to proceed with IVF. It was during this time that I started seeing a counselor. She helped me through some of my darkest days and reaching out to her was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
We started the IVF process in the summer of 2016. We had our egg retrieval on my husband’s birthday in July and transferred a fresh embryo. We were elated when we received the news a couple of weeks later that we were indeed pregnant! However, our excitement was short-lived because at our routine 8-week checkup, we were informed there was no heartbeat and the baby was measuring much smaller than he/she should (we chose not to find out the sex even though we had fetal testing done).
So although our baby was not growing as he/she should, I had no bleeding or cramping. So, 2 days later I had to have a D&C. The only thing I really remember is waking up crying because I knew it was ‘real’ at that point.
At this point, I was heartbroken, but I also had a desire to do another cycle because technically, I was pregnant which means the treatment was working. In my mind, I had 3 chances at being a mom (we had 5 embryos total but insurance only covers 3 cycles unless a live birth occurs), so I told myself we needed to try again. Also, it sounds creepy but my husband said from the very beginning that he thought this process was going to work, but didn’t think it would work the first time… and he was right.
Once the D&C was complete, we had to wait for my HCG numbers to go down prior to moving forward with another IVF cycle. It took 9 weeks! I know my nurse Jenna dreaded having to call me and tell me that I had to return in a week for blood work yet again. It was also during this time that I was stuck with a contaminated needle at work (I’m a dental hygienist).
The board at Shady Grove Fertility met and informed me that I needed to obtain clearance from an infectious disease specialist prior to proceeding with treatment, which was scheduled for the following week.
I was fortunate enough to find an amazing infectious disease doctor who reviewed my bloodwork. He assured both myself and the doctors at SGF that I had a less than 1% chance of having contracted anything and he cleared me to proceed with treatment with the understanding that I had to have repeat bloodwork in 3 months and again in 6 months. All of my bloodwork came back negative and I was officially cleared from his care.
Even with all this chaos, we were able to transfer a frozen embryo. I stayed #SGFstrong through our last FET cycle with the support of my husband and the staff at SGF (Gail and Jenna at the Bel Air office are AMAZING).
I continued to see my counselor regularly and honestly, letting go of some of the mental stuff by telling myself I had done everything I could do and if it was meant to be, it would be. I also have been very open with my struggles on social media because I felt alone at first but by opening up, I quickly learned I wasn’t and I wanted other people to be able to have the same experience.
I have come across countless friends dealing with some aspect of infertility (endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, need for egg donor, adoption, surrogate, IUI, IVF) and it has been great being able to be there for one another.
Even though I was strong, we were still scared to death that this round would end like the first, but it didn’t!
Our miracle baby
We now have our beautiful son, Carson. Life with our son is amazing. I have never been so happy in all my life. He is my greatest accomplishment and I already forget what life was like before him. I hate to leave him in the morning and I rush home to him every night. I tell him countless times a day that I love him and even FaceTime him while I pump at work.
When I look at him, everything is okay in the world and I often dream about what he may become in life. I wrote him a letter before he was born explaining that although he doesn’t understand it now, he was worth every early morning blood draw appointment, every ultrasound, every injection, every tear, absolutely everything.
To anyone going through this, I want you to know you’re not alone, it’s ok to have bad days as long as you continue to push through and you’re stronger than you know. Don’t be afraid to lean on family and friends. And most importantly, be kind to yourself.