Our journey towards starting a family has been one heck of a rollercoaster. Due to Cystic Fibrosis, IVF is our only option for getting pregnant.
In-Vitro Fertilization 101
- A woman is given fertility hormone injections that stimulate her ovaries to produce as many mature eggs as possible (instead of the usual one per monthly cycle).
- The eggs are retrieved using a suction needle inserted into the ovary.
- The eggs are fertilized by combining them with sperm in a culture dish.
- The best-quality embryos are transferred into a woman’s uterus.
- If all goes well, a normal pregnancy is the result.
Our first fresh IVF cycle was exactly 1 year ago. I would love to say that it was easy, but it was far from it. I became very hyperstimulated and produced a whopping 36 eggs. Unfortunately, because of the large number, the quality suffered...of the 36, only 9 fertilized (via ICSI). From those, only 5 remained viable on transfer day. So, 2 were transferred and 3 were frozen for a future cycle. Two weeks following the transfer, we took a blood pregnancy test, where we learned that the cycle was unsuccessful.
Then, in December 2010, we began the injections for a frozen cycle. This round was much smoother. Since the embryos were already fertilized, they simply needed to be transferred. I felt great through the entire cycle. When transfer day arrived, 2 of the 3 frozen embryos were viable after thawing. So, both were transferred. Two weeks later, we were over-the-moon excited to find out that we were pregnant. My due date would be October 13. But, at 10 weeks, I suffered a miscarriage and had a D&C on March 8. Until now, I had chosen to keep quiet to most. I feared that even well-meant words would hurt. I could not bear to hear "Don't worry, you're young. You've got plenty of time to try again". I didn't want to try again. I wanted our baby to still be with us. I was still too in shock to completely share my feelings. I only felt that I could talk freely with God. But, even in my quiet time with God, my words were not always kind. I often spoke in bitterness and anguish. My only comfort was believing that our angel baby was in heaven watching over us.
Our Dr. suggested waiting at least one month after the D&C before beginning another fresh cycle. For us, we thought it would be best to take a longer break, to recover physically & emotionally. So, we agreed that we would start again in August. Today was cycle day 8 for our 3rd IVF attempt. There are several prerequisites before beginning each cycle -- various ultrasounds and blood tests. Because of the D&C, a hydrosonogram was one of my prerequisites for this cycle. In this test, saline is injected into the uterine cavity causing it to expand, so that the uterus can be examined via ultrasound. It checks for anything in the uterus that could prevent implantation or prevent a pregnancy from being carried to term. I went in for this test at 9 a.m. this morning. Unfortunately, they found uterine polyps and am scheduled for a hysteroscopy and D&C on Thursday morning to remove them. They will be sent to a pathology lab for examination to ensure that the cells are benign. Today's hydrosonogram results have caused our current IVF cycle to be cancelled. The Dr. advised us that we could begin another cycle 1 month after the surgery. So, we'll see how the next couple of months unfold.
To date, we are topping out at over $40,000 paid out of pocket towards just the chance at starting a family.
All I can do is remind myself daily that life in Christ does not mean immunity from difficulties, but it offers peace in difficulties. It doesn’t mean that victory is always visible, but it is always God’s plan. One day, we will be blessed with the child that we've been praying for.