Monday, August 29, 2011

Our IVF Journey

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.


  1. I really hate that it has been so hard for you both to start a family. Y'all have put so much into it and deserve it more than anyone I know! Like you said, God has a plan that we may not understand right now but I know that he has something in store. Just keep being strong and know that I'm always here for the both of you! You know I won't hesitate to make a road trip over there! :) Love y'all!

  2. Amy, I can't even begin to imagine the emotional roller coaster that you have been on this last year. Stay strong, and keep your faith. “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:9) Praying that it is in God's plan for you to have a child.

  3. Oh my goodness...I had no idea! I'm so proud of you for posting this so that we can pray baby #2 into exsistence! To encourage, we have some friends that had tried for 2+ years and lots of failed attempts at having children...on their last session, their doc told them they had a 1% chance of getting pregnant...and guess what?? THEY ARE PREGNANT! Not only that...they are having TWINS and NOT because of 2 eggs...because their 1 egg split! GOD IS FAITHFUL! We'll be praying for you!

  4. Amy, I'm holding you close in my heart and in my prayers - as always. God is faithful. With so many prayers going up on you and Jake's behalf - know that you are loved beyond measure. We'll keep praying that God will bless you with a precious baby to love and in return what bigger blessing could a baby have than wonderful parents like you and Jake to love them.
    ...many things about tomorrow, I don't seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow and I know He holds my hand.
    Love You, Amy!

  5. Amy, I can't say I know what you are feeling being on the other side with cf, but I do know how hard it is to talk about something so private and painful. I do know by letting people know it gives them the opportunity to pray for you and Jake and there is definately power in many people praying. I think the most difficult part is placing it in God's hands and to accept his timing in things. Will be thinking of you Thurs as you go through the procedure and praying for good results as well as strength and encouragement during the times of waiting. If you ever need anything please call. God bless.
    Christina Powers

  6. So proud of all that you have overcome and your child will be incredibly blessed because of all the tough decisions and sacrifices you have made on the front end. God's days and months may not align with our own ideas, but He is always on time.- Angela

  7. Amy, I had no idea! I am amazed by your strength and courage and feel privileged that you have chosen to share this with us all. I am praying that this works out the way God sees fit for you, and I know that you will get a beautiful way or another. Never give up your faith and hope that it will happen! Love you!