“We started our IVF journey again for our next child, Charlotte, who is now a year old.
When we embarked on this second journey, we knew the process would be different. We didn’t expect any problems this time because we were using a frozen embryo which seemed to be an easier process than going through egg retrieval and fertilizing eggs. This embryo was from the same batch as Kennedy. I didn’t need to do any shots because no eggs were being retrieved. The shots Katie had to do were to prep her body for an embryo.
Transfer day came quickly.
We were both excited. Katie had to come in with a full bladder for the transfer and the clinic was actually running behind that day, so we were trying to keep each other calm as we waited anxiously in the exam room. The transfer happened, the little flicker of light appeared on the ultrasound screen, and we sat there with our embryo photo wondering what this little boy or girl would look like one day. We were already in love with him or her.
We did our blood test a week later and waited by the phone anxiously for the results. Although we both wanted to cheat and go get a pregnancy test from the store, we didn’t. We were too worried of getting a false pregnancy result and feeling sad afterward.
The phone rang and our nurse delivered us great news. We were pregnant!
We went out and bought a pregnancy test knowing it would be positive. We took photos with huge smiles on our faces thinking about our soon to be family of four.
Katie went and took her second blood test and the BETA number didn’t double as it was supposed to. The nurse assured us that everything was probably okay but Katie would do another test just to make sure. The next phone call we received was unpleasant. We were told the number from the BETA test showed that Katie would most likely miscarry or have an ectopic pregnancy. We were told to watch Katie’s body carefully because if it was ectopic and untreated, it could result in serious damages. We were terrified but also heartbroken. We broke down and cried. We sat in silence. Nothing could take away this feeling we had right now. Why was this happening to us? Kennedy was taking a nap and Katie had to go back to work. We both went about our day silently. I tried to focus on Kennedy and get my mind off the little one that was no longer.
Waiting for a miscarriage was terrible.
We waited each day wondering when it would happen. We had a hard time talking about it because all we wanted to do was cry. Katie called me one morning and said she began bleeding. She called our nurse who told her to prepare for the miscarriage to happen that day. Katie stayed home from work and waited for the rest of it to happen. She waited for the terrible cramping. However, nothing happened. She decided to go back to work. We scheduled an ultrasound to see what was happening. We drove the long drive to our clinic wondering what we would see on that screen.
Our baby was there all this time! It was a miracle.
We waited for what seemed like forever to be seen. Finally, the moment of truth. Both of us hoped that there might be a baby but kept telling ourselves there wasn’t, and we would try again in a month. A little flicker appeared on the screen and heartbeat was heard. I wanted to just cry right then and there but we waited until the doctors left the room. Our baby was there all this time! It was a miracle. The doctor told us he has only seen this happen one other time. He said to still be cautious but the baby was the size it should be. This little one was a fighter.
Weeks passed. We were transferred to our OBGYN. We started thinking about names. This pregnancy was very different than Kennedy’s. Katie was sick all the time. She said she always felt terrible. We thought for sure it was a boy. We decided to do a gender reveal with just us. Katie knew the results before I did and revealed them to me after work that day. We had purchased pink and blue smoke bombs. I was shocked to open my eyes and see pink everywhere! Katie and I both talked about how weird it was that we were having another girl. We had been calling our little girl the boy name we had picked out all this time.
We are so thankful Charlotte stuck
The girl clothes were unpacked and a room was made for Kennedy and Charlotte! We had a rough start to this pregnancy but we are so thankful Charlotte stuck. We plan on having more children in the future. We know now that anything can happen. Getting pregnant just isn’t smooth for us. We will try to be more cautious with the next pregnancy. I think we told ourselves this when we went back to our clinic for our second child but we threw it out the minute we heard the news, ‘You’re pregnant!’ It’s hard to not get caught up in the excitement of receiving pregnancy news. This emotional roller coaster takes us from an all-time high to an all-time low. We would experience it all again to get us to where we are today.
Undergoing fertility treatments is hard
No matter what journey you take to make your family, we are all amazing parents doing what is best for our babies. Undergoing fertility treatments is hard. During our process, I always tried to push my thoughts toward the future. I thought about how hopefully, someday, we would have kids. I wondered what they will look like and what they will sound like. I wondered about their personalities. I thought of family pictures we would take where everyone would look so happy. The stress, heartache and money that was spent conceiving them would not even be a thought, but a thing of the past. My eyes would water thinking about these things but it kept me going. I just kept telling myself, one day it will happen. I didn’t know how long it would take, but it would happen for us.
We spent thousands of dollars making Kennedy and Charlotte.
This is nothing compared to what some couples have spent to have a baby. Once we had our girls, the money spent just became a number and nothing else. Charlotte was less expensive but still costly when you think about how creating a child is usually free. There are so many options now to becoming a parent. Whatever road you chose to go down, be positive. Be there for one another. When we had a baby, it created a tighter bond between the two of us. We are now a strong team and teamwork has become a key part to our marriage. Teamwork was something that still needed improvement in our marriage before Kennedy was born. However, the process to create Kennedy tightened any weak areas in our marriage. Charlotte continued to tighten that marriage when we were faced with more heartache at the beginning of the journey with her.
To every person out there who has done IVF, it truly changes who you are.
The journey we go on is like no other. I am so happy we decided to try again because if we didn’t, Kennedy and Charlotte wouldn’t be with us. I do still think about the ‘what ifs’ with embryo adoption. We almost went through with it and I wonder if we would have three kids right now. I wonder what they would look like and how they would be quite a few months older than Kennedy is now. I think about our little boy or girl we lost who was supposed to be here with Kennedy right now. I think about all the tears, worries, and stress in this journey. I think about all the joy we will have now that she is here. I don’t know how it feels to be a mother who has a traditional way without any labs or doctors helping you make your baby, but I do know the feeling you have seeing a baby you once saw in a dish. That feeling is the most amazing feeling I will ever have. I am so grateful for the help of science and for being alive in a time that has a process such as this.
Reciprocal IVF made our dreams a reality.
We had such a challenging road to get to where we are today. A few years ago, I started to think the road was never-ending to have a baby. I know some of you who will read this are still on that road and have been on it for way longer than Katie and I were on it. I admire those who continue to go down this path and keep trying despite the emotional and financial turmoil it puts you through. Stay strong.
We started our Instagram account to help trying to conceive (TTC) couples and LGBT couples. When we were struggling to make our family, we sought out Instagram accounts and blogs of families who were undergoing fertility treatments to help make their family. Reading blogs and following many families on Instagram gave us hope for our family and got us through our toughest times. The online community we have found has been incredibly supportive in our journey. It’s amazing to find others who are feeling the same emotions you are during a hard process.
We continue to teach our children that love makes a family. Love is something every person has in common.”
Thank you so much to The Bailey family for sharing their incredible story with us. If you would like to share your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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