Thank you to this very brave reader for sharing her incredible journey with us. The strength, courage and determination of this incredible TTC community never ceases to amaze us.
“There are certain moments in life that shape us and some that haunt us. When my sister was 16 she fell in love and got pregnant. I remember how upset my parents were. I was 12, and I remember not wanting to make the same choice. So, I didn’t date much and decided to focus on my career. Skip forward a couple of decades and I find myself finally ready to settle down and start a family. I recall on my 36th birthday, while dating my soon-to-be husband, we had an elaborate conversation about wanting children and even what names we would use. Those are the memories that haunt you when you’re facing infertility.
We were married when I was on the cusp of turning 39, and we started to try to get pregnant, but it didn’t take long for us to realise we needed to seek help.
I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. This means there is nothing they can find as to why I can’t get pregnant…just that I can’t.
The real reason was that my age was a huge factor against me and this means my egg quality was likely bad. The USA doctors are just too polite to say that sometimes. Instead, they just tell you not to waste time and go ahead and do IVF. In the USA this is very expensive, around $20,000, so it’s not something a lot of people can financially rush into.
Therefore, not realising the severity of our situation we chose to do the much less expensive IUI first. This is a process where I take as many medications as if I was going through IVF, but instead of collecting my eggs they use a catheter and insert the semen directly where my eggs are.
Then…the horrible two-week wait for a pregnancy test. It was negative.
Next, we underwent IVF in the USA. To our surprise, we collected 28 eggs! 28 little chances to start a family. Then over the course of 5 days, the numbers whittled down to two. Two. Those eggs made it to the blastocyst stage. We sent them for genetic testing (PGTA), and one was viable. Out of 28, we had one chance. We implanted and then again…the horrible two-week wait for a pregnancy test. This time it was positive. We shared the news with close family! But, we were asked to retest in a couple days due to low HcG numbers.
Our second test revealed we had lost the baby. A miscarriage.
A huge devastation, but with no time to mourn, as that same day we found out my Mom’s cancer relapsed aggressively.
So, I went to be by my Mom’s side, all the while pretending to be pregnant. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her any more bad news. Whilst with her, we discussed names and all things related to pregnancy and babies. And when I was alone, I cried as I waited for my period to come…once again. She really wanted to be here to meet the baby, and I know she is, in my heart and in heaven.
Once my husband and I could refocus on getting pregnant, we met with the USA fertility doctor to discuss what could have gone wrong with our IVF. There’s was no answer.
After all this time, fertility science is still not exact. Yet, it provides this hope…this belief, that those who want to become mothers, CAN. And we lunge at the dangling fruit over and over. But this time, we couldn’t afford to lunge in the USA and after researching we discovered that Europe had some of the best results and technology, with most of the newest techniques and research coming from within the region. And that’s when we found Medistella.
Medistella was the answer we were looking for. We were unsure where to go, which clinics were actually good, which results we can believe, where it is safe, where we won’t get taken advantage, and amongst the thousands of clinics which would be best for us. Plus, we are foreigners traveling and wanted to feel secure in our decision. Medistella stepped in to answer all our questions and provided us with options suited to our checklist of needs. After connecting us with a clinic, they helped us find accommodation and transportation plus any random question we had, like good restaurants!
My husband and I decided, in advance, to try IVF with my eggs one last time, then if needed we would go ahead with a donor. The IVF with my eggs resulted in six eggs collected. One fertilized and made it to blastocyst. We tested the egg and it wasn’t viable.
After a brief mourning period we went forward with using a donor egg. And success!
Pregnant! I couldn’t believe it, I went every couple days to have the HcG levels checked and requested an ultrasound at five weeks to make sure we had a gestational sac, then again at seven weeks to make sure we had an embryo and heartbeat. In fact, I continued to be in disbelief until we delivered a beautiful baby boy with a head full of hair. Of course, the worry continues, but now my heart is full.”
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