“The longer you wait for something, the more you’ll appreciate it when you get it. Because anything worth having is worth waiting for.” – Anonymous
Month 1: Steve and I were married January 15, 2016. About a week later I suggested we start trying for a baby (yep, I was that girl). In my defense, Steve and I had been together for about 8 years and were already living in our home. I was CONVINCED it would work the very first try. When the first pregnancy test read “negative,” I was confused. I had always been fairly regular with my period and had been off birth control since college.
Month 2: Off I went to Walgreens to pickup an ovulation kit. I bought the Clear Blue Digital test that gives you either: an open circle (bad time to DTD “do the deed”), a blinking smiley face (good time to DTD), or a solid smiley face (BEST time to DTD). Armed with the knowledge of when I was ovulating, I was now for certain that this would be the month. I followed the directions perfectly and watched the circle go from open, to blinking, to solid. At the end of my cycle I anxiously took a pregnancy test. Again, it read negative.
Month 3: GOOGLE! Google to the rescue. Dr. Google suggested I start taking my BBT (basal body temperature) every morning. When I saw a distinct rise in my temperature, I would know I ovulated the day before. There’s an app that creates a nice graph for you so you can see the rise. So now not only was I peeing on an ovulation stick, I was taking my daily temperature every morning and tracking it on an app. I started getting a bit obsessive. Outcome? Negative.
Month 4: I continued with BBT and Ovulation Sticks. Outcome? Negative.
Month 5: I continued with BBT and Ovulation Sticks but also added Pre-seed. Pre-seed, according to reviews, works wonders! Outcome? Negative.
Month 6: I went to my regular gyno to get my ovaries checked. All looked great! He even told me that my one egg was getting ready to drop! He did inform me that if this month was a negative that I should go visit his brother, who was a fertility doctor. I don’t want you to think that after 6 months it means you have a problem because it totally doesn’t. Many doctors won’t see you until you’ve tried unsuccessfully for a year. I continued this month with pre-seed, ovulation sticks, and BBT. Outcome? Negative. I called his brother.
Month 7: I went to the fertility doctor. He checked me out, took some blood, and determined that we should try a round of Clomid. Clomid is a follicle stimulating hormone that can potentially make you ovulate more than one egg. The drug did what it was intended to do, because I ended up with two mature follicles. Outcome? Negative.
*Note* He also checked out Steve. Everything was perfect.
Month 8: Clomid + Follistim. This was the very first time I had to inject myself! It was very nervewracking. Not for me, for my mom, who I made do the first injection! Haha. I remember being very hopeful this month. Outcome? Negative.
Month 9: Clomid + Follistim. This month he upped the dosage of Follistim since last month I didn’t respond as well as he would have liked. I had 3 mature follicles! Outcome? Negative.
Month 10: I requested an IUI treatment. I am so lucky to have insurance that covered my fertility treatments 100%. Unfortunately I don’t remember the exact injectables I was on during my IUI treatments. I want to say it was Follistim still. I was SO EXCITED for my IUI treatment. I knew so many people who had success stories through IUI. I had to give myself a shot (Ovidrel) that made me ovulate around 36 hours later. At the 36 hour mark, I went into the office and they injected the sperm. How could this NOT work? Outcome? Negative. That was the month I started worrying.
Month 11: IUI #2. Outcome? Negative.
Month 12: IUI #3. I remember being in the Macy’s bathroom about a week after my IUI and I wiped and had pink spotting. I was jumping up and down because this had to be the implantation bleeding that I read about! Turns out, I have no idea what that was. Never have spotted in my life. Outcome? Negative. That one hurt. I was over it. I asked my doctor if we could move on to IVF and he said my insurance required 6….SIXXXXXX FAILED IUIs before covering IVF. The thought of having 3 more heartbreaks was unbearable to me. My good friend went through IVF and recommended I go see her doctor if I was going the IVF route. I left my doctor and made an appointment.
Month 13: Off month. I LOVED my new doctor. He was a lot more efficient and HE actually did all of my ultrasounds. He asked me why I was waiting to try IVF and I told him that my other doctor said it was an insurance requirement. He shook his head and said that was absurd. He had me approved for IVF in a WEEK! I was so excited! I went in for my baseline ultrasound and he informed me that I had a small polyp on my uterus. I could try IVF with the polyp and hope, since it was very small, that it wouldn’t harm anything. Or, I could plan a surgery and get it removed prior to starting IVF. I decided to get it removed that month.
Month 14: IVF Prep month! I prepared for my egg retrieval, which I was terrified about. The shots were endless. I was constantly with a headache and extremely bloated. But to be honest guys, it’s NOT THAT BAD! You can do it. My fertility Dr gave me a nice calendar with everything mapped out. I looked forward to crossing out each day as they passed. When all was said and done, I had 29 eggs retrieved! Out of those 29 eggs, 23 were mature. Out of the 23, 16 fertilized. Out of the 16, 9 made it to day 5 blastocyst embryos! I took the rest of that cycle to rest and get ready for my FET (frozen embryo transfer).
Month 15: IVF#1! Now we had to decide how many to transfer…. 1 …… or …..2? We chose two! Since we decided not to get our embryos genetically tested (insurance covers 0%) we opted for two. Odds are 1 will not take. Transfer day was a piece of cake. I was nervous for nothing! It did not hurt at all. It was actually very cool (no pun intended- the room you are in is FREEZING). We saw our two embryos enlarged on a TV before they were gently transferred. I left the office PUPO as they stated. What’s that? “Pregnant until Proven Otherwise.” I could not for the life of me wait until the blood test to take a pregnancy test. I have zero will power. I took a test (4 days post transfer) and the FAINTEST positive line appeared! The next day, it was a pinch darker. The next day, the same. The next day, the same. I knew the line should be getting darker, not staying very faint. In my heart of hearts I knew something was wrong. My blood test was a 4. The Dr called and said the good and the bad. The good? An embryo DID attach and I was pregnant. The bad? It didn’t stick. Outcome? Chemical pregnancy (VERY early miscarriage).
Month 16: IVF #2 PREP! My protocol was about 6 weeks long, so this month it was all shots and blood work.
Month 17: IVF#2! I was a lot more relaxed for the second go round. I knew what to expect and my expectations were more realistic. We decided to transfer 2 embryos again. This time after they were thawed, they were both almost completely hatched! Hatched, or partially hatched, embryos have higher implantation rates. Once again, I couldn’t wait to take a pregnancy test. On May 14th, 2017, which just so happened to be Mother’s Day, I saw a faint line! The next day, it was DARKER! The next day, DARKER! I was so hopeful this time. I went in for my blood work and they confirmed my HCG levels were showing a pregnancy! A week later, I went in for my ultrasound. One embryo stuck, and one embryo did not. Outcome? TEDDY!
My journey to pregnancy was NOT easy. My pregnancy was NOT easy (that’s a whole other blog). If you are going through infertility I’m always hear to chat! Some of my favorite accounts on Youtube to follow are:
Carissa & Brian https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6mXGWCxBkOjjoOwczf1kKQ
Someday Mama https://www.youtube.com/user/SomedayMama
Holly Casto https://www.youtube.com/user/charmandgumption