I like to refer to our story of infertility as a Journey — which as defined by Dictionary.com, the word Journey means “traveling from one place to another, usually taking a long time.” Seems pretty accurate, as we are traveling towards parenthood and so far we have been traveling for about two and a half years. So, here is what our journey has included so far:
My husband and I got married on January 4th, 2014 (after dating for 4 and a half years). We had always talked about wanting to start a family soon after getting married. In fact, the summer before we got married I started a daycare in our home hoping that I would then get to stay home and raise our kiddos (and others’ kiddos as well!) We did as most people do and tried for just under a year on our own before mentioning it to our family practitioner. Since it had been almost a year and I was having very irregular periods she ran a few tests. Of course, everything came back as ‘normal’ so we were told there was nothing they could do to help, but if we were really concerned we could be referred to a obgyn in a larger town about 45 minutes from our home. Of course, we jumped at that opportunity and were hoping to get more answers as to why things weren’t working for us.
We met with the obgyn who ran minimal tests and said that a medication called Clomid would most likely help regulate my cycles and increase the chances of conception. So, in January 2015 we did our first round of Clomid. It was unsuccessful, so the next round the dose was increased. The second round was a success!
We were overjoyed with the thought of becoming parents and it seemed that once we started the Clomid it had happened so fast! The initial quantitative hCG levels came back rising as they should, so we were off to a great start of a healthy pregnancy.
The first ultrasound was scheduled when they figured I was close to 8 weeks along, but showed that I was only about 6 weeks along rather. We were able to see a yolk sac, but the fetal pole was not measurable and there was no heartbeat. Our doctor was not concerned with this because he thought that ovulation may have occurred later than they had thought since they were not doing much monitoring to know the exact date of ovulation.
We then had 2 more ultrasounds. By the time of the third ultrasound I should have been at least 8 weeks along. That ultrasound again showed just a yolk sac and small fetal pole with no heartbeat. It was at this appointment that we found out we would miscarry. Our doctor said that there was a 1 in 1000 chance that our baby would survive. We were heartbroken. I remember getting home and just laying in bed with my husband as he held me and we both cried. We prayed and tried to hold on to hope and decided not to intervene medically, but to let the miscarriage happen naturally.
Two weeks later we had a follow-up appointment and ultrasound. I still had not started bleeding and it seemed that my morning sickness was still sticking around. This ultrasound showed 2 more developing embryos– making 3!!! Our doctor said that the first embryo hadn’t changed since our last appointment and most likely would not develop, but the other two appeared healthy and were measuring at 6 weeks (4 weeks smaller than the first). So, I got pregnant with twins after being pregnant which is called superfetation. I remember having so much hope and excitement leaving this appointment.
Then, about a week later I began spotting. We were very nervous, but knew that this could be coming. We had an ultrasound the next day and it confirmed that we would be losing all three of our babies. I think this had to be the worse day of my life. We decided to let the miscarriage happen naturally which was a very long and difficult process.
After all of the emotions following our loss, we needed some time to heal. We were so nervous to start medications again, as we were unsure if we could handle experiencing this again. It was very hard on both my husband and myself, but looking back I know that it really strengthened our relationship and changed how we look at the world.
We decided to seek out a Reproductive Endrocrinologist (RE) in September 2015. If we were going to continue this journey we wanted the best doctor we could find. After some testing I finally had a diagnosis: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). In October 2105 I had a hysterosalpingogram done to check the health of my tubes and uterus. Unfortunately, they found that I had a uterine polyp that needed to be removed before we could proceed with treatments.
In November 2015 I had surgery to remove the uterine polyp which was benign. Finally, in January 2016 I was healed and ready to start Letrozole cycles. We haven’t had luck with the Letrozole yet, and are currently on our 5th (and most likely final) cycle. We will be meeting with our RE again in mid-June to see what our plan will be for the future.
So, this is where our journey has led us so far. It has been emotional with many ups and downs. I am hopeful that we will soon reach our destination of parenthood, but if we don’t, we will just keep continuing this journey that we are on until we get there.