My Story in a BIG Nutshell

difficult road final

When your trying to conceive, one of the greatest joys starts the day you see those two lines on that pregnancy test. I am what they call a POAS (Pee on a stick) addict! I literally have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on pregnancy tests in the past 3 years that I have been Trying to Conceive. I wish I had more will power to hold off, but its a REAL problem. The second I see even a squinter, my heart is in it for the long run. Once its dark, that takes me to the next level of hope and dreaming about my next 9 months and there after. I am very fortunate that I have one gorgeous son who I gave birth to at almost 33. Since then we have been trying to conceive number 2 for 3 years. In that time, I have been through 5 losses.

My 1st loss happened at 10 weeks. My OBGYN wouldn’t see us any sooner unfortunately. I had awful morning sickness so I thought everything was just fine.

Well, that day, was one of the hardest days I’ve ever endured. I remember them doing the ultrasound on my stomach first, but they couldn’t find anything! The tech asked me if I am sure that I am this far along.

I knew there was something wrong at that point, because yes I know my cycle very well and am very regular. Then they tried the wand in my V-Jay Jay. All we saw was a sac and a yolk sac. NO BABY! The sac measured to be 10 weeks though. I remember being very quiet and just stared at the empty screen then finally I lost it. I broke down and couldn’t stop crying .It was loud and I couldn’t control my crying.  I knew that my hope and dreams of this sweet baby was gone.

I felt so empty so lost! I kept asking the tech questions, but of course she can’t deliver bad news so I was told I had to wait for the DR! After waiting over an hour the DR came in, I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum.

After the 1st loss, I was told it was just a fluke and nothing was wrong and to wait 3 months before trying to conceive again! WHAT? 3 months? That seems like a lifetime when you’re trying to conceive.

After my 3 month wait, I hopped back on the wagon (Pun intended). It didn’t take long for us to get pregnant again.

I got my 1st positive pregnancy test and the same hope and dreams came back although I was extremely nervous for another loss. I called my OBGYN and they said they couldn’t get me in until I was 8 weeks!!! WHAT? Even after a loss?  This was not acceptable.

I decided to change to another OBGYN who I had seen before and they got me in right away, checked my HCG levels(Human Chorionic Gonadotropin – The Pregnancy Hormone) and even got me in for early ultrasounds. I had an ultrasound way too early though because nothing was seen at 5 weeks. I finally reached 5w5d and they rechecked me. There was a baby and a heartbeat! I was ecstatic! I started crying and felt so much comfort!

My next ultrasound was at 6w5d. I did everything to help the time pass. I got the baby center app on my phone and read all the posts and how my baby was growing week by week. In that time, I drew a picture of a stork.I wanted to use that as my announcement!

stork

It was finally time  for our next ultrasound and we saw yet another heartbeat!

So my hope grew stronger. Well, the following week, the ultrasound showed no heartbeat. I felt like the rug was snatched from under my feet. I didn’t believe it. I wanted to be rechecked again. How can that happen? Last week was great an now this!?

My hubby and I went to lunch as we waited for the DR on call to rescan me. It was painful. Not physically of course, but emotionally I felt like I was in a million pieces. I had my 2nd surgery that week.

After my 2nd loss, I started to get worried. I was already AMA (Advanced Maternal Age) 37 and my clock was ticking.

I had so many questions. Was there something wrong with me? Is there anything I can do to prevent it?

My OBGYN said they normally do not refer a patient to a specialist until 3 losses, but because my age and the fact that these were both consecutive he felt that it would be ok for me to see a RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist).

The wait was at least 3 weeks to get the appointment. I came in for my appointment and took over 15 viles of blood and had an (SIS) Saline Infused Sonogram. My RE was not happy with what she saw. Apparently there was Retained Products of Conception left over from my D&C! Seriously? The icing on the cake right?

She had me take Cytotec to help pass the retained product, but it didn’t work. I tried 2 times. She took my HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin – The Pregnancy Hormone) and I still had a very high level in my blood! So my body thought it was still pregnant.

It took over 3 months to get my HCG to 0, but it finally got there. I got my period on my 38th Birthday New Years Eve. This was one of the only times I was ever happy to see my period! A few days later I had blood work and a Saline Sonogram to see if the retained product was gone!

Unfortunately, we found out that the stupid retained product didn’t pass with my period and I would have to have another D&C along with a hystoroctopy. I felt like I couldn’t catch a break.

A few days later I had surgery. Right before they put me under, my RE came in to talk to me and mentioned she got the blood work back and my AMH levels (Anti-Mullerian Hormone – Determines the approximate quantity of your ovarian reserve (eggs) you have left) was extremely low and the same as a 46 year old women.

She said that time is of the essence. Not exactly the news I wanted to hear right before they gave me my evening cocktail. I woke up and felt like I couldn’t catch a break!

Fast forward a month, I had my another scan and everything looked clear! Yay! I finally felt like I was getting somewhere.

At this point, my RE recommended I start taking a slew of supplements and start weekly acupuncture to try to improve my egg quality. It was all out of pocket as my insurance didn’t cover a penny! I was willing to try anything  at this point.

After a month I got the ok to start trying again. We got pregnant in 2 months! WOW!

I was monitored very closely. I literally had a ton of HCG tests and early ultrasounds. My HCG started rising great then slowed down after it hit 1500. It was rising enough to where my RE was still happy though.

I had my 1st scan at 5w5d and saw a tiny fetal pole and yolk sac and I think the heartbeat was right around 105, but I was measuring behind by a few days.

The next one I had a heartbeat of 115ish and was now measuring 5 days behind! My RE said she was cautiously optimistic. Then right at our 8th week there was no heart beat again. I was numb! No crying this time. I think I felt more angry for reason.

I did go home and cry in the shower, but my anger didn’t get better. The next day I met with my RE and she said she wanted to test the baby for chromosomal abnormalities. I was totally fine with that and really wanted answers.

After the surgery, my pain emotionally was taking a toll on me though. I have had so many women get pregnant with me and some already delivered their babies in the time that I had 3 losses in less then a year.

It was something that was hard to swallow. WHY was the biggest question for me? WHY ME? Did I do something wrong? Am I being punished? I think these are questions many women have when dealing with infertility and recurrent losses.

It was extremely difficult to take in. I have now beat the odds in all the wrong way and fell into the 1 percentile!

So now my RE said I have only a 25% chance of having another miscarriage. I am a gambler so I felt the need to keep trying, but I wanted to better my odds if all possible so we decided to talk to our RE about IVF.

When we came in she revealed to us that the baby was a girl with trisomy 22. Stab right in the heart! All the tests my hubby and I took came back normal, why would this happen?

She explained that when women have DOR (Diminished Ovarian Reserve) it not only affects the quantity of eggs, but also the quality. And because my reproductive system acts like a 46 year old women, I have more chance of having chromosomal abnormal eggs.

We decided to do IVF. She said that would be a great option for us and that we can get a great idea of my egg quality by doing this. She recommended a mini stimulation because she didn’t want to overstimulate me with my DOR.

We wanted to do PGS  (genetic testing of the embryo) so bad because the results of the last baby was trisomy 22 and wanted to try to avoid it from happening again.

She said that because of my DOR I will not have enough embryos to test and we will just transfer 2 embryos to increase our chances for success, but there was a chance of multiples. I was fine with her recommended approach and honestly was totally ok with twins as well.

We had to wait a couple of months to start IVF stim drugs, but in that time, my hope came back. I was extremely hopeful this would work. My anger went away and I decided to enjoy my summer and not think about fertility or lack there of. Well, not 100%, but I did my best.

Time came for my 1st cycle. Not knowing what to expect, I kelp an open mind. I did my shots, took my pills and had blood work and ultrasounds constantly. I felt like a human pin cushion and developed a track mark on my arm.

As my RE predicted, I wouldn’t make a lot of eggs and I didn’t. I only had 3 good mature follicles. I started having cramps the day before my retrieval and had EWM (Egg white Mucus – sorry for the TMI) so I called the nurse because I was worried I was ovulating.

They said no this is completely normal and you’re not ovulating. Well, low and behold I came in for my retrieval and instead of putting me in the surgery room, they brought me in to do an ultrasound. I didn’t know what was the norm so I rolled with the punches.

During the ultrasound she said that it looks like my follicles collapsed! What does that mean?! Well, the RE came in and told me I indeed ovulated and I had one of 2 choices. I can either go home and try naturally or they can convert it to an IUI. I was devastated.

I told them I thought I was ovulating and they disregarded what I was saying. I was so frustrated. In any case, we decided to covert it to an IUI and hope for the best.

Well, good news is I did get a positive pregnancy test 2 weeks later, but unfortunately my test got lighter instead of darker.

I was having a Chemical pregnancy!! SHIT! I’ve had miscarriages, but this was just frustrating!  I still consider it a loss though. Luckily, it was much easier to get over because I got my period a week later and didn’t have to have surgery.

Well, now it was time to prepare for IVF round 2! She changed my protocol a little and rather then taking birth control pills, I was doing estrogen priming. To me it was all the same though.

This time it took me forever to respond to the meds. I had to take 10 days of shots and pay more money for more injections! In the end I only had 2 follicles that were mature which frustrated me! 10 days of injections and this is all my body can make? Ugh!

My RE recommended we cancel because the likelihood of us getting both fertilized and making it to a 5 day blastocyst was very slim. The whole reason we were doing IVF was so we can transfer at least 2 embryos to better our chances of having a successful full term pregnancy.

So, my RE thought the best thing to cancel our cycle (yet again) and try at home! Seriously?

At this point, I threw in the towel! I was done! I really was done! After 4 losses, 2 cancelled ivf, 1 failed iui, hundreds on injections in my stomach, way too many vaginal ultrasounds, thousands of pregnancy tests, hundreds of ovulation predictor kits, had timed sex like crazy, put my legs up in the air like a fool, spent way too much money and entirely cried too many tears I can honestly say I was done!!!

We went home and had sex that day as advised. Gotta tell you, if you want to take the romance out of your marriage have timed sex.

Nothing says “I want you baby” like peeing on a stick and screaming “I’m ovulating babe! Lets get to it!”

The next day we did it again, but after that, I just wasn’t in the mood and honestly, I was sick of it! Sick of trying and certainly sick of failing! I told myself if it happens than great, if not I will try again next month.

I want to live my life and have sex when I want not when I think Im ovulating! Its exhausting!

Fast forward 2 weeks, we were going on a cruise. Even though we had sex only 2 times, I took a few pregnancy tests with me on the ship just in case.

Well, after the 1st day I said screw it, I’m going to drink and not worry about anything. I only had 3 drinks though. Not because I was worried, but because I’m such a light weight and that’s all I can take. LOL.

I wasn’t sure when I would get my period because IVF messed my cycle up, but my RE said it could be anywhere from Saturday to Monday.

Well, Sunday morning I had no period so I was curious.

Could I be Prego!?

I took a test and the line came up right away. Still light, but not a squinter for sure. After my chemical I didn’t want to get my hopes up so I waited 48 hours until my next one.

Well, this test the line came up right away and it was dark!!! I was so excited. I didn’t believe that we got prego after just having sex two times while ovulating. We normally cover the week!

I decided not to test every 24 hours and waited a full 48 to test while I was on the ship. This is a very hard task for a POSA (Pee On A Stick Addict). Every test came back darker and gave me more hope for our rainbow baby.

Finally, the cruise ended and I went straight to my RE for my HCG! It came back really high over 1k! It rose 60% the 1st 48 hours then 80% the next 48. So my RE was very happy.

My hubby and I decided to wait until I was 6w4d before we do an ultrasound to avoid any additional stress. We went in and saw the baby with a very strong heart beat of 128!

This was the highest we ever have been and my RE said it was on the high side for 6w4d. Very strong.

I was so optimistic. Of course, I was worried, but extremely hopeful.

The time had come to finally get our 2nd ultrasound at almost 8 weeks and I knew right away from my RE’s face that we were done.

No heartbeat.

I lost it. I balled and balled. My husband held my hand as my RE held me. My heart sank and I felt so much darkness.

It’s so unfair. I literally felt sick. So here I am again. 5 losses! I knew right then and there that was the end of us trying because 5 losses was all I can take.

I went home and said thats it! I can’t do this anymore. I cried! A lot!

I think this one really hit me hard because I really felt that this was the end of our journey.

Every other loss, I had a plan, but not this time! I literally lost sleep over this.

How can this be it!? I put so much into it!

When you put your heart and soul into something and don’t get the end result you are  working for, it eats you up.

That’s when I realized this doesn’t have to be it. I decided I would take a break and start another cycle in summer. This journey does this to you. It wears you down to the point you don’t think you can go on any more.

During this journey I have never had any breaks and it truly has been exhausting and all consuming. Everything I thought of was about my infertility or miscarriages and how we can finally get our rainbow baby.

I needed a break to pick myself up again, but not for too long of course.

I have never taken a break and honestly really didn’t want to, but it was what I needed to do to clear my mind and refresh and recharge.

I wasn’t ready to give up yet.

“Push me down and I will get back up. I may be a little beat up at first, but I will persevere because I am a warrior!”

So that’s where I am and for now my hope isn’t gone.

In the meantime, I am coping with my loss and thanking my lucky stars for my wonderful sweet boy. I am so grateful for my one blessing I do have!!!

As much as I want to give him a sibling, I can truly say if that is all I have I am one lucky girl!

Love and Baby Dust,

Alla xo

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