The month of April marks 2 years since I began blogging and 5 years since our first miscarriage. You could read through the last 2 years of posts to see most of our story, but I thought I would post an update here for those who might be new to the blog.
Husband and I were married September 2007. Hard to believe we are about to celebrate 10 years of marriage! Two years into our marriage, I decided to go back to school to earn a masters degree in counseling. That was in September of 2009. In December of 2011, I graduated and in January of 2012 we decided we would start building our family.
I found out I was pregnant in March of 2012. We were so excited to share our news and wanted to come up with a fun way to surprise our families. However, in April we found out that instead of sharing the news of our pregnancy, we had to share the devastating news of our loss. It took several months to cope, but we were soon ready to try again.
In November of 2012, there was another positive test, but December brought news of our second loss. In January of 2013, I was at the doctor’s office to discuss my second miscarriage when I found out I was pregnant in her office for a 3rd time! Yet our 3rd miscarriage followed in February. When I should have been having my first ultrasound on February 6th (also my sister’s birthday) I was instead at the doctor’s office to check to make sure my hcg (pregnancy hormone) levels were decreasing.
I was at a mother’s day service in May 2013 with my mom and sister and tears were streaming down my face during a worship song. I wanted so badly to be a mother. Little did I know that at that very moment, I was pregnant for a 4th time. Yet, in June of 2013, I had my 4th miscarriage. It was our 4th miscarriage in just over a year. It was the fourth time I fell in love with mine and Husband’s child and the 4th time my heart ached, reeling from loss of our child.
We were then referred by my doctor to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. We had our first meeting with Dr. G at the end of June. We set up a hysteroscopy for August of 2013 where a polyp was found in my uterus and removed.
The next year that followed our 4th miscarriage was one of the toughest years for me personally and for our marriage. I isolated myself and stopped sharing my feelings with Husband. It was bad. In April of 2014, I finally reached out for help for the depression and anxiety I was experiencing. I was in denial that I needed help, because I’m a marriage and family therapist and should know how to handle this…right?!?!?!? Wrong.
Starting in September 2014, we then did 3 rounds of clomid. One round in September, a second in October and a 3rd round in November. All with negative results. Because I basically have the eggs of a 45 year old at the age of 31 (at the time) IVF with genetic testing was the recommendation for us moving forward. Before starting the IVF, Dr. G wanted to do another Hysteroscopy to make sure everything in my uterus was looking okay. That was in December 2014. Things were good and we were all set to go.
Stimulation shots began in February 2015. 6 eggs were retrieved that March, 4 fertilized, but just 1 was healthy. That one egg was a baby boy and was transferred April 15, 2015. We found out two weeks later that the embaby (embryo/fertilized egg) did not attach to my uterus. I began the blog the day we found out. I also set up a counseling appointment the next day, as I did not want to slide as low as I had been exactly one year before.
In July, we felt like we were ready for round 2 of IVF and got the stimulation meds going. I counted over 50 shots I gave myself in a matter of 12 days. At the end of August 4 eggs were retrieved and 5 days later we found out 2 had fertilized. Those 2 embabies were both healthy when the genetic testing came back and were both boys! We transferred one embaby in September 2015 and got a positive pregnancy test! We had ultrasound after ultrasound, but what we thought was a heartbeat was not. We had 5th miscarriage at the beginning of November.
We were heartbroken for a 5th time. Our 5th life was lost, but Dr. G had a plan. He felt we were at the point of either a Reproductive Immunologist or a gestational carrier (surrogate). There are just a handful of reproductive immunologists in the US. I finally followed up with one in New York. When I spoke on the phone with Dr. B, he was fairly certain that I had what was called “silent endometriosis.” I stalled on the paperwork because I knew once it was all turned in, the process would go quickly. Sure enough, I was correct.
I completed all the paperwork for the RI in May 2016 and the next morning I had 3 emails in my inbox. Within a few days, I had hooked up with a lab in Massachusetts and had 20 vials of blood sent there on dry ice overnight. It wasn’t until late July that all the results were in. There were about 5 things that popped up, but all were treatable and secondary issues. Dr. B in New York was still sure about the endo, while Dr. G in Houston wasn’t quite convinced. The only definite way they can diagnose endometriosis is via a laparoscopic surgery.
Husband and I went to Manhattan for a pre-op appointment with Dr. V, an RE who specializes in silent endo, and then I had the 2.5 hour surgery the next day in Hoboken, New Jersey. You can read about that process here and here. Stage 3 endo was discovered. We had a great time exploring NYC and I ended up walking over 8 miles the day after surgery. My surgeon was not pleased, but when in New York…
We began stimulation medications for a 3rd round of IVF in October, retrieval was in November. Only one embryo was healthy after genetic testing. It is a girl! We were so excited because we thought this was finally it. Remember, we still had one boy embaby and now a girl. We transferred the boy embryo in December 2016, just days before Christmas. In fact, I was on bed rest right up until Christmas Eve. I was feeling pretty heavy about this most recent transfer. From the moment in the OR while Dr. G was positioning the catheter and then embryo as both husband and I watched on the monitor, I had this feeling of unease. It just didn’t feel right.
I insisted on a pregnancy blood test a week after the transfer. We are now in the last week of December 2016, just before New Years. My hcg came back at 16. Very low. I was told by my favorite nurse to go home, think positive and pray. I went in the next week and had another blood test. Hcg was at 1. I’d had a chemical pregnancy, resulting in our 6th miscarriage.
A few weeks later, I was experiencing so much grief that I was unable to make it through an entire day without the appearance of tears. I took a leave of absence from work and 4 weeks after that I decided to resign from my job as an adolescent therapist. It all became too much. I am hopeful that with a bit more downtime, I will continue to heal, but I feel like my heart will never be quite whole again.
Husband and I decided together that we would put off IVF round 4 and transfer our remaining embaby girl when I feel more at peace.
And here we are. Year 5 of trying. Almost down to the day that we found out about our first miscarriage and 2 years ago this month that I began this blogging journey. We prayerfully continue to push forward, because moving backwards is not an option for us.
Please join us on our journey.