My long story of infertility started many years ago and continues to go on today. It’s an emotional roller coaster but through my faith and family, I’ve continued to grow and learn from it. My husband and I married at the young age of 21 and knew we didn’t want children for about five years. I was still in college and I wanted to at least start my career before we thought about children. I took birth control for those years and remember thinking how devastated I would be, if I just happened to become pregnant when I wasn’t trying. And to be honest, I still regret ever thinking this or preventing pregnancy. As many of you know, we tend to blame ourselves for infertility and think of things we could have done differently.
So after the five-year wait, we finally decided to start trying. I stopped birth control and month after month nothing happened. I really wasn’t too concerned at first, but the closer we got to a year, the more I started to worry. I guess because I didn’t want to hear the horrible word “infertility.” A year went by and I had my yearly gynecologist appointment and thought maybe I should bring this up to my doctor. So I did and she seemed to be laid back about it. She said I was still young, healthy, and it could just take some more time. So, I actually felt better and was positive about my husband and I having children of our own someday. Well, then another year went by and nothing. At this point, I was starting to get really concerned. So at my next yearly appointment, I brought it up again. The doctor still did not seem concerned and said we could do some blood work and a semen analysis on my husband since that’s the cheapest fertility tests to start with. They also had me try three rounds of Clomid. Wow, did this medicine make me feel horrible, but I was willing to try anything. After that, they had me try another drug (I can’t remember the exact name), which was for cancer patients, but studies were finding that it helped with infertility too. I remember picking up the drug from the pharmacy and them asking me if I was pregnant? And there were warning labels all over it saying do not take if pregnant or are trying to become pregnant. It was clearly a drug for cancer patients. I did take it the first month, but then decided I didn’t want to really become pregnant on this trial drug and possibly do harm to my unborn child. So it was time to take matters into my own hands, so I started researching Infertility Specialists in the area and what they could do for me.
After researching and talking with some people, I decided to visit Chicago IVF to be evaluated. My husband then did his small part of testing and mine began at the beginning of my next cycle. At the end of this long and emotional month, our results came back as unexplained infertility. Everything was fine. My blood work was good, my uterus was fine, I ovulated on my own, I had typical 28-day cycles, and my tubes were clear. I was so relieved but devastated at the same time. How could something NOT be wrong if we couldn’t get pregnant in two years? So they offered us some options. Of course our health insurance does not cover fertility procedures so it was going to be out of pocket expenses. We decided to start with IUI and see what happened. The cycle went perfectly, but nothing happened. Oh I was so upset and felt like a complete failure. Now, I couldn’t even get pregnant with help from the professionals. So what was next? Well I read about Endometriosis and knew they can only diagnosis this with surgery. So since I wanted an answer, I agreed to exploratory surgery to see if I had Endometriosis or anything else they might be missing. Again, it came back okay. They said I did have a couple spots but nothing that should prevent me from getting pregnant. So the frustration continued of unanswered questions, and the sadness continued to increase.
After all the testing, the failed IUI, the exploratory surgery, and three years of trying, I decided that maybe God didn’t want my husband and I to be parents. I knew people successfully getting pregnant with IVF, but for my husband and I it wasn’t an option. We had trouble with the “trust factor” of this. How do we know they will use my eggs and his sperm? What if they make a mistake? I know they have procedures and ways for this not to happen, but for us it was too big of a risk. I just couldn’t add more stress on top of more stress. And please do not think I am against IVF, it just wasn’t something we were comfortable with doing. So at this point, we just threw in the towel. I stopped counting days; I didn’t pay attention to temperature, cervical mucus, etc. I just thought God has other plans for us. It truly was something I had to do for my marriage and myself. I needed to be at peace with my reality and move on.
Well after a couple months of literally doing nothing but enjoying life, I was a couple days late with my period in June of 2012. I didn’t realize it for a couple days since I wasn’t counting, but since I had a very regular cycle, I knew something was up. I didn’t want to go buy a pregnancy test just to see another negative, so I waited another day or so. I finally decided to go buy one and tested really late one night. And to my surprise, I saw two lines. I couldn’t believe it. I actually thought I was seeing things. I ran outside to my husband who was taking our dog outside and was freaking out. We were both so ecstatic. We couldn’t believe it. Lets say we both didn’t sleep that night. First thing in the morning, I called Chicago IVF and they agreed to monitor me through the first trimester since I was a past patient there and had a history of infertility. I started with HCG blood work every 48 hours. They were looking for it to double and all except my second one did exactly that. Well we got into the sixth week and thought with the rate of my numbers doubling we should be at the 2,000 mark and should see a sac in the uterus. Well the nurse looked and looked on the ultra sound and saw nothing. She thought maybe it was still too early and repeated blood work again. My blood work came back that afternoon and it was in the mid 2,000’s, so we should have definitely seen something. The nurse told me to come back in tomorrow morning and we will look again with an ultra sound. So my husband decided to go with me the next morning and that was when my world came crashing down. She finally found the sac, but in my right tube. I was devastated. She explained I had an ectopic pregnancy and would need to end this pregnancy for my own safety. She sent me home and said she would call me with directions on what to do next. She then called me an hour later and said I needed to go to the emergency room to have a Methotrexate shot to end the pregnancy. I drove myself there and just couldn’t believe I was going through this. Now, I wasn’t just mourning the death of my unborn child, but I was scared for my life. A doctor saw me and eventually a nurse came in all suited up to give the Methotrexate shot. I left there crying and in shock. The next day, I was having these horrible cramps and just didn’t feel well. I called the on call nurse from the fertility specialists and she told me that it’s a side effect of having that shot and it’s probably my body reacting to the shot. Well as the night went on, it was getting worse and worse. My husband decided to take me back to the emergency room in which they discovered my tube had ruptured and I was bleeding internally. Since the fertility doctors all live out of state and this had became an emergency, my regular gynecologist came and did the surgery. She removed the ectopic pregnancy and did her best to save my right fallopian tube, but it wouldn’t stop bleeding and had to be removed. My “unexplained infertility” just got worse! Not only was I having trouble conceiving, but now I would only have one tube. I went through a lot of emotions in the months to follow.
After going through that, my husband and I were a little scared to even become pregnant again. But God had other plans for us. We ended up conceiving our daughter on our angel babies due date. March 4th, 2013 was a sad day, but two weeks later became a wonderful, joyful, scary, and exciting day for the two of us. We did the same monitoring because of previous ectopic, but this time they found the gestational sac in the right place and doing great. Two weeks later we heard our baby girl’s heartbeat for the first time. Now, I would love to say that my pregnancy was easy, joyful, and exciting, but unfortunately I was scared, anxious, and had some struggles along the way. At 20 weeks I was diagnosed with Placenta Previa, which is when the placenta is covering the opening of the cervix. They told me I would continue to have ultra sounds every 4 weeks until it corrected itself, which it usually does as the uterus continues to get bigger. Well after my ultra sound at 32 weeks, I still had Placenta Previa. They said they would do one more at 36 weeks and if I still had it, then we would schedule a C-section. I was so upset, but thankful they were going to take care of my baby and I. At 34 weeks, I woke up on a Saturday morning to go to the bathroom and discovered I was bleeding quite a bit. My husband rushed home from work and we literally flew to the hospital. They discovered I was in preterm labor with contractions about every 2 or 3 minutes. They hooked me all up and gave me medicine to stop the labor. I was in the hospital for 3 nights, in which they were able to stop the labor and send me home on bed rest. At this point, I was just a ticking time bomb per say. My doctor was hoping to get me to 36 weeks and then perform the C-section. Yeah! We made it! I went in the hospital that morning to do an amnioscentis to check and see if the baby’s lungs were ready. If they were then we would go ahead with the C-section that day. If not, I would have to wait. The test came back about 12:30PM and it said the baby’s lungs were ready. They prepped me and took me back. I gave birth to my little miracle baby girl, Reagan Raye at 1:37PM. She weighted 5lbs 9ozs and was 19 ¾ in. And since she decided to flip that afternoon and became breach, they had a little difficulty getting her out. She came out and she wasn’t crying and struggled a little bit to breath. I was terrified! Her Apgar score was a 3 at 2 minutes, but an 8 at 5 minutes. Thank you, Lord! They still sent her to the NICU overnight for monitoring. She was released 24 hours later and joined me for the last two days at the hospital.
Now today, we are trying for number two. We have currently had two miscarriages, but aren’t giving up hope. Miracles happen everyday and I witness it daily watching my baby girl grow up. This month she will turn 4 and I’m thankful God chose me to be her mommy. Now I just hope that he has a brother or sister handpicked for Reagan someday. But if not, I will be forever grateful, for the best blessing that has ever happened to me.
Disclaimer: This is not a medical resource. The information is related to individuals and their unique situation. If you have questions or concerns about your health or fertility, please contact a medical professional.