We have begun year 3 of this infertility journey. In the grand scheme of it all it doesn’t seem like a lot of time. Some days it feels like only weeks have gone by and other times it feels like an eternity. After two failed IUI treatments, and two full rounds of IVF I can honestly say I’m tired and I’m worn. There have been small waves of hope, only to be met by a hurricane of disappointment. It is by God’s grace and goodness that we have survived the bad days. For me personally there have been many days I’ve wanted to give up completely. Through the past 2 years I’ve learned that I do not deserve what I desire and that is a hard pill to swallow. I’ve come to the realization that many people feel you marry to have kids and when that doesn’t work there’s nothing left. I’ve always been bothered when people say the greatest day of their life was when they had their kids. Although I have not experienced that yet, I truly believe that when that day does come it will be a close second to the day I married Cory. Without my wedding day my children would not exist, All twelve that we created and the 11 we never got to hold (I’m holding out a lot of hope for our frozen embryo). If I’ve learned one thing these past 2 years, it is that he will forever be my number 1. And if there is a world where we do not have children I can accept that I will be just as happy as long as he is by my side.
2 years feels like a long time, for us it has passed in segments.
7 months of trying on our own
4 months of fertility vists/tests
2 months of IUI’s
2 months of the first IVF
5 months of a break
2 months of the second IVF
The last 3 months of seeking different treatment.
The last blog I posted was about the disappointment of our last failed IVF cycle. Let me bring you up to speed on where we are today and where we were August 2015. At the beginning of August we talked about the possibility of doing the transfer of our frozen embryo. After speaking with our Doctor we learned that the percentage of the frozen embryo taking would be about 20%. We were pretty devastated because we thought the percentage would be higher due to the fact that it is already at a blastocyst stage as well as we have heard that frozen embryos tend to take better. At the time we weren’t telling anybody what we were doing except one person. After my appointment I called and talked with our friend and after reviewing our odds as well as options, Cory and I decided it made more sense to do a full round of IVF in hopes of retrieving more eggs for freezing. We called the doctor and waited for the right timing. At the beginning of September I began treatments and everything seemed to be going well. Our doctors wanted to give me more medication in hopes that I would produce more quality eggs than I had the first time. Follistim is the injection that allows you to produce more eggs than you normally would. The first round I was on 75mg so they bumped me up to 125mg, keeping in mind that at 23 I’m supposed to be pretty fertile. After several ultrasounds they discovered my body was not reacting to the medicine like they wanted so they bumped me up to 200mg for the last couple of days. At one of my final ultrasounds they saw 12 follicles which they were happy with. As we waited for the word for when the day of retrieval would be, we got a call that Cory’s grandmother had passed away suddenly. After a month of keeping everything a secret we were afraid we would have to explain our situation if our retrieval or transfer were to interfere with funeral arrangements. We waited in anticipation to learn that our retrieval date fell on the date of grandma Miller’s calling hours. With the funeral being the next day we decided to continue to keep everything a secret since neither procedure would overlap time we needed to be with family. We arrived at the doctor’s office on Thursday morning and went through the motions like we had the first time. This time when I was in recovery I remember being glad I was in more pain than the first. Pain to me in that moment meant more eggs, more chances for multiple embryos to make it to freezing and to someday become our children. Our embryologist came in and delivered the results. 8 follicles were removed, 6 mature. I was devastated. Here we were, back in the same situation from the first time. All those extra hormones and injections for what? We returned home and doubt that this would work took over. The recovery from this retrieval was way harder than the first. I was in so much pain, vomiting and unable to hardly move. Cory attended his grandmother’s calling hours while I stayed home with “food poisoning”. The only problem with that lie was that the food I had supposedly gotten it from, my mom had eaten the left overs. She would soon learn why she didn’t get sick too :). Friday we attended the funeral. I would try not to wince in pain as I sat, or show how tired I was as we stood around and shared stories. I remember telling Cory as we drove away from the church how strange it was to mourn the loss of such a beautiful life and also know that there is life being created in a lab made from the two of us. It was a hard a week to balance the emotions of loss and sadness as well as hope and excitement. On Sunday we learned that 5 eggs made it to day 3 and these were better quality than the first round. Ahhhh good news. They transferred 2 this time around and wouldn’t budge when we asked if we could please do 3. We also were hoping one of the ones they transferred could be our frozen embryo or “Baby Snow” as my sister in law Abby calls it. I never got a definitive answer as to why they wouldn’t let us transfer that one. Something about keeping it as back up. You would think with as much money as you are throwing at them they would let you make the calls :). Sunday started the long wait for results. We were given permission to travel and had planned on going to Florida for the weekend while Cory’s parents were going to be down there. It was a break we both needed and a trip I guarantee neither will forget. With the two week wait comes the lovely progesterone shots that I truly don’t mind and had actually become a nightly ritual that ended in laughter. But have you ever had to have a shot in your bottom while in the Atlanta Airport? Working for Delta I hoped that when I asked if there is somewhere we could go maybe they would let us use a private room of some sort. We were directed to the family restrooms. As we waited for bathroom I was so embarrassed that people would see two grown adults enter a family “private” restroom and what they assumed we would be doing in there if you are catching my drift. It was always my dream to walk into one of those restrooms with my box of needles and vials of progesterone and lean over the sink filled with nasty hair from the previous tenant as I awaited my shot. Now we were warned ahead of time of hitting blood vessels. 90% of the time you never hit one and Cory never had, until we were in the most unsanitary place we could be. The second Cory stuck me I felt the blood pour out, the problem with hitting a blood vessel is you have to pull the needle out and do it again. It was one of those situations where you couldn’t believe it was happening in such a place but you couldn’t help but laugh that it was all going down this way. After the shot ordeal was cleaned up and we did the walk of shame out of the private bathroom together we made it to our gate. I hadn’t eaten all day and decided when I saw someone with Jersey Mike’s bag. For those of you who do not know the holiness that is Jersey Mike’s I am sorry. Being the hormonal starving and at the time pregnant woman, I approached the woman holding the bag and asked her where she had gotten such delicious food. I returned to Cory notifying him that we must go and it was only two terminals away. (For those of you not familiar with the Atlanta airport that’s about a 10 minute trek) While our plane was minutes from boarding I convinced myself we had enough time since we would be seated last anyway. Cory being the man he is granted me my wish and away we went. I was so excited and so hungry and I remember walking up to get in line and it hitting me like a ton of bricks that I couldn’t have lunch meat (Jersey Mike’s is like subway except 10x better). It took everything in me to look at Cory and admit I had royally screwed up and I wasn’t paying $9 for a sub with only veggies on it. We scrambled to look for something else but Friday night, lines were long and our plane would leave without us if we didn’t get back fast. We decided to grab something when we arrived in Florida. We boarded our plane and as we sat there I noticed 2 of the upgraded seats were open. I can go into the logistics of why if no one was sitting there we should be but I won’t. So anyway, I will admit with these free travel privileges I definitely gotten spoiled when it comes to flying. I stared at the seats until the door had closed about to ask the flight attendant if we could move forward since I worked for the airline. Someone else in that section took the seats so they didn’t have to sit next to someone before I could ask the flight attendant. And here I am at almost 11pm, exhausted, emotional, and hungry and I lost it. I began to cry and it was so irrational and ridiculous and I knew that but it was my breaking point. And when I cried over a seat on a short flight I really knew I had married the right man. He was patient, and very gracious as I wiped tears from my eyes and he snickered at how ridiculous the situation but understanding of why I felt that way. Sorry for such a long story but it brings humor to our situation.
On Thursday October 22nd 2015 I went in for my pregnancy test. Cory being positive it worked and me knowing in my heart it didn’t. I had taken a pregnancy test that Monday and it was negative and I knew it wasn’t a false negative. The nurse told me they would call around 2pm with results. This time I was going to receive the call and hopefully surprise Cory. I was killing time in hopes it would fly by. I decided to stop in to see my dad and as I walked up their sidewalk at around 12:30pm I got the call, and she said the words I had wished I’d never hear again. It didn’t work and they didn’t know why. When the nurse sounded frustrated at the situation and confused why it wasn’t working I knew there was more than just what they had originally thought to be the issue. After two weeks I returned to the doctor with my mom by my side. We were informed that I have the eggs of a 37 year old and not those of a 23 year old. My heart sunk. There wasn’t much quality left in these little guys and the doctor informed us that there was nothing to do to change that. We were instructed that if we decided to do anymore IVF only 1 or 2 more procedures wise and any more than 4 treatments our chances would go down. Once again we weighed our possibilities and people tried to give answers of how to fix this. It was overwhelming to say the least. My mom researched effortlessly for some solution to fixing egg quality, which I found out is possible but some books expect you to live in a bubble in order to do so. As we approached the holiday season I felt my anxiety starting to come back. If our first round of IVF had worked, Thanksgiving would have been my due date which was a hard day to face after another failed round. We were planning on doing a frozen transfer starting at the end of November with a transfer at the beginning of January. I was presented with an opportunity to visit Luxembourg leaving January 3rd. I was torn between the hope of the frozen transfer and the opportunity of traveling to Europe. It was a selfish decision I needed to make and a breath of fresh air I knew I would need. We never proceeded with the frozen transfer.
Christmas was around the corner and I wished I could have just moved away for the month of December. I didn’t want to celebrate at all. In the midst of it all it seemed like many friends around us were losing their babies that they had carried for months, some to full term. My heart broke. I can’t imagine feeling the heartbeat, going through it all with the assurance that the outcome would be to bring home a baby only to walk away from the hospital empty handed. None were very close friends but I mourned for their losses throughout December and I struggled with the fairness of it all. I struggled with the possibility of me one day being pregnant, getting to that point and my baby not making it. December was a sad month. Throughout the month of December Cory and I have both been seeing a new doctor who uses more natural remedies to get the body to function properly and hopefully correct both issues. I’m not going to disclose much information at the moment only because I know many people will be opinionated in what we are doing and I’m not interested in those opinions for right now. Seeing our new doctor has nothing to do with not liking our old doctor. I love our fertility doctor and I know we will be back to see him to eventually do our frozen transfer someday. I think right now in our case we just need to get our bodies healthy again. The synthetic hormones I continued to pump into my body have taken its toll and I just have felt lousy from it all so we are trying some natural ways at the moment. The break to Europe has been an amazing experience and allowed me to step back and put everything into perspective. It has been a trip that has allowed me to process my thoughts and I got to talk to Tina about a lot of it and get some much needed wisdom and advice. Hopefully I will be able to update more often and see some progress with our new doctor. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Cory and I and our future babies. Thank you to our friend who knew our secret, and who has financially allowed us to have had this opportunity.
Cory & Chrissy
Not much has changed since I wrote the last blog. We are still currently seeing our new doctor and we both love him. Cory got an updated test done today and we will know the results in about a week when Cory meets with the doctor. I have been feeling an extreme amount of peace about our situation. I don’t know if it is peace or if I have learned to live with the heartache. I still hate the subject of pregnancy and the thought of people getting to have their second and third and so on when I haven’t even gotten my first. Especially when I started trying long before their first arrived. It’s the jealousy of my heart and something God is working on inside of me. We’ve kept busy with lots house projects which helps keep our minds busy. Hopefully we will see some improvement in both of our fertility issues and have some good updates on the next blog post.