On June 18, 2005, my husband and I tied the knot on a beautiful summer evening surrounded by our family and friends. Things were perfect. Although we faced the common early-marriage-life struggles, I was ecstatic to be a new wife in a new home with my new handsome hubby. We were thrilled to be married and looked forward to starting a family of our own.
About a year and a half into our marriage, both of us began to quietly wonder if something was wrong. Strangely, neither of us spoke our worries to each other or to anybody, for that matter. In honesty, we probably figured that we were too young to get pregnant, anyway. I was only twenty-three, and he was twenty-four. We were both in grad school, and money was tight. Surely another year of waiting was the wise thing, at any rate. More months passed, which turned into another year and a half. Except for a few small questions posed to my doctor, we still weren't addressing the fearful issue: Why wasn't I able to get pregnant? Again, we pushed the question down, assuring ourselves that it wasn't the right time anyway. We moved back to our hometown that summer, excited for a fresh start, new careers, and--hopefully--a pregnancy within the year.
When six months passed, we finally had to face the truth: something was wrong. I called my new OB, set up an appointment, and met with her to share my concerns. Within a couple of months, I was starting Clomid, the first easy step. Two rounds went by, and nothing happened. Time to up the dosage, she said. That gave me two things: a very frightening case of ovarian hyperstimulation and a trip to the ER, but no pregnancy.
After that happened, my OB decided it was time to see a specialist. She recommended me to Women's Specialty and Fertility in Clovis, and that August of 2009 I met with Dr. Sueldo. For the next year and a half we did as much as we could without going to IVF. We used different fertility treatments and had three IUIs done, but no pregnancy ever resulted.
In January of 2011, I had a laparascopy to see what was going on. This finally confirmed that I had severe endometriosis, which was most likely contributing to our inability to have children. The surgery helped "clean me out," but the return was inevitable. We had two more IUIs following the surgery, both of them unsuccessful. We met with another doctor just to see if there were any other options, but nothing else was left to do. We were exhausted and drained. It was time for a break.
A year after my surgery, we decided to attend an informational meeting with Bethany Christian Services about adoption. BCS is an amazing agency, and we had a very personal and intimate meeting with one of its agents. About five minutes into it, I was already fighting back tears. As much as I wanted this to be the answer, as much as I wanted to be a person who adopts, I was still deep in the midst of my grief. We weren't ready. We couldn't yet give up hope that we may have a child biologically.
Eight months later we returned to our doctor. There had been a possibility that I could get pregnant after my surgery without treatments, and we had taken that chance. Over a year and a half had passed, though, with nothing. We finally decided to have a discussion and begin the steps for IVF. On October 8, we met with our doctor to start that process, and the month that followed was a another whirlwind of tests.
On November 7, we met with Dr. Synn for results. We went into the appointment thinking things would be easy and fine (relatively speaking, that is), but unfortunately were hit with disappointing news. The doctor diagnosed me with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) and found something a bit abnormal with my uterus. We were told that we had a 1% chance of conceiving on our own. We were crushed.
The positive news was that IVF was not ruled out even though some doctors may choose not to perform an IVF on women with DOR. Ours was ready and willing, as long as we were. Although hearing about my newly diagnosed condition wasn't encouraging, we still felt that God was leading us toward IVF. In fact, it was almost an answer for us to continue.
On January 28 of last year, we met with our doctor for the big Protocol appointment, which basically laid out the plan for the month and a half before our IVF. We jumped into preparing for our IVF and couldn't wait for that March date to come around. Unfortunately, at the appointment that checked how I was responding to my treatments, we received the disappointing news that we would have to cancel our IVF. I just wasn't responding as I needed to.
We scheduled an IUI (#6) instead since there was at least one follicle that was large enough to produce a mature egg, but it was unsuccessful. For our second attempt, I did respond to medications, which was a huge answer to prayer. My doctor retrieved five eggs, and out of the four that were mature, two were fertilized. I had the joy of seeing our tiny embryos--just little bits of light, of course--on a screen after they were transferred to my uterus. It was an incredible experience. Unfortunately, neither of them implanted, and our IVF was unsuccessful. We were heartbroken.
Nearly a year later, we have found a great amount of healing in our lives. We have begun the first steps of adoption! Honestly, I didn't ever think this blog would turn into an "adoption journey" blog, but here we are, sharing this new part of our lives.
We still are waiting, hoping, and trusting, just as we always have been.
Our Fertility Journey in Bullets
- June 18, 2005 - married :)
- Spring 2009 - met with OB for infertility; started Clomid
- June 2009 - 3rd round of Clomid; ER trip because of ovarian hyper-stimulation
- August 2009 - Began treatments at Women's Specialty and Fertility in Clovis, CA
- February 2010 - IUI #1
- May 2010 - IUI #2
- August 2010 - IUI #3
- January 2011 - Laparoscopy; Stage 3 Endometriosis
- February 2011 - IUI #4
- March 2011 - IUI #5
- August 2011 - Second opinion with specialist
- January 2012 - Went to an adoption meeting at Bethany Christian Services; realized we were not ready
- October 2012 - First appointment to discuss IVF
- October/November 2012 - Labs and bloodwork
- November 2012 - Diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve
- January 2013 - Protocol Appointment for IVF
- February/March 2013 - Labs, bloodwork, and meds for IVF
- March 2013 - IVF cancelled because of poor response to medications
- March 2013 - IUI #6
- April 2013 - IVF Attempt #2
- April 19, 2013 - 5 follicles retrieved/2 fertilized
- April 21, 2013 - 2 embryos transferred! Such joy!
- May 3rd, 2013 - Negative blood test
- February 25th, 2014 - Adoption Orientation with Bethany Christian Services
- March 21st, 2014 - Beginning Step 1 (Formal Application and 90 Day Assessment)
- July, 2014 - Home Study completed!