My husband and I started trying to get pregnant in June 2004. We tried for 3 and a half years with no success. I tried various medications and nothing worked. Going through infertility struggles is one of the most difficult things a person can imagine. I know that there are people who don't want kids, but we weren't those people. We wanted a family desperately and not being about to have one made us terrified, sad, exhausted and powerless. Finally, we decided to try in vitro fertilization.
We met with the most amazing doctor and he told us that we would have to go through some diagnostic procedures because we didn't know why I wasn't getting pregnant. I had bloodwork, ultrasounds and finally an HSG test, which is basically injecting dye through the organs to see what they look like. After having that test, it was discovered that I have a birth defect, an incredibly rare one, called a unicornuate uterus. Basically, instead of forming both sides of the uterus to create a fully formed uterus, I am missing one entire half, along with one fallopian tube. I was so devastated because we didn't know if I would even be able to carry a baby. Plus, people who have this defect are also usually missing a kidney and ureter, so I had to go get a cat scan to make sure that was all in order. Luckily, the kidney and ureter were there and I met with a high risk OB/GYN who assured us that I should be able to carry one baby as long as I had careful observation in case I went into preterm labor. (That did end up happening, but that is another post)
Finally, we were ready to start. First we got a giant box of medications mailed to us. So many shots and patches and pills...
The first step was to take birth control pills to stop my cycle so that the doctor would have a fresh start to work with. Then some small injections started. Then it was time for 3 injections per day. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but I was pretty bruised up. One of the injections is Projesterone, which is very oily. It leaves you with big lumps at the injection site, blah. Then, when everything was perfect and I had several eggs on my ovaries, 19 to be exact, the doctor called and told me to take a "super" injection at exactly 1:00. This had to be done at precisely the right time because the eggs had to be harvested exactly 35 hours later.
We went in as scheduled and they sedated me and removed the eggs. It was fast and easy, but I was really uncomfortable for the rest of the day.
This is us five days later. Of the 19 eggs that were harvested, they fertilized 11. 8 of those eggs actually took and became blastocysts. One of those was implanted into my uterus on this day. So in this picture, we are about to get pregnant in a room with three other people :) I always joke that John will actually be telling the truth when he says his parents didn't really have sex to get pregnant lol. Anyway, they strapped me to this chair with nothing on my bottom half and turned me upside down. The picture below is of the little catheter containing John as he was being implanted into my uterus. After all of the struggles, it was so magical to see this exchange of life taking place right before my eyes.
The picture below is what the embryo looked like before it was implanted at five days post fertilization. I love this picture because not very many people in the world have something like it.
Two weeks later we got a call that we were pregnant!!! It was the most amazing conversation I have ever had in my entire life.
When all is said and done, we spent about $14,000 dollars getting pregnant. This isn't counting all of the stuff before IVF or the incredible expense of my pregnancy. I didn't have insurance that covered infertility, so this was all out of pocket. Thankfully, we got help from my mom or we would never have been able to do it. I can safely say though, that any amount of money would have been worth it.
So, that's my IVF story in a nutshell. If you stuck with me through this post I appreciate it, but I am most looking forward to having this little record for myself :)