Our infertility story starts like many others. After deciding that we wanted to try for a baby in December 2014, we followed all of the advice out there. We timed my cycles, I ate certain foods and we tried different positions. After about five months, we decided to see a fertility specialist. Thankfully, my obgyn is also a fertility doctor.
After meeting with the amazing Jacki in April 2015, we set up a treatment plan that included regularly scheduled sonograms of my ovaries and adding a daily prescription to assist my ovaries. We had high hopes. We came to the realization that I am an egg factory, but I also have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is pretty common.
We decided that my body is selfish. It does not release an egg when it should because it wants to keep them all for itself. In September 2015 my doctor decided that we needed to do a laparoscopy, hysteroscopy and ovarian drilling. After surgery, we learned that I also have endometriosis.
After a few more months of our normal regimen, Jacki thought we should try a shot every month to jumpstart my ovulation. My husband and I agreed. My loving husband would give me the shots when I couldn’t make it to the doctor’s office. We would do our “homework” for three days to make sure we hit the timing just right, but every month was a disappointment. Test after test, and period after period, I became very disenchanted with the whole process. It starts to take not only a mental toll on you, but a huge emotional one as well.
We continued this method of treatment for two years until my husband received a new job that offered a $20,000 lifetime maximum on infertility treatment, which included in vitro fertilization (IVF). We took it as a sign and decided to take the jump.
After Jacki recommended Anthony Propst MD, we made our first appointment at the Austin fertility center and kept our fingers crossed. We started this part of our journey in March 2016. There is a lot involved with this process, including blood tests, semen analysis, testing on me for different things – and we passed them all.
With the glowing results, we started the process of trying to produce as many eggs as possible for retrieval. This process seemed to take forever, but it was very worth it. In the end, we ended up with 44 eggs (we joked that I am an egg factory). When it came time for the egg retrieval, we ended up with 25 eggs and 19 were viable. 17 of those eggs fertilized and 14 became viable embryos. Most women are lucky to end up with three to five viable embryos after this process, so we had extremely high hopes.
With the second half of treatment looming, we were excited to get the show on the road. Dr. Propst transferred one embryo in June and it implanted. We were over the moon. Sadly, in July, when we should have been seven to eight weeks along, we only measured at six weeks. I had another scan at the end of that week and the baby was no longer growing as it should and there was no heartbeat. The joy ended.
I decided to take “the pill” at home because I did not want to wait for the D&C. It was the most pain I have ever been through in my life. You take one pill when you wake up and then one pill every few hours to induce the miscarriage. What you go through is so much more than just physical pain. It’s emotional. It’s spiritual. It’s mental. It’s your body forcing out what should have been the most beautiful thing it could have created. It ends in tears and being bedridden for two days.
Once it was all over, my husband and I decided to give it another try. I told him that the third time is the charm. If it didn’t work on the third try, I decided that I was done trying. It was just too hard on my body and mind. It takes forever for your hormone levels to go back to normal, but when they finally do, you start the second half of the procedure all over again. We transferred two embryos this time as we didn’t want to chance a loss again, although we knew we could get multiples.
The pregnancy test came back positive. We had our rainbow baby. I was determined not to let myself get too excited because I knew what could happen. As we kept progressing just like we should, I was able to let that fear go. I am currently 28 weeks along with our rainbow baby boy, Gavin.
We could not have accomplished any of this without all of the people at Texas Fertility Center. We owe you so much praise for giving us our miracle. So much so, that we are thinking of trying one more time before we close the door on the baby machine.
Even with our insurance coverage, the process is still very expensive. We just paid off Ovation Fertility™ for $1,700 in charges that were not covered by insurance. Not to mention all of the studies, medicines, co-pays and more that you have to take care of to make sure your treatment moves forward as scheduled.
It is disheartening to see so many people who want to try this process, but they don’t have the luxury we did. They don’t have access to the care we did, and at close to $15,000 to $18,000 for ONE round of IVF, it is understandable.
Please stand by those who are suffering from infertility. It is not a made up condition or a first resort for us. It is a last resort because we don’t want to believe that we are unable to do what our bodies are programmed to do.
Contact our Austin fertility center to learn how our team is working to raise infertility awareness and increase accessibility to reproductive care.