Our Story

Long story short: we met, fell in love, and got married. Everything was peacefully going according to the plan until...

September 2011, we decided it was time to start expanding our little family. We threw away the birth control pills, but weren't quite ready to start actively TTC. 

We bought a house in June 2012, and then we decided to get serious about this TTC business. I started charting my cycle, bought some OPKs, and we got busy trying. We tried... and tried... and tried... finally in December 2012, I found out about charting my BBT. So we tried that... and several tries later, still nothing. 

In April 2013, we went to the RE hoping to get some help from the doctors. We did all of our testing and aside from a minor variation in the shape of my uterus (I have an arcuate uterus), there was nothing glaring to explain why we hadn't achieved a pregnancy. We were diagnosed with Unexplained Infertility.

We hit the ground running with IF treatments, and started with three cycles of Clomid (100mg) + Ovidrel + IUI. The results: BFN, BFN, BFN. Next, we decided to do a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy with the hopes that it might help to explain our situation. The results: one teeny, tiny spot of minimal endometriosis, and my arcuate uterus was deemed "not a concern." So then we moved onto injects with IUI. I did Follistim and Cetrotide, but ended up overstimulating. Our IUI was canceled, and we were downgraded to TI. The results: BFN. 

In September 2013, we decided it was time to move onto IVF. We did an antagonist protocol with Follistim, Menopur, Cetrotide, and HCG trigger. Egg retrieval was on October 8th, and we had 10 eggs retrieved. Of those, 6 were mature, 3 fertilized with ICSI and 3 fertilized in the petri dish. We did a day three transfer with two 8-cell embryos with fragmentation. The remaining four embryos stopped growing and never developed beyond four or five cells. The result: BFN.

In November 2013, we started IVF #2 with a few tweaks to our antagonist protocol. We added estrogen priming and human growth hormone and increased the doses of the Follistim and Menopur slightly. Egg retrieval was on December 6th, and we got 14 eggs. Of those 9 were mature and 5 fertilized (on their own, no ICSI this time). On December 9th, I got a call from my doctor to cancel our transfer because none of our embryos grew past two cells. The result: complete heartbreak.

We spent the month of January licking our wounds and picking ourselves up. We went on what I referred to as The Vagina Tour, and consulted with four REs from three different clinics (and also threw in my annual with my OB... my poor, tired vagina!!). After it was all said and done, we decided to cycle with Dr. M from the 'super clinic.'

In February 2014, we boldly moved onto IVF #3. With a brand new clinic, new doctor, and new protocol, we put all of our fears and hesitations to the side. The egg retrieval yielded 9 eggs, 5 were mature, and 5 fertilized with ICSI. By Day 5, we had two slow growers. On Day 6, one of them arrested, but the other made it to blastocyst!! Frostie Ninja was biopsied for CCS testing and frozen as we awaited the results. A few weeks later, we learned that our little guy was normal! We started prepping for the FET!

In April 2014, Frostie Ninja was transferred... unfortunately, another BFN. We were crushed.

We spent the summer researching our options, and found our way to a specialist in Chicago. With the hopes that an immunologist might have answers where the endocrinologists had none, we did lots of testing. As it turns out, I have Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disease. Who knew?!

October 2014 began our 4th IVF egg retrieval. By the grace of God, we were blessed with six blastocysts! A dream come true!! We transferred two in November and for the first time in my life, I saw that second elusive line!! I was finally pregnant!! And better yet... with twins!!!

The pregnancy was high-risk from beginning to end. We had our first bleeding scare when I was 6 weeks pregnant. It was terrifying! But at our 7 week ultrasound, there were two flickering hearts beating on the ultrasound screen.

On December 22, 2014, we went in for our 8 week ultrasound... the doctor uttered the most dreadful words, "I'm sorry, but I'm not finding the second heartbeat..." We lost our precious Robin to vanishing twin syndrome. Rosa, the surviving twin, wasn't exactly thriving, and we thought we'd lose her too... but she pulled through and caught up with her growth by the end of the first trimester.

In March 2015, we found out that our baby girl had multiple congenital anomalies. We were utterly panicked, but found our way to the best children's hospital in the area. We felt reassured in the Fetal Surgery department, and planned for our daughter to have the necessary surgeries after her birth.

Unfortunately, Rosa died in the womb at 30 weeks and 3 days into the pregnancy. She was stillborn the next day. Our hearts... were and are completely shattered at this devastating loss.

Currently it is December 2015. I have been living with only a small sliver of my heart ever since my babies died. They took the broken pieces of my heart up to heaven with them. We are planning to do a FET in the future. We hope that Rosa & Robin's brother or sister will make it into our arms for a lifetime.

I used to say that I would keep trying until I became a mother. That I refused to accept it any other way. Now, I say I am a mother. I have two angels in heaven. More than anything, I would like to have a baby to nurture in this life. One that will thrive and grow. I don't know if that's in the cards for us... but we're going to try a few more times.

I think back to the last few years... and it's a tragic tale... I can't believe it's my life. And, yes, there are times when I break down and scream and cry... But for the most part, I try to keep moving forward. Life is full of its ups and downs... we don't have control over most of it. So I'm just hanging on and trying to enjoy the ride when I can.

That's our little family in a nutshell... Me, him, two angels, and four hopefuls... and lots and lots of love! 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry for all you've been through. We lost our son, the miracle at what we thought was the end of an epic quest, at 23 weeks to a congenital abnormality too (after, like you, arming up at the 'best' childen's hospital). I'm putting you in my reader. I wish you the very best with your remaining blasts <3