My IVF Journey

I have been inspired to write about my journey through infertility after reading another twin mommies blog (Thanks Andrea)!  I realized as I read through her own personal struggles that I have found few “stories” out there to read and relate too.  I got to thinking, maybe after someone reads mine, they too will feel inspired to share and one more woman may not feel so alone in their journey through infertility.

I must say, nothing I write is ever very “short n‘ sweet”, I tend to be a little long-winded so, might I suggest you grab a beverage of your choice, maybe even a snack and settle in for a little “us” time together…LOL

To write this, I went back and re-read the Facebook group I started in an effort to keep family and friends updated on the “baby-making-happenings” and more selfishly, so I wouldn’t have to repeat it over and over.  In the last 2 hours I have laughed and I have cried…I kinda wish I could just re-post all my entries for you to read because it really was a roller coaster ride.  One thing that remained constant was my sense of humor and I hope I don’t offend anyone or come across as trying to trivialize the real pain infertility causes for millions of people and the struggle it was for me and my husband.

My Story…

David and I were married on Valentines Day 2004 after dating for only 3 short years.  We both were very excited to have a family but decided to take the first couple of years to explore our lives together as husband and wife, travel and build our careers.  We were diligent in our use of birth control, which is so funny when we think back to just how “protected” we were.  It was on our 2nd Anniversary in 2006 that we decided to throw caution to the wind and we went forth to “multiple”, again something we find amusing considering we did just that!  

I never stressed as each month came then went with no blessing of a baby.  For me that just meant I was able to continue life as usual, including my nightly glass of red wine.  It wasn’t until later in the Fall of 2007 that my feelings of “gotta get pregnant NOW” kicked into full gear and off to the doctors I went.   After an ultrasound of my “womanly parts” I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and put on 3 cycles of Clomid.  My doctor felt that if 3 rounds of Clomid failed, I would need to seek help from a fertility specialist.  After all, by medical standards I was an OLD woman of 33 with aging eggs…LOL.  Needless to say, the Clomid did not work for me, actually it was the worst 3 months of my entire journey and for those of you who have been through the IVF process,  I don’t say that lightly.  I had enormous mood swings, hot flashes, cramping, headaches, bloating, nausea….it was worse than any symptoms I had through IVF & Pregnancy.  This experience did not have me running towards IVF, in fact I almost dismissed the idea of going forward but that “wanna have a baby NOW” feeling kept gnawing away at me and my husband…so onwards we went.

At the end of February 2008, we attended the mandatory $250.00 “Informational Session” regarding IVF with about 50 other couples.  I will never forget that night.  We all sat looking straight ahead, never making eye contact with each other.  For 3 long painful hours, Doctors stood in front of a large auditorium talking about IVF in medical terms that a 4th year resident wouldn’t understand…unless infertility was their specialty.  I can’t speak for everyone in that room but Dave & I only truly understood 3 things:
  1. it was going to be REALLY expensive (upwards of $15,000)
  2. you would probably be waiting 6 months to a year to even get started
  3. there was less than a 50% chance it would be successful

And then, adding insult to injury, we were handed an “Information Package” filled with the same incomprehensible medical jargon AND a note that read something like: “If you would like to continue with IVF Treatment please call the number bellow IMMEDIATELY.  Should you wait to officially register, this WILL cause major delays in your treatment.”  Talk about using pressure sales tactics!  Seriously, there were over 50 couples in that room and we were all faced with having to take a medical journey to start our families…the very least they could have done has humanize it a little more.  Call it what you want, it worked; we got on “THE LIST” the very next day, and provided the required $10,000 deposit…ouch! 

On the bright side, things didn’t move half as slow as we had anticipated.  By the end of March 2008 we had had our first consultation with the clinic and I began the long daunting task of undergoing the needed tests to become ‘IVF Ready”.  I must have had over a dozen different tests while Dave only had to endure THREE….blood work, physiological eval and the ever dreaded “Sperm Vitality” test.  I suppose that is the burden we must carry to be able to experience the sheer miracle of pregnancy and birth…I won’t complain. (I really want to though)

In June 2008 we were officially “cleared” for take off and as it turned out, Dave also had some male infertility issues, making IVF with ICIS our best route to take for success.   We were giddy with excitement!  Giving ourselves ‘High-5’s” for “passing” all the tests to become parents (if only everyone had to be screened so strictly) but our joy quickly dissipated as we thought about the 6-12 month wait ahead of us.  But as fate would have it, a few people on the list declined or rescheduled their IVF cycles and in August 2008 we were on our way to becoming parents.

I feel like that was just yesterday….yet a lifetime ago.  I remember all the medication I had to take, here's a peak at some it...


The pills, daily “nasal sniffs” and injections for almost 6 weeks was grueling, to say the least and that was just to shut my reproductive system only to have to “super-stimulate” it in an effort to produce multiple mature eggs to be “harvested” for the actual embryo transfer, which occurred on October 2, 2008.  We were so fortunate, we had over 20 eggs “harvested” and 9 fertilized, a very successful cycle!  We had two fresh embryos transferred, 1- 7 cell and 1- 8 cell.  The remaining embryos were frozen for future transfer cycles.   The medication regime didn’t end after the transfer, I miss the joyful process of taking Progesterone vaginally (TMI??)… LOL 


Life carried on as usual for the next 2 weeks and we never really allowed ourselves to get toooo excited, I admit, that was hard!  In all honesty, I had myself planning and preparing for the eventual arrival of a baby in 9 months.  I just didn’t know at that time that I would have to wait a little longer…the first transfer was unsuccessful.  I remember being sad but not devastated.  I have always been an optimistic person and I chalked it up to “it’s just not our time”.

On “THE LIST” we went...to wait…again!  We were told that the average time for a frozen cycle to become available is about 3-4 months so, on with life we went.  We even enjoyed a fabulous cruise to the Bahamas to ring in the year 2009.  As we kissed that New Years Eve I had an overwhelming feeling of “This IS the year we will become parents!”  
The end of January 2009 marked the beginning of our first frozen embryo cycle.  This process wasn’t as time consuming and “hormonally charged” as the full fresh embryo cycle but it still required over 3 weeks of preparation before the transfer occurred on February 25th.  This time around, I ordered myself to 48 hours “couch rest” to better my chances of implantation even though I was told it didn’t matter and I should just carry on as usual.  Maybe “they” were right…it didn’t matter…on March 14th we found out that our second attempt at becoming parents….failed!  I was devastated this time around…heartbroken.  I began thinking that this might be God’s plans for me…to not be a mom and who am I to question his plans for me?  Then I began thinking…bullshit on that!  I deserve the opportunity to pass on my vast knowledge of the world and subject my own offspring to my crazy parenting philosophies.   I stopped feeling sorry for myself, after all we still had 5 frozen embryos and I know a lot of people aren’t so “lucky”.  I put us back on “THE LIST”…again, to wait…again!  (I swear it felt like we were on some “LIST” somewhere, for something, forever…LOL!)

The wait this time around was much shorter.  We got a call at the end of April 2009 to start our 3rd IVF attempt (second frozen embryo transfer) and on June 1st my beautiful Ave & Bryce were placed in their comfy little home for the next 38 weeks.  Now, it wasn’t all happy times because I began bleeding (a big clot was expelled, hope that’s not too much info) and cramping just over 2 weeks after the transfer, only 3 short days after the BIG POSITIVE was confirmed…I was a wreck! 

The fertility clinic said to just “ride it out” and wait.  My family Doctor, a wonderful woman, didn’t feel the same way and started to send me for daily HCG Blood Level tests and she would call me back every afternoon to confirm that the levels were continuing to rise and that I was still pregnant.  She did this for 10 days straight until she knew I was feeling more relaxed and confident…did I mention how wonderful she is?  (The bleeding had subsided by day 5 into the testing.)  Anyways, she talked with me and explained that there was a possibility that both embryos might have implanted but that one may have miscarried, hence the bleeding and cramping.  I was sad (more sad that I ever admitted) but so happy that I was still with child…I prayed everyday and every night that when we went for our first ultrasound that my baby would still “be there”.

It sure was "there" AND the baby we had so desperately wanted had a WOMB-MATE!!  We were SHOCKED!  Some people can be so inconsiderate when I tell them that we were genuinely surprised to find out we were having twins.  I often get a comment like, “What do you mean you were surprised?   You had IVF; you MUST have known there was chance to have multiples!  You couldn’t have been TOTALLY shocked!”  Well, without giving them the full description of the above, I guess they would think that but I don’t care what people think…it was a surprise… A WONDERFUL SURPRISE!  Actually, there was a brief moment when the technician thought it was triples.  If you look close at my Blog picture you can see that one “sac” is quite large compared to the other one, so she was looking for a third heartbeat.  I would have fainted…no, my husband would have fainted! LOL

 Me, 5 minutes before Ave & Bryce arrived!
(I can't believe how swollen the human body can get...LOL)

On January 29, 2010, through a schedule C-Section and at almost 38 weeks gestation…Ave Linnet was born at 7:49 pm, weighing in at 6 lbs 2 ozs, measuring 19 inches long and her baby brother Bryce Barohn was born at 7:50 pm, weighing in at 5 lbs 15 ozs, measuring 20 inches long.  We were truly blessed with two healthy babies that went straight from the operating room to recovery with two people who were just “ordinary” a few moments before they arrived but who would now and forever be known as “Mom & Dad”! 


So, there you have it….my LONG, hopefully not boring story of how I kicked infertility in the buttocks and lived to tell all about it!

Ave & Bryce (1 Month Old)

Thanks for taking the time to read my journey.

16 comments:

May said...

I took my time to read your story,glad that you are now a mother, enjoying motherhood with your beautiful kids.

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

Thanks May!!

stayday said...

I loved reading your story- I think there is a typo in their birth weights?

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

YOU ARE SOOOO CORRECT!!! Stayday....5lbs and 15 ozs!! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

:)

Anonymous said...

Ginger you are more than 'just a friend'...I am soooo happy for both of my friends. You continually amaze me and I appreciate that you take the time to share yourself with us all. I have been told I need to start a blog and as I read yours I am overwhelmed with all the details but I can see how sharing helps everyone! Thank you! Tammy
What is a URL? I am so not a techy!

Anonymous said...

It is a blessing to all that you have taken the time to tell your story Ginger. Thanks for sharing.

Venassa said...

Aw that is such a sweet story. It breaks my heart to read stories of people going through IVF and who still haven't been able to stay pregnant. I love your story, though because of it's beautiful ending.

joyfuljourneys said...

Thank you so much for sharing!

twingirlmommy said...

This sounds almost identical to our infertility struggle more than two years ago! Although the reason behind our IVF journeys were different (my fallopian tubes had been damaged from an un-related surgery), we had the same experience! Right down to your med picture (I've got one here somewhere...) and your second embryo transfer being the one that stuck! Oh, and that we both wound up with twins. And, I think you're Canadian? (You mentioned Calgary somewhere? And you spell properly, with "u"s. ;) ) Another similarity! Definitely going to start following you; although I rarely get a chance to actually sit down and read!

Samantha

Valentine Robert said...

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weaver Atakpo said...

i can't really believe that i am with my Ex-Husband back after when he broke up with me with 4 kids i thank Dr Atakpo of (dratakpospelltemple@gmail.com) for helping me getting back my man back, My Name is Mrs Rhona Cole i am from England and my man name is Mr Alan Cole, my happiness turn to bitterness,my joy turn to sorrow,my love turn to hate when my husband broke up with me last week,i was so frustrated and i could not know what next to do again, i was so unthinkable and i could not concentrate any more, i love my husband so much but he was cheating on me with another woman and this makes him broke up with me so that he can be able to get marry to the other lady and this lady i think cast a spell on my husband to make him hate me and my kids and this was so critical and uncalled-for,I cry all day and night for God to send me a helped to get back my man until i went to Westmoreland to see a friend and who was having he same problem with me but she latter got her Husband back and i asked her how she was able to get her husband back and she told me that their was a powerful spell caster in Africa name DR ATAKPO that he help with love spell in getting back lost lover's back and i decided to contacted the same Dr Atakpo and he told me what is needed to be done for me to have my man back and i did it although i doubted it but i did it and the Dr told me that i will get the result after 24hours, and he told me that my husband was going to call me by 9pm in my time and i still doubted his word, to my surprise my husband really called me and told me that he miss me so much Oh My God i was so happy, and today i am happily with my man again and we are joyfully living together as one good family and i thank the powerful spell caster Dr Atakpo of dratakpospelltemple@gmail.com, he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that good spell casters still exist and Dr Atakpo is one of the good spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are there and your lover is turning you down, or you have your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore contact the powerful spell caster Dr Atakpo on his email: dratakpospelltemple@gmail.com and he will answer you, i am a living testimony and i will continue to testify of his goodness in my family,he turn my family to paradise and today we are all happy together Dr Atakpo i say thank you in one million times thanks Dr.

weaver Atakpo said...

i can't really believe that i am with my Ex-Husband back after when he broke up with me with 4 kids i thank Dr Atakpo of (dratakpospelltemple@gmail.com) for helping me getting back my man back, My Name is Mrs Rhona Cole i am from England and my man name is Mr Alan Cole, my happiness turn to bitterness,my joy turn to sorrow,my love turn to hate when my husband broke up with me last week,i was so frustrated and i could not know what next to do again, i was so unthinkable and i could not concentrate any more, i love my husband so much but he was cheating on me with another woman and this makes him broke up with me so that he can be able to get marry to the other lady and this lady i think cast a spell on my husband to make him hate me and my kids and this was so critical and uncalled-for,I cry all day and night for God to send me a helped to get back my man until i went to Westmoreland to see a friend and who was having he same problem with me but she latter got her Husband back and i asked her how she was able to get her husband back and she told me that their was a powerful spell caster in Africa name DR ATAKPO that he help with love spell in getting back lost lover's back and i decided to contacted the same Dr Atakpo and he told me what is needed to be done for me to have my man back and i did it although i doubted it but i did it and the Dr told me that i will get the result after 24hours, and he told me that my husband was going to call me by 9pm in my time and i still doubted his word, to my surprise my husband really called me and told me that he miss me so much Oh My God i was so happy, and today i am happily with my man again and we are joyfully living together as one good family and i thank the powerful spell caster Dr Atakpo of dratakpospelltemple@gmail.com, he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that good spell casters still exist and Dr Atakpo is one of the good spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are there and your lover is turning you down, or you have your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore contact the powerful spell caster Dr Atakpo on his email: dratakpospelltemple@gmail.com and he will answer you, i am a living testimony and i will continue to testify of his goodness in my family,he turn my family to paradise and today we are all happy together Dr Atakpo i say thank you in one million times thanks Dr.

rm said...

Dear getyourexbacksolutionspell@gmail.com, after going through 3 failed IVF cycles and several IUI's without any results, I had started my journey at the age of 37 as I couldn't accept the fact that I wouldn't have any children of my own. By sheer accident I found your website in May of 2013, I implemented most of your guidelines exactly as instructed in the book and found myself holding a positive home pregnancy test in less than 5 weeks! After over seven years of trying to conceive and thousands of dollars spent on infertility treatments, I had actually succeeded to get pregnant the natural way without any drugs or medical intervention all because of a book that costs less than $600! I'm going to have my first baby in 1 month! I still cannot believe it i am greatful getyourexbacksolutionspell@gmail.com contact her today or visit her website on http://weeblyalishaluraspell.weebly.com/available-spells.html! .
Beth Carrigan

Camille Valdez said...

My name is Camille bruno Valdez my partner and I have been trying for a baby for over two years now, We were going to a fertility clinic for about 5 months before somebody told us to contact this spell caster who is so powerful, We contacted him at this email; arewaspecialistttemple@gmail.com , for him to help us, then we told him our problem, he told us that we will either conceive in February 2014 or March 2014,but after two years of trying we were at a point where we were willing to try anything. And I'm glad we came to Dr Dahiru, Because his pregnancy spell cast put us at ease, and I honestly believe him, and his gods really helped us as well, I am thankful for all he has done. contact him via email: arewaspecialistttemple@gmail.com if you are trying to get a baby or want your lover back. he has powers to do it, he has done mine,

ggggg said...

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I never believed in spell casting but After 4 years of dating my hobby, he left me because I lost my womb . I felt like my life has come to an end, I almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to the spell caster called Dr Tanaisa whom i met online after my friend Tracy told me about how he helped her. She testified about how Dr Malawi brought back her Ex in less than 3 days and reversed the effect of her lost womb, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Dr Tanaisa's email address. I decided to give Dr Tanaisa a try. I contacted her via email and explained my problems to her. In just 3 days, my Hubby came begging. We resolved our issues, and we are even happier than before, am pregnant now to God be the glory. Dr Tanaisa is really a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful woman... Come to think of it I didn't pay much and all I have to do is send him little 250 dollars which he used in providing the materials used for the spell. Even my pastor said that God works mysteriously, that some women are used by God to help others. If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve all your problems for you. Contact Dr Tanaisa anytime, she is the answer to your problems. Here's her contact (tanasiajobs210@gmail.com)

Anonymous said...

BE CAREFUL HERE NOBODY CAN HELP YOU HERE OR EVEN SUGGEST HOW YOU CAN GET YOUR EX OR LOVE BACK,ANY TESTIMONIES OF MOST SPELL CASTER HERE MUST BE IGNORE.BECAUSE MOST OF THEM ARE SCAM I MEAN REAL SCAM WHICH I WAS A VICTIM AND I GOT RIPPED OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BECAUSE I WAS SO ANXIOUS TO GET MY WIFE BACK AFTER SHE LEFT ME FOR OVER 2 YEARS WITH MY 7 YEARS OLD SON JERRY,I HAVE APPLIED TO 7 DIFFERENT SPELL CASTER HERE AND ALL TO NO AVAIL THEY ALL ASK FOR SAME THING SEND YOUR NAME YOUR EX NAME ADDRESS AND PICTURE PHONE NUMBER ETC WHICH I DID OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND MOST OF THEM WERE FROM WEST AFRICA UNTIL I SAW A POST ABOUT DR VOVOLA SPELL AND I DECIDED TO GAVE HER MY LAST TRAIL.SHE ASK ME FOUR THINGS MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND $180 AND SAID MY EX WILL COME BACK IN 24HOURS, I HAVE PAID OVER $3000 ON SPELL CASTING AND COURIER AND NOTHING HAVE WORK FOR ME AFTER 3 DAYS I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH I HAVE LOST SO FAR SO I SAID LET ME GIVE HER A TRY SO I CALLED HER AGAIN AND SEND MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND THE $180 BECAUSE I SWEAR IT WAS MY LAST TRY SO I WAS WAITING AS SHE TOLD ME TO WAIT TILL NEXT DAY AND I COULD NOT SLEEP THAT NIGHT BECAUSE I REALLY LOVE MY WIFE AND WANT HER BACK AT 9PM THAT DAY I SAW MY WIFE ON LINE ON FACE BOOK AND SHE SAID HI AT FIRST I WAS SHOCK BECAUSE SHE NEVER TALK WITH ME FOR THE PAST A YEAR AND 9 MONTH NOW I DID NOT REPLY AGAIN SHE SAID ARE YOU THERE? I QUICKLY REPLY YES AND SHE SAID CAN WE SEE TOMORROW I SAID YES AND SHE WENT OFF-LINE I WAS CONFUSED I TRY TO CHAT HER AGAIN BUT SHE WAS NO MORE ON LINE I COULD NOT SLEEP THAT NIGHT AS I WAS WONDERING WHAT SHE IS GOING TO SAY, BY 7.AM THE NEXT MORNING SHE GAVE ME A MISS CALL I DECIDED NOT TO CALL BACK AS I WAS STILL ON SHOCK AGAIN SHE CALL AND I PICK SHE SAID CAN WE SEE AFTER WORK TODAY I SAID YES SO SHE END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY I GOT OFF WORK SHE CALL ME AND WE MEET AND NOW WE ARE BACK AGAIN I CALL DR VOVOLA THE NEXT DAY THANKING HER FOR WHAT SHE HAS DONE IN FACT I STILL CALL HER AND THANK HER AS MY LIFE WAS NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT MY WIFE PLEASE BE CAREFUL HERE I HAVE BEEN SCAM THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IF YOU WANT A TRUE LOVE SPELL THEN CONTACT DR VOVOLA ( vovolaspellcast@yahoo.com ) or website: http://vovolaspellcast-com.webs.com/

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