Tuesday, January 19, 2021

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes the Fertility Challenge??




Finding out I was pregnant was and still is one of the most amazing things to ever happen to me. I’d been there to share in the whirlwind of joy of those around me who had ventured into motherhood and now it was my turn!! I was filled with pure elation!

From the moment I saw the second line appear on my pregnancy test my baby became real to me. As someone who mentally lives in the future, I began planning my future with my child. I couldn’t wait to have that fresh baby smell permeating my home. I couldn’t wait to slather my freshly bathed baby with Johnson’s and Johnson’s baby lotion. I couldn’t wait to fill a bookshelf with books that I would read to my baby year after year until they no longer needed me to read for them. I couldn’t wait to shop for maternity clothes. I couldn’t wait to create my baby registry. I couldn’t wait to celebrate at my baby shower. I couldn’t wait to make a space for my baby in my home and in my life. I couldn’t wait to meet him or her. I was just so thrilled that my family was beginning!

My pregnancy lasted 9 weeks where it ended in an emotionally and physically painful miscarriage. I was thirty-four years old at the time. The doctor who diagnosed my miscarriage discovered that I had a large fibroid in my uterus. He stated that the fibroid may not be the reason for my miscarriage but suggested that I have it removed before I try getting pregnant again.

Because I’d gotten pregnant naturally, I never expected to have such a hard time getting pregnant when the time came for me to try again.

After two uterine surgeries, I decided to have a consultation with a fertility clinic since I was now thirty-eight years old and wanted to get things moving along. After my consultation I went through all of my testing and evaluations. I’d been healthy my entire life so I never dreamed that I would be receiving any sort of bad news, but I was wrong. The Friday before Mother’s Day (lucky me), I received a call from the fertility clinic with my diagnosis. They discovered that both of my fallopian tubes were blocked meaning that IVF would be the only way that I would have a chance at getting pregnant.

Three years later, after lots of ups and downs, lots of heartbreak, four uterine surgeries, painful HSG’s, biopsies, lots and lots and lots of medication, 3 canceled and 6 failed IVF transfer cycles I am no closer to being a mother than I was when this all started.

When my infertility journey began, a friend of mine told me, “You are going to be a mother. I don’t know how to explain that you know you are going to be a mother, but you just know.” I knew exactly what she meant because there hasn’t been a day when I have thought of my future and not seen myself as being a mother. Being a mother is just ingrained in me. It just comes naturally to me so how could I not have my baby?

A few months ago, I decided to make a last attempt with a natural fertility clinic. After all of the workups and testing they confirmed what the previous fertility clinic had discovered which was that due to the uterine surgeries I’d undergone, mass amounts of scar tissue had developed which makes it near impossible for an embryo to implant. The surgeries that were meant to increase my chances of pregnancy only rendered my uterine environment inhospitable. Basically, if I do have my own biological child, I will need to borrow someone else’s uterus.

I have so many mixed feelings surrounding my diagnosis. On one hand my life is now free. My body hasn’t been mine for the past four years. My body will no longer be held prisoner by fertility regimens and restrictions. On the other hand, I am floored, I am broken, I am grieving, I am sad. I always, ALWAYS wanted to experience full-term pregnancy when the time was right. I am absolutely devastated that pregnancy will not happen for me.

Two of my fertility doctors stated that I would need a gestational carrier, but I never even considered it at the time because of the cost.

Although it makes me extremely uncomfortable to ask for help, I don’t really have a choice. The cost of surrogacy is financially out of reach for me as surrogacy can range between $100,000 - $150,000 and the copays for egg retrieval are about $11,000. We understand that the amount we are asking for is completely unrealistic, but we have to try.

Today I am forty-two so although I had positive results with my previous egg retrieval, the condition of my eggs may or may not be as healthy due to my advanced maternal age. In the case that we are not able to create healthy embryos, we would then turn to adoption which ranges between $40,000 - $50,000.

We would be beyond grateful if you could help us to achieve our dream of becoming parents.

We understand that just about everyone is going through tough times right now, so for those who cannot donate please give us your prayers. We need them. We need guidance and direction in this journey. We need strength and faith. I’m a little broken. Please pray for my mental and emotional healing. My husband has been an amazing source of emotional support, but please pray for his continued strength.

As this infertility journey is an extremely lonely one, please feel free to share my story with anyone going through the struggle in hopes that they will know that they are not alone.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for any help you can offer us.

Love Edward & Louise