In 2015, at 30 years old, my husband and I decided it was time to start growing our family. Excited we started trying. We quickly became pregnant and were beyond thrilled.
I remember taking the pregnancy test, coming our of the washroom holding the stick and showing it to my husband Mike. We were thrilled! I quickly called the doctor to make an appointment for that week. But we never made it to the appointment. A few days later I began spotting. We went to emerge that night and were told we had experienced a chemical pregancy. It was devastating and confusing. How did this happen? Why?
I was sad and scared for what this meant for the future. Our doctor told us this was very common and likely nothing was wrong with either of us. So we continued trying.
In the Spring of 2016 we were pregnant again. I felt great! Everything looked good at first and there weren't any red flags. Again, after 8 weeks, I miscarried. Aside from the heartache of another loss, I was angry. How could this have happened again if the doctor said nothing was wrong? I was frustrated and mad. I demanded my doctor send me to a specialist to run some tests.
So we started to look into our issues further. Everything was normal. There were no indicators that we couldn't conceive or stay pregnant. We had no answers. Unexplained infertility.
So we tried again. In December 2016 we were pregnant for a third time. This time I was monitored more closely to check my hormone levels and how baby was doing. Hormones were rising, everything looked great. I was even off work until 11 weeks to relax and make sure this baby stuck.
At my 12 week ultrasound, the technician asked me how far along I was. I happily said, 12 weeks. She was silent. She then told me the baby was measuring at 7 or 8 weeks. There was no heartbeat. Again.
At that moment I went into a fog. I remember screaming and crying out for my husband in the waiting room. I was hysterical. We had made it further than any of our previous pregnancies. We were so hopeful. Yet again, we were heartbroken and shattered.
Unlike my other pregnancies, I did not miscarry on my own. There were no warning signs at all. So I proceeded to take the medication. This week was the hardest and darkest in my life. Indescribably sadness and pain. It was by far the lowest point in this journey.
After months of therapy, grieving and healing, we decided to go to a fertility clinic in Toronto get some more answers. We were told that we had unexplained infertility and we should get on the funded IVF waiting list. So we did. The wait was long.
Every few months I would receive an email saying the wait had been bumped up. In December 2017, we got an email saying we could start cycle monitoring at the beginning of 2018. We believed it was a sign.
I began monitoring, taking my medications and preparing for an egg retrieval. Needles, pills, early morning visits to the clinic. It was a lot. Stressful, exhausting and taxing on both of us.
Our retrieval was in February of 2018. We were so pleased and sent those embryos off for genetic screening. After 4 long weeks, we got the news that 3 embryos were healthy and ready for transfer. We had another shot at this!
In June, we transferred one embryo and spent 9 days waiting anxiously to see if our transfer was successful. And it was!
But we weren't celebrating yet. After three losses, you don't jump the gun anymore. We were cautious. Every week was a milestone. Every ultrasound a sigh of relief.
After the 12 week mark, when miscarriage risk drops significantly - we actually started to believe this was happening. But for me, I held my breath. All the pain and disappointment of the past loomed over me like a cloud. I was happy but always scared. For 9 months I held my breath and when our son Lucio was born, I finally exhaled. He was here. Healthy, strong and beautiful. I released all my fears in that moment. We did it!
Our journey is special and all the obstacles and challenges we faced led us to him. I know that in the thick of the darkness it can be impossible to see the light. But one day, you'll find it.
I hope that our success story brings other families hope and courage to continue on their journey. Through my volunteer work on FMC Advisory Council, I hope to give back to this amazing community. A community that supports, educates and advocates for everyone struggling with infertility issues.