When I first sat down many years ago to share our story, Aaron and I were still so new to the world of infertility. We honestly had no clue what we were getting in to, we had only taken ovulation inducing meds to that point so we we’re pretty clueless about the real nitty gritty of it all. There came a time though, when we knew that embarking on the IVF road was what was going to get us our baby. Unfortunately, we didn’t know just how much more heartache it would entail.
In February 2018 we attempted our first IVF cycle but by day 5 we had to cancel for poor response. Waiting another three months to be able to try again felt like the most agonizing wait I could imagine. There were a lot of tears the day we cancelled but I reminded myself I had already waited 3.5 years, what was 3 more months. May 2018 marked our second attempt and this time we made it to a retrieval in early June. Oh day 5 we had 2 beautiful embryos, a 4AA and a 4AB. We did our first fresh transfer of one embryo on Father’s Day, the irony was not lost on us. And just like that we were PUPO and then from there we were actually pregnant. Our first positive test since our pregnancy and subsequent loss in 2014. We were over the moon! This was finally it! Our baby! And for 4 glorious weeks I was pregnant! We told some friends and family because we just knew this would be our time. On July 25th, 2018 we walked in to our 8-week viability scan with so much excitement and within minutes our hopes and joy was dashed. A blighted ovum. No baby. I had never felt a heaviness quite like that. We opted to medically manage the loss at home and be able to grieve and hopefully move forward. My husband had to make a painful call to his parents, to tell them about the loss of a baby they didn’t even know existed. We received so much love and support, it was truly a blessing in a very dark time.
In October we were ready to try with our remaining embryo. This time though we had lost our joy. We knew just how fragile and uncertain everything was, so it was hard to get excited with our history. Once again, we were pregnant but when beta time rolled around even though the clinic was happy with our numbers, I just had a feeling. Through our battle with infertility, I had learned to trust my gut and it was right. When we did a repeat, my numbers weren’t rising appropriately but our doctor wasn’t ready just yet to say it was a loss so we had to continue with progesterone injections. I cried every night as my husband administered the shots. It seemed so cruel to have to go through such physical pain knowing there was likely no viable pregnancy in there. A couple days later our thoughts were confirmed. Our third miscarriages day no embryos left.
It took a long time for us to be ready to move forward again. We took an IVF break from November 2018 to May 2019, when we did our second attempt which led to another cancelled cycle, this time due to large ovarian cysts. In august we attempted again and even though I once again had cysts my levels were low enough to proceed. The retrieval was awful, I had some internal bleeding and issues with my blood pressure. Aaron actually thought he was going to lose me that day with how frenzied it was in the moment. The day after retrieval we got the call no one going through IVF wants to get. Zero fertilization. In the moment I felt like I couldn’t breathe. How I held it together on the phone with the embryologist is beyond me. They gave us an option to either call things a bust and try again or we could attempt rescue icsi, but she was upfront, they’d never had a successful pregnancy as a result. The motto of those going through IVF is follow the path of least regret. For me it was doing anything we could, even if the odds were zero percent. So, I ok’ed the rescue procedure. Somehow on day 5 we had 2 to transfer, but the grades were low, one was still a morula and our embryo was a 1DD. Once again, like before we were PUPO. There was no excitement. We told no one aside from very close friends who knew we were cycling and my husband’s brother and wife.
When the home tests were positive, we shrugged it off. We actually both believed it would be another loss. Even after a really good positive beta we held no hope. Our 8-week scan was booked but I didn’t think we’d even make it to that point. On October 2nd, 2019 we walked in to AART for our scan. Aaron and I were both a bit of a mess, neither of us expecting good news. The room was quiet. I looked at the screen and for the first time in 5.5 years I saw the most beautiful sight, a baby, with a heartbeat!
On May 11, 2020 we welcomed our beautiful, zero percent chance, rescue icsi baby. If it wasn’t for all the staff at AART we wouldn’t be where we are today, parents to a perfect, funny, amazing 5-month-old baby boy!
My hope by sharing an update on our story is that it will inspire those who have been given the news of no hope or been faced with terrible odds. Our son is living proof that even with the absolute worst odds, miracles do actually happen!