Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Proud IVF Mom


I graduated from my IVF clinic today! Everything looked great on the ultrasound, with a strong heartbeat of 163 beats per minute. Baby J is measuring 19.57 mm. As I checked out and settled the $30 balance, Dr. Jane Fredrick met me for a picture and handed me baby's first article of clothing: A onesie with Proud to be an HRC baby printed across the front. 


A thank you seems too small. Without Dr. Frederick,
we would not be expecting our second child.

Excited, I responded "Thank you! I will definitely send you a picture of our baby in this!" 
"Please do - it will be our first." the woman taking the picture said. 
This surprised me, until I remembered that not only are most people not as open as I am about the process, some are even ashamed or embarrassed that they need the help.

On my drive back to work, I thought about all my experiences with our three IVF procedures, and sharing what we were going through every step of the way. I would not do anything differently, including wearing my heart on my sleeve. The support I garnered by sharing our story has helped me tremendously. I am proud to be pregnant through IVF. Neither one of these amazing babies would be possible had we not sought treatment, and they are both miracles. Overall, the response from others has been overwhelmingly positive. Only once in a great while have we fielded silly questions such as "Did you try naturally? Did you try counting the days?" But questions like this are an opportunity to educate, rather than get defensive. 

For the record, of course everyone tries multiple other ways of getting pregnant before emotionally and financially committing to undergo IVF. Spending $15,000+ is never something to be taken lightly. Who would choose this over getting pregnant for free!? 

Of course we did more than count days, a lot more. 

In almost a year and a half of trying since our first child, we had upwards of 8 IUI procedures. Beyond just counting days, this procedure makes sure everything is timed precisely. We were also equipped with the knowledge that I had an extremely low AMH of .2, and that only one in 7 of my eggs were normal. This meant that only once every 7 months did we have a shot, and even then, so many other stars would need to align before that test would be positive. 

Had we been reluctant or embarrassed to seek treatment, precious time would have been wasted and we would have run this risk of never giving Baby A a sibling. Many couples are in this situation and just because you are blessed to have one child (or, two!) it does not always lessen your desire to have another.

Secondary infertility is the inability to have another child following the birth of one or more biological children. It is something that more than 1 million couples face each year, and it accounts for as much as 60% of all infertility cases. While that is not our case, (since we had primary and secondary infertility) many people find themselves in this situation, afraid to seek help because "it worked one time."

Sharing along the way definitely helped me. But my hope is that it has helped others. I like to think I may have contributed to removing that stigma for some women. Not me alone, of course, but by joining the larger discourse. The more of us that share, the more acceptable it may be seen. Only after I started sharing did I realize how common it is. And it was in sharing that Dr. Frederick, who I can not speak highly enough about, was recommended by a co-worker.

If you or anyone you know is unsure about their fertility do one thing: Ask your OBGYN to test your AMH level. It is covered by insurance, and a simple blood test. There are other diagnostic tests that can be run, and covered, by your OBGYN. Start here. You'll feel better knowing it is not low, and that you have time. Be informed, and don't wait.

4 comments:

  1. Wow. I am very surprised that would be the first as well. I'm so thankful for the friendships I have made through this infertility journey and love sharing our story. I feel like it gives so much hope to others going through the same thing. So thankful to "know" you!! I am beyond happy for you!

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    1. Thank you so much Michelle. You and your husband are such an inspiration and I am so thankful to know you too!

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  2. To be Catholic is to believe and profess all the Church teaches. I looked for an email address so I could contact you privately but was unable to find one. It's disturbing that you "returned to" the Church while not actually paying attention to what it teaches and think it's okay to pick and choose your beliefs. The reason the Church doesn't support IVF is that it supports life from conception to natural death. Full stop. No compromises. The conflict here is that you create more embryos than are implanted and that IVF is predicated on implanting/aborting extras. You're focused on what you want rather than being open to God's plan. I will pray for you.

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    1. Nope! Inaccurate information. We transferred ALL the embryos we had. And, if we had ANY extra we would NOT have destroyed them, but would have transferred them after this miracle was born.

      Thanks for praying for me - I will pray for you and your judgement too!

      Fortunately, you do not get to decide who is Catholic and who is not. I go to church, take communion and identify as being Catholic. There's nothing you can do about that.

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