How to Make a Baby… The Dennis Version

This is NOT what you think. Baby making is not that easy for everyone. At this point everyone who knows me knows that Rob and I have blessed with an infertility diagnosis. 1 out of every 8 couples has a similar diagnosis. That’s a lot of people! Chances are you or someone you know is battling infertility. I was writing a post recently and it just felt like no one would know what I was talking about unless I discussed the down and dirty of in-vitro fertilization so here’s a little about our story.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing our inability to get pregnant was easy compared to some folks. Literally 1 test in we knew what the problem was. Could there be other factors? Sure… but the first diagnosis fast-tracked us straight to the most advanced way to get pregnant. I remember the first appointment I went to and how it felt to hear that we had severe male factor infertility. While I had an idea of what was going to be said, it hurts so much more to hear it. Dr. Bidwell (infertility specialist) said without IVF with ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)  we had a <1% chance of getting pregnant. Yes, that is still a chance. And, yes, I do believe in miracles. But we felt like we were supposed to go forward with treatment.

Treatment

Please know I am leaving so much out of this post. There are so many tests and labs and appointments that I could write a book. My treatment started in January 2016 with a birth control pill. HOLD THE PHONE. Yes, to get pregnant I had to be on birth control. Basically being on the pill allows for the doctor to take complete control of my cycle. I was started on a medication, Lupron, to supress my cycle. Then the real fun began with the “stim” portion of treatment. To “stim” means to stimulate your ovaries to produce lots of eggs. Typically you have 1 egg per cycle, these medications help you produce upwards of 10 to 20 eggs. Some women produce more, some less.

All these medications are introduced to the body via injection form. That’s right, I gave myself 3+ shots each night (believe me, it’s much easier to give shots to patients). I visited the doctor frequently during this time to make sure my eggs were growing and my estrogen level was rising. After about 2 weeks of “stimming,” I had a procedure called egg retrieval. After they put me to sleep (night, night!) they extracted my eggs from my ovaries and sent them to the lab at the office. They retrieved 19  eggs! That day they injected 1 sperm into each egg and the wait began to see if they fertilized.

ivf process

Results

Out of 14 eggs, 5 became fertilized. Hey! That sounds pretty good, right? Meh, not really. It was expected that at least 70% of the eggs should have fertilized. We decided to transfer the 2 best embryos back to my uterus when they were 3 days old. That happened to be Valentine’s day. Then you wait, and freak out, and google signs and symptoms of pregnancy, and worry if you should walk the dogs, or lay on the couch. What should I be doing?! It was totally and completely nerve-wracking. If you have ever felt like you had no idea what the best choice was, then you know how I felt… for two weeks straight. Long story short, it didn’t work. But we had 2 embryos frozen in the lab for a second chance.

A frozen embryo transfer was planned for April 22. Everything went smoothly and on April 30 I got my first ever positive pregnancy test. Unfortunately the embryos didn’t make it and a miscarriage was confirmed about a week later. We recently met with our doctor to discuss the plan for going forward and that will be on the blog soon. I’m really excited about the plans we made and can’t wait to share them with you. So keep reading!

Conclusion

Infertility sucks. But I love talking to people about it. There is so much educating to be done to reduce the stigma (or perceived stigma) of infertility. 1 out of 8 couples yearn for a child but need medical intervention. We have real medical conditions that prevent us from having babies but our insurance doesn’t help. The more we educate, the more things can change. I’m not always going to write about infertility, but for an upcoming post that is important to me, I had to describe the process of IVF.

 

Thanks for stopping by. See you again soon!

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4 thoughts on “How to Make a Baby… The Dennis Version

  1. goroyboy says:

    Very concise and well written Laura. It’s like we were having a conversation. I can see where this could be an emotional roller coaster. Nineteen eggs? Holy crap! Oddly “The Hunger Games” quote “May the odds be ever in your favor”. 🙂

    Like

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