Our Infertility Journey
Written By Christine V.
January 1st, 2021. A new year. A chance to reflect. As I start 2021, I’m looking back at the previous 6 years of our journey of infertility. I look back and see where we started and how very little we knew about what lie ahead. I look at where we are now and all that we have learned and gone through, and would not trade it for anything, because I know that this is the path that God put us on and has walked with us.
In November 2014, like so many other newly married couples, we decided to start trying for children. Little to our knowledge, this would not be as easy as we anticipated. After a few appointments with my family doctor, I was diagnosed with PCOS in early 2015. From here we were referred to one of the local OB/Gyn physicians and met with her to discuss treatment options. She wanted to complete a couple more tests with me as well as have Jay tested. In early 2016, we left her office in complete silence and disbelief that we also struggled with male factor infertility. Off to the fertility clinic to meet with physicians who specialize in infertility. Between mid-2016 and mid-2017, Jay underwent a few procedures to hopefully correct his issues and see if there was anything that could be done for us, to proceed with IVF as this was our only option for getting pregnant. Each appointment brought heartbreaking news that surgery had not corrected the problem at Jay’s three and six month follow ups. It was not until our last appointment with the urologist in mid-2017 that we finally left an appointment with positive news – we were able to proceed with IVF!
Once we signed all the paperwork needed for IVF, we were put on the list for a government-funded cycle, which was about an 18 month wait at the time. In early 2018, I got a call saying that the clinic had received additional funding and we could do IVF in May of that year. So, when my cycle started mid-May, I went to the clinic for monitoring and began my hormone protocol.
Bright and early on the first Sunday in June, we were in the parking lot of the hospital praying over our procedures with dear friends who were our designated drivers (thank you again, Michael and Rachel!!!). Jay was the lucky winner of going first for his procedure. The urologist was going to attempt a less invasive method for sperm retrieval first and needed to attempt a few times before finding what they needed. I was not able to go with Jay but remember being urged to pray for him, so I did. Little did I know it was at that exact moment that they were saying they were going to attempt one more time before needing to move on with the more invasive procedure. The last attempt was a success! Next up was my turn…which I do not remember much of thanks to the lovely drugs they gave me. I had my earphones in listening to worship music as they started the egg retrieval process, and from the start, was in tears. Poor Jay was sitting next to me feeling helpless and wishing he could take all the pain away. We had 10 eggs retrieved and would get a call the following day to say how many were good and able to be fertilized. By the end of the week, we had 3 embryos frozen as we were unable to do a fresh transfer due to my hormone levels being above the baseline due to the stimulating medications I was on.
We decided to wait a few months before going back for a frozen embryo transfer (FET) in order to let my body recover from the egg retrieval process. Little did we know that these few months would turn into 2 years. Every time we discussed going for a FET, something would happen in our lives where we would hear the Lord saying “not yet.” Finally, in early 2020, shortly after the pandemic changed our world, we decided we would move forward with our first FET but needed to wait for the clinic to reopen. In early August, we went for our first transfer. I decided to test at home a few days before my blood work and had a faint positive! I was so excited and thought that this had to be it! When I went for blood work, it was unfortunately negative. We were so disappointed that this transfer did not work. Romans 8:28 was placed on my heart – “So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of brining good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.” (The Passion Translation).
On October 13, we went for our second FET. This time, I went in with a different mindset and was at peace with whatever the outcome would be. I decided that I was not going to test early because it would not change what my blood work was going to say 15 days later. On October 28, I received the best phone call yet from the clinic – my beta was overwhelmingly positive! I had been praying for 2 weeks that my blood work would be through the roof and it was! The clinic is happy with any number over 200 and mine was over 1000! We knew we could be cautiously optimistic for the following few weeks as we waited for my first ultrasound. On November 11, we had visual confirmation that baby had made a home in my womb and we would meet this little one at the end of June/beginning of July 2021. And on November 25, we officially graduated from the fertility clinic!
Over the past 6 years, we have been able to do things that we would not have been able to do if we had had children right away. We were able to spend a much needed 2 weeks in Holland with Jay’s brother and his wife. We were able to go on 2 cruises and have that time away just the two of us… time that neither of us realized we needed until we were gone. We have been able to spend a lot more time with family and build relationships with our nieces and nephew. We have been able to sell our first home and move into our forever home.
Over the past 6 years, we have learned to lean into the Lord and fully trust Him. I have learned how to wait, which has never been a strength of mine. Every time the Lord said “wait”, it was frustrating but it was always because things were not happening in my time or how I pictured them happening.
Throughout your journey, there will be people who come and go. You will also make new friends who you wonder where they have been all your life. There will be highs and lows. You may be told time and time again to “wait.” But, the one thing that will always remain the same is our great God of miracles. He is the constant through everything. He is the one that you can completely trust and lean on. I believe that He will bring you your miracle in due time. Galatians 6:9 “And don’t allow yourselves to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming!” (The Passion Translation)