I had the best intentions of blogging all the posts about IVF and such. It didn’t happen. Because sometimes a shattered heart is hard to put into words on the internet. For like, five people to read.
Instead of going back and posting all the posts (there are exactly 41 drafts of unwritten posts, not all IVF related but most of them) I’m just going to give you the brief version. Here we go.
Over the past year I have gone through four IVF cycles, countless shots and hormones, three IVF egg retrievals, six trips to LA/Pasadena, one frozen embryo transfer of our twins and one hysteroscopy surgery. We witnessed 17 embryos be fertilized and begin to grow. Out of those 17, two survived. Our twins, a boy and a girl.
This past February we went back to Pasadena for the Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) of our two surviving babies. After five days we flew home to Kansas as an overjoyed family of four and stayed that way for weeks. And then… just like that, our babies were gone.
It was the most heartbreaking, earth shattering loss we have ever experienced… we lost our twins. After all the effort, money, time, pain and crazy… nothing paid off. Not one shred of our investment (as in emotional, physical, time and money) paid off. The sweet baby girl and ornery baby boy we lovingly named and talked about for months didn’t make it past the 5 week mark. They were a part of our daily life, our daily conversation and our daily actions for the months leading up to their transfer. They were a part of our life and family months before they were even transferred back to me. It was like losing a five month pregnancy, not a five week pregnancy.
After the miscarriage my Dr. was stumped, perplexed, and stunned. Leading up to the transfer our Dr. was positive we would have a live birth of twins, we would finally get our little family. There was an 80% chance those babies would survive. His success rates are crazy good. When there wasn’t success in a patient (me) he foresaw absolute success in… he had to figure it out. Thank goodness he had to figure it out.
So came the investigative surgery. A mere three weeks after my loss I flew back to Pasadena for a mind-numbing three days so my Dr. could perform a hysteroscopy to check inside my uterus. He had a hunch something wasn’t right and he wanted to check for himself. The surgery proved as earth shattering and life altering as losing our twins. Hit with a one-two punch in a matter of weeks.
My Dr. found the root of it all inside my uterus. Lying hidden and unseen for 35 years, my genetic birth defect. The reason I have lost so many babies (we don’t honestly know how many, at least 4). I cannot begin to explain what happened inside my heart and mind when he gently told me the sad words that my uterus wasn’t functional. It was beyond soul crushing.
I couldn’t even comprehend what he was saying, the Dr. had to come back to my room again to explain to me what he found. My brain couldn’t grasp what he was telling me. Everything in me was screaming and fighting the words coming out of his mouth. After everything we had already been through I was convinced what he was saying couldn’t possibly be my truth. But it was. And it is.
I was born without blood vessels at the top of my uterus. The exact spot where babies snuggle in and hang on to thrive? That exact spot? Mine is blank, blanched, clear and free of all life giving blood flow. Instead it is a gritty desert of white. It’s something no ultrasound would have ever shown. On an ultrasound my uterus is spectacular! But the interior surface of it was something only a camera could see. It’s also something one of the best Reproductive Endocrinologists in the country couldn’t explain. The answer is I’m an anomaly with a birth defect that cannot be explained and has rarely been seen.
So while all our tinsy sweet babies fought their hardest and did their best to thrive, they didn’t stand a chance.
All of the above could warrant a post. And maybe someday all the IVF cycles, the whole bit… maybe they will get posts. But I doubt it. For now we move forward. I’ve spent the past six months grieving and I’m ready to move on.
So here we go, moving forward! I’m currently in my fifth IVF cycle in a year. The FIFTH!!! Yes, I’m crazy. And no, we will not back down and stop yet. We are diving off an incredibly tall cliff into a vast ocean of faith and trust.
And this is why.
With this fifth cycle of IVF we also move forward with the next phase, the phase less than one-percent of infertiles get to. We will be using a Gestational Carrier Surrogate (GC for abbv.) to have our baby.
To give you an idea for the upper echelon of infertility we are in, there are only about 900 gestational carrier surrogate cycles per year. Not all of those cycles result in a live birth. Not all states deem this legal. Not all Dr.’s will do this. We are in some crazy territory here. It’s a bit exhilarating at times honestly. We feel like trailblazers. Please note it’s also terrifying and still pretty tough some days.
There is so much to say on all of this. But for now privacy for all the families involved is key (because yes, we have secured a GC). I will continue sharing about my current IVF cycle and write posts explaining what it is we are doing and how using a gestational carrier works… the misconceptions (no pun intended) regarding this topic are unreal (with both IVF and surrogacy).
My goal is to educate, share and offer hope. And hopefully at some point share the journey of waiting for our baby via gestational carrier, both her story and ours. Oh how I hope, hope, hope we get to the point where I can share that part of the story. It’s taken seven months of grieving, healing, rest and acceptance to get to the point where I am ready and willing to share my story. But here we go…
This crazy, heartbreaking, incredibly tough story of rare infertility we are in is turning into a gloriously beautiful unfolding.