I have come to the conclusion that more and more people want more details of our infertility journey. It starts way back when we tried to have our first….So here we go…
Our First Journey Through Infertility
About 6.5 years ago, Adam and I became official “grown ups” when we decided to build our house and take on more responsible grown up tasks. Once you have the marriage, the jobs, the house, the dogs…for us the next step obviously was a baby. I remember being so excited that this was “IT”, we were actually going to start trying to have a family. Adam and I both adore kids and we never ever imagined WE would have issues.
After 6 months of us trying on our own, I went to see my Gyno (who actually specialized in infertility). He gave us some advise (taking temperatures, tracking my cycle, etc) and told us to try for a three more months and if still no success to come back to see him. Those few months pass by and still no success. My doctor decided to send Adam to a urologist to get tested to see what his count and testosterone levels were. What an adventure for Adam, lol…still makes me laugh at the multiple appointments he had and the experiences he went through, hahaha. Nothing like your Urologist being at Baylor and having multiple students in the room every appointment 😉 After a few appointments and test, we discovered Adam’s testosterone, sperm count, and motility were low. At the same time we discovered I do not ovulate regularly, which made the situation more challenging. Adam was actually put on the drug Clomid (yes a man can take this drug too) and was supposed to take it for 3 months before it actually effected his sperm count.
After we determined the drug, Clomid, helped Adam’s count, the motility still was low and with me not ovulating regularly my doctor recommended we then proceeded with trying to get pregnant with a procedure called IUI (Intrauterine insemination). I was put on Clomid to help me produce eggs and ovulate regularly. This was intense because it was a lot of doctor appointments and ultrasounds (literally every other day) to watch carefully how many eggs were being produced and projecting ovulation. Once the eggs I were producing were mature enough, it was time to take a shot to release the eggs (ovulate). Two days later was the procedure….or as Adam calls it…the “turkey baster procedure“. Adam provided a “sample” and they injected it in through my cervix. This procedure is not like In vitro. There is no extraction of eggs and creating an embryo in a lab and then inserting it. IUI is still the luck of the draw…the sperm still needs to meet the egg naturally..it basically is giving the sperm an extra push.
We went through 5 cycles (5 months) with me being on Clomid and doing IUI … and no success. I was also creating and ovulating 3 – 4 eggs each cycle so you would have thought ONE egg would have made a match. My doctor did warn us it usually takes 3 cycles to receive a positive.
During this whole time of going through infertility, obviously it is costly, time-consuming, and stressful. It definitely challenging time for Adam and I’s relationship. At this point of no success, my doctor wanted us to start thinking about In vitro….which this just made us more stressed out…how were we going to afford that when its way more expensive than what we have been doing and at this point we have no more money to spare. We were both so stressed from trying and became depressed about the whole situation. Why was it this hard for us!! After a few days discussion, Adam and I decided we were going to take a break from ‘trying’.
As the next few weeks go by, we just prayed and prayed about our situation and literally gave our struggles to God. (Memories…wow! makes me tear up.) When I started my next cycle, it was strange not calling the doctor and letting them know so I could start the next round of medicine. But it felt fine at the moment…just letting the stress roll off and let God guide. Day 3 of my cycle came (day I normally would start infertility drugs) and I remember waking up and immediately going to Adam and saying “I think we need to try one more time”…(short version of that morning conversation, lol). So we called my doctor and started on a different drug Femara (instead of Clomid). We went through the whole process again, ultrasound after ultrasound, then the procedure, and then waited two weeks to see if we had a positive. I produced and ovulated three eggs this go around, which wasn’t surprising to me…I still just needed ONE sperm to meet ONE egg….and though there were three, it was still challenging.
For some reason on this day of our last procedure Adam decided to take a picture of me laying on the table after the procedure was completed. We totally did not think anything of it until months later we came across it on Adam’s phone and I started crying. Wow!!! that was the day we got pregnant!!! The day God blessed us with what we prayed for…for years!!! Our little Princess Blayke was in the works 😉
Our Second Journey Through Infertility
It took us longer than we originally planned to try to grow our family the second time around. We knew we would be facing the same challenges with infertility as we did trying to have Blayke. We both prayed and prayed for years that we would not have to struggle as much the next go around. I had specific prayers praying that either Adam would be completely ‘healthy’ and not have to take any medication or that if Adam had to get back on the infertility drugs, that we could conceive naturally and not have to go through the full IUI procedure.
Well month one came when we decided to start trying again. Adam’s levels came back ALL GOOD and completely fine! Which meant…no infertility drugs for Adam. Praise God! My doctor went ahead and started me on Femara and not Clomid, since that is what worked for us years before when we got pregnant with Blayke. I was on the same dosage amount that we were on when we got pregnant with Blayke, ovulated three eggs, did the IUI procedure and unfortunately…. it was unsuccessful.
Man! was this hard! I tried to keep my head up and focused on God but all the struggling memories sure did come back. I remember asking Adam one evening “WHY?!?! Why must we go through all this again?! WHY does it have to be so hard for people who love children and who can raise them in a loving home?!?! WHY US!?! WHAT is God teaching US this time?! WHAT are we supposed to LEARN this time around?!” One of the questions I asked God was “What is it this time…what do you want from me?” So many questions that I know I will never know the answer too…but sometimes you just have to express those emotions and cry out to God.
Over the next few weeks (until my next cycle/procedure) all I prayed about was asking God to show us what He wanted from us, what He needed us to do, to help me let go of my worry and to let Him guide, to keep Adam and I connected spiritually and not let us get depressed about our struggles.
The next part of our journey is still so unbelievable to me.
The next month came and it was time to start Femara again. My doctor did not up the dosage this time since I created a good amount of eggs the last month. The ultrasound scans were showing I had 2 mature eggs that were ready to ovulate and that I had one or two more eggs that were not of mature size but it was a possibility they could release. So we were potentially looking at 2-4 eggs….which, once again was not alarming to us…since I have ovulated 4 eggs before and not had success. The IUI procedure went fine… then we waited the two weeks….prayed,prayed, prayed…and we actually received a positive pregnancy test! I immediately fell to my knees and thanked God..then called Adam. My blood work came back showing a positive pregnancy. My HCG level were 580! I didn’t think anything of it at the time because I did not remember what they were when I was pregnant with Blayke…but the more and more family and friends I shared that with they were all saying “wow! that’s high, maybe it’s twins!” I went back a few days later to have my blood drawn again, and at this point my HCG levels were 1600. I started to ask everyone I knew who had atlas twins…”do you remember what your HCG levels were?” .. and most of them came back and said they were around 200-300…..hmmmm???? I started to think maybe we are having twins! YAY!! My doctor said I could come in next week for my first ultrasound, which of course we are so excited. Could it be twins!?!?!?! I would LOVE twins…especially since I knew we would not be trying for more after this go around of infertility.
What happens next is all found in “The Pregnancy“ tab on our blog but ill type a short version here 😉 Check it out for more details and ultrasound pics.
We go in for our first ultrasound….and its alarming. We do not see anything!! I was heartbroken! My doctor sends me off to do more blood work … and I am just in tears! How can my levels be so high and there not be a baby in there. My levels came back and were once again doubled, I believe they were around 3200. So we waited a week or so and went back for another ultrasound. Praise God! We saw one sac and a baby. I was so thankful! Doctor wanted us to come back for another ultrasound, and so we did. The next ultrasound was pure shock!! There were clear as day 3 sacs we could see on the screen at one time and then ONE more kind of off to the side. So now we were looking at FOUR babies. Adam is about to pass out and I am laughing! All I think about is what I was asking God for in my prayers…”what do you want from me? what am I to learn this time?” I just am in shock and laughing at…or with God.. because wow! this is it…never thought He would place this upon us, lol. We saw and heard all FOUR heartbeats this day and it was so surreal!
We were told by the doctor to come back in two weeks for another ultrasound and to prepare ourselves for what could possibly happen…we may not see this many babies next time. We go back and what do you know…God had more in store for us. We immediately saw 2 babies in one sac…AND that was NOT there last time, lol.
WOW!!! NOW ITS FIVE BABIES!!! WE ARE NOW HAVING QUINTUPLETS!!!
Thank you for everyone who wanted to know more and more about our infertility struggles. I have never captured this down and if you could see my face right now…how puffy, snotty and red-eyed I am… you would know how hard this journey was for us BUT how grateful we are for being blessed with everything God is providing and entrusting us with. As challenging as our infertility journey had been and as challenging as our future will be…I would not change anything about it. God knows our hearts and knows our needs and He will always be there to provide for us. Do not ever give up on God…YOU NEVER know how many blessing will come your way.