Much of this blog has ended up being a chronicle of our infertility story. Our ending has yet to be written, but here is the timeline until now:
January 2010: Began birth control, very low doses of Loestrin or Junel FE (Age 36)
March 2010: Married! (Age 36)
July 2011: Went off the pill. We weren’t trying nor preventing, just letting nature take it course. (Age 37)
November 2011: Period was 2 weeks late, but there was no pregnancy. Went in for a sonogram: small cyst on my ovary but nothing significant.
December 2011 – July 2012: Regularly irregular periods. My cycle would range from 45 days one month to 28 days the next. It basically bounced from long-cycle to short-cycle over the next 7 months. Progressively, the span between long and short got smaller and smaller until it was close to normal (31-34 days) by July. (Age 38)
August 2012: Realized that nature wasn’t taking its course! Began using Clear Blue Fertility Monitor.
October 2012: Slight spotting on CD28. Took a test a week later and got a BFP! (Age 38)
November 2012: First sonogram at 7 weeks showed a heart beat, but it was slightly slow; the fetal pole was slightly small, and there was an enlarged yolk sack. This is an sign of an almost inevitable miscarriage. I shared our pregnancy with a handful of good friends and prayer warriors. We prayed for a miracle, but two weeks later, there was no heartbeat.
December 2012: I miscarried naturally. Doctor told us to keep trying; if we weren’t pregnant by the spring, he would refer us to an RE.
January – June 2013: Period returned to normal. We were trying using the Clear Blue again, but no pregnancy. I went to my OB in June for my annual, and he referred us to an RE. (Age 39)
July 2013: Made appointment with RE for end of August.
August 2013: First appointment with RE (who is also a miscarriage expert). Everything seemed normal. He felt I just needed a ‘little’ help, not a lot. Was able to start me on Clomid that day. He told us to use the Clear Blue OPK and not the Clear Blue Fertility Monitor. Instructed us to wait for the ‘smiley face’ and then ‘fool around’ for 3 day in a row. (This is different than what we had been doing. We had been going every other day once we hit ‘high fertility’ to ‘peak fertility’ with CBFM.)
September 2013: Sonogram showed an egg ready to launch. We followed the doctor’s orders. The follow-up sonogram showed that I did ovulate. Got a BFN on DPO 12. Had spotting on DPO 12, 14, 16. Took pregnancy tests on all of those days and got BFN. Took another test on DPO 19 and it was a BFP! (Age 39)
September – October 2013:
*First sonogram showed good size, placement and implantation. Blood work showed that all hormones levels were great, including progesterone.
*Second sonogram (around 7 weeks) showed no fetal pole. If we were off by a few days, that would explain it; there was a 50/50 chance this was a viable pregnancy. Once again, we rallied the prayer troops and started praying for another miracle. We went to the pastor and elders of our church to be prayed over and anointed with oil, as the book of James in the Bible says.
*Third sonogram showed a faint heartbeat and a fetal pole measuring at 6 weeks (I was about 8); there was a 95% chance I would lose this one, too. RE ordered genetic testing and bloodwork for me and J, anticipating a miscarriage and getting a head-start on the miscarriage testing.
*Fourth sonogram showed no growth and no heartbeat.
November 2013: Waited to see if I would miscarry naturally. It did not happen. Was prescribed misoprostol (the abortion pill) to force a miscarriage. First round did nothing at all. Second round resulted in an enormous amount of pain and bleeding. However, I did not even pass the sack. Ended up having a D&C later that week. Follow up appointment after D&C showed surgery went well.
December 2013: Met with RE again, post-miscarriage. The plan is to try to get to the bottom of my miscarriages. Genetic bloodwork came back fine for both of us. Gave about 10 vials of blood; waiting on results. Waiting to see if there are male factors. Had a water sonogram; no abnormalities or fibroids or cysts inside my uterus.
January 2014: Got test results back. One test was borderline, another was positive for a blood-thickening auto-immune issue. Given my history of 2 miscarriages, it was enough for my doctor to take notice. As a result, he put me on baby aspirin and will give me something stronger if I get pregnant. Told us to try on our own for a month or two. If not, come in again on CD 3. My guess is that Clomid and and IUI will follow.
March 2014: No pregnancy resulted from trying naturally. We returned to the RE. The doctor put me on Clomid, a stronger dose than the first time, 100mg. An IUI is scheduled for this cycle. (Fingers crossed!)
April 2014: Had our first IUI in March. We weren’t exactly textbook in following the instructions. I wasn’t surprised that it was a BFN this time. We had IUI#2 this month. Resulted in a BFN. Our numbers were better and our timing was better (the next day after the surge; last time, we had to wait another day because they are closed on Sundays). They also offered us an additional IUI the next day because our numbers were a little low. However, in spite of this, we still had a BFN.
May 2014: We had IUI#3 at the end of this month. Numbers were okay; they gave us the option of coming in again for an additional IUI this cycle. However, my insurance only covers 6 IUIs, lifetime. At present, this last IUI really counted for 4 of the 6, since we had 2 last time. I opted not to have a second one for this cycle, which would leave us with only one remaining.
June 2014: IUI#3 was a fail. We changed up the meds for IUI #4. I started on Gonadotropins, 225 mg for 4 days, reduced down to 150 mg for 3 days. Had a trigger shot to stimulate ovulations. My eggs looked great- about 10 ready to go. My RE said I had the fertility of a 30-year-old. On the day of the IUI, there were other issues, and success was a long-shot. We had an IVF consult the next day, just in case. I was in pain after the IUI (ovary hyper-stimulation) for about a week. My period came a few days early. Met with my RE and we are on for IVF in July.
July 2014: Began birth control pills for IVF on June 30th and officially began the IVF process. Birth control pills for about 2 weeks. Then, the injections started – Follistim 225mg, Menopur 1ml, daily. About a week in, we added Ganarelix as well. Egg development on target. Retrieval occurred on July 31st with 22 eggs retrieved, 19 fertilized, and 17 embryos. Began taking Crinone 8% gel cream (progesterone), Estrace (Estradiol), and Doxycyline upon retrieval. Continuing to take baby aspirin (was off it a few days before retrieval) and pre-natal vitamins.
August 2014: Retrieval scheduled for August 5th, Day 5 Blastocyst transfer. Two embryos transferred, 9 frozen. We got our first positive beta on August 14th, 9d5dt – Beta 182! Second beta test 2 days later – 468. Started lovenox right away, and went of baby aspirin. Continuing with estrace and progesterone. First sonogram showed we are pregnant with a singleton – just on embryo ‘took.’
September 2014: Heard the heartbeat @ 6w5d, measuring 7w1d. Got a surprise at our 8w sonogram – Identical twins!!!! Graduated from my fertility doctor and transferred back to my OB. Went off estrace. Had consult with high risk doctor due to multiples and my age.
October 2014: Went off progesterone at 12 weeks. Made it to 13 weeks successfully. Never gotten this far before! Baby A and Baby B both doing great! Announced to coworkers, students and made it ‘Facebook Official’ at 12w6d – on October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day – remembering our 2 in heaven and celebrating the pregnancy of their two siblings!
April 2, 2015: 37 weeks, 1 day – our beautiful, rainbow babies arrived! Michael Robert (6 lb, 4 oz) and James Anthony (5 lb, 12oz) made their appearance and changed our lives for ever.
Infertility Journey: Officially done.
Thank you, Jesus.