With Mother’s Day coming up I know we all celebrate in different ways. I am grateful to have mom who I adore still around to gush on. Also reliving our IVF success stories and having my babies by my side means we have a lot to celebrate every May. Although, I know for many of you this day set aside to celebrate is wrought with sadness. It was for me, for a number of years as we hoped for children that we were not able to have.
I shared this story once, years ago over on the Babble site, but wanted to save it and share it here as well in case it will encourage anyone who is thinking of or currently going through the fertility process. If you are, get the book I mentioned below ASAP and be encouraged IVF success stories do happen even with severe endometriosis like I had, and although it doesn’t work for every woman in every situation, I do think there is a lot to be said for the amazing results the medical community can bring to this painful process.
IVF Success Stories
Here’s my piece in the IVF success stories larger picture…
Once we made the decision that we were ready to have a baby it was all hope and excitement. We were young, in love and ready to grow. As the months passed by we became concerned, we were doing all the right “things” and still every month would come and go. As an attempt to figure out what was going on I purchased the book, Taking Charge of your Fertility. Which to this day is one of the best books I have ever studied about the fertility process. Whatever step you are in the process, buy this book and read everything in it.
Although, none of the specific steps in the book actually fixed our issue, since my issue specifically needed medical intervention. By reading it though, I began to learn how my body works, what to look for, what to worry about, and with the help of that book, over the next few months it became obvious that something was wrong. It was a starting point for us. One that was so necessary.
Honestly, this period of time was the most difficult for us. That day you wake up and step into the first doctors office. When you move from, “we are trying, it’s just taking awhile” to “we cannot get pregnant, something is wrong”, it is a line no one thinks they will cross until they are there. It is a step that changes you, that begins to define you in significant ways. We started all the google searches that one does at such time. Researching IVF success stories, adoption and natural ways to help the process.
Sadly, our first doctors appointment went horribly.
We were living in Seattle and went to a downtown office that I had heard good things about. The lady in the lab coat took one look at us and honestly laughed. We were young, 23, and she was convinced we should just relax and give it time. I will never forget how hopeless I felt leaving her office that day.
I had heard the “give it time” before, but I knew my body at that point and knew that time was not going to fix what was happening inside.
Over the next 18 months we moved states and eventually ended up at a new doctors office where we received a completely opposite reaction to our struggles. Instead of laughing, this doctor was kind, caring and very encouraging to us. It was here that I was diagnosed with pretty severe endometriosis and found out the reason why we could not conceive a child. In my specific situation, the disease created enough scar tissue that having a baby naturally was not going to be possible.
Our IVF Success Path
After the initial tests and a bit of mourning on our part we decided to move forward with IUI.
One cycle in and nothing positive had happened. Afterwards, sitting down with our doctor he said, “we can keep at this but I am almost certain it is not subverting the actual issue”. He encouraged us to look into IVF, a procedure we had already pre-determined that we would never do.
We promised to think about it and left broken hearted.
IVF And Christianity
On a followup call our doctor began the discussion again, which lead to us sitting in front of him a week later with our long list of concerns. IVF is a very invasive process and as Christians there were many issues that came up for us specifically about where life begins that we needed to struggle through. I know this conversation is different for every couple and every situtation. One of my favorite and most memorable things that even enabled our IVF success stories to come to be was our amazing doctor.
I can not stress enough how important it is to find THE RIGHT doctor for you. It is worth the extra time and appointments to find the right place to be cared for. I owe so much of our IVF success to our doctor. He was of a different faith than us, but instead of blowing us off, or being short about it, he was so kind to hear all of our concerns. Then, after listening – he began to talk about how he could basically re-engineer the procedure to subvert our many issues. We would use different drugs and smaller dosages. We could complete the process in a way that we were comfortable with. I remember sitting there astounded. Firstly, that a procedure we thought we would never consider was now very much within our grasp. Secondly, that this doctor (the kindest doctor I have ever dealt with), was willing to change everything he normally does to help us be comfortable and have a baby.
After that day it was determined. We began the IVF process a couple weeks later. We did the same procedure that everyone else did, but with less drugs used because we made a commitment that any living eggs were going in! EEEK! It was exciting and also crazy nerve wrecking.
The shots started, which I could write a whole other book about. Between the tummy shots, drawing blood every other day, 5 other shots Matt had to come home from work to give me, and then the deep thigh progesterone shots – I was basically a pin cushion. It was also such a sweet time in life, so much hope and so much excitement. We were all very raw at the time. I think that is a huge part of all of this… looking back now so many years later. This or any of the IVF success stories you might read about are filled with joy and so much pain that lead up to that joy. In essence anyway you bring a baby into this world whether it’s totally on your own, with medical help, or even through adoption – these threads of pain and joy are always present. And every mom I know looks back and says whatever the cost was for her… it was worth it.
Was IVF Success Worth The Pain?
During our IVF process, we grew and harvested two healthy eggs, both the eggs went right back in. That was a part of our deal because of our specific beliefs on the matter. In every step the life of the fertilized eggs was honored and respected. Those two eggs are 9 years old now. And absolute joys of my life.
I share little glimpses here of our IVF stories as an encouragement to anyone thinking about or going through the process – if you are struggling, keep seeking out help until you find the right doctor to work with you. Keep researching until you feel like a path opens up that is the one you are supposed to walk through. Receiving help with infertility is an incredibly emotional process and having the right people in place really will make all the difference in the world for your own journey.
PS. My girlies bedroom, More thoughts on Motherhood and How we teach the kids dinner party manners.
xoxo – Victoria