Written by Megan Elliot, guest blogger
In December 2017, we went into our 4th and final round of IVF; a couple months before I had a laparoscopy to remove a cyst and I ended up having stage 4 endometriosis that was removed during that same surgery. We felt like a weight had been lifted off of us. Finally, this might be the answer to our infertility. We went in to our 4th round of IVF with our heads held a little higher and with a little more hope than the previous rounds. However, we were still protecting our heart as we have been disappointed each round prior.
We had recently completed a home study with an adoption agency. This made us feel like we were ready to take on a new journey if this last IVF round did not work. With this last round of IVF, the plan was to send all of our embryos for genetic testing and do a frozen transfer in February but in the world of infertility, you can’t really have a plan. Your body makes up the rules. After having 12 eggs retrieved and 10 fertilized, we were devastated to hear the news on day 2 that all but 1 embryo had stop growing. Each day we got a call to let us know we may need to come in for a transfer and to stand by. We ended up going in on day 5 to transfer 1 blastocyst – it was this or nothing.
The chances of this working were slim and we knew it. I wanted to protect my heart so I started secretly testing before my beta test. The first day I tested I saw a second line. I fell to my knees and cried in disbelief. Could this really be happening? No way would I tell my husband, I needed to protect his heart and did not want to get his hopes up. So every morning I would quietly unwrap a pregnancy test, look at it and store it away in the bathroom drawer but not before taking a picture and sending to a friend to see if she thought the line was darker then the one before. Even though there were two lines, I questioned it; “What if it was a chemical pregnancy? What if the line is not darker the next time I test, what if my beta numbers are not high enough or do not double?”
I was feeling so many mixed emotions of disbelief and honestly just terrified. My lines did get darker, my betas doubled and we got the official call from our doctor 3 days before Christmas that we were pregnant. Our very own Christmas miracle seemed too good to be true. Unfortunately, pregnancy after infertility is not what you imagined it would be. I always thought, if it could just get pregnant everything would be fine. I would be happy again and my world would be right. Little did I know how stressed and scared I was every single day. The joy I thought I would feel was not there, instead I felt an overwhelming sense of fear. I obsessed over what symptoms I had or should be having. I kept taking pregnancy tests until I was about 8 weeks just to make sure it was still positive. At each ultrasound appointment I could not even look at the screen until someone told me it was okay. I was crying before the Doctor would even come into the room and had multiple breakdowns to my acupuncturist. I constantly counted my heartrate to make sure it was still beating faster than normal (I didn’t even know what my normal was) and I refused to talk about being pregnant, let alone tell anyone, and begged my husband to not get excited. The wait in between appointments destroyed me. It was like I could not even function in the real world because I was so consumed with negative thoughts and fears. I was so angry with my infertility journey. I felt that it had not only robbed me from not only the normalcy of trying to get pregnant but also the joy of finding out I was pregnant. But just with most things, with time, you heal.
As I sit and write this at 19 weeks, feeling flutters of my daughter moving around in my stomach, 1 week shy of our 20 week anatomy scan, I still cry but I cry tears of happiness and gratefulness that we have been blessed with this miracle. We thank God every day for blessing us with this one embryo, which continues to grow strong and beautiful against all odds.
My husband and I have started to feel grateful for our infertility journey. It has made us knowledgeable and we feel good when we use big words and ask the tough questions in front of our OB! It has strengthened our marriage, our faith, and has reminded us to never to take any part of this new chapter for granted. My husband and I lay in bed listening to her heartbeat almost every night. We talk about how she is going to be such a strong little lady who will do amazing things. She is already such a fighter and we are already so proud to be her parents. We have started talking about her nursery and what we need to do to make room in our house for our growing family. We take weekly pregnancy pictures; we read What to Expect When Your Expecting, and talk about my symptoms and what they mean. My friends even set a day for my baby shower. MY BABY SHOWER….what is this world I am living in!? I am living a dream and vision that felt so far away and even not existent for so long.
I am so glad we never gave up and I am so glad we never stopped believing in miracles. Infertility sucks. It is hard and it is life changing. Pregnancy after infertility sucks too and can sometimes be harder or more stressful but as time goes on and you start to feel more secure in your pregnancy, it becomes a dream come true. I still can’t believe I am carrying a miracle, my daughter, my little fighter.