What The Fertility wants to celebrate all the rainbow babies that have brought us so much joy after the storm. This story is part of a series honoring the journey to those sweet babes! Join us on August 22nd as we celebrate National Rainbow Baby Day! Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more Rainbow Baby celebrations and use #NationalRainbowBabyDay to share your own story!
Written by Lena Ridley, guest blogger
5 years ago, I was just about to start the initial stages of infertility treatment. We had been trying for close to two years at this point & I was going to be meeting with my doctor over the coming months to discuss the next steps for us. I remembered being so confused and disappointed that we had tried so long and had not gotten pregnant at all. At the same time I was excited to start moving forward and really wanted to be aggressive with treatment.
In the fall of 2013, we finally were able to meet with our RE and come up with a plan. We did a laparoscopy and an IUI right away using Clomid. It was unsuccessful and we were bummed, but the nurse suggested moving forward with injectable FSH instead of Clomid. We were all for it and in mid-December of 2013 we did our second IUI. 14 days later we would find out that I was pregnant! It was New Year’s Eve and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off a new year than to finally be pregnant! I took a home pregnancy test and saw the faintest line. My beta came back pretty low at 20, but I was definitely pregnant. They wanted me to return for 2 more repeat betas. My second beta came back at 50, the number more than doubled and I thought maybe we just had a late implanter. Our excitement continued to grow over that weekend until Sunday night when I started bleeding very heavily. I knew that something was wrong and that I was more than likely losing the pregnancy.
The next morning I had my 3rd beta which confirmed that I had experienced a chemical pregnancy as my number had dropped. I was devastated and couldn’t believe what was happening. Over the course of a few months we attempted another IUI only to find out that I was overstimulated both times with too much FSH and too many follicles so it was unsafe to proceed. We decided that we were ready to move forward with IVF which we started in July of 2014. Between July 2014 and December of 2015 I had 3 retrievals (at 3 separate clinics with 3 separate doctors) 3 fresh transfers, and 3 frozen transfers. We used a total of 9 embryos over the course of those transfers, none of which resulted in a pregnancy. We were again totally devastated and weren’t sure where to go from here. We knew that I could get pregnant, even though it was for such a brief moment, I was pregnant at one time.
After our final failed transfer in December 2015 we decided to move forward with egg donation. A girl I had never met in person and barely knew online had messaged me on Facebook and offered herself as a surrogate to us. I couldn’t believe a complete stranger would feel called to make this kind of sacrifice for us! I was so thankful for her offer but explained to her that our next step was going to be egg donation so that I could at least attempt to carry the pregnancy. Without hesitation she offered up her eggs to us and after that our whirlwind few months began. In March 2016 we flew from Illinois where we live to Georgia where our donor lives so that we could formally meet her and her family and consult with our new RE. We instantly fell in love with her family and knew that it was the right decision. Over the months we had grown pretty close via texting and it was an instant connection when we met in person. By June of 2016 our donor was having her retrieval and on June 16th we transferred 1 perfect 4AA embryo.
Our donor gave us results like we had never had, 10 eggs retrieved, 8 fertilize, and 6 make it to blastocyst. We were able to freeze the other 5 and the 1 we transferred decided to stick around for the long haul. Our daughter, our rainbow baby, Georgia June Ridley was born on 2/22/17! Before she was born I knew that I had a chemical pregnancy, a miscarriage, a pregnancy loss, however you want to refer to it, but I never felt like it was validated because I lost it so early on. I almost always referred to our loss as a “chemical pregnancy” because I felt like we lost it so early that I couldn’t consider it an actual miscarriage or a pregnancy loss. Maybe if I would’ve lost the pregnancy at a later gestational age I wouldn’t have felt the need to downplay our loss as much as I did. But Georgia came into our lives I finally began to realize how important that brief pregnancy was and began to wonder what life would be like now if that baby would’ve held on. I’ve always heard people say “it doesn’t matter how early you lost a pregnancy, a life is a life”, it wasn’t until I had a baby in my arms that I realized how true those words really are.
I do know that I could not imagine my life without Georgia and I know that things panned out the way the universe intended. If I would’ve carried that first pregnancy to full-term then Georgia may not be in our lives today, she may not ever exist so I know that even though our journey was longer than we ever expected it or wanted it to be, even though it was so hard, and there was so much heartbreak, I know that it was the journey we were meant to have because it brought us our sweet girl.