Written by Agnes Mattson, Guest Blogger
Someone once told me that my life would be very rewarding and happy. My life was anything but that the last 4 years.
You see, my husband and I were like every married couple- you get married, travel, get the house and start a family. Easy right? Wrong! The first years of our married life tested us in so many ways where the word hope was on repeat and slowly started to fizzle away.
We started family planning and after 6 months of nothing, I went to my doctor who suggested seeing a specialist and getting some tests done. This is what started the long dark road to infertility treatments.
At first, the doctor had me do IUIs because that’s a cheaper way to start. After doing 5 without any results, I was done and ready to move onto IVF. But wait. My doctor noticed I had endometriosis (which I always had a feeling I had just never properly diagnosed) and suggested surgery to remove it and up my chances of getting pregnant. So in 2017, I went in for the laparoscopic surgery and had my stage 1 endometriosis removed. I was in pain, relieved and “hopeful” that our IVF was going to work.
Once I went back a few months after the surgery, my doctor noticed some polyps on my uterine lining that should be removed…so again another laparoscopic surgery. I was determined to get this done and move forward.
When I started my first round of IVF, I was so happy that 15 eggs were retrieved but was told only one ovary produced the amount and the other side failed. Failure would stick with me. I moved on to see if any embryos would make it and was told none of them made it. I was devastated. I thought my eggs were old, I’m done, it’s not going to happen. All this work for nothing. I was 34 at the time.
At the same time, my husband was switching jobs and this meant different insurance, and a new doctor. I didn’t want to start over, but decided maybe a new doctor would have some answers. When I met my current doctor, she immediately noticed what went wrong from my previous treatments and motivated me to do another round of IVF and be more aggressive. Thankfully, we were able to do the genetic testing on the embryos and the long awaited mystery of why I couldn’t conceive was FINALLY discovered.
When my doctor got the results back, there were some red flags with 6 of the embryos in the genetic makeup in the same area. She suggested we speak with a genetic counselor and get chromosome tested. No one ever thought this or mentioned it. Another 3 weeks after the frozen embryo testing we discovered I have what is known as unbalanced translocation- which means my chromosome at certain parts cause infertility and miscarriage. I was so crushed. I am an only child and my moms side only had only children or miscarriage but no one talked about it.
I asked my doctor if she treated anyone with this genetic condition and she said no. Great. I felt like was never going to get pregnant. We transferred an embryo that was healthy and waited. I was so scared and nervous.
I had started bleeding which was known as Subchorionic hemorrhage. I was afraid I’d lose my baby. Well at 8 weeks I did. Right after telling our family. This just broke me. I couldn’t bear the thought of doing this again. And the worst part was having to see my doctor the day after my loss when I was so broken. She was so compassionate and hugged me and told me “we’re going to try again and figure this out”.
At that point I needed a break. I waited a few months-my husband and I went on vacation and relaxed. I mentally didn’t think I could do it. My 3rd round of IVF after 23 eggs were retrieved and 5 embryos resulted with 2 being normal, we decided to transfer both. This was it. All or nothing.
This time I was super cautious. You see – that’s what IVF and miscarriage does to you – robs you the joy of being happy and excited during pregnancy. Everyday you’re terrified you’ll lose this baby. And well at 8 weeks again, I lost one of the twins – known as vanishing twin syndrome. I cried. When you see the technician leave the room quietly- I already knew. However this time the doctor came in and said I had one strong embryo- let’s see what happens. And my, this little one was strong. I had another subchorionic hemorrhage and was so worried I’d lose this baby.
When I transferred to my OBGYN, I felt normal and a part of the women who conceived naturally. I was so excited to have a stomach ultrasound! My doctor calmed my fears. She went through IVF and said it’s all mentally in your head- trust your body. And that I did. All the pain, heartache, loses and suffering only made my role as a mom stronger. This little embryo never gave up and I knew I couldn’t either.
My son was born Feb. 24th at a healthy 8lbs. 8oz. At 8:08am. He is our lucky miracle. I look at my sweet boy and when I see his smile or hear his giggles , I know it was worth it. Hope which was the word I hated, had become my rainbow. Just when you’re about to give up, push harder and find those answers. You are destined to be a mother however that may be.
If you’d like to connect with Agnes, you can find her over on Instagram!