Krystiana’s Story

I met my husband in 2015, got engaged and married in 2017. I also found out I got pregnant with my first son very quickly and unplanned that year as well. My pregnancy with him was uneventful. He was much bigger than we expected and made his arrival via an emergent c-section.

My husband and I knew we wanted our kids close in age, and we wanted four kids in total. We started trying for our second child in 2018. I got pregnant a year later, in 2019. This pregnancy, unfortunately ended in a D and C. I went in for an 8 week ultrasound and the baby no longer had a heartbeat. Though devastating, no one thought anything of it because miscarriage is so common and this would be my first miscarriage.

My husband and I were determined to expand our family, so we kept trying. After our first miscarriage, I went on to have several chemical pregnancies. Finally, in 2020, I found out I was pregnant again! Everything was going perfectly. We did an early blood test and found out it was a little girl. I made it to the second trimester, the “safe” zone, so my family and I went shopping for all things pink and sparkly.

Around 15 weeks, I started having cramping and some bleeding. I phoned my OB office and was reassured that miscarrying in the second trimester was not as common as in the first trimester, but they got me in for an emergency ultrasound. It was confirmed I was miscarrying. Our little girl no longer had a heartbeat. I was given two options to complete this miscarriage; the first was a D and E or I could be induced and deliver her. I chose to be induced and deliver her.

After delivery, my doctor decided to run more in depth tests to see why I would be miscarrying like I was. The placenta and my blood were tested and the results came back as Trisomy 13. I was told from the testing that I have a Balanced Robertsonian Translocation of the 13th and 14th chromosomes. Basically my 13th and 14th chromosomes look like an x and the tops of each are switched. I am not affected by this, but when I release an egg it either has too many chromosomes or not enough. This is a fatal diagnosis for our babies that have Trisomy. The babies usually die in utero. It is very rare that the baby will make it to full term.  To say we were devastated was an understatement.

After our girl, we kept trying. I had about 6 more chemical pregnancies. In the beginning of 2021 we decided to give IVF a try. We started the testing and consult appointments but, I got pregnant naturally again. This time, we were offered genetic testing and completed that as early as we could. The testing came back with the same fatal diagnosis of Trisomy 13. Because the delivery of our daughter was so traumatizing for me, I decided to terminate for medical reasons. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. This was also a traumatizing experience.

After terminating, we sought help from another fertility clinic. We were hoping to create embryos with the help of IVF and test the embryos before transferring them. In 2022, we embarked on this journey. From the egg retrieval, we got 4 eggs; 1 egg did not fertilize and 3 of them did. Then two stopped growing though, leaving us with one perfectly healthy embryo. We transferred that embryo in March of 2023. Unfortunately, the embryo did not implant and this cycle of IVF had failed. IVF was hard physically, mentally and financially. I felt confident though. It felt like we were so close to a healthy baby that part of me wanted to try IVF again.

After this failed cycle, I had started to think about a life where my son, who’s 6 now, was going to be an only child. My husband came to me and told me that we had tried so hard for so long that we shouldn’t give up quite yet. We decided we would try for three more months before talking with the fertility clinic again or just giving up on expanding our family.

Over the next few weeks, I started not to feel well. I was very tired, nauseous and just blah. I chalked it up to coming off all the IVF hormones and medications. One day, I was on the phone with my cousin. She knows all about our journey and hardships. She asked when my last period was and if it was possible I could be pregnant. I told her I don’t know. It had only been a month since our failed transfer. I had tracked ovulation but pregnancy didn’t cross my mind for my symptoms.

The next morning, I took a pregnancy test and as fast as I’ve ever seen, the test came back POSITIVE! The test line was so so dark compared to the control line. I called my OB and scheduled an appointment. We cautiously proceeded and set up a dating ultrasound. At the ultrasound we confirmed baby had a heartbeat. I was about 6-7 weeks along. That was the first trial. We set up the next ultrasound and an appointment for and NIPT testing. We were told that the testing would take 7-10 days for the results to get back.

The genetic counselor we were assigned to called back in about 5 days. She is very soft spoken and quiet. I was concerned. The next words she said were “ you and baby are low risk. This pregnancy is low risk for Trisomy.” My jaw hit the floor. I thought she was joking with us. She repeated herself and I started crying. I was so excited! Besides my first pregnancy, every other one had come back high risk. She asked if we wanted to know the sex of this baby. I had her call my friend so me, my husband and son could all find out together. My friend had confetti cannons shipped to our house and we found out we have our second boy on the way.

My rainbow baby is currently 5 weeks old. He was born beginning of January. He is perfect. He has filled my heart with so much love. I am so pleased we kept trying through all the heartbreak and hard times. God knew we needed him.

Krystiana wears a green dress and the rainbow skirt. She stands on a path surrounded by trees. The skirt flows out behind her.

Photos taken by Nicole Bridges Photography.

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