The Journey to Our Rainbow: A Story of Hope
In June of 2016 we unknowingly started a journey that no couple could possibly be prepared to endure!
Our first pregnancy very quickly turned into a painful diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy that would ultimately take my right Fallopian tube & baby. Left with nothing but the scars on my belly, a hospital bracelet and positive pregnancy test, I spent the next 3 years on online support groups for ectopic pregnancy loss, seeing a fertility naturopath, taking herbal supplements and doing just about everything possible to try to make sure I had the best possible chances of success conceiving with my one remaining Fallopian tube.
In October 2019, our dream came true and we finally got to see another positive pregnancy test! A short 15 days later after being told that the pregnancy seemed to be progressing normally, our world shattered around us and it was determined via Radiology Ultrasound that I was in fact experiencing another ectopic pregnancy, further advanced this time.
As the Dr. & my husband helped me up off of the floor, the reality quickly set in that I would be scheduled for another surgery that would remove my last remaining Fallopian tube and our baby, ultimately leaving me medically sterilized.
I was transferred from the OB office to the ER and was hooked up to IV fluids & monitored while the staff worked on getting me into the operating schedule for later that day. A short time later I started to have pain, among other symptoms. The next thing we know I am being ran down the hallway in what became a very emergent surgery, due to my Fallopian tube rupturing & causing internal hemorrhaging.
Approximately 5 hours later the Surgeon came out to tell my husband that we were extremely lucky that I was already at the hospital when my Fallopian tube ruptured or the outcome could have been very different. I was very close to having needed a blood transfusion, but thankfully they were able to get the bleeding under control before it came to that.
For a second time in 3 1/2 years, there we were, leaving the hospital without our baby and me feeling like my body had failed me.
There I was at 36 years old and never again would I be able to conceive naturally! We were crushed, devastated, depressed and knew that IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) would be the ONLY way to even have a chance at having a biological child. We had just gotten married 7 months prior and had a 300 guest wedding of our dreams and let’s be honest, zero funds left.
2 months later we had our first IVF consult. After a series of tests were completed, we found out that to add insult to injury, I was diagnosed with severe diminished ovarian reserve. In layman’s terms this basically meant that I had very few eggs left in my ovarian reserve in comparison to other 36 year old women. As a matter of fact, my reserve was that of a woman over 40 yrs old.
When it comes to IVF, this diagnosis means that your chances for success are very slim in comparison to women with a plentiful amount of eggs. It was decided at that time that I would not be a good candidate for Traditional IVF and that perhaps MINI IVF would be my only hope. MINI IVF is ultimately the same thing as Traditional IVF, but the difference is that with MINI there is minimal stimulation of the ovaries and much less medication used, resulting in only a few eggs retrieved on any given Egg Retrieval Cycle.
There are a handful of Fertility clinics in the U.S. that solely specialize in MINI IVF and the one we chose is 1 hr 15 min from our home. With the help of very generous family & friends, we were able to start our first cycle in June 2020, a few months into the Pandemic, after all clinics decided to reopen.
From June to December I did 6 Egg Retrieval cycles, 5 of which made it to completion. Due to Covid mandates, Charles was never allowed to come into the building for any appointments or procedures. My body was on overdrive and doing the best it could, but my numbers were not ideal and continued to decline. We continued to run into bumps in the road & road blocks at every turn, it seemed.
More upsetting diagnoses followed, but by March 2021 we were finally cleared to do our 1st Frozen Embryo Transfer. We were so hopeful and excited but 9 days after the Transfer when we went in for the blood test to see if the embryo implanted, we found out that I was pregnant, but the numbers were lower than they would like to see. We were told to come back in 48 hrs to see if my numbers doubled and that would have been a good sign of progression.
Sadly, on March 31st it was confirmed that I would have a very early miscarriage (biochemical pregnancy). I was told to discontinue all injections and medications, go home and let nature take its course. The 1 hr 15 min drive home is one that I will never forget. 3 pregnancy losses at this point and physical, mental & emotional pain that I/we wouldn’t wish on anyone.
A couple weeks later I just felt led to research options for a local Endometriosis Surgeon for a consult. At that point I had done every invasive & noninvasive test that could be done to make sure that everything within my reproductive body was suitable for pregnancy. I found a well respected Specialist and proceeded to have a consult with her at the end of April. She determined that I would need an exploratory surgery and it was scheduled for July. Surgery findings were shocking and an abundance of scar tissue adhesions were removed.
The good news was that thankfully endometriosis was never the problem. After 6 weeks of recovery, I underwent more biopsies and was FINALLY cleared for our 2nd Embryo Transfer at the end of September. On October 15th our precious embryo was transferred back to my womb. On Oct 25th we found out that the Transfer was a success and I was very much pregnant with our Miracle, Rainbow Baby!!!
I am currently 34 weeks pregnant and I can honestly say that I’ve had an amazing pregnancy! We are overjoyed that we will be meeting our baby girl in the next 5 weeks!
Sending love & light to all the women & couples who have &/or are currently struggling.
Photos taken by Sophia Grace Photography.
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