(VERY long. Just warning you now.)
I can easily say that 2011 was the most difficult year of my life thus far. Although, in saying that I must also mention that it was the year in my life where I grew the most. God certainly allowed (and is allowing) our journey to be one that forever changes how we view things. While you've seen the journey in bits and pieces, I think it's important for me to get it all down before I forget the details. I'll warn you (again), it's a long one...
January started with devastating news- your chances of getting pregnant on your own are about 2%, with IUI just 10%, and it is recommended you move straight to IVF. No month of Clomid, no attempt at IUI, our best "real" chance is through the big one- IVF. Outside looking in this must seem like such a simple statement- you have your diagnosis and your treatment- but it was so much more. It meant grieving the reality of conceiving on our own, it meant the beginning of hours of research on God-honoring fertility treatments, and it meant moving straight to plan F. Do not pass go, do not try the simpler method...it's the big guns for you.
As always, God was watching over us through this process. He placed us in an environment with supportive and knowledgeable friends that listened to me cry and offered words of wisdom. He placed us in a country that made IVF an affordable option, less than 1/3 of the cost of the stateside procedure. He gave us medical coverage that assisted with many medications and a medical provider (family practice, not RE) that had been through the process with his wife and shared our desire to honor life throughout the process.
We started our first round in February, transferring 2 beautiful embryos in March. The shots hurt, I experienced painful hyper stimulation, I was continually cranky- but it was worth it. We had a positive home pregnancy test and a positive (but low) beta (blood test). Sadly the numbers did not double the way they should in a healthy pregnancy, and we had to deal with our first loss after our first rush of excitement. The doctor had said we had a good chance, that everything looked as if it was in our favor, but it was not to be.
Luckily we had just enough embryos to freeze to allow us to do a FET cycle in May. We took April off and tried to think about other things, enjoying a trip to Israel and our time in Turkey. May's FET was MUCH easier. No stimulating, no retrieving eggs...just getting ready and transferring our embryos. We had 3 precious babies (we believe that life begins at conception) and had come to a peace about transferring all 3, as we felt strongly about not discarding any. Sadly, only one embryo was strong enough to make it, and we transferred that little one around Memorial Day. I wasn't nearly as hopeful about this one, knowing that the odds were against us with only one, and still feeling the pain of our first round in my heart. As we flew to Texas for a summer trip, we realized the FET had not worked, and we had to decide where to go from there.
We took the summer off and decided to try again in August, only to be told I had a cyst that would delay our treatment by a month. I know this doesn't seem like a lot, but when you have already been waiting, one month seems like an eternity. One month taking birth control no less. Oh the irony. Luckily the birth control did the trick and we were on again for treatment in September. Shots, shots, and more shots. Hormones, hormones, and more hormones. Again I responded well and we had 10 eggs fertilize. 6 beautiful embryos made it to day 3, which is when the doctor decided to transfer. I was very nervous about this as 5 day transfers tend to have better success rates, but they hadn't worked for us in the past, so we went with it. We transferred 3 embryos and the wait began.
Finally blood test day came and I was praying and praying for a number over 50. With a low number from the first round, I really needed a strong number to feel safe with being excited. The doctor called and the test was positive! My HCG level was 296!!!! Talk about God filling our cup until it runneth over! We were elated and continued to be as the number continued to rise. With a number like that we knew the chance for multiples was good, which was thrilling and a little scary at the same time. Sure enough we went in for our first ultrasound and saw 2 sacs! We were having twins! On that wonderful note we headed out on a trip to Boston.
To Be Continued...