My (middle) name is Anna, and I am 34 years old. I have been married for 13 years, and for the past six I’ve been (sort of) trying to get pregnant. I know what you’re thinking. Sort of? How can anyone be sort of trying to get pregnant?
Well, I dealt with severe depression for my teens and most of my 20s, and spent a long time thinking not only that I wasn’t capable of parenting, but that I didn’t deserve to be a mother. Complicating all that was the grief and guilt I felt after my younger sister died by suicide when I was 24. I thought our genes were tainted. I thought creating life would just open the door for more pain. Still, at 26 years old, I stopped taking birth control and started hoping for an “oops.” Instead, I ended up with a fast growing uterine fibroid at the age of 29. In six months it was 10 cm and necrosing, and had to be removed surgically. One year later I began to have digestive problems, and I spent all of 2011 extremely ill and losing a dangerous amount of weight.
In 2012 my digestive disorder stabilized, and all the fears and reservations I’d had about having a child vanished. My husband and I began actively trying in February 2012, but discovered that the medication I take for my digestive disorder effects my hormones and delayed my ovulation. The medication is necessary for my health at this point, so we started working with a reproductive endocrinologist to find a solution.
In the summer of 2012 we attempted IUI with no success. Given my health history, my RE suggested we break out the big guns. We did our first round of IVF in September 2012, and I got my first ever BFP. Unfortunately my betas did not increase normally. We thought the pregnancy would end itself, but instead I got severe abdominal pains at 6 weeks and ended up in the ER. The pregnancy was ectopic. The embryo had implanted in my left fallopian tube, which turned out to be extremely twisted and scarred from the fibroid surgery and needed to be removed. Oh, and did I forget to mention that on top of all this I experienced OHSS? An FET a few months after my fallopian removal was a BFN.
During the winter of 2013 I had hip surgery for an old injury and took a break from TTC. We got back on track in July 2013, only to realize that adhesions had formed in my uterus after the fallopian removal. I had the adhesions removed and embarked on IVF #2.
I ended up with four slow-growing embryos that had to be frozen on day 3, as my progesterone was too high to attempt a fresh transfer. My RE did not have a lot of confidence in the quality of the embryos, and so my husband and I decided to transfer our care to CCRM (Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine). We did a retrieval in October 2013, and ended up with 10 embryos. This time my estrogen was too high for a fresh transfer, so we froze the 4 best looking embryos on day 3 and grew the rest out to blast. Two made it. In January 2014, we transferred the embryos from IVF #2 to CCRM, did a thaw and tried to grow them out alongside the 4 frozen from IVF #3. Of the 8 embryos, one made it to blast. We did PGD on our three blasts. Two were genetically viable. We did a frozen transfer with those two embryos in February 2014, and I am now pregnant.
It is my hope that this blog will be a way for me to process my journey and to connect with others who are in the midst of similar experiences.
Thanks for stopping by.