I’ve known Michelle since the beginning of my own infertility struggle. We met on the TCYOF forum, and her positive spirit was my rock, especially during the dark 2010 holidays when we both were going through miscarriages. Dealing with premature leutinization, Hypothyroidism and male infertility issues as well, Michelle had the deck stacked against her, but survived the infertility treatment gamut with strength and humor.
This is Michelle’s story:
My husband and I were married in the fall of 2004. We knew we wanted to have a family, but decided to wait a bit. In 2006 we started “trying” on our own to no avail. There would be no “Big Fat Positive” (BFP) for us during that whole year of temping, timing sex and using ovulation predictors.
I was discouraged and we sought help from a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) that our friends had used in our area. The clinic is pretty well known and had a great success rate too. Our friends got pregnant after one In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) attempt, so that made me very hopeful for us.
After a year of seeing the RE we found out that I had hypothyroidism and premature leutinization. This is where my eggs drop before they are completely mature and if they aren’t mature, they will not fertilize properly. My husband also had some morphology issues and some antibodies in his sperm samples. Needless to say, we needed divine intervention! We tried 3 IUI’s and all were disappointing and unsuccessful!
In 2008 we started IVF, we did our first cycle and it was a chemical. It was my first BFP and I was so excited, only to have it end so quickly. It just made me more determined to have a baby. We did another fresh cycle even though we had 2 frozen embryos from our first cycle leftover. That cycle was okay, I only produced 9 eggs. I think 5 were mature and 4 fertilized, by day 3 we had only 2 that survived. I thought all hope was lost, but we put them back and surprisingly I had another BFP!! I truly only takes one determined embryo to become a baby. My son was born in June 2009 and is a healthy and happy boy!
We tried again with a new fresh cycle in spring of 2011; I made my doctor change my protocol to Ganirelix because I felt that the lupron had over suppressed my ovaries resulting in a crappy amount of eggs. She agreed and I went happily stimming a month later!! I think we got about 15 eggs and all of them were mature and they all had fertilized!! I felt so blessed! We did a 3 day transfer again (that’s how my office does it) and it was a “Big Fat Negative” (BFN). We had about 12 or so left that were frozen on day 1, so we had several Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) chances in our future.
We did 2 FET’s and both were blighted ovums and I miscarried. I was devastated to say the least. I thought my dear little boy would never have any siblings and that just killed me. Thank goodness my niece is only 13 months younger than him, I truly thought he was going to be our one and only.
Low and behold, we had four embryos left and we had to defrost all four because we weren’t sure that any would survive just because we thought we had bad luck. They were graded so-so and I thought, well we will transfer three and see what happens. My RE reassured me she had much success in the past with embryos that didn’t have stellar grading and they were healthy children.
At the time of our transfer we only had two that were acceptable to transfer so I was ok with that, I was terrified of transferring three anyway! After my transfer the nurse said that they looked “really good” and all I could think was uh oh maybe I should have just transferred one!
I tried to be positive and think that it would work, but I was terrified that it wouldn’t. I really wasn’t interested in doing another fresh cycle again; this was my “last hurrah.” On May 6th I did a digital pregnancy test and it came up positive and I thought this is great, except now the added worry set in: would it be another blighted ovum or a true positive?
May 7th I had my blood draw and I nearly fell over when she read my results to me. I know that an FET has a lower HCG rate and I was expecting around 60 or so. Well my result was an astounding 831! I said, “Excuse me, did us say eight hundred and thirty one?” Yes, that’s what she said!! My coworkers were laughing and saying I was going to have twins. By the end of the week, my numbers were near 8,000 or so and I asked the nurse if she thought there was more than one and she said, “You are in deep doo-doo sister, you are going to need a minivan!” I was so grateful to be pregnant, but terrified at the thought of having multiples! A few days later I had my ultrasound which confirmed my fear of twins! Ha-ha!
I had an uneventful pregnancy and made it to 35 weeks and 2 days with my boy/girl twins when I developed pre-eclampsia and had to have an emergency c-section. I so wanted to make it to 38 weeks; both babies were in the NICU for 10 and 11 days and were 4 lb 10 oz and 5 lb 10 oz at birth.
Today I have two healthy, beautiful and pleasant babies. I couldn’t have asked for better babies. Infertility sucks, but I am forever grateful to my doctor’s office for giving my beautiful children to me.
If you have any questions for Michelle, you can contact her via her Twitter account: @michrn119