Bree’s Story: Triplets After IVF, pPROM and TAC Surgery

Triplets after IVF, pPROM and TAC surgery

If you had asked me many moons ago if I ever thought I’d have triplets, I’d laugh and probably ask you to share some of whatever you were drinking. Ha! I’m betting it was pretty tasty. ;)

Fast forward to now, and look at me!

Triplets after infertility

Never in a million years did I think I’d be where I am today, much less writing about it. The only two pregnancies I’ve had (that counted at least), resulted in second trimester losses; my first being in 1998, which is where this journey all began. If it weren’t for a drunk driver, I’d have followed in my Mother’s footsteps and become a teen Mom. In a way I’m thankful for that day, yet for the most part it’s a sad memory – from what I can recall of it.

As a direct result of that fateful day, I’ve spent the last decade (and then some) attempting to procreate in what has been a very exhaustive and emotionally draining journey. While my path isn’t known by all, I’m hoping my voice will be one of the many that will change that. The topic shouldn’t be taboo – yet it is.

But I digress.

IVF is expensive. A cost neither my husband nor myself could even fathom in the beginning. I can’t imagine how some can afford to do it multiple times, when we could barely swing the first. When we did finally get to that point (you can see my journey/timeline here), we all but exhausted our financial cushion. Along with that went the majority of what peace was left, within our marriage. After countless sleepless nights, almost every tear shed that my body could produce, and quite a few needle pokes, we had our first round of IVF. Let’s not forget along the way, the seemingly endless surgeries – which were apparently a must – prior to taking this leap of faith.

According to my medical team, I was a textbook candidate for success with IVF. Our only factor was my tubes. While I have “acute PCOS,” no one believed it was a contributing factor.

It wasn’t.

Success on the first round!

Lastly, I was pregnant. Again. This time, I didn’t think that there would be any issues. Considering how many times we attempted naturally, I felt like I won the battle. Like so many, I took the pregnancy for granted. In a matter of moments, I went from being excited about the new find for my soon-to-be-son at a local posh consignment store, to being hooked up to IV’s & monitors left and right and fighting with doctors to save my baby; all while confined to a hospital bed due to pPROM (preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes).

My body failed me yet again.

That was supposed to be my happy ending, but it wasn’t. I ended up going into labor and losing my son at 5 months pregnant. It was a devastating blow.

All of 2012 was spent in and out of offices, stirrups, and I swear I put more miles on my vehicle in a matter of a couple of months, than most people do in one year! After my “WTF” appointment (as so many of us un-lovingly call it), it was determined that my cervix was going to be a problem going forward.

Transabdominal cerclage or “TAC” surgery to the rescue!! The Cadillac of all cerclages (closure of the cervix) was to be my knight-in-shining-armor. According to my MFM, it would grant me a 95% chance of bringing home a single baby, provided that my cervix was the underlying cause of my last miscarriage. I was still at risk for pPROM again, but at this point, 95% seemed like music to my ears, so I wasn’t even thinking about the other negatives at this point.

Everything had been bad for so long, I was ready for the good.

After the surgery, we were cleared to resume fertility treatments. We did attempt a frozen transfer that failed. Not only was it uncomfortable, but it was a disaster. My body had been under so much in the past few months (hell, years…), that in looking back, I just don’t think the time was right.

Back to drawing board! In September of that same year, we started the process all over again. Fresh cycle it was to be. This truly was our last shot. With so many expenses on the table and a failing business that desperately needed my attention, we just couldn’t afford much more of this – emotionally, physically, or financially.

Success! With the 9 retrieved, 5 were beautiful. We implanted 3 and froze the remaining two. A few short weeks later and voila! Pregnant. Ultrasound confirmed there were 3. Yes, I said 3.

In a nutshell, after a very long and strenuous 33 weeks, I delivered 3 beautiful, healthy, and much anticipated baby boys who are now just shy of a year old. Man, time flies!

While my journey is just beginning into parenthood, my battles with Infertility are far from over. Everyday, I will look at those miracle boys and be reminded of both the gift and the curse of this dreaded disease. It will forever be imbedded in my soul and the scars are a constant reminder of what it took to get here.

Follow Bree’s journey at Thought Provoking Moments. She’s a new-ish Mom to almost 1 year old triplet boys, after a decade plus battle with infertility. She’s a wife, ex-soldier, mompreneur, compulsive organizer, dark chocolate addict, and tea lover! She’s a shoe sinning señorita, and an avid supporter of fellow strugglers. You might say she’s odd or outside the norm, but her norm is her life. She’s suffered several losses along the way, lived hard and experienced first-hand much heartache and strife. Her blog has morphed from a “lessons-learned” type blog to a full on “mommy blog.” Bree is forever learning and can also be found on Pinterest


Infertility TalesThis post is part of Infertility Tales 2014, How Do You Do It?‘s series to raise awareness about infertility and its impact on families. Please take a moment to read through some of the personal stories of loss, pain, fertility treatments, and success.

The Roller Coaster of Emotions: The Things that Hurt When You’re Infertile

(This post was submitted anonymously.)

Infertility Roller CoasterLet me tell you about the emotions that come with everyday interactions with the outside world when you are trying to get pregnant.

It is really difficult when you are going through infertility, not just because of the desire to be pregnant and the loss when you find out you aren’t, but also for the day-to-day life and troubles that causes.

First, you have to deal with people talking to you about having kids:

  • Oh, you’ll understand when you have kids of your own” used to be a phrase of which I would roll my eyes and say okay. Now, that phrase makes me tear up and want to scream, “I WANT TO HAVE KIDS OF MY OWN! I CAN’T HAVE KIDS OF MY OWN AND IT’S KILLING ME!
  • When do you plan on having little ones?” was once an innocent, curious question. Months ago, people would get the response, “We’re trying,” and they would be so excited for us. Now, they still get the affirmative “Hopefully soon,” but it is with a sad, despondent look in our eyes.
  • I bet your mom is really anxious to have a grandbaby!” Yes, as we are excited to have one of our own. So is our doctor, who would really like to be able to tell us some good news for once. So are our friends who have been walking on eggshells for months around us. So are our siblings. So are our extended family. So are the strangers who get dirty looks when I am in one of my moods. Everyone wants us to have a baby, but us most of all.
  • Oh don’t worry, don’t stress. You just need to relax and it will happen to you.” Oh really? Relaxing is going to get me pregnant? I wish you had told me that months ago. Oh, and can you tell my doctor that this is the real reason why I’m not pregnant, because I haven’t been relaxing? I’m sure he just didn’t realize it. Oh that’s right, because RELAXING WILL NOT GET YOU PREGNANT! Well, for some it may, but we unfortunately cannot just wave a relaxation wand and POOF I’m pregnant. I wish it were that easy. I could have saved a fortune.
  • Do you have something to tell us?” People don’t actually ask that, but they do have this excited, questioning look on their face whenever you sit down to talk to them. It’s like they are excitedly waiting for you to announce your pregnancy, only to have to start every conversation with “I’m not pregnant.” Do you know how difficult that is to say out loud, when it is what you want more than anything?

Then, you also have to deal with the outside world.

  • Babies are all around us. Snookie is pregnant. Princess Kate is pregnant. Stupid Kim Kardashian is pregnant. So are all of my friends. Yes, all. Every single day, someone else is popping up on my Facebook newsfeed announcing their pregnancy. Woo. Good for you. This is actually really difficult, because I truly love my friends. I wish them the best, and I am truly happy for them. And then the wave of bitterness, anger, and upset washes over me, and I want to shut myself off from the world.
  • It’s amazing how often you see mention of babies. See pictures of (or real life) babies. See pregnant women. Hear about pregnant women. You don’t realize it until you are trying and failing. It becomes physically painful over time. I can attest that I actually have been in pain because of this. At a health insurance informational meeting, for example, I was in one of my especially sour anti-baby moods. I actually did a tally chart to see how many time babies were mentioned in the 1.5 hour meeting. The total: 7. Seven times, there was the mention of babies, having babies, getting pregnant, healthy childhood, etc. The hardest part of these baby mentions are that each time, I want to scream out “Stop talking about that!” or I just want to burst into tears. I’ve gotten really good at keeping my tears in check, quiet, and contained. I usually let it out once I get home. Again, poor hubby has to deal with this. He is a saint, especially because he is going through all of these emotions right along with me.

What are other things that hurt when you’re infertile?


Infertility TalesThis post is part of Infertility Tales 2014, How Do You Do It?‘s series to raise awareness about infertility and its impact on families. Please take a moment to read through some of the personal stories of loss, pain, fertility treatments, and success.

The Two-Week Infertility Cycle

(This post was submitted anonymously.)

When you are trying to get pregnant (and constantly failing), you live your life in 2 week cycles. You run through a series of emotions from positive to negative to numb. Here is an outline of what I went through every two weeks:

Infertility CycleFirst 2 Weeks

  • Day 1: start of the cycle
  • Day 3: have an ultrasound to see if the follicles have collapsed and if I have any “large” or “huge” cysts remaining (cysts are normal during the cycle, but at the start of the next cycle, they should be gone)
  • Day 3-7 (PM): take Clomid and watch out for HORRIBLE mood swings, forgetfulness, tiredness, soreness, and overall self-pity

Week 1 emotions: hope, excitement, wishing, positivity that this WILL be the month I get my BFP!

  • Day 10: start checking for ovulation

Week 2 emotions: anxiety, worry, fear of another missed cycle. Will I miss ovulation? Will there be stress again that prevents me from implanting? Is everything right? Will we be in the 20% success this month, or will we be one of the 80% negatives?

Second 2 Weeks

After ovulating, then comes the official 2 Week Wait. Wait to see if I get my period (no pregnancy) or I get the amazing pee-on-a-stick BFP (“Big Fat Positive”).

Week 3 emotions: I think we got it this time. I think it’s working. Oh, there’s a cramp! I think that was implantation! Can I implant this soon/this late? Oh, my temperature dropped slightly. I think that’s my implantation dip. Oh my gosh, when will I start to feel these pregnancy symptoms? I am cramping SO much! This has to be a good sign that Baby is making room in my uterus for itself.

Week 4 emotions: It didn’t happen. It couldn’t have happened. Another month gone, another month not pregnant. I’m sure my temperature is going to drop. Not good. Not good. This stinks. 

Week 4 is a particularly tough week, as all of the symptoms of early pregnancy are also the exact same ones as when you start your period. So, along with the hope comes the complete devastation.

You look up every little twinge and cramp online. You get really good at pinpointing where you feel the movement, cramp, pain, pinprick, flutter. You use vocabulary words you never thought you would know, because you have to be very specific about the way you describe everything.

And then, you become even more confused, because for every case of a woman having the same matching symptom as you and being pregnant, there are an equal number of cases where the woman is not pregnant.


Infertility TalesThis post is part of Infertility Tales 2014, How Do You Do It?‘s series to raise awareness about infertility and its impact on families. Please take a moment to read through some of the personal stories of loss, pain, fertility treatments, and success.

Helene, on Being “Cautiously Optimistic”

We have every reason to be cautiously optimistic,” she had said, as I pressed my cell phone harder against my ear, wishing so much that I had misunderstood her.

While tears filled my eyes, I asked, “So are you saying that there’s very little chance that we’ll have any viable eggs to work with?

Well, no, I didn’t say that. I think we should just be cautiously optimistic,” she tried to explain. I imagined her on the other end of the line, keeping a close eye on her watch, anxiously wanting to get off the phone with yet another desperate, yet hopeful infertility patient.

My chin quivered, my hands shook and it felt as if my heart would burst right out of my chest. “What EXACTLY does cautiously optimistic MEAN?!” I screeched loudly into the phone. “Does it mean that you think my eggs are crap? Does it mean you’ve seen eggs like mine make beautiful embyros?! What the HELL does it MEAN?!

Tim reached over from the driver’s seat and touched my arm, silently willing me to end the phone call and just accept the news for what it was.

We had been driving home after my egg retrieval during our 1st IVF cycle, when my RE called to deliver the news that most of the eggs which had been retrieved were not in good shape. She had called them “dark and grainy“.

No one had ever used the phrase “cautiously optimistic” with me.

Was it a good thing? A bad thing? I had no clue at all.

Within time, I came to learn that it meant something bad was in store for us…something tragic, heartbreaking and completely gut-wrenching.

The phrase soon became a personal jinx of some sort. Everything would be going along just fine and then a doctor or a nurse would randomly throw out, “We should just continue to be cautiously optimistic,” and I knew our fate had just been sealed.

As we anxiously waited for the blood results of that first IVF cycle… let’s be cautiously optimistic.

As we sadly listened to our RE explain that sometimes 6 weeks is just too early to see a heartbeat… let’s be cautiously optimistic.

When we learned that we had lost that baby, the good news was at least now we knew I could get pregnant… let’s be cautiously optimistic.

As we switched RE’s and were given all kinds of false hope that the 2nd cycle would be successful… let’s be cautiously optimistic.

When that same RE looked me straight in the eyes and told me my dreams of having a biological child had already slipped out of my grasp but there were still lots of options available to us… let’s be cautiously optimistic.

During our 3rd IVF when we begged and pleaded with him to allow us to transfer 4 embryos because we simply couldn’t bear any more heartbreak, we compromised and agreed to transfer only 3… let’s be cautiously optimistic.

After we learned I was pregnant with twins, every time I would experience sudden cramping and/or bleeding… let’s be cautiously optimistic.

Each time my body went into pre-term labor… let’s be cautiously optimistic.

After giving birth at 32 weeks, I watched with both overwhelming joy and anguished sorrow as my first-born miracle babies were whisked off to the NICU… let’s be cautiously optimistic.

Soon enough, we stopped hearing that dreaded phrase… as our twins were released from the NICU after 26 days and we entered our home for the very first time as a family of four. Something we believed would never happen.

After four months had passed, I lost another pregnancy… yet I had no idea that I had been pregnant until I was in the midst of a miscarriage. Even though there had been no time for dreams and hopeful expectations, I still grieved, blaming my damaged body once again for another devastating loss.

When I went in to my doctor’s office for a follow-up, I asked him if he thought I may be able to get pregnant again on my own in the future. His words stung me as I heard, “I would like to think so. You have every reason to be cautiously optimistic“.

Soon, there came a time when hearing that phrase didn’t hurt so badly anymore. I’d hear someone casually mention those two seemingly innocent words and it wouldn’t phase me in the least. The pain and burden of infertility had finally passed and wasn’t as fresh in my mind anymore.

Until we decided we wanted more children. I knew exactly what was in store for us as we begin another IVF cycle with our frozen embryos when our RE said, “All I ask is that you be cautiously optimistic“.

Yes, cautiously optimistic… with tragic results yet again. Another pregnancy loss. More tears and agony. And even more anger, bitterness and confusion than ever before.

After the loss, as I broke down in my OB’s office, I begged her to explain to me why… WHY did this happen again. Was I selfish for wanting more children? What had I done wrong? Is it because I wasn’t cautiously optimistic? WHY?!

She answered, gently, “These things just happen, sometimes we’re never meant to understand why. I know you want more children. Maybe it’ll happen, maybe it won’t. You’ll come to terms with it somehow. I know you will.”

Never once did she mention the distressing phrase I had come to despise hearing. Every single time I had heard it, throughout my journey of trying to conceive, my stomach would turn and my heart would sink.

As I went about my daily life, I knew I had to accept that more children may not be in our future. It was difficult and there were still times that I would find myself sobbing out loud, especially as my babies began to outgrow their little onesies and my broken heart reminded me that there may never be another baby to wear those same clothes.

Let’s be cautiously optimistic“, I thought I heard God whisper to me one morning while deep in prayer, as I begged for relief from the burden of grief. I thought I had overcome it but deep down I knew I hadn’t. There would always be a void in my life for what could have been… what should have been.

Three months later, I became pregnant with Garrett and Landon… our second set of twins. A completely (and surprisingly) spontaneous pregnancy.

It wasn’t supposed to happen. They had all said we would never conceive a take-home baby on our own without medical intervention, even as they made empty promises and advised us to be cautiously optimistic.

But finally, after everything, we had beaten the odds. Suddenly, it was okay to be hopeful, to feel excited and full of joy, to experience nothing but happiness and pure bliss… to be optimistic, WITHOUT caution.

The words "cautiously optimistic" plague an infertile woman who just wants to be a mother.

This post was originally published on I’m Living Proof that God Has a Sense of Humor as part of Pour Your Heart Out with Things I Can’t Say.


Infertility TalesThis post is part of Infertility Tales 2014, How Do You Do It?‘s series to raise awareness about infertility and its impact on families. Please take a moment to read through some of the personal stories of loss, pain, fertility treatments, and success.

Christina’s Story: The Six-Year Journey to Motherhood

This post was submitted by reader Christina.

First Came Love

One day, two people fell deeply in love. So in love and so quickly that, after just one month of dating, the boy asked the girl to move in with him. The girl didn’t hesitate for one second. She knew that this was it. The one.

Yes, it’s true. Wes and I did indeed fall deeply in love. From the moment we met, we both knew that it was something special. Never in a million years did we think that we would have to go down the road of infertility.

Then Came No Baby

When we first mentioned to my doctor we had been not careful for quite sometime, he said, “Well, let’s take a look.”

The first thing was to test Wes. If there is anyone out there reading this who is trying to conceive, please make sure testing the male is your first step! Without him, you really have nothing to go on. Anyway, no major problems there, so on we moved to me. We started by testing basically everything! The only thing that came back problematic was my prolactin, which is involved in ovulation and egg maturation.

My levels were not too bad, but I did get put on medication to help with that. During all of this, I had been talking with my doctor about how bad my periods were. I had always had pretty painful, heavy cycles, not knowing that it could someday interfere with my ability to have children. After a lot of thinking and planning, we decided to go ahead with a laparoscopic surgery, to check and make sure my “girl parts” were working properly.

Conclusion: I had endometriosis.

We took a few months off for my healing and then discussed our other options. Our first try on fertility drugs was with the evil drug Clomid. “Yikes” is all I can say about that stuff. We also did a procedure called intra-uterine insemination (IUI) along with the Clomid. An IUI is basically putting the sperm exactly where it’s supposed to be, bypassing any endometrial tissue in my tubes, or helping “lazy” swimmers. This was sure to work, right?

Wrong. 3 months in a row of the Clomid/IUI combo didn’t work.

After almost 4 years of not one single positive pregnancy test, we talked and decided that although we were not quitting, we needed to find another doctor. Not only did I have a new job, but my new insurance covered infertility treatments.

The new doctor’s office staff was amazing. At our first meeting, he said, “We’ll do this.” Simple words, but I knew he meant it and had confidence. We discussed everything with him, and the first thing he suggested was another surgery to see if the endometriosis had come back. We set my surgery date, and I knew this guy knew his stuff!

The surgery went very well, and he removed more endometrial tissue, polyps, and a big, nasty-looking cyst. My dreams of becoming a mother felt right around the corner!  My spirits were up and I was already picking out the nursery furniture!

Well, the next several months looked like this:

  1. 50mg of Clomid
  2. 100mg of Clomid
  3. 100mg of Clomid
  4. 100mg of Clomid
  5. 100mg of Clomid/IUI
  6. 100mg of Clomid/IUI
  7. 150mg of Clomid/IUI (IUI was cancelled)

As you can imagine, I was extremely frustrated. Not only was Clomid obviously not working for me, I was becoming depressed. Cycle after cycle, I cried, asking myself what I was doing wrong, what I had done wrong.  I made husband crazy, but he never gave up on me. He never complained, never said, “Hey, let’s just face it. We can’t get pregnant.”

We had talked about in vitro fertizilizaion (IVF), but was it for us? The thought of IVF scared me. Because that was it. That was our last chance for a baby. We discussed our options with the doctor and decided to switch up my fertility meds. The new medication, Follistim, kind of scared me. I had to give myself shots (okay, Wes gave them to me) and there was a chance of overstimulating my ovaries, which could cause all sorts of problems.  But we went ahead with it. And it didn’t work either.

The next part was a sure sign that my doctor was crazy and shouldn’t be helping people get pregnant. We decided to try one more cycle with the Follistim. I got on the phone with the nurse to discuss my options. Should we up the dosage? I didn’t respond well to it the first time, so she said we could go ahead.  They didn’t have a lot of patients in their office doing the Follistim, so she said she’d pull out the directions. This should of been a huge red flag not to do it! But she said, “We’ll up the dosage to 100 IUs from 75 IUs, after I talk to the doctor.” He was probably busy and said, “Yeah, whatever.” On we went with the 100 IUs of Follistim and IUI.

Now, before I go on, when you are dealing with infertility drugs, there is always the danger of overstimulation. To check on that, your E2 (also known as estrogen or estradiol) levels are measured before you start a cycle, in the middle, and towards the end. This is very, very important information I should have taught myself (because obviously my doctor didn’t have a clue) before I went ahead with my 100IUs of Follistim.

The E2 levels should be 200-600 pg/ml per mature (18 mm) follicle. For each “egg” I have growing on my ovary that is “mature” (18mm) my E2 levels should be in that range.  Not staying on top of them puts you at risk for sickness, hospitalization, even death.  Obviously you shouldn’t have too many. To make this long story a short one, I ended up sicker than a dog in addition to not pregnant, again. I was overstimulated thanks to my doctor not doing his job right, and was on bed rest for a week. The biggest follicle I had was 56mm. You can Google that if you need to know how bad it was. Trust me. It’s not good.

Bringing in the Heavy Stuff

Again, Wes and I were sitting down to figure out what on earth to do. We went on birth control pills for a cycle to get the cyst (follicles) to go away. It was time to look into our IVF option.  I called insurance and called my doctor. He seemed eager to refer me to and IVF clinic. I was to never hear from him again.

We started our first IVF cycle. I went into it nervous and scared. There was so much to do, medication to order, a calendar with my dates of shots, ultrasounds, etc. May ’07 was a very busy month trying to get everything organized.

The nurse at the clinic in charge of my cycle was the most amazing women I’ve ever met. Her name was Malia, and I loved her. She was patient and kind, knew the pain we had been through on this journey, and treated us both with respect. She understood how scared I was.

We talked about when we would be starting this. Should we wait until summer was over? Enjoy it? Go on vacation over the 4th of July and then come home, waiting another cycle? I was due to start Lupron, to tackle the endometriosis, the day we were to arrive in Wisconsin for vacation. I had no idea whether that was a good idea. I really didn’t. I wanted a baby so bad, but packing my medication on ice? Taking a shot every single day?

In the end, we did it. And I’m glad we did. Wes is great at giving shots and the needles were pretty small. I did have terrible side effects though: headaches and dizzy spells. I didn’t really start feeling like crap when we got home (thankfully).

After the Lupron came the fertility drugs, yet again. My doctor changed up my medication. This time I was going to be on a combination of Menopur and Bravelle mixed together, which would also be injected by needle. We did them in my upper thigh. I couldn’t do them in my tummy. I was in a boating accident when I was 17 years old and was hospitalized for a week. They had to give me shots in my stomach to make sure I didn’t get blood clots. I’ve been scarred ever since!

Medication for a single IVF cycle.

All my IVF cycle meds!

I know that collection is quite scary looking. I can assure you that my IVF cycle was the least stressful of them all, not emotionally, but physically. I was in good hands. My shots were easy. My ultrasounds every other day were quick and painless. It was nothing like the other place. These people were amazing.

The clinic I was going to worked with a hospital in my town where I could do my ultrasounds to check my egg growth. We would have to travel to Indianapolis for the egg retrieval, and the egg transfer (if we got to the egg transfer). That’s about 3 hours away. We found a nice hotel right across from the hospital, and one of my best friends works there, so it worked out

After 11 days of shots, the day arrived! My body had responded well to the medication, and we were on our way to the retrieval! I was knocked out for it and don’t remember a thing. I do remember waking up. The first thing Wes said was they got 8.  Eight? That’s it? That’s all? All of that, and 8. I hear of people getting 13-15 eggs!!! I only had 8. I was counting myself out already

My clinic does a 3 day transfer. My babies grew in a dish for 3 days, and then we went back to Indianapolis for the transfer. We decided on 2 embryos. We got in the clinic and got ready. When the biologist arrived, I asked her how they looked. She said, “I never say this but these are 2 perfect embryos.” She told me she never grades them a 4, the highest grade, but gave them both a grade 4. I was all smiles.

Perfect embryos ready for transfer.The car ride home was intense. Every bump we hit I thought I had lost them. I mean, I was technically pregnant! They tell you to wait a number of days before you take a pregnancy test. I so didn’t wait for that date to come. Six days after my transfer,  I tested. I thought I saw something, but didn’t know for sure. I carried on with my day and took a test the next morning. This is what I saw.
Positive pregnancy test!

I was just a little overwhelmed and freaked out. I wasn’t sure what to do or think! Wes went and bought me a digital. Here you have it.
Pregnant!

I was pregnant.

Babies!

6 years of trying, and I was PREGNANT.

After all the blood work to make sure everything was going smoothly, we had our first ultrasound. The tech started in and Wes immediately saw the second sac. Twins.
Twin ultrasound

That was the day my life was changed forever.  That was the day I fell in love with 2 tiny dots on a screen. They were born on March 19th, 2008.  Abigail was 6lbs 5oz, and Alexandra was 5lbs 8oz.
Newborn twins

And here we are now.
Big twins with mommy!
Our journey was long and hard, but we never gave up. I knew in my heart I was going to be a mother someday.

I leave you with this.  Never give up. Never stop fighting. Infertility sucks, but there is always hope.

Miracles. #infertilityChristina is a MoM of 6 year old twin girls, and a star diamond coach for Team Beachbody. She loves spending time with her family, and is very passionate about helping others achieve their goals. You can find her on Facebook HERE.  And you can also follow her on Instagram @insanemomoftwins  and also on her blog! http://noonanfitness.blogspot.com/


Infertility TalesThis post is part of Infertility Tales 2014, How Do You Do It?‘s series to raise awareness about infertility and its impact on families. Please take a moment to read through some of the personal stories of loss, pain, fertility treatments, and success.

Mandy’s Story: Conceiving Despite Male Infertility — Working as a Couple

(This post was submitted by reader Mandy.)

Why I’m Here

When I was offered the opportunity to write a piece about our infertility experience, I jumped at the chance!

I started my blog Hoping For Hoberts to document my experiences for myself and met some pretty incredible people along the way. It’s been an amazing support, especially as I crossed the bridge to parenthood. I was often reminded by people in real life (IRL) that I’m not infertile, but those online understood that the battle of infertility (IF) is fought as a couple. This is something I wish I had understood from the beginning and still struggle with today. The secrets of male factor infertility have yet to be unlocked and in the end, I think it was more chance than technology that brought our daughters to us.

I can’t say that male factor infertility is the worst. I don’t think there are levels of hell in the IF world, but being a fertile in the IF world is so very trying on a relationship. It’s hard not to point fingers.

Dealing with infertility takes a strong couple working together

Discovery

After a few years, and a gut feeling, I asked a few questions at my yearly OB/GYN visit. I later received a call at work from my OB/GYN after our basic work-up stating that I was completely normal but that my partner had no sperm and that “there’s always adoption. Click!

After I cried my eyes out to a very sweet and very 18-year-old stock boy, I went home to deliver this fantastic news. These urban legends about men not crying, they’re a big lie. Tell them they’re sterile and have been blowing money on condoms for 20 years. Suddenly I was in an infertile relationship, and all I ever wanted to accomplish in life was motherhood.

IF-1, Mandy-0.

Like every other sane person, I googled my heart out! Go ahead and google all the depressing facts about Male Infertility. I was practically begging to be the problem in this equation. There have been great advancements, but five years ago there was virtually nothing.

Diagnosis

I made a firm decision before we went in for our reproductive endocrinologist (RE) consult. I would do work up. I would do everything up to IVF. That was my cut off, I would not subject my perfectly fertile body to hormonal chaos in the name of having biological children. I had read those blogs. People got sucked in, they tried and tried and tried some more. They blew their savings and went into debt. I drew my line in the sand. NO IVF. We left our consult with an IVF work-up pending urology results.

IF-2, Mandy-0.

We were referred to a wonderful, head-of-her-field urologist. At Hopkins. If she couldn’t help us, there would be no babies. (No one warned me how horrifically uncomfortable it would be to watch someone else come face to face with your husbands manhood!) There were blood tests, ultrasounds, semen and sperm analyses, and finally a diagnosis of Non-Obstructive Azoospermia (NOA). The worst of the worst. 1% of the population.

I had begged for an obstruction, for something that could be treated. My googling was for naught; no blogs, no experiences existed. I was deciphering medical journals and snippets of papers and reports. There was lots of speak of “try.” Try was something we’d been doing for quite a while.

Lines in the Sand

We were told that if sperm was found, the chances of it being viable were slim. It was our only option. The holiday season was approaching, and since we were fortunate enough to have complete IVF coverage we decided to try. What’s the worst that could happen? It could work?! The fertile could conceive?

Initially we were told we had to have donor back up, and I was fine with this. I saw it as a consolation prize. Not my husband’s baby biologically, but only we had to know. No big deal, right?

Wrong!

The man who cried his eyes out over the thought of never being able to conceive temporarily suspended the IVF because he decided it would be his baby or no baby. I can still feel the burn 6 years later. There were many tears shed because in my eyes all I had to do was go through with the IVF and presto, we’d have a baby. I only saw Baby, I didn’t see biological claims because either way it would be linked to me.

To know that the person I chose to marry, the person I chose to conceive with, the infertile of this equation was preventing ME from having a baby was more than I could handle. I contemplated ending my marriage. I contemplated sleeping with an undergrad who was a dead ringer for a 20 year old version of my husband. I researched donor embryos and adoption. Ultimately I decided to take a break and went to the beach. The IF monster was after us.

IF-3, Mandy-0.

As we sat in a diner on a cold October night, we each pleaded our cases to each other. I asked how donor sperm is different from adoption; he asked if I would leave. I desperately tried not to view him as the obstacle between me and our baby, but it was hard.

I slowly came to understand that through his eyes it would be unfair to him to not be biologically linked to our child if I were. We agreed to move to adoption if this didn’t pan out. We became closer as a couple in those 45 minutes than we had been to that point. We found the common ground we should have started on.

Conception the High Tech Way

Thankfully when we got home our RE had a change of heart and agreed to drop the donor sperm requirement. This became a super high tech method of conception. IVF with ICSI via mTESE. Or in vitro fertilization with intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection via male testicular sperm extraction.

My googling was in vain. I just had to trust that we would find ourselves on the right side of the abysmal success rates. My husband agreed to have his manhood surgically dissected, under a microscope, in the hopes of finding a single sperm. The big day of retrieval and mTESE came and went with no sperm. Three hours of microsurgery and nothing. Everything was for naught.

I followed his wailing to the back of the recovery ward. That was the darkest day of our relationship. We didn’t speak. What was there to say? The good doctor offered to try again, after a year of recovery time had passed.

IF-4, Mandy-0.

The next morning the familiar number of my nurse appeared on my phone. I almost didn’t answer. She was calling to check on me and I was going to be a blubbering fool. I was going to be forever trapped in an infertile relationship, what could she possibly offer me?

She offered me my children.

She told me that two techs worked for six hours sifting through samples and found two sperm. Two sperm, that thanks to ICSI produced two embryos, that developed into our beautiful ladies. Call it a miracle, call it luck, call it whatever you will − we won by knockout.

Today

I couldn’t consider myself any more fortunate to have two happy and healthy little people running my life. I appreciate my journey to them, and am thankful for the experience that has brought my husband and me closer.

However, I’m still marked. IF doesn’t leave; we aren’t cured. I will forever be trapped by my husband’s infertility. I’d love to have more children. Call it greed, if you must. From time to time I do have a chip on my shoulder. I don’t think I could handle the stress and anxiety of another equally complicated try. I know the odds haven’t changed to our favor. As I’ve started to tell my ladies, life isn’t always fair and you just have to make the best of it. So make the best of it we will!


Infertility TalesThis post is part of Infertility Tales 2014, How Do You Do It?‘s series to raise awareness about infertility and its impact on families. Please take a moment to read through some of the personal stories of loss, pain, fertility treatments, and success.

Succeeding to Fail: The Hope and Pain of Infertility, a His- and Her- Perspective

(This post was submitted by Candace and Chris.)

Hope and Pain of Infertility

Candace

Hope

Sunday, the night before our beta was like the day of emotional turmoil. Nervously, and with heavy hearts we both knew what the outcome was. I mean it’s kind of obvious when you blazed through close to 7 or 8 boxes  of home pregnancy tests. Each one, hoping to grasp for some sign that the one before was wrong. This is where hope comes in, although all of these home tests were negative, we still tried to convince ourselves that just maybe they were wrong. You start to develop a myriad of excuses to yourself why it maybe positive. Late implantation? Low betas? Factory workers at the 1st Response plant went on strike and sabotaged the tests? But having so many of these “Sunday’s” in cycles previous, this 5th one stung so much more. So we hung on, barely dangling by a thin string with a glimmer of hope and a lot of praying.

Pain…

is when on Monday you go in for your blood test and our favorite nurse takes one look at our faces as we walk in and knows. With tears also in her eyes, she just knows. She knows that she is going to take my blood, and it will be the same result as before and that she is the one who is taking the sample that will devastate a still childless couple for the next few weeks or whenever we can start crawling out of our hidey hole. So we go home and we wait, we cry, we pray, and we hope for some kind of relief from the pain of this life we have been living for the past 5+ years. I have felt pain, trust me fertility procedures hurt like hell. I have also endured emotional pain from life’s journeys.

It is when you can’t breathe from the weight of the pain on your chest when you get the call from the Dr. that says “I am so sorry Candace, it didn’t take this time… again” the pain is unimaginable. It’s hard to swallow that lump of pain in your throat. I mean, I did everything I could have! Truly an empty feeling when you know you are back at ground zero and all of your money, efforts, bodily sacrifice were for nothing. Our knees buckle from under us and with tears streaming we know it is at this moment we are back to putting our life and future on hold. Trying to find a way to make the pain recede so you can function through your day, at work, at the store when you run into yet another friend that tells you she is pregnant.  We will bounce back, we always do. But after falling so many times, it is harder to get back up. No shots, no surgeries, no painful procedures can compare to the pain of the loss of hope again, I hate you infertility.

Infertility: the hope and pain

Chris

Hope

If there is one thing that fertility challenges have taught us it us that we can quickly disregard the expectations based on normal circumstances. It is normal for couples trying to conceive to go several months before conceiving a child. It is normal for this timeline to extend slightly longer if birth control has been used for several years. 5+ years is not normal. That is why it is so easy for us to ignore negative pregnancy tests. “Well, it normally will show up 5 days passed your missed period. We are not normal so it must be that the IVF did work this time…it’s just not showing up yet.” How does this equal hope you ask? I took a picture of the results window of a pregnancy test that we took and zoomed in to see if there was a faint line on it. On some level, I knew it was not a positive test, I know that it should be positive if our procedure had been successful. But that is all under normal circumstances. My HOPE came in the form of us being the exception to the rule. Our desire to start a family has become so great that we are putting hope in anything we can. Even if it is the hope that our fertility journey will never be described as normal, well that is enough for us. So, I took the picture and zoomed in on the area that should show a positive line with the HOPE that my eyes were just not able to see the line that must be there this time.

Pain

My pain came when we finally had to face the fact that this last round was not successful. I went into the room that had all of our shot and fertility paraphernalia in it and knew that we would not be continuing the treatments this round. I quickly packed up all of those things and put them in a dark corner. We do not know yet what our next move is, whether we will face that pile of syringes again or what. I knew I could not face all of that stuff and all of the pain and sacrifice it represented and not be knocked back down in the muds of failure we will start desperately trying to climb out of. I would rather go back to the couch that Candace is crying uncontrollably on than face my own despair, disappointment, and growing disenchantment with the thought that this will ever work for us. Cowardly, sure, but it was all I had in me.

Candace and I are in a difficult pattern right now. It is easy to stay heartbroken, depressed, and certain that all has failed. We are hungry, not wanting to eat, and certainly not energetic enough to cook anything. We want to go out, don’t want to decide where to do, and definitely not interested in expelling any energy to get there. It is much harder to climb out of this. Although the “climb” is emotional, it requires great physical resolve, because at this moment, all of our energy has been consumed by the pile of negative pregnancy tests and those few words from the doctor’s office, “Sorry it did not work this time.” For now, we will look to tomorrow. Not the future “tomorrow,” simply the day after today. Time heals and infertility is no exception. Damn though! Time sometimes seems to move soooooooo slow.

Infertility: hope and pain

This post was originally published on Candace and Chris’ blog Our Misconception. Watch MTV True Life: I’m Desperate to Have a Baby. Check in later this week for a wonderful update!


Infertility TalesThis post is part of Infertility Tales 2014, How Do You Do It?‘s series to raise awareness about infertility and its impact on families. Please take a moment to read through some of the personal stories of loss, pain, fertility treatments, and success.

Angela’s Perspective – Honoring Moms Who Aren’t: Remembering the Bereaved or Infertile

Whether you yourself are a bereaved mom, a woman dealing with infertility, or a friend of someone who wants to be a mom, read this. Read it. Share it.

For loss moms and infertile women

(A version of this post was originally written by HDYDI author Angela in honor of International Bereaved Mother’s Day, a day set aside in 2010 to honor moms who have lost a child, whether it be through miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, or loss at another time. It’s a day to honor the moms who ache to be moms, but have struggled with infertility and may not have ever been pregnant. Who ache for morning sickness. Who ache for sleepless nights. It’s for ALL moms who have lost a child or never had one she so desperately wanted; who the world may not see as a mom, but who feels like one even though she isn’t holding her child.)

I am a proud mom to my children.  I am a loss mom, too.  And I would like to acknowledge my babies.

Baby Bickford, miscarriage 8 weeks, 2008
Baby Bickford, miscarriage 6 weeks, 2010
Carter Eugene Bickford, infant loss – born 12/9/11, died 1/27/12

carter

And I want you to acknowledge your lost child. It doesn’t matter when you lost them, because they mattered.

A person’s a person no matter how small. ~Dr. Seuss

They mattered. And it’s time the world took notice.

To the moms who lost babies… Don’t be shy about speaking your child’s name. Or the way they left this world. The only way the world will learn to accept the loss of a child as a real thing is if we talk about it. Not just to each other. To any one. To every one. No, I’m not asking you to walk up to a stranger and say your child died. I’m asking you to be proud that they lived, for however small of a time. To be proud enough to make that time count. I’m not asking you to dwell. I’m asking you to remember. To celebrate. To make a difference in the name of your child. To give hope to those who will come after you. To be a light in their darkness.

For those who feel the ache because you have yet to even feel the joys of pregnancy, I’m asking you to be kind to yourself. To take that desire to be a mom and put it 110% into something aside from grief. Mentor. Be a great aunt. Work in your church nursery. Babysit. Find the mothering moments in every day moments that you may be missing. Not because you’ve given up, but because you’re letting precious opportunities slip by, moments that you could be sharing your motherly instincts, your motherly love with little boys and girls who may need a motherly influence in their lives. Don’t miss out on these moments. These are the moments that will prepare you for the motherhood you so deeply desire.

There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.

For the broken ones that know they will never have a child of their own, at least not from their own body, I’m asking you to find peace. Make peace with your body, your soul, and your partner. Forgive yourself for the feelings you have of guilt, like so many do. Know that you are still a mom in your heart, because in your heart is where that desire first grew, and it never died. You’ll always feel that way, that’s what makes you so beautiful.

For the moms who are moms and have never had to experience the pain of loss, know that it exists. Don’t brush it off. Don’t ignore it just because you couldn’t imagine how it must feel. Or don’t want to imagine it. Don’t ignore it because it’s too hard to talk about. If you do that, you’re telling your friend – the world – that these children don’t matter. Put yourself in our shoes, and just for a moment, feel what we do. Feel it so hard that you hurt. Feel it so much that the next time a loss mom wants to tell you about their baby or their loss, you listen. Hug. Cry. Bond. Because you are the model of what motherhood is. You are what we wish we could be. What we might never be. Remember that. And remember to always be grateful for your little ones, sleepless nights, poop-smeared wall, and all.

Love on yourself today. Love on a friend who’s feeling the loneliness of empty arms. And never, ever take a child – yours, the lost ones, or anyone else’s – for granted.

flowerAngela is a stay-at-home mom raising surviving triplets. She lost her first-born triplet, Carter, after 49 days, and her survivors, B & T, keep her pretty busy with their ongoing needs as a result of their prematurity. She manages to find time for her business, her job at Hand to Hold, a non-profit dedicated to preemie/NICU awareness and support, and her personal blog (angelabickford.com). Her tagline ‘Mom of Triplets. Lost One. Survived & Sharing’ is her goal in blogging and she aims to share with others that it’s possible to survive after loss. She and her husband live in the Houston, TX suburb of Cypress.


Infertility TalesThis post is part of Infertility Tales 2014, How Do You Do It?‘s series to raise awareness about infertility and its impact on families. Please take a moment to read through some of the personal stories of loss, pain, fertility treatments, and success.

Helene Tells All: The Honest Truth About the Process of Becoming a Mother

(This post was originally published by HDYDI contributor  on her blog I’m Living Proof that God Has a Sense of Humor.)

I’ve written a post or two about what no one tells you about parenthood… motherhood, to be more specific.

However, what about what it takes to achieve motherhood… you know, the nitty gritty part.

I realize for some people this is the FUN part… the “let’s do the nasty and get ourselves knocked up” part, where they partake in a few minutes of sexual activity and then get back to their everyday lives without a care in the world.

Then there are those of us, me included, who can’t seem to get pregnant… to save our lives, no matter what we try.

A humorous look at the nitty gritty of conception for the infertile mother-to-be.

Here’s what no one tells you about the process of BECOMING a mother:

  1. All those myths about sexual positions and the like may not (and probably will not) result in a pregnancy. You can lay on your back with your hips propped up and your legs in the air for a whole 15 minutes after sex… that ain’t gonna make you a baby.In fact, all it will bring you is a horribly painful UTI, as well as an uncomfortable wet spot that you’ll be stuck sleeping in… again.
  2. Your sexy, hunk of a man will no sooner become nothing more than a piece of meat to you. When he starts accusing you of just using him for his body, that’s when you know you’ve hit an all-time low… that, and he finally catches on that the reason he can’t sleep at night is because you’ve been secretly switching his caffeine-free coke with regular coke so his sperm would swim faster.Oh, and for what it’s worth, referring to his sperm as “baby batter” will, more than likely, not go over well with him.
  3. You don’t even go the extra mile anymore to spice things up. Instead of dressing in sexy lingerie and cooking him his favorite meal as a way of buttering him up, you meet him at the door after work wearing absolutely nothing, and yelling, “Hurry up and get naked… my ovaries just shot out an egg like 38 minutes ago! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s GO!”
  4. There is no such thing as “not in the mood” when you’re trying to make a baby. Tim once pulled that excuse on me, to which I responded, “I don’t need you to be in the mood, I don’t need romance… hell, I don’t even need foreplay… I just need your half of the DNA, for crying out loud!”
  5. You’ll have major fights over the silliest things. God forbid he turn up the heater at night and now you have no idea if your temperature is really based on the fact that you’ve already ovulated or if it’s a false reading because you were sweating in your sleep.You can’t believe that he won’t reschedule his business trip for the week AFTER you ovulate. I mean, the world can certainly wait for him to make a deal with Kawasaki for a new voice-over IP but I only get ONE chance each month to hit the baby jackpot.
  6. Infertility is an equal opportunity employer. It will target you, hunt you down and make you suffer. It doesn’t matter if you’re the next Mother Theresa, sharing all your wealth with the homeless people downtown under the freeway… and it doesn’t matter if you’re the most selfish, disrespectful person on earth.Infertility doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done.Even though it’s not the elite group people want to be a part of, there is a sisterhood among those of us women who have been forced to join the ranks. You could have nothing else in common with another woman except for your mutual diagnosis of infertility… and suddenly she becomes your closest friend and confidante.
  7. It’s okay to be angry with God. He totally gets it.When a pregnancy doesn’t occur within those first few months of trying, you’ll chalk it up to bad timing. Any longer than that and you start to wonder if maybe God has it in for you.You’ll try to strike up a bargain with Him… you’ll go to church/temple more often, you’ll stop swearing, you’ll give half of your paycheck to the poor… all that and more if He’ll finally bless you with a baby.Don’t be surprised if He doesn’t answer your prayers right away. That’s not how He rolls.But don’t ever lose hope or faith. That really pisses Him off.If with each failed cycle, your determination to become a mother only grows stronger and more persistent, that’s the work of God right there.
  8. Never say never.Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, femoral massage, drinking Robitussin by the gallon, gorging on baby carrots and pretzels, peeing on ovulation sticks, taking pictures of ovulation sticks and posting them online seeking your friends’ opinions, buying stock in Preseed, avoiding oral sex like the plague because you read somewhere that saliva can kill sperm, forcing your husband to stand in front of the mirror and stare at your boobs with you in search of any tell-tale signs of early pregnancy, comparing your cervical mucus to pictures on the internet because you need to be 100% sure that this is what egg-white cervical mucus looks like, bitterly shopping at Target at midnight because chances are you won’t run into any pregnant women, leaving a voicemail for your ob/gyn, asking “Can you please tell me EXACTLY how low and open my cervical opening needs to be during ovulation?”, nonchalantly jamming 22-gauge needles into your own ass cheeks even though you’re normally scared shitless of even the smallest of needles, understanding what the acronyms 2WW, IUI, FET, AH, ICSI, DPO, DPT, BFP and BFN stand for…I’ll repeat it again…never say never.
  9. It’s all worth it in the end. Everyone will tell you that a million times and then some during your entire struggle of trying to conceive. You won’t wholeheartedly believe it, though, until you finally experience parenthood yourself.Trust me when I tell you that even though you’ll be severely sleep deprived and not know which end is up half the time… and you’ll still bear the battle wounds and scars of infertility… you’ll appreciate parenthood that much more, specifically because of what you had to endure to get there.
  10. With that said, don’t be surprised if, at least once a day, you find yourself wondering why you wanted to be a mother so badly… especially when you’ve gone days without a relaxing shower, hours without a meal to satisfy your grumbling belly, or a meaningful conversation with someone who doesn’t need their ass wiped or a bottle held in their mouth.Even though you desperately wanted to be a mother, you’re also entitled to have your bad “why me” moments, as well.It doesn’t mean you’re not in love with parenthood or that you don’t appreciate this blessing which God has bestowed upon you… it just means you’re human.

This post was originally published on I’m Living Proof that God Has a Sense of Humor.


Infertility TalesThis post is part of Infertility Tales 2014, How Do You Do It?‘s series to raise awareness about infertility and its impact on families. Please take a moment to read through some of the personal stories of loss, pain, fertility treatments, and success.

Clare’s Advice: 14 Things Your BFF Would Tell You About Fertility Treatment

(Submitted by Clare of SuperMommyClub.com.)

Falling pregnant should be the most natural thing in the world, but unfortunately for some of us that isn’t the case. When you want to have a baby finding out you or your partner have fertility issues is heartbreaking, and it can make you feel very alone.

I didn’t know who to talk to when we discovered that it wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be to get pregnant. Luckily my fertility clinic had an online forum set up. Overnight I went from having no one to a whole new list of complete strangers friends who knew exactly what I was going through. Over the following months and years we have experienced each other’s lows and highs through our treatments

I asked a few of them to help me out with this article, and between us we have compiled a list of things your BFF would tell you if you told her that you needed to have fertility treatment.

Infertility BFF

  1. Try not to let it take over your life.  It’s easier said than done, but the more relaxed  you are, the more likely the treatment will be successful.
  2. Be prepared for your mood to be affected by the medication you might need to take, and make sure your partner is prepared too! You might find yourself arguing more than usual, but it’s not you. It’s the drugs talking.
  3. Prepare to lose your dignity.
    • You will have to talk about elements of your sex life with a doctor, in front of your partner and you will also have to undergo a number of internal scans, which can be a bit of a shock the first time.
    • Don’t worry though because once you’ve gone through your cycle, you’ll not care a jot when you’re prodded and poked during pregnancy and labour!
  4. Involve your partner as much as you can. Have him administer your injections (if he’s not too squeamish) and encourage him to attend your follicle scans.
  5. Find someone to talk to, even if it’s a complete stranger on an internet forum. Infertility is a taboo subject, but it doesn’t need to be. I was surprised to discover an old friend was going through treatment at the same clinic as me!
  6. Be prepared for the treatment to be unsuccessful the first time. Sometimes it can take a couple of attempts for the clinic to perfect your treatment plan.
  7. Before you start your treatment sit down with your partner and discuss how many attempts you are willing to have. Once you are on the roller coaster it is hard to have that conversation and think rationally.
  8. Stay away from Google. During your treatment do not look up your symptoms or your follicle count etc. as you will only cause yourself unnecessary stress.
  9. Make sure you are emotionally ready. A treatment cycle can take a toll on you emotionally and is exacerbated by the drugs you have to take.
  10. Once you start your treatment cycle do not make plans for anything. You need to be available to go to the clinic as often as they need you to for scans.
  11. Don’t worry about the embryo scores. A poor quality embryo can still result in a precious baby, and unfortunately a top quality embryo does not guarantee a pregnancy.
  12. Be aware that getting that precious BFP (Big Fat Positive) is just the start. Many of us fell pregnant only to miscarry. Hopefully that won’t happen to you, but as your BFF it’s only right that we tell you.
  13. Be prepared for a number of ‘hurdles’ that you have to cross during treatment.
    • First you have to wait for your period to arrive (and this is the one time she won’t be bang on schedule!), then you have to go through a number of scans as you wait for your follicles to grow.
    • Then the day of Egg Collection arrives and you’ll nervously await your results, how many were collected, how many fertilised.
    • Then there’s the sleepless nights and anxious days waiting for the calls to say how the embryos are progressing.
    • Then there’s the dreaded two week wait as you wait not very patiently to see if you got that priceless BFP.
    • And that’s just the start of it, because if you do fall pregnant you will worry every minute until that baby is safely in your arms. (Then you still worry because then you’re a mama and that’s what mamas do!)
  14. Do everything you can to give your body the best possible chance.
    • Lose excess weight before your treatment.
    • Get fit and healthy.
    • Use acupuncture or hypnotherapy to relax.
    • Take time off work during your treatment cycle if that’s a possibility. Or if you think you’ll get more stressed at home by yourself then go to work but take things easy.
    • There is nothing scientific that says if you don’t drink alcohol, tea or coffee and stay on the sofa after the embryos are implanted that you will fall pregnant, but if you think that will help you then do it.
    • The real key is to do what you can to stay relaxed and keep positive, because remember it’s not over until the fat lady sings!

If you’re about to embark on fertility treatment then we wish you all the luck in the world and hope that you have a positive outcome.

Clare Swindlehurst is mommy to fifteen month old Girl/Boy twin toddlers who are already partners in crime and like to run rings around their mommy! She blogs at SuperMommyClub.com and can also be found hanging out on Twitter and Pinterest, looking for activities to keep her kiddos occupied.


Infertility TalesThis post is part of Infertility Tales 2014, How Do You Do It?‘s series to raise awareness about infertility and its impact on families. Please take a moment to read through some of the personal stories of loss, pain, fertility treatments, and success.