My husband and I went off the pill in April 2003. We weren’t necessarily serious about conceiving at this stage, we just thought we would see what happens. In the months that followed I began to experience terrible period pain and my mom encouraged me to go and see a fertility specialist. In October 2003 I had my first laparoscope and was diagnosed with stage four endometriosis. My fertility specialist recommended some treatment and we began using clomid. Unfortunately we had no luck and I decided to get a second opinion.
My second fertility specialist recommended that I have a second laparoscope and some blood tests. I was told that the endometriosis had caused a lot of damage and I also had a high level of FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone), this indicated that the quality of my eggs was questionable. He recommended that we try IVF as soon as possible.
Our first IVF in 2005 brought us only five eggs and two embyo’s , which was not great considering that I was only 27. The result was negative and our doc recommended that we try another IVF. He voiced his concern that egg quality was definitely a concern and recommended that if we got another negative result we should look at using donor eggs. My husband had a fantastic sperm count so he was ruled out as a problem.
A few months later we attempted our second IVF. We got seven eggs, but unfortunately only one embryo. Our result was once again negative. We decided to look for an egg donor. Our clinic found an egg donor for us in early 2006, a woman that was currently going through IVF and wanted to share her eggs. We got five eggs from her, unfortunately none of them fertilised.
By this stage we decided that we needed a break. We were broke and emotionally we had had enough. In 2008 we started to discuss doing another IVF again. This time my AMH was tested. This is a test to determine how many eggs you have left. Sadly once again we were told that we needed to look for an egg donor. My AMH was 0.89, low for my age. We looked for a donor through an agency and found one that looked exactly like me when I was a baby. We were excited and hopeful. We got six eggs and all of them fertilised. We transferred two embryos and on test day my results came back positive. My HCG levels were 69, I was happy. I was over the moon. We tested four days later and to my utter shock my HSG levels were only 111. They should have been closer to 300. The pregnancy didn’t seem viable. We tested again two days later, 136, it was over. I was told to stop all meds and wait for my period, but to test again in two days to make sure the beta was dropping. Our results, 262, the Beta had started to climb all of a sudden. I started to take my medication again and braced myself for my fifth beta, which was over 1000. So we did a scan, no heart beat, we scheduled a D&C. It was truly over.
Once we had recovered we decided to go forward with an FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer). We had four embryos on ice. We also decided to try a new treatment called intralipid therapy, this was supposed to reduce my natural killer cell count and help my body to accept the embryo. In early 2010, all four embryos survived the thaw and we transferred all four of them back. We were convinced that it would work, but our result was once again negative.
We decided to talk about adoption, and we agreed that we would try one more IVF and then move on. This time we chose a different donor, added intralipids and blood thinners. We got eleven eggs and three embryos, we transferred all three. Once again we got a negative, it was really really over.
We decided that we had to move on. We had spent enough money on fertility treatment and we had lost all hope that IVF would work for us. We agreed that we would pursue adoption and our hearts were at peace with that decision.
We approached two different social workers and went through the screening process. We both found the screening process difficult. Once you have experienced all the prodding and poking that goes with fertility treatment, you feel that there couldn’t be anything more invasive. The difference was that the adoption screening put more of a focus on your life, your marriage, your psyche, your health and your finances. In fact, your entire life is under a microscope. We understood the reasons for this approach, but our tired minds made it feel difficult.
By the end of 2010 our screening was over and we were officially on the waiting list. I joked that we could consider ourselves ‘pregnant’, it was just the length of the pregnancy that would be different.
We were lucky and we got the call on the 20 September 2011. A birth mother had chosen our profile and the baby was being born on the 24th September. The feeling was OVERWHELMING, AMAZING and very very SUREAL.
Our beautiful baby boy was born on the 24th September. I can still remember the first time I saw him. He was so perfect and so beautiful and I couldn’t believe that this was really happening to us.
Adoption has lead us to a beautiful place with a beautiful family. Our eight year journey here was hard and very painful, but we would do it all again for our precious son.