I will never forget the moment my husband and I decided we were ready to have kids. I just thought the first time we tried it would work, no doubt, why wouldn’t it? I was in my late 20’s, had super regular periods and considered myself to be pretty darn healthy. Boy was I wrong and didn’t realize at the time that I was about to embark in the longest, painful struggle of my life. I ended up doing 7 IUI’s and 7 IVF’s, losing 3 babies, miscarried my first baby on my 30th I went through 3 different doctors and did a TON of research and personal changes to help my odds better. Most importantly I never ever gave up. I knew in my heart I was put on this earth to be a Mom, so I fought like one.
After my 3rd failed IVF cycle I read a book that changed my life forever. In the book I learned about a fertility center that is one of the top centers in the world. I never thought we would go there or let’s be honest afford to go there but I brought it up to my husband and the next thing I knew we were on a plane heading to Denver, Colorado to The Colorado Center of Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) to meet with the top doctor/founder Dr. Schoolcraft. After going through extensive testing and labs Dr. Schoolcraft found out I had a blood disorder that attacks any foreign invaders in my body, such as an embryo. So anytime I would get pregnant my body would essentially naturally kill it off by building clots around the embryo to block nutrients to the embryo and eventually I would miscarry. So, anything I did before heading to CCRM would have never ever worked without taking daily blood thinners. That was a huge shock for us. Another issue we had to tackle was my egg quality. I had plenty of eggs (once I was put on the right protocol and medicine), but my quality was terrible. 4 more IVF cycles (we banked embryos) we did testing on all our embryos. We ended up with 5 normal, perfect embryos to transfer. Huge accomplishment given my odds. Even my doctor and nurse were shocked with our outcome.
The next challenge was to get pregnant and stay pregnant. Finally, our dreams came true on November 30th, 2016 we transferred our top 2 embryos and found out they both stuck. Of course, my painful journey wasn’t over yet. On Christmas night I woke up to buckets and buckets of red blood pouring out of me. Unfortunately, I was very familiar with this scene and knew I was losing my babies… again. I was rushed to the nearest hospital, crying my eyes out. I was sent down to do a quick ultrasound still gushing blood and a had a moment that will forever be graved into my heart. I was laying on the table, so I couldn’t see the screen, but I was watching my husband’s face and all sudden he just started crying so hard. In that exact moment I knew he saw something he has never seen before through these last 5 years. He saw our babies, their heartbeats, our daughters. Is this really happening? Did our dream finally come true? We found out I was bleeding from a tear in my uterus from when one of the embryos implanted. We were told one of the baby’s heartbeats were low and there was a chance we could lose her but only time would tell. I was put on strict bedrest until we could get the bleeding to slow down. I ended up bleeding for 9 weeks. I questioned every single day if I was losing my babies and had the biggest fear in my heart each day. Our little girls fought hard even through all the blood until 9 weeks we ended up losing baby B. It was a hard moment to swallow but I knew she played the biggest role in keeping Baby A all snuggled in. She gave us our greatest gift that could never be replaced. She gave us the titles we were waiting the last 5 years for. She helped us make our dreams come true. We finally became parents because of her. Her purpose was greater than we could ever imagine when we made the decision back in November to transfer two rather than just one. My husband and I know one day we will be extremely busy parents in heaven one day because of the little ones we lost too soon. On August 4th, 2017 our sweet little Ella came into this world. We finally won, we beat infertility. Every day when I look at her I am reminded of our journey. It’s a reminder to never give up on your dreams, to push through the pain, to do your own research and to always follow what your gut and heart are telling you to do. I truly believe one of the main reasons it worked for me was because I switched my entire diet and did things doctors told me they weren’t necessary but something in my heart told me to do it. It was hard, SO hard but it worked, and I would do it over again the same exact way to be where I am today. I will say during my personal journey I watched close friends get pregnant right away even with their second children and I had siblings add to their families with no trouble. It was the most difficult journey of my life. I will truly never understand why this has to happen to anyone. We traveled to Denver Colorado 7 times. When we did IVF treatments we drove 19 + hours one way so we could take our dog and stay there over a week each time and have a car. We spent $200,000 all out of pocket on our journey. I gave up chocolate, gluten, dairy and caffeine for 11 months during my IVF cycles. I did over 450 injections, underwent 9 procedures. I did 3 egg retrievals awake locally (insane) and I cried, oh I cried more tears than I ever will in my entire life but most importantly I worked my butt off each day and kept going; I fought like a MOTHER!
The things that helped me cope with my infertility battle were personal selfcare was a must. I would see an infertility therapist every other week. I would journal every night before bed, so I could let me thoughts and emotions release. I also got weekly massages to help my physical body. I knew my body was going through a storm on its own with all the hormones and injections, so I wanted to calm it down and give it a rest period. Super important for my mind body and soul. Music also helped me a lot. I would drive and sing out loud to songs. Lyrics really spoke to me. Also joining a private CCRM support group on Facebook and I made a personal IVF Instagram page. Being a part of this community helped me feel like I had someone that TRULY got what I was feeling or going through. I found out when I was giving my advice or telling my story it helped me mend daily. Most importantly cheering on others while others were cheering me on gave me strength and courage to get up and try again.
Am I going to share my journey with my children? Absolutely. I made a point to take pictures of our entire journey and I journaled every day. I took all those pictures, journal entries and my experience and made a book out of it. The book ended up being over 100 pages and it’s my masterpiece. It tells our story better than I could ever imagine. My plan is to give it to our children. Its apart of their makeup. It’s how they were made, and it shows our love on such a deeper level. How wanted and love each one of them are.
Keep fighting. Listen to what your inner soul is telling you and keep going. Do your own research and remember doctors don’t know everything. Especially how you are feeling inside and what your own body needs. Change things for you even if they think it’s unnecessary, you never know that could be the one thing your body needs to make your dreams come true. Everyone is different including your body and you may just need something totally different than someone else. Again, keep fighting.
Want to contact Kelly? Instagram: BecomingbabyE, Kelluffmassage@gmail.com
You can read more infertility stories or connect with others here. You can connect with me (Brianna) at AdventuresofaTwinMom@gmail.com or on Instagram.
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