My Story…..My infertility….My Journey as an Intended Parent
December 1, 2009
I am not in control….In any way shape or form. I am totally out of control actually. My mind is full and I have nothing to do, nothing that would make a difference. The first time I went through IVF I was so excited at the possibility of finally achieving a successful pregnancy. After 5 years of struggle and multiple losses I was on my way to a scientifically proven method to get me pregnant with a healthy embryo that would possibly result in a beautiful baby.
Did somebody say Carefree Childhood?
I was 12 when I was diagnosed with cancer. I underwent treatment including experimental radiation to control my tumor.
When little girls get cancer in 2010 it is medically recommended to remove the ovaries and freeze them, once radiation therapy is complete the ovaries are replaced back into the healthy cancer free body. This ovarian preservation wasn’t heard of 23 years ago.
I was 12 and the year was 1982, I had the best doctors in NYU, Lenox Hill and Mt. Sinai.
After Chemical therapy and radiation my tumor went into remission. I have lived a healthy cancer free life since then, no limitations whatsoever.
One is a lonely number but two is the loneliest number.
Especially when you have a house full of bedrooms…..
20 years later I was ready to start a family. 2004 my husband and I got pregnant the very first time we tried naturally. We were elated! We went to my OBGYN and we had a scan. Our eyes locked in on the tiny black and white monitor as we saw a little sac with a heartbeat! My doctor on the other hand saw 3 large fibroids (benign uterine tumors) threatening the life of my little unborn baby. A few weeks later we were told that the fibroids were growing at such a rapid rate from the hormone increase. Tragedy was inevitable and the uterine tumors would inhibit the baby’s growth causing a miscarriage in a few weeks time. We were just waiting for it to end. Exactly two weeks later I was teaching my 3rd period 2D3D design class and I felt a terrible pain in my abdomen, I left school immediately and met my husband at the hospital. At 12 weeks the heartbeat was no longer and we had our first D&C.
6 months later I underwent a major surgery to remove my fibroids and preserve my uterus, a myomectomy; a surgery comparable to a c-section. All went well and I was on the mend both physically and emotionally. I stayed home all summer and painted large works on canvas while my stomach healed.
Back in the saddle
6 more months passed and my incision was healed, I was aloud to try to conceive again. This time it took 6 months to get pregnant. We were so happy to finally see those two pink lines on the HPT! (By the way…I am a POAS Addict…translation; Pee On A Stick! I would by them in bulk on line and pee 2-3 times a day on a tiny strip of paper. “Babyhopes.com” delivers right to your door, a plain brown bag wrapped package of pregnancy strips! We went back to the doctor elated, finally our troubles were behind us. After two visits to the OB it was clear that the fetus was measuring small and the heartbeat that should have been, never came. Our second D&C was scheduled and followed out.
Keeping the Faith
6 more months passed and I was still not getting pregnant. I was 36 at this point and I thought maybe I should seek fertility help. My OBGYN told me to “be patient and it would happen”. Reluctantly I listened and it did happen, I had another positive pregnancy test within two months of that discussion!
Again my numbers did not climb as they should and my fetus was measuring small with no heartbeat. After the devastating news my husband and I were told that we could have a D&C that night and we agreed. The time between getting that news and going to he hospital for the D&C seemed to play out in slow motion. We went to a diner near by and sat across from one another in disbelief. Tears did not come so easily this time and we were just shocked and numb. My third D&C was performed that night and we went home to cry and heal together.
I remember not being able to cry to anyone…and everyone wanted to listen and help. I could not cry, I think for fear that I might not stop crying, or that I might become inconsolable. I cried on my way to work alone in my car, it became a regular part of my routine. I screamed and yelled at God and cried all 35 minutes and I would stop my hysterical meltdowns just a few miles shy of the faculty parking lot so not to look too disheveled.
What is wrong with me?
The third D&C came back with some tests performed on the fetus and we found out it was a girl and she had a trisomy 13. An extra chromosome # 13 and we were told how lucky we were that the pregnancy aborted naturally because in some cases the pregnancy could go to term only to result in a baby who’s life would be just days long at the most.
Why are we going through this without HELP!?….
We went to a well-known fertility clinic Called RMA in West Orange NJ on the suggestion of my neighbor who had three successful pregnancies through IVF. RMA prescribed 1 round of Clomid (a drug used to make a woman’s ovaries drop multiple eggs at once… to create more than one target so to speak) in conjunction with an IUI (Inter uterine Insemination Via Catheter). We did not get pregnant.
I did some research and found that down the road, literally just down the road, was a world renowned clinic called IRMS in Livingston NJ. IRMS was prepared to treat me more aggressively. I was now 37 and with a cancer/radiation history I was at high risk of never having a successful pregnancy. It was brought to my attention that perhaps my eggs were damaged from radiation therapy, causing chromosomally abnormal embryos.
IRMS suggested an innovative treatment called IVF with PGD. PGD is Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. They would remove 1 cell from each embryo created to check for genetic abnormalities.
It was a HUGE SUCCESS!!!!!!!
I made 20 eggs on my first round of stimulation meds, I made 12 embryos from those 20 eggs and 7 were “Normal” after PGD screening.
3 were placed in my uterus and my Son Nicholas was born on July 16th 2008.
What I did not mention yet was the horrible effects pregnancy had on my body, more specifically my heart behaved in a mysterious way. My heart was beating irregularly and I was diagnosed with unexplained Tachycardia with arrhythmia in the 4th month. As I approached my 5th month many doctors told me I should terminate my pregnancy in order to save myself. I refused and I was asked to leave Hackensack Medical center because they could not be responsible for what could happen. My High Risk OBGYN at Hackensack University Medical Center came to my room and told me “the only thing we can do for you is to terminate your pregnancy, we can transport you to Colombia if you like” I left the hospital with the support of my cardiologist who guided me to a group of doctors who were willing to help me. I went under the care of 2 cardiologists and a new high-risk group. After 2 trips to the ER via ambulance from collapse at my home, I was placed on medication to control my heart rate. I was put on bed rest with a wireless heart monitor attached to my chest for 3 months. I received calls from doctors around the clock checking on me after seeing irregular beats or a run on PVC’s through the monitoring. I finally got to see my son born via c-section 3 weeks early and unharmed.
After my sons birth I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and Post Partum Depression. The first few months on Nicholas’s life I was a mess, thankfully I was successfully medicated for a year and I am now free of all meds and back to my old self.
The Only Child?
My husband and I knew from the start we wanted more than just 1 child. Don’t get me wrong…we are so grateful for Nick and we know how lucky we are!
In the past 8 months we found out we have 3 frozen embryos left from the batch of embryos we made with Nicholas. Three Frozen Babies…1 girl and 2 boys….we know the genders because of the genetic testing done to each embryo.
I know I cannot carry again, and we are not willing to let those frozen babies go to waste.
We knew we needed someone to carry for us. We began to search for our gestational carrier.
How chic! A Gestational Carrier is so in Style! Didn’t Sarah Jessica Parker do that?
Well now it’s almost time for Jennifer from Granby Ct. to have our babies put in her belly. Jennifer is 26 years old, married with two beautiful children. She has had uncomplicated pregnancies and delivered easily. Jen lives a healthy lifestyle, she is a vegetarian and her family owns a successful health food store. We met on a social networking site for surrogates and intended parents called Surrogatemother.com. After months of criminal background checks, medical screenings and psych evaluations we are ready to go! We used Melissa Brissman, a specialized lawyer in Montvale NJ to draw up the contracts and handle the escrow account. Jennifer should begin her meds in a couple of weeks and hopefully she will become pregnant with a singleton or twins in the next few months. We hope to God it works! Please pray for us.
Stay Tuned for updates, we’ll keep you posted!