Allie is the first guest blog post for my infertility series, You Are Not Alone – National Infertility Awareness Week.
Thank you Allie for sharing your story!!
Allie is so special to me because she is the one who referred us to our infertility doctor. Without her suggestion, I probably would still be waiting for answers from the other doctor I was going to use, who had a 3 month waiting list just to sit down for a consult! What is so crazy and clearly the workings from up above is that I had posted to my local moms group asking if anyone knew of any fertility specialists in our area. Another person in the group, Katie, who knew of Allie’s infertility, quickly added Allie to the group so that she could see my post. Allie responded with the name of her doctor and her amazing experience with his clinic, and so I setup my first appointment for the very next day!
Fast forward to a month or so later….I’m at a play date with Katie and she asks if I ever found a doctor. I tell her about Allie responding to my post and referring a great doctor that I love. Katie then tells me that she had added Allie to our group, hoping that she would see my post and respond. So a big thank you to Katie as well for orchestrating it all! 🙂
This is Allie’s infertility story in her own words:
Lets start at the beginning, shall we? I met my husband when I was a senior in high school, and we dated nearly 5 years (long distance in college) before we got married. Fast-forward to spring of 2011, and we had been married 2 years. We talked about it, and we were ready to start our family.
We weren’t in any hurry… We figured it would happen, so I got off the pill. I had a few normal cycles, but then they stopped. I would go 2 or 3 months without having one, but we planned a vacation to Vegas in December 2011 (when I thought I would be ovulating) but when we got there I was still waiting on Aunt Flo… Feeling frustrated I knew I needed to go see my OBGYN (who I had been seeing for years). I literally called her office from the Monte Carlo Casino floor. I kept telling myself… if I start my period, I will just cancel. It will come any day… I still wasn’t nervous, but I was getting a taste of the frustration to come.
I will never forget that appointment. I remember thinking, they will give me some pills to make me start my cycle and I will be on my merry way to motherhood. I didn’t know it, but I’d be getting some pills…
My amazing doctor came in and greeted me. We discussed my cycles and that they were getting more irregular the longer I had been off the pill. The devastating news came shortly. My doctor looked me in the eye and said, “Allie, if you aren’t having a menstrual cycle, then you aren’t ovulating. It is likely going to be difficult for you to get pregnant on your own, and I would like to start an infertility work up on you with labs.”
I was diagnosed with PCOS. I was devastated. I didn’t lose hope, but part of me was crushed! I felt like this is what happens to everyone else, not me. I cried to my husband and my mom on my way home from the doctor. I cried. I cried hard. I knew logically that being difficult didn’t mean impossible, but it still hurt.
I started cycling Provera and Clomid to help me ovulate. Month after month… it did not work.
I began to feel incredibly isolated. My friends were all having babies, and we no longer shared common ground. Neither they, nor I, could find a middle ground. I felt so isolated. I was an emotional wreck. With every facebook announcement, shower invitation, and smiling baby I felt this deep longing.
On the 4th cycle of Clomid, we got a “Yes, you ovulated!” Hallelujah!! Now, pregnancy wasn’t a guarantee, but we were a hell of a lot close than we were back in December. It’s now May of 2012… and we get a BIG FAT POSITIVE!! We were elated!!! Even though it had only been about a year of trying, it had been frustrating.
Things were going great!! I had some light spotting before our 12-week appointment, but that wasn’t super alarming to the on call doctor over the weekend, and we had an appointment early the next week. My husband and I were so excited to be getting to that “safe mark”. Sitting in the waiting room I could hardly wait for our sonogram. I’d been feeling great.
The sonographer hadn’t been monitoring long when she alarmed us with, “I see something abnormal here.” My heart SANK! I tried to remain calm so she could finish the sonogram. She told us she needed to talk to the doctor, and I began to sob. My favorite nurse came in, and we were told we were being referred immediately to a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist for a second opinion and closer look. We walked to their office within the hospital. It was confirmed that our baby in fact had Trisomy 13 & 18. Each fatal on their own, but we likely had both. We were told that our baby would likely die in utero, but would not live past age 1.
The news broke me. It ripped me in two.
This baby we had begged for, was slowly being taken from us in the worst of ways. My baby was already in distress. Its heart rate was rapid and its lungs were filled with fluid.
I miscarried a week later.
This took a huge toll on me emotionally.
I tried Clomid a few more times and never responded to it again. In the winter of 2012 we were referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. My husband and I went for our consult and we knew this man was going to walk alongside us in helping to bring home our baby.
I must say, God truly blessed us in all the doctors we ever saw, and there were at least 3 that had an active hand in our medical care. I never lost faith, but God really tested me. Infertility and miscarriage is a hard road, one I know I am not alone on.
In early 2013 we began prepping for our first IUI. Our first cycle was cancelled due to cysts on my ovaries. On to birth control for a month before we could try again… I was again, frustrated, but we were on the right path.
Next cycle, I did Follistim injections, but the day before our IUI my follicles shrunk and we were advised that it was probably best to forgo that cycle… Frustration… Again…
After that I decided to take a break. My body had been pumped full of synthetic hormones for almost 2 years at this point. I went on spring break with my best friend in New Mexico. I needed to do some soul searching and really pray. I must say, my faith truly grew through all of this. I read Hannah’s Hope (which I highly recommend) and truly found peace with God about my situation.
After coming home we geared up for another cycle. More Follistim injections at a higher dose and Ovidril to trigger. Lots of monitoring and quiet waiting rooms… We made it to IUI day and the waited… I found out the weekend after Mother’s Day of 2013 that we were expecting in January 2014. Our first pregnancy would have also been a January due date, so there is definitely something special about that.
Around the same time in my pregnancy I began spotting again, but thankfully it was a placenta previa. It was an easy pregnancy, but I was very anxious. Every sonogram I nearly held my breath praying that everything was ok and looking good.
I delivered our baby girl in January. She is truly the light of our lives, and is our greatest blessing. Parenthood is truly a gift, and a miracle not lost of us. We are thankful everyday for our healthy girl.
I pray that if you are ready this, and in the midst of infertility that you never give up hope. See a specialist, ask for more testing, do your research… but never give up. God truly blessed us, and though I will never forget the pain… After every storm there is a rainbow.
For more information about infertility click here.
To learn more about National Infertility Awareness Week click here.
One of the reasons I decided to write about my own infertility experiences and share my friends’ stories as well, is because I’ve found a lot of comfort from reading other online posts from women going through the same struggles. If you ever want to chat with me on a more personal level, I’d love to connect over on Facebook or Instagram! Follow me on Facebook at We’re the Joneses and @werethejoneses on Instagram