Monday, April 13, 2009

My Infertility Story

I was 40 when we married in early 2007. Shortly before the wedding, I dragged us both to Cornell for a barrage of tests so we'd be ready for IVF, which I assumed I would have to endeavor due to my age. Imagine my surprise when I became pregnant naturally right after the honeymoon. Ten weeks later, the heartbeat had stopped and I had a D&C (two, actually, because the doctor missed something). I was devastated, as was my husband. My OB told us it was common and, for reasons which I still do not understand, tried to dissuade me from the "very expensive" fetal karyotype that would tell me for sure what had happened. I held my ground and Trisomy 13 was the verdict; my OB assured me that there was a 1% risk of recurrence. Fearing the worst and wanting to leave no stone unturned, I asked to have my karyotype done to rule out an inherited genetic problem. He said it was absolutely unnecessary. Still naive in many ways, I made the mistake of listening.

What followed were some of the longest and darkest days of my life. Numerous failed Clomid IUIs, a laparascopic myomectomy because "it must be the fibroids," and then the life-altering discovery that I was a carrier of a Robertsonian Translocation, a (usually) inherited chromosomal disorder which strongly impacts the ability to conceive, and, what's more, a known condition in my family of which, disturbingly, I was never aware. (Not to mention something which would have been diagnosed six months earlier had my OB actually listened to me.)

Anger and resentment ensued, and then life became even more complicated: three heartbreaking failed PGD cycles, another natural pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, my previous clinic's dangerously inaccurate communication of my blood-clotting results just before dropping me from their practice, a very close relative backing out of being my egg donor at the 11th hour, and me at the closest I've come to a true breakdown. All the while, the growing stress of buying and renovating an old home, my husband's immigration problems and his subsequent inability to find a job in a melting economy were also taking their toll.

There's been some good in this story: My husband has been extremely supportive during my infertility journey, something that perhaps has drawn us closer while giving him a sensitivity and appreciation that he would never have had otherwise...and I eventually found my way to CCRM, an incredible clinic where I re-learned the meaning of hope and where I'm currently involved in a succession of back-to-back bundled IVF cycles, each response better than the previous. I went from being dropped by my old clinic as a poor responder to producing 17 eggs and 10 good quality embryos at CCRM. Maybe there's a chance for me yet.


Linda said...

I am so sorry for your losses. But I'm glad you stuck to your guns and insisted on a karyotype. I know you're in great hands at CCRM. Miracles happen there every single day and I am hoping and praying that you get your miracle soon!! :)

Linda aka Tayloresque on IVFC

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