Success Story: Infertility Success Story

My Story When my husband, Greg, and I married in 1985, he was 32 and I was almost 30. Having had one child from a previous marriage and also dealing with his ex-wife having a tubal pregnancy, he had previously undergone a vasectomy. Now, however, the circumstances were different and we both wanted children. The first bill of order would be a vasectomy reversal. That procedure was successful, but we were not successful in conceiving after that on our own. After a few months we decided to see a fertility specialist. The first thing the doctor wanted to do was an exploratory surgery to see if my tubes were open. After that, all that he could conclude was he thought one tube "might" be blocked. He wasn't sure if it was just a muscle spasm thing or if it was actually blocked. Next, he put me on the fertility drug, Clomid. I was on that for what seemed forever with no results. He also did a couple of Sperm Washes, which just means that I would be injected with Pergonal to create more eggs, and then about the time I would be ovulating the doctor would inseminate my husband's sperm into me. This didn't work. Finally, after about 2 years with this particular fertility specialist, we decided to switch to another. One of the first things I had to do was a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test. A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an X-ray test that looks at the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes and the area around them. It often is done for women who are having a hard time becoming pregnant (infertile). During a hysterosalpingogram, a dye (contrast material) is put through a thin tube that is put through the vagina and into the uterus. This was a very painful experience for me. They suggested that I take some Advil or something similar beforehand so I did. This did NOTHING for the pain. I cannot believe that they didn't suggest something much stronger. However, I guess some women do not have that same pain. Next, the doctor suggested G.I.F.T. which stands for: Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer. Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) is a tool of assisted reproductive technology against infertility. Eggs are removed from a woman's ovaries, and placed in one of the fallopian tubes, along with the man's sperm. The technique, which was pioneered by endocrinologist Ricardo Asch, allows fertilization to take place inside the woman's body. I had to go through a series of shots: Lupron, which I injected myself, and Pergonal, which my husband reluctantly had to administer. Once the procedure was over, sure enough, I became pregnant. I went in for an ultrasound and the doctor saw two embryos, one with a heartbeat and one without. He just figured that the one hadn't "started" beating yet. So when I went back at about 11-12 weeks and had another ultrasound, I was devastated to learn that there were "no heartbeats". Following that we went back for at least one attempt at In Vitro Fertilization with G.I.F.T. frozen leftovers. Unsuccessful. One year and 3 months after the first G.I.F.T., I wanted to try it one last time. (especially since it did create a pregnancy) So we went through all of it again, same shots, anesthesia, etc. Once again, it worked. I became pregnant. I was not in a hurry to spread the news after the last experience, though, so we didn't tell many. At about 3-4 months along, I started cramping and bleeding so I thought I had possibly miscarried. I went in to the doctor the following morning to have an ultrasound, and to my surprise, there was a heartbeat! When I was about 5 months along I started experiencing pre-term labor and had to be monitored at home twice a day for contractions. That was hard because I had a dog at the time and if I walked with her for 15 minutes it would cause contractions. Then they would tell me to stop doing that. (I didn't) In the end, I ended up almost a week "overdue" and had to be induced. My daughter, Kayla was born Feb. 9, 1993 when I was 37 years old. Having her was the most wonderful thing that I had ever experienced up until that point. I really wanted another child, but knew it would probably be too hard to go through all that again (and with no guarantees) Ovulation kits were just coming out at this time and I would buy one now and then to try out. However, since Greg was gone on business every week from Mon. to Fri. timing things right was near to impossible. When Kayla was 1-1/2 years old, I just became pregnant. My periods were very irregular due to nursing so I didn't really think I could even get pregnant. The odds seemed so stacked against us also. We were so happy to be able to have another child. Gina was born May 25, 1995 when I was 39 years old. I guess when it comes to trying to become pregnant everyone has their limit. How long should you keep trying? Can you even afford the cost? I am not sure how much insurance will cover these days. For us, at the time, we had good insurance that covered the G.I.F.T. procedures and most of the rest. I remember looking into adopting at some point during our procedures, but my heart just wasn't into it. I am just so thankful that we were able to have our two beautiful girls the way we did. I just couldn't give up and I am thankful that I didn't. There is a lot more medical technology available to help women become pregnant in this day and age. So if you are one of those women (like me) who really wants a baby, believe it can happen, and it probably will. Just keep reading about what options are available and find a good doctor. Good luck! Diane

Diane Downey, United States