Monday, September 16, 2013

A New Beginning - IVF

The last three years have been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. One year into our journey, we moved across continents to Mumbai, India and started the second phase of our attempt with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).

Months came and went, most ending without any progress, but we always started every cycle with renewed hope and that feeling that - that this was going to be "the cycle". We consulted numerous doctors (at least four), each giving us a new list of investigations to be done and proposing sometimes similar but sometimes different prognosis. To summarize, between all these experts no exact reason was found for our infertility.

I finally found some success with two different natural Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) cycles which resulted in pregnancies but ended faster than I could say "I am pregnant!". While the loss of both were equally devastating, the first one was more difficult to digest. I got a positive home pregnancy test on Day 14 post IUI followed by 79 on my beta HCG.

I finally convinced myself that the first incident was just an isolated incidence and that this was really happening. However, given my history, the doctor asked us to repeat the test in 72 hours, and guess what the HCG count increased but did not double, as you would want it to in a healthy pregnancy. I researched all possible sites on the internet and found some peace in the fact that there were cases when an initial non-doubling HCG count had resulted in healthy pregnancies. So another 48 hours passed, before we tested again to only find out that the count had started to decline. The doctor told us that my body was taking care of the un-healthy pregnancy on its own which is a good thing.  At such a moment it is hard to see how anything can be a good thing, right?

To cut a long story short, I miscarried naturally. We got pregnant with our second IUI attempt in March 2013 where history repeated but this time it was diagnosed as an ectopic. By then we knew to take any news of pregnancy with a pinch of salt, so I feel like I grieved less. I was given Methotrexate injections to end the pregnancy which was the hardest thing I have ever had to do - I felt like I was electing to end the life of my baby to protect myself, a baby who has taken so long to come into our lives.

After it was all over, we took a break from all this IUI nonsense for a few months but continued to try naturally. After what seemed like eternity we approached our doctor again and even before we could ask for it, he suggested we do a diagnostic laparoscopy and a hysteroscopy to see if all of us can find something to blame for our misfortune.

Due to complications during the procedure, the doctor was not able to do a laparoscopy but at least the hysteroscopy did not reveal any abnormality. Like in a hysterosalpingogram, they injected a dye into my uterus, and while they could see it spill without the laparoscope, they could tell that that dye was slow to spill. This could only mean that my tubes could be the culprit.  Finally at least there was a possible explanation for what might have been happening all the times we got pregnant. For my doctor that was enough evidence to suggest we try Invitro fertilization (IVF) as the next course of action. This brings me to this post - a new beginning.

Last month, after a series of very expensive injections, my clinic was able to cryro-preserve six beautiful embroyos. Not all of them are perfect, but still each of them have a fighting chance of becoming our babies. We will do a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) next month and I cannot help but get excited once again about the start of something new, the third and hopefully final phase of our journey. Please pray that my little frosties stick and we become proud parents soon.

Thank you for reading again. If any of you are also undergoing FET or IVF in September-October please do get in touch - would love to have a IVF buddy to write to.