Our Fertility Journey

We started our journey after 6 months of trying naturally. At age 32, we decided to seek the advice of a fertility specialist; keeping our options open and eyes wide in hope. All we want is to have a healthy baby that we can add into our already, incredible family. I want crazy, beautiful chaos of a crying baby, a yelling toddler, toys being thrown across the room and a room full of clapping hands one day from their graduation ceremony.

The first appointment with the specialist was promising. Our tests looked positive, blood readings looked great, exams passed with flying colors; nothing feasibly standing in the way of our forever. So, we followed-suit and did the next reasonable step: IUI insemination.

IUI #1: Unsuccessful.

IUI #2: We did naturally with no medications… unsuccessful.

Next logical step? Maybe another medicated IUI or try natural for a year. With my impatience… let’s jump right to IVF of course.

I am someone who likes to know every ingredient that is going into my body. Is this safe? What are the long term reprocutions? How will it make me feel? Will I be in any pain? More important, will it work? I just had to trust the process and I kept telling myself that this was ALL worth it for the outcome of Baby Fee. So, I started the injections January, 2016 and to my amazement, was excited to jab those little needles into my belly. The process of growing follicles and creating something that could turn out to be our miracle was all too incredible. (Acupuncture was a huge savior for both pain and relief of anxiety and stress through this foreign process.)

IVF #1: We came out of retrieval with 11 eggs. (Both the doctor and we were very pleased with that outcome.) Four of those eggs made it to the 5-day blastocyst stage of being able to be genetically tested. The hard part? The week long wait of having your embryos genetically tested for abnormalities. The phone call was one of the best days of our lives. This two-minute phone call still brings tears to my eyes. “Lindsay and James, we have great news. Two of your embryos came back genetically normal and very strong. Would you like to know the sex of your embryos?” We have one BOY 🍼 and one GIRL 🎀!

We felt and still feel so incredibly blessed to have this outcome, what a miracle. After many talks and late-night conversations, we as a family decided to transfer in our baby girl. Her name would be Parker Fee and we were so excited to welcome her into our chaos. The doctor gave us an 80% chance of success this little girl would implant. So, the next phase of IVF ensued with more injections, daily pills and calendar reminders going off with medication instructions. I continued acupuncture weekly, strived to walk five days a week and stay as healthy as possible to welcome our little girl.

Transfer Day: 4/17/17

We followed the “guidelines”… our acupuncturist came to our clinic and we watched as the embryologist put Parker into my belly. It was like watching a shooting star land on a blanket of clouds. The dreaded wait was 10 days before our blood pregnancy test. Given an 80% chance of success, we stayed very hopeful.

IVF #1 : Unsuccessful.

So, what happened? We met with our doctor and she determined that unfortunately, we fell into the 20% statistic that was unsuccessful. To us? We were heartbroken. We lost Parker and we needed time to process and mourn that outcome. We needed to shed tears of sadness and acceptance and that is what we did. We leaned on our closest friends and family for support. We shared the experience with Connor so he could feel included and fully see how life works sometimes. That we fall down and get right back up; because life isn’t always beautiful but it’s a beautiful ride.

So, what’s next? Do we implant our baby boy or do we go in for another round of IVF to gather more eggs, hopefully make them into embryos and transfer two at one time? That’s our plan! Round one of IVF was roughly 4 months long so we knew we were in for another journey ahead. Round two of IVF started in June 2017. The start to this round was different than the first. The shots hurt, my stomach was covered in bruises, the heat of the Arizona Summer was exhausting and my spirit was down from the first round. Our bodies are not machines and I was exhausted from the past 5 months.

The outcome? Our IVF cycle was cancelled due to only producing a small amount of eggs. So, what happened? We don’t know and I think our doctor made her best guess as to what could have affected this latest cycle. We KNOW we can have a better cycle because we DID several months ago when we produced 11 eggs and the outcome was our two babies/embryos. So after many tears of frustration, we converted the IVF into an IUI hoping for the best.

That outcome: unsuccessful.

We made the decision to seek a second opinion from an incredibly gifted doctor that came highly recommended and have our appointment this coming week. We will go in with millions of questions and he will do his very best to provide as many answers that he can but we know that he is not God. We know that he’s just a very special person in our corner that will do his best to bring us our miracle.

I know that the majority of the fertility world is out of my control. I know that although there is nothing standing in the way of us conceiving, we are having a difficult time becoming pregnant. I also know that I trust my body and believe in this process; that James and I are good people and great things happen to good people. I know we have the most incredible friends/family that have been our support system; that have been there to cheer us on from day one and be on this journey holding our hands. I know we will welcome a baby into this world by any means possible. Whether that he naturally, through IVF, through donor eggs or through adoption, we will find a way. Where there is hope, there is light.

Update: Learning to Love Blog Post from a few months ago is an update to this post!

It’s International Infertility Week in 2019 + I stand with my fellow sisters. We are warrior!