Amanda and Patrick
We knew we both wanted children, so when we got married, we started trying right away. Then, month after month, nothing. We were referred to a fertility clinic, and started the usual tests, which didn’t turn up any issues. We started with an unmedicated timed cycle, moving on to a couple of medicated timed cycles, then medicated IUIs, then injectables and IUIs. I had trouble saying that we had an infertility problem because we didn’t have an explanation, and because there was always someone out there who seemed to have a sadder story.
Deciding to do IVF was hard since it was a lot of money to put into getting pregnant when it still seemed like it should be able to happen naturally. We had a good retrieval and did half ICSI, half IVF, diagnostically. We ended up with 5, 5-day embryos and still no explanations. It didn’t matter - on our first transfer (a frozen one) I got pregnant.
I was terrified that I would miscarry. We didn’t publicly announce the pregnancy until I was at 19 weeks. I finally felt safe. But at 23 weeks I was in the hospital with preeclampsia, being told to say goodbye to the baby because I wouldn’t make it to viability. I did, though. I made it to 26 weeks and 1 day, and our beautiful boy was born. He was bright, and expressive, and never looked or acted as sick as he was. We had five and a half months with him before he died, still in the NICU, never having come home.
We thought our infertility problem was solved with IVF, but it turned out it only solved the issues of getting pregnant, not of staying pregnant. Since our son died, we’ve continued trying to grow our family with embryo transfers and another IVF retrieval, including PGS on the embryos, but we’ve had four miscarriages (three chemical pregnancies and one at eight weeks). Our new ‘recurrent loss’ label opened the doors to more testing - but without helpful results or solutions.
We are no closer to any answers and it seems more and more likely that carrying a pregnancy as long as I did for our son may never happen again. It has been six years now that we have been trying to take a baby home. We’ve started to consider other options (our embryos are good quality, a surrogate could likely carry one). Sometimes I wonder how we can find the willpower, the energy, the money and the hope to move forward. But we still desperately want to parent a living child, and so somehow, we keep going.
More 1 in 6 stories
To summarize, met in 2006, got married in 2011. Started trying for a family in 2013. I stopped taking oral contraceptives and menses never returned.
In my early 20s, I always joked that I was having menopausal hot flashes. I would feel my whole body begin to flush, and the sweat would start dripping from my forehead.
Like any other little girl growing up I played house, fantasized about who I would marry, how many children I would have and what they would look like.