Faye and Shawn
In March 2008, Shawn and I met on plentyoffish, an online dating site. I was in my first year of my undergrad and Shawn in his third of his mechanic diploma. Four years later, we decided to get engaged and buy our condo. Through out the next four years, we got married, Shawn went through Teachers College and I completed my Masters degree. We started trying to conceive in March 2016. Never did we think that, 3 years later, we would be childless, let alone without a healthy pregnancy. In addition to the physical impact (hundreds of blood draws and ultrasounds, thousands of pills, over 100 injections) and financial impact (close to $20,000), the emotional impact was most likely the hardest (more heartache, tears and grief than I imagined could happen within 3 years).
What our three years looked like…
- 10 months of trying naturally before going to a local fertility clinic to investigate.
- Several months of testing and assessment procedures before starting fertility treatment.
- 4 medicated timed intercourse cycles, all negative.
- 4 injectables + double intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycles, all negative.
- A referral to a Toronto clinic for in vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Waiting to meet our Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) and more testing/assessments.
- Finding out we were approved for funding that would substantially decrease the cost of our first round of IVF, and 3 months of waiting for our funded month to arrive.
- 2-3 daily injections for 11 days, followed by an egg retrieval surgery.
- One cancelled fresh embryo transfer due to Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome.
Waiting several months for my body to return to normal before our first frozen embryo transfer… which resulted in another negative.
- A second frozen embryo transfer that was successful… seeing those magical two lines of a positive pregnancy test for the first time in over 2 and a half years… Watching our blood work increase perfectly, sharing our long-awaited news with our close family and friends, and arriving at the week of our dating ultrasound.
- Waking up to a hemorrhage of blood and, soon after that, learning that although our baby was measuring right on track, its heart had stopped beating. Medication to induce our baby’s passing.
- A body that took another 10 weeks for the pregnancy hormone and symptoms to leave.
- Bleeding that continued for 3 months, which led to the diagnosis a polyp (growth) in my uterus caused by the loss of our baby.
- A hysteroscopic polypectomy alongside a dilation and curettage (D&C) surgery that was scheduled for March 21 (the 11th anniversary of our first date and 6th anniversary of our wedding)… but was cancelled after we waited at the hospital for 3 hours, due to an emergency surgery that needed the operating room
- Finally, today was surgery day - 4 months to the day after we lost our baby. I cried tears of sadness as our loss is finally over, and tears of relief to finally move forward.
To those of you who have had the privilege of natural pregnancy and children, but know someone struggling with infertility/pregnancy loss and want to support them but don’t know what to say? Let them know you’re there for them and (literally) google things to say and things not to say. This journey is horrible, but it doesn’t have to be one that a couple goes through completely alone. Having friends and family that show interest, ask questions, and lend an open ear have been so vital in helping us get through the hard times.
Finally, to those of you struggling, please know that, if you ever need someone to talk to, your fellow infertility/IVF/pregnancy loss warriors are out there!
More 1 in 6 stories
5 years ago, the idea of blood-work made me cry. Now, I ask with little trepidation, which arm? In July of 2015, after over a year of trying, I was pregnant.
When my husband and I started trying, we were relatively young. I was 26, he was 27, so we didn’t expect any problems.
When Dean and I got married, the plan was always to start trying for kids right away. We both came from large families and wanted to have 2, maybe 3 kids of our own.