I am a fixer. When something is wrong I want find out what the problem is and fix it right away. If for some reason the problem is not easily fixed anxiety and restlessness follow. Infertility is one of those problems that just can’t be fixed or necessarily explained. Ultimately we decided IVF might help with whatever the problem was. IVF is a long emotional process on top of the already long and emotional process pregnancy is itself. But because of IVF we were able to get pregnant and have a beautiful baby boy.
We are so happy and grateful, but our success was not without its trials.
We found out early on that we were pregnant and not only with one but two. We had identical twins. Shock was the emotion that overwhelmed us, which shortly turned into excitement. Aaron and I didn’t waste time telling our families. We were beyond ecstatic and they all knew about our IVF procedure so keeping that secret wasn’t going to happen. Our, happiness however was short lived. At the next appointment we found out that one of the twins didn’t have a heart beat. We were devastated. But the doctor assured us the other baby was perfectly healthy. That day was worse than all of the IVF shots and procedures combined. But after all that, I still believe that our baby is a true miracle. You can doubt, but it’s true. Everything fell into place so perfectly. I remember thinking at the beginning if this process would be worth it. I assure you it is worth it and I would do it all again because,
“There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.”
Here is our story.
Waiting for our Miracle
Basically Aaron and I have wanted kids from the beginning. We got married a little older, at least for Utah standards, and bought a house with 5 bedrooms. I never went on birth control and figured if we were to have kids right away we’d be ready for them. Only it didn’t happen. After two years of trying we decided to get help and did four IUI’s, which all failed and caused major frustration. So we started looking at IVF only to find out how much the whole process costs! The cost really is ridiculous and insurance doesn’t cover any of it. But we made the decision to try anyway and started scheduling procedures with the doctors at the U of U infertility clinic, whom I highly recommend.
I had every appointment and procedure set and scheduled to begin in June. I wrote every detail down on my little calendar and had about 3 weeks until our first procedure, the endometrial scratch, which is basically where they shove a stick up inside of you and scratch you with it! One of many fun procedures. Well one day as I was looking over our finances wondering if we were going to be able to afford it all and if it would even work, I prayed. I prayed for guidance and reassurance that we were making the right decision. IVF was a scary decision for me and I really wanted reassurance because of the cost and what I was going to have to go through.
Aaron came home that day and told me that his Coworker Kali had mentioned a contest we should enter to win a free IVF cycle!! My initial reaction was to roll my eyes… “Yeah, we are definitely going to win that…” I Ignored his suggestion for a couple days and then decided, why not? Kali even sent me the link on Instagram, which made it easy. Thanks Kali! So I entered and then promptly forgot about it. The next couple days were a little stressful for us because we were worrying more about finances and hadn’t had any real reassurance that doing IVF was even going to work. I was starting to freak out.
The next morning, while driving to school, I prayed. I told God that I didn’t feel like I was getting any answers and because of that I just wanted to cancel everything. I told Him that it was so much money and there were no guarantees. I told Him that all I felt at the moment was angst. So it couldn’t be the right decision. I asked one more time for reassurance that doing IVF was what we should do. Then I went to work. After school I came home and went for a run leaving my phone on my bed. when I returned I had two missed calls and a text message. I read the text which said, “Hey! it’s Carissa Barzee, call me back when you can.” I thought, why does that name look so familiar? And then it hit me! Carissa Barzee was the girl hosting the free IVF giveaway. I called her immediately and listened in shock to her tell me we had won the contest. We were getting a free IVF Procedure with CNY Fertility in New York, Free prenatal supplements from Theralogix, a free stay in the Maplewood Suites Hotel, and $1000 dollars towards all IVF medication at IntegrityRX. If that is not reassurance, I don’t know what is.
We called CNY and they initially told us that they couldn’t even schedule an IVF consultation until September. I didn’t enjoy hearing that much because I had everything scheduled here in Utah for June and wanted to have the entire process done and be pregnant by the time school started up again in August. I absolutely did not want to work while also doing IVF, it was just too much. I am already stressed enough at work teaching a million kids in PE so I was pretty upset with this news and was even considering not doing it, which was pretty dramatic of me. So we called again and talked to this man, Will. I don’t even know what his job is exactly but he looked over CNY’s, “booked until September,” schedule and simply bumped us up to June. I remember thinking, “how was he able do that?” Every procedure I had written and scheduled here in Utah stayed on the same timeline with CNY. The only change was that we did it all in New York instead. I found out I was pregnant with a month to spare before work started. It blew my mind that we were able to keep our timeline. Miracle after miracle.
IVF in New York
New York was an emotional rollercoaster. We tried making it as fun as possible and succeeded by hiking and site seeing but also endured the procedures and medication. Egg retrieval is no fun and causes so much bloating you’ll look pregnant, but obviously aren’t. They harvested 11 eggs from my ovaries and 10 of them fertilized. We were ecstatic! As we went in for embryo transfer we had initially decided we wanted to transfer two embryos because we had read that two increases the chance of one sticking. We didn’t want to go through all of this and not have it work. So we were pretty adamant about transferring two. If we ended up with twins we’d handle it. Although our goal was to just get pregnant! Our doctor however wouldn’t allow it. He was absolutely would not allow us to transfer two, which we thought was a little strange. He was concerned about multiples and the risks involved as well as something to do with government funding. We were a little upset, but I think it ended up being the right call since we were pregnant with twins for a while anyway.
Fight Despite Difficulty and Critics
I am amazed at how quickly and successfully this all transpired. We have had so many people praying for us and thinking about us. Everyone has been so supportive and concerned for us and we want to thank everyone for all of the kindness. We want to thank CNY and all the other companies that aided in making this pregnancy a possibility. The doctors, medication, procedures and technology that exist in this day and age that give people the opportunity to fight for their passions despite the critics out there who encourage failure and don’t understand why we fight so hard for something that doesn’t come easy.
Yes, the IVF process is difficult and scary because there are no guarantees and the experience is a rough one. It may not work the first time or ever! But you are trying. Striving for change creates pathways to your desired destination even if those pathways are unconventional and risky. Aaron and I did a whole host of different procedures and treatments before finding the right one. We spent a lot of money on failed attempts. I was poked, prodded and medicated and still failed multiple times! It was so frustrating. But those failed attempts led us here. Even a small chance to change your situation is worth the risk of failure. You will eventually reach your destination one unconventional path at a time. Your story will be different but oh so worth it. So keep fighting.