Helen's Story
Posted April 13, 2005

Never in a million years would I have thought that getting getting pregnant would be so difficult. I had spent so many years of my adult life trying to do just the opposite - using contraception to prevent pregnancy until the time was right.

My husband and I started trying for a baby about 2 years after we were married, but nothing happened. Since I was 33 years old and didn't want to waste more time, my husband and I decided to take a more aggressive approach so we went to a fertility doctor and began doing all the preliminary tests needed to begin infertility treatment. All my tests came back normal, but it was then that we discovered that my husband sometimes had problems with his sperm count and its quality. Our doctor recommended that we do IVF with ICSI. Since our insurance did not cover such treatment and we could not afford to go to a private doctor, we decided to do what was covered by our medical group.

We did several rounds of inseminations using my husband's sperm. Then we did a few more with me taking Clomid so that I would ovulate more than one egg and increase my chance of becoming pregnant. Nothing worked and we were becoming fustrated and tired of the rollercoaster ride that we were on.

We decided to take a break. To my surprise, three months later I got pregnant without even putting much thought into it. We were elated and quite surprised, but our joy turned into sadness when I miscarried at 9 weeks. I was so devastated and to make matters worse, I had to have a D&C performed.

It was at this point that we decided to go to the specialist our original doctor had suggested. Although we could not afford the treatment, we really had no choice and so we began using our credit cards to finance my IVF procedure.

In the fall of 2002 I began preparing myself for my first IVF attempt. This meant taking pills and shots and more shots and having surgery to retreive my eggs and then taking more shots.

Twenty eggs were retreived and ICSI was performed on the 12 best quality. Eight turned into embryos good enough for implanting. We decided to implant the four best and freeze the four remaining.

We kept our fingers crossed and hoped for the best. Two weeks after the embryo transer I went into the doctors office for a blood test. I could not believe it when they called with the good news... I was pregnant. Again, we were excited and but also quite cautious. A week later I began spotting and cramping. I went back to the doctors office for blood work and was told that things did not look good. Several days later I lost the pregnancy. Again we were devestated and saddened, not to mention about $14,000 in debt.

We decided to take another break from the all the baby-making madness and wouldn't you know it, three months later I found myself pregnant again. This time the pregnancy lasted for seven weeks. My doctor could not understand why this had happened to me again - there were no definite answers, just theories.

Four months after my last miscarriage we decided to try another IVF attempt. I took all the drugs again, did all the shots, did the surgery for the egg retreival. This time we had only six good embryos to implant and decided to implant all six to increase our chances of getting pregnant. Absolutely nothing happened this time and now we were about $30,000 in debt.

Again we decided to take a break. My body felt so bruised and battered from all the injections, the surgery and medication. We went on a three week vacation and it was then that I started to accept the fact that I may never become a mother. I was actually getting used to the idea of my husband and I living the rest of our lives without children, and it didn't really seem so bad. It was also at that moment that I decided that I could not put myself through anymore fertility treatments. I had just had enough. But what would become of the four frozen embryos that we had left over from the first IVF attempt? We decided that we owed it to ourselves to give it one more try. Yes, we would try one more time and that would be it. We would get on with our lives and never look back.

Several months later we were back in our fertility specialist's office discussing the transfer of the four remaining embryos. Our doctor had warned us not to get our hopes up high. He said that some of them might not even survive the thawing process and that even if they did we would only have a 17 percent chance of one of them implanting. We figured we had nothing to lose. The process for preparing for the transfer of the frozen embryos wasn't as bad as the other IVF attempts. Although it still involved medication and shots, at least I did not have to have any surgery. It also was much less expensive than doing a regular IVF procedure

On November 17, 2003 I had four perfectly thawed embryos transferred into my uterus. These were the embryos that had been frozen for over a year... the same embryos that my doctor didn't think would amount to anything.

On July 29, 2004 (a month before our 8 year wedding anniversary and several months before my 40th birthday) I gave birth to a healthy 8lbs 7oz beautiful baby girl. Our angel is now 8 months old and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't look at her when she's asleep and get tears in my eyes. She wouldn't be here if we didn't go through everything that we went through. She truly is our miracle baby and we are so grateful to have her in our lives.

We wish all the best for anyone reading this and hope that your dreams come true. Believe in miracles.