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Stephanie's Story
Posted Nov 4, 2008

My husband and I married young, we were 21yrs. old. We wanted to make sure all our ducks were in a row before having kids. We wanted to have a house and finish school. Four years later I graduated from nursing school, we had a house and good jobs, we were ready to have kids. How hard could it be, right??

I went off the pill in August of 2003 and figured we would get pregnant right away. After 7 months of trying I was really paranoid that something was wrong. I am an OB nurse and have seen many couples struggle to conceive. My doctor gave me Clomid to try and said if I didn't ovulate to call her. I took Clomid for 3 months and according to my ovulating predictor kit I ovulated. I still did not get pregnant. After another 3 months which totaled a year of trying I went back to the doctor and had blood work drawn, everything came back fine. We continued to try on our own. After another year I had an HSG done which showed my tubes were open and had no problems with my anatomy. At this point my doctor recommended my husband to get a semen analysis. It was another 6 months before he got it done. In his mind since everything checked out okay for me that it must be his "fault." His test came back fine. At this point in time we were considered "unexplained infertility."

We were in the middle of building a new house and did not have money to pursue further infertility testing or treatment. In the state I live in insurance companies don't pay for this. We kept hoping we would fall pregnant on our own but never did.

Every month seemed like a loss. In 2005 we met with a reproductive endocrinologist who said our best option was IVF. Even though I was unexplained infertility she said that there is something wrong that just hasn't been found. At that point in time we started to focus on how we would come up with the thousands of dollars it would cost to attempt IVF. Luckily, in January of 2006 my husband landed a job that had insurance that paid for IVF, we were elated!! They did a new test on me which checked my anti-mullerian hormone which can indicate egg quality. Normal is <1. The nurse called and said mine was 2.8 and didn't think we could use my eggs. I was horrified! I talked with the doctor the next day and she said we could still use my eggs but research is showing that I may have a harder time getting pregnant.

I immediately started on my IVF regimen and was so hopeful. Suddenly in March of 2006, only 3 months after starting, my husband lost his job. We were heartbroken. We decided to pay out of pocket for COBRA insurance because it would still be cheaper and we could continue with treatment. In May of 2006 we had our first retrieval, 22 follicles were taken. We did ICSI fertilization and had 3 fertilized embryo's which we put back all 3 on transfer day #3. We waited the horrible two weeks and were crushed to get the call that my pregnancy test was negative. We didn't know what to do, my husband was still out of work and financially we were having a hard time. I was so depressed and felt so lost in life. I wanted so bad to be a mom.

We decided that we would give IVF one last shot and stayed on COBRA to do another round even though we were paying $1000 a month for insurance. We decided after this attempt we would stop and look into adoption. I went on another round of meds and in late August of 2007 had another retrievel done. We were crushed to find out we only had 8 follicles this time, 3 fertilized. I knew this was not going to work, our numbers were so low. The endocrinologist suggested a 2 day transfer because the embryo's were not dividing well. I went in the next day for the transfer and cried the whole time knowing that this wasn't going to work.

We transfered all 3 embryo's. I was convinced I would never be a mom. The transfer went well and I put myself on strict bed rest for 5 days. The two week wait was horrible and I looked for any sign of pregnancy. I didn't take a home pregnancy test the first round, I just waited for the blood test. This time I wanted to be prepared for a negative blood test so the night before the blood test so I decided to take a home pregnancy test. We were shocked to see two pink lines saying I was pregnant!! I was so scared at what my HCG level would be, was it going to be high enough to be an actual pregnancy and not a chemical one? I went the next morning and had my blood drawn, then the long wait. At 11am the phone rang and my results were in, I was definitely pregnant!! I went back 2 days later and my numbers doubled and again a few more days later and my numbers were rising. At 6 weeks I had my first ultrasound and found we were pregnant with one baby and there was a beautiful heart beat! Then the worry set in, what if I miscarry?? We got to 12 weeks and everything looked good and at 24 weeks we felt pretty good about everything.

My husband still didn't have a job and we were using credit cards to help pay bills. I was so stressed about our finances. I ended up taking on a 2nd job to help us out and was working 4-5 twelve hour night shifts. At 27 weeks I noticed my legs were getting really swollen but figured it was normal since I was on my feet so much. At work I noticed I was getting horrible headaches along with my swelling and took my blood pressure and it was high. My blood pressure is always very low. I called my doctor and got in to see her. I was immediately put on bed rest for pre-eclampsia. My stress level went sky high now that my husband was still out of work and I was now on bed rest and wouldn't be making my normal pay. I was hoping this would be short lived but also knew I had to do what was necessary for my baby. We were afraid we would be delivering a 29 week baby if I didn't comply with the doctors orders. I listened to my doctor and stayed on bed rest for 8 weeks.

We got great news when I was 36 weeks pregnant that my husband got a job, some stress was lifted! We had some scares in between but managed to get to 37 weeks. I was induced for my blood pressure at 37 weeks but the induction lasted 3 days of labor! After pushing for 3 1/2 hours and developing an infection our beautiful baby girl was born at a healthy 6lbs 11 oz. I cried hysterically after delivery, I finally had my baby! After everything we went through to get pregnant and everything to maintain the pregnancy the end result was amazing. No dollar value could be placed on her, I don't care how much debt we have, I would do it all over again. I never thought I would get to experience being a mom, it is an awesome feeling. For those of you dealing with infertility keep you head up, all things are possible. Try all avenues, don't give up!!

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