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My Infertility and InVitro Journey

If you read the story of ‘How I met Jeff’, then you will know that I married my best friend and the man of my dreams. After having met and married within a few short months of dating, you can understand why getting pregnant and having a baby was the last thing on our minds.
To help you really grasp the situation, we were only 23 and 26 when we were first married, and we wanted to travel and have fun together like all twenty-somethings should do. We made a playful pact not to get pregnant for 10 years, and we even shook on it. Looking back now, it makes me laugh because we were so serious, but to fully understand… Jeff came from a large family, and he never had the opportunity to travel and do some of the things that I did while growing up. He wanted to explore the world. We wanted to have FUN.

My Infertility and InVitro Journey - Kristy WicksTaken just after we were married. We look like babies. ;)

Soon after we were married, I became a flight attendant for American Airlines and we began traveling our hearts out. I loved being a flight attendant, and he loved the free flights and being able to tag along with me on a trips to Miami or NYC… wherever. ;) Most people don’t fly first class, and I loved that Jeff had the opportunity all those years that I flew. He LOVED every minute of it. Lol

My Infertility and InVitro Journey - Kristy WicksI loved flying..

Around 5 months of being married I told Jeff that I missed having a pet and a family, and I really wanted to get a dog. I laugh now because this happened just a mere 5 months after we shook hands on our baby pact. Now here I was convincing him to get a dog. For those of you who don’t know.. having a dog is almost like having a baby. That should have been Jeff’s #1 clue that a ’10 year baby pact’ probably wouldn’t be happening. ;)

We happily lived as a married couple + Cocker Spaniel for 3 wonderful years. I flew, Jeff worked and Chelsea slept all day. Whenever we would go out of town, we had family or friends take care of Chelsea so I was never really truly faced with being inconvenienced. Life was good…

It was sometime during the summer of 1992 when Jeff came home from work one day and found me crying in bed with the flu. He thought I was crying because I didn’t feel well, but what he didn’t know at the time was that I had been feeling that yearning to have a baby thing but didn’t want to tell him. I knew it was important to Jeff that we travel, work a little while and save money before starting a family. (Sooo together… Lol)
When he asked me what was wrong, I told him my thoughts and stared at him to see what his response was. He didn’t say anything, so I told him I had an idea. I said, “We made a pact, I don’t want to push you into anything that you aren’t ready for, and I know you don’t want to make me wait for something that I want.. so why don’t we settle it so that noone feels bad. Let’s flip a coin. Heads – we wait. Tails – we start trying to have a baby.” Jeff started laughing and pulled out a quarter. Picture this – I’m in my PJ’s laying in bed watching Oprah, and Jeff is standing in a suit & tie at the end of the bed with a coin in his hand.

My Infertility and InVitro Journey - Kristy WicksI remember on this day Jeff held my cousin who was just 1 years old and we laughed at the thought of having a baby… (Last thing on our minds the first 3 – 4 years of our marriage)

Jeff flips the coin and just as he’s about to grab it, it falls to the ground, and I can’t see it. He slowly bends down, picks it up, shakes his head, looks at me a little longer and says, “Looks like…”
If you know Jeff, he always loves to give me a hard time in the sweetest of ways. But at that moment, whether it was heads or tails, he didn’t give any obvious facial signs. So the words out of his mouth were, “Looks like you……… (then he opened his hand) …………………win.”

At that moment, we both laughed and smiled and I said, “Are you sure you’re okay with this?” and he said, “Of course I am. I didn’t really have to flip a coin.” That was such a sweet moment, and it was then that I knew we were really ready to start a family. (I really began screaming and jumping up and down I was that happy!)

My Infertility and InVitro Journey - Kristy WicksJust after deciding to begin trying I held every baby I could…

A couple of nights later we went out to dinner.. I pulled Jeff into Baby Gap ( I couldn’t help myself! I was so happy) and we bought a cute little onesie as a celebratory gift to our new venture. Jeff actually picked it out and it was sweet. It was a tiny white onesie with red and blue penguins all over it. It was perfect because he picked it out. And because I was sooooo happy! It could have been a football jersey for all I cared. ;)

About 6 weeks later, I was frustrated because I wasn’t pregnant. Typical doctor’s kid.. I was wondering immediately what was up and starting investigating. (I’m ALWAYS investigating, lol)
I made an appointment with my gynecologist and went in asap. I told her I had no issues that I could think of, I had tried a little on my own and after they checked me out… they checked Jeff out, then sent us home with Clomid.

For those unfamiliar, Clomid (in the simplest of explanations) is used to help your chances of getting pregnant by stimulating your hormones and jump starting your ovulation. Consider it like a tune up. It can increase your chances of having twins so you are monitored while taking it to make sure your body doesn’t produce too many eggs. I ran home and couldn’t wait to begin!

After using Clomid a couple of months the doctors began IUI. IUI is Intrauterine Insemination. At the perfect time of ovulation they inject sperm inside my uterus giving it the best chance of reaching the egg. I was so excited and felt it would work. I mean it HAD to! After another couple of unsuccessful months my Gynecologist recommended that I see an Infertility specialist at Stanford. I was so happy to get going so I made an appt. as soon as I could. (This all happened within a few months)

The first minute I met my Infertility Doctor I loved her. Having someone like my doctor was such a massive help in this process. I don’t think I could have done it without her. For anyone going through any problems in their relationship like infertility, finding someone who can help you understand the circumstance and guide you in a positive direction is beneficial to your well being. It is not only women though that have problems in this department. Specialists centres like Advanced Urology can assist anyone going through any health concerns they may have, from varicicele to an overactive bladder. There’s nothing to be ashamed about and it is always good to ask for help, just like I did with my doctor.

She was amazing, she listened to me and she respected my opinion. Having a dad who was a surgeon really set me up to being my own advocate. I have always been on top of my health and I researched everything. I told her that I thought I had endometriosis because there was no other explanation. I had regular periods (albeit a little heavy with cramps) but no other signs of issues. Jeff had been checked so it had to be me. The only thing I could think of was scarring in my tubes from endometriosis.
Endometriosis occurs when uterine tissue is found outside of the uterine body. This can occur when the uterus sloughs off some of the tissue and rather than exiting the correct way, (through the vagina during your period) some of the tissue backs up into the tube (who knows why) and it has no place to go. So…. with every subsequent period, this causes your uterine lining to bleed which then causes that sloughed off tissue part to bleed as well because it thinks it is still in your uterus. (So much info I learned…)
In other words the stray tissue is still living tissue. This leftover tissue then continues to bleed and spread with each following period until that tissue becomes scar tissue and causes blockage. Phew!!! That’s a lot of medical jargon. I’m telling you, it’s an education I NEVER wanted.

I had no idea that the reason I had pain when I ran at times was due to the scarring inside of me. When my Doctor pressed down on my abdomen and uterus I nearly jumped off the table. She said at that moment, “Yep… I’m willing to bet that you have some serious endometriosis going on. Let’s schedule a laparoscopy asap”.
A laparoscopy is a low invasive surgery that enables doctors to easily see what is going on inside your abdomen. They make small incisions, inflate your stomach with air through tubes so they can view everything with cameras, then if need be, they use lasers to remove any scarring or other problems.

The next thing we knew, I was in surgery two days later. (Once again I was so happy to get going!) When I woke up after my 4 hour surgery (they thought it would be 1-2 hours max) my Doctor told me…
The bad news is… I would never have a baby on my own. My scarring and endometriosis was so extensive they weren’t completely sure they got it all and my tubes were found wrapped around my ovaries, completely scarred and closed. No fimbria or fingers to speak of to pick up an egg.

The good news is… she also had endometriosis and she had twins through IVF. She went on to say she had never seen anyone with as bad a case of endometriosis as herself, until me. (of course… UGH)
She said my only route was IVF or adoption. She went on to say that she really felt that I would get pregnant like she did because of the kind of person I am. I have a supportive husband, an incredibly supportive family and I’m tenacious. I was already beginning to feel better. She had been through it and had twins.

I remember sitting there in shock. I was terrified that my dreams of being a mother would never happen. I called my mom and dad immediately and I’ll never forget their response. “Don’t worry about a thing. We will help you and Jeff get through this, promise.” My mom went on to say that they would pay for half of the IVF if that’s what it took. At that time IVF was super expensive (12-15K a try) and no insurance covered any part of it.
I felt relieved as soon as everyone calmed me down and then decided at that moment that I was never going to let this ruin my life. I had a plan, support and I was going to get pregnant or have a baby somehow if it killed me. I wasn’t going to be depressed any longer. I was taking action and doing all I could. :) I really believed it and that’s when I decided from that moment on to focus on the good, be grateful and approach this journey with a happy heart. Everything happens for a reason… If this is the worst thing that can happen to me than I’m doing well. One thing I did do from that moment on..? Talk Talk Talk! It helps so much to let others know how you are really doing in life. :)

My Infertility and InVitro Journey - Kristy WicksMy parents have always been there for me..

My Infertility and InVitro Journey - Kristy WicksI decided I was going to be happy through this journey… no matter what. I was lucky!

Click HERE for part 2 of my IVF journey..

xo,

Kristy

Helpful Websites, Podcasts and Books For Infertility and IVF ~

Resolve – The National Infertility Website – Great support group and resource for Infertility

IVF – An Emotional Companion

The IVF Journal

IVF : A Patient’s Guide

The Impatient Woman’s Guide To Getting Pregnant

The Best Infertility Podcasts of The Year

Thoughts?

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33 thoughts on “My Infertility and InVitro Journey

  1. Beautiful post Kristy and resonated so much with me and what my husband and I are currently going through, I love that people now speak so openly about their fertility issues, it definitely makes me feel less alone! Can’t wait for the next installment,

    1. Thank you so much Rachel…That means so much to me. I wish you all the luck and love as you go through your journey. :) Stay positive and remember, you aren’t alone. Hugs! xx

  2. I love how you are sharing your story. When I found out that my husband and I had to do IVF we felt ashamed and my husband didn’t want to talk about it. Cannot wait to do our round in March!

  3. Incredible! You two went through so much as a newly young couple with such strong beliefs! Such a lovely story writer, looking forward to part 2

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m struggling with infertility myself and I feel like it’s one of the loneliest struggles to go through. Reading your story makes me want to be optimistic and try to be positive throughout this process and I love hearing success stories. I do understand what you mean about talking about it helps, it’s just hard to find an understanding audience sometimes. My husband and I are doing ivf in the new year and I’m hopeful we’ll finally be blessed with a baby.

  5. I was very fortunate to conceive twin boys after IVF almost 22 years ago. I had no fallopian tubes. One fallopian tube was bad from scaring and the other lost through an ectopic pregnancy and ruptured. I went to the Genetics and IVF Institute in Fairfax, VA. For us, it took during the first cycle. We call them our miracle babies. I remember every bit of the shots, the procedures and driving every day almost 60 miles to the medical facility then to work. Pulling off the side of the road to do the timely injection leading up to the procedures. The bed rest when something was not right and we thought a miscarriage was occuring (but did not lose the twins). It’s a very emotional journey. The guilt of sitting in the waiting room and hearing the stories that other women were on their 3rd or even 6th try. I sat in silence, because it took the first time for me but never once did I take it for granted. I knew that there was a chance of a miscarriage. Never once did I complian about my pregnancy or the discomfort. I was blessed! I was given a very special gift and to that I am forever grateful.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story Tammy! I couldn’t agree more.. it’s such an emotional journey. Off topic, I lived in Fairfax for a few years and loved it. Hugs! xoxo

  6. Loved this blog post! I do not struggle with infertility but I have a few friends that do and it is so hard for them to express how they are feeling. Reading your blog really helped me understand a little bit more of what they go through and also what I’m sure they are also feeling through the whole process. Can’t wait for part two! ?

  7. It’s amazing to me how many people actually do struggle with infertility. I’m very open with my struggle but so many people don’t talk about it. So, thank you for sharing your journey! My husband and I have been trying on and off for about 4 years. We both work from home and have independent insurance so everytime we try for a baby it’s so expensive for us! I feel guity when it doesn’t work. The doctors can’t find a reason why I can’t get pregnant which can be very frustrating at times. Last year, I did a few rounds of IUI and nothing. My doctor had me try a new medicine and it did not react well with my body. It took me a few months to get back to feeling like myself, and I’ve been nervous to try again. My husband and I have always said that we will be happy with or without children. However, one of my friends just went through the IVF process and got pregnant so I feel like that has given me the confidence and the excitement to want to try again. No more feeling down about my situation! I’m hoping to start the process again next year. Looking forward to part 2 of your journey! :)

    1. I wish you all the luck in the world Kelly… I know how difficult this situation is. Stay as positive and strong as you can and just know that you are not alone. xoxo

  8. Is that a typo where you say you tried for six WEEKS before you started Clomid? I assume you meant to write six months since that’s only one cycle and I know from my own experience that my doctors wouldn’t start me on clomid until at least a year of trying. I’m Surprised you had such bad endometriosis and didn’t really resonate until you thought about it. Can’t wait to read more.

    1. No… I’m a doctor’s kid and I had already tried a little before going in and knew exactly what to say and how to approach everything. I can’t tell you how much of a difference it makes with the approach. I had my books in hand and my research. She got it and I’m so glad. My dad was Chief of Staff of a hospital and taught me to be strong and to know my situation. He also taught me that in order to handle insurance and doctors I needed to have the best educated approach and research. :)

      As to my endometriosis… It’s one of the hardest things to diagnose. I have spoken to many who had no clue like myself… I always assumed bad cramps were normal. How was I to know? I never wanted to be a complainer so I don’t think I realized how bad my cramps really were or that they were unusual.

      1. Wow. I had to wait a year with my first and then it took another 1.5 of tests etc and I got pregnant naturally. My second took a year to get pregnant so I never sought help. I’m currently trying for my third and went to see my doctor after 9 months of trying and he said I had to wait a year. Even though I’m 37. So frustrating. Thanks for your answer. Good thing you didn’t waste more time.

  9. Loved reading your journey about infertility. I’m 45 & can never have a child. I suffered from Fibroids, Polylps on my uterus. Extreme cramping caused by Endomyosis (sp?) & Endometriosis. Had 6 surgeries & then a Hysterectomy 3 years ago. I cried & told my husband to leave me to find someone who can give him s child. He thought I was crazy & God loving, stayed by my side. I yearn for a child & avoid baby showers if I can, selfish I know. My dog is my baby ? So, Thank You for sharing! ?

  10. I’m so excited to read this part of your journey! The part where he said he didn’t need to flip a coin made me cry. & writing it here made me cry again. How sweet.

  11. I appreciate reading about your and Jeff’s journey to having Emma! Although I didn’t experience infertility, so many woman have or are and this will be comforting.. I also enjoy getting to know you and Jeff more through your candid posts! You’ve have such a sweet relationship and family.

    1. So hard! My girlfriend, Rhonda had the same thing and it was so difficult for her. She became pregnant right away with her first and then tried 4 IVF attempts to have another. She decided to quit trying after she never became pregnant and she is now so happy with her sweet daughter. Life does move on and it can be beautiful… xx

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your IVF story .I am a newlywed and there’s nothing more that we want more ,than to become parents . I have been a teacher in Santa Clara for eleven years and I love children . Unfortunately I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2016 which is one of the leading causes of infertility. Thinking of not being able to be a mother , with so much love to give , truly is devastating . But I love seeing your lovely post about never giving up hope and how God truly blesses us at the right time . I love how wonderful the month of April took a truth for the best . Thank you for lighting up my candle with your positive spark .

    1. Hi Rebecca, Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing. I totally know how you feel. It’s something no one else will ever understand until they have gone through this themselves. Keep hope and keep looking for answers and ways to make your dreams come true. Hugs!! xx

  13. Hi Kristy, thanks so much for Sharing your story. Its always So reassuring to hear of someones success after having fertility issues. My husband and i have been trying for almost a year now, i felt so Alone In these struggles as all my friends seem to fall pregnant as soon as they trY.. its really helped me reading yours and so many others blogs online so id just like to say thanks for that! :) you have sUch a beautiful family and home, i always enjoy watching your inSta sTories! Xx

    1. Hi Helen – Wow thank you so much for reading and commenting. Never give up hope, and just know that no matter what you’re going to have a beautiful life filled with those you love. There is support all around you. xx

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