IVF got this [Part I]: Here we go, or not

Disclaimer: These many series of posts are journals that were written in real time to share our journey. Please be sensitive to those who may face infertility. For, everyone feels and reacts differently and not everyone feels comfortable sharing. If you relate to any of these topics, or know someone who does, I hope this information brings comfort and peace to their moments of fear, questions, and uncertainty. These posts do not include medical advice and may be too much info (TMI) or details for some. If you’re just now starting to read this blog, refer to the beginning of our journey: It all started with infertility. It’s a journey we choose to rely on faith and take one day at a time. We know we have no control over our future. Every person, every story is a testimony. We are all living miracles. Links are provided for additional information on resources and as always, talk to your doctor about any of your concerns or recommendations you hear about. 

and couldn't believe I raced to 1st place in my age group!
Just one more triathlon...

THE TALK
It was early summer of 2018, we had the talk or consultation per se, with a new fertility doctor. It was extremely hard to walk away from the doctor who helped diagnose endometriosis and provided us with many answers and every natural avenue to attempt a pregnancy. When it came time to re-evaluate, we trusted that doctor on his valuable and knowledgeable advice but we felt lead to another path. We heard from him, as well as our new doctor, that intrauterine insemination or IUI is simply not an option for us because all things checked off except that conception or implantation was clearly not working for us (naturally that is). My husband and I tried everything that made sense, but still we had no answer. So, my only thought was “I’m just not able to hold anything forming in my uterus.”

Let me back up, how did we find this new doctor, Dr. Julie Rhee? I say it was all orchestrated by God. Several years ago, a guy we met mentioned that he and his wife had to go a different direction to have kids (they now have 3!). He texted me the referral. I put that referral in my back pocket thinking, “thanks, but I don’t think we will take that route.” Right before Spring of 2018, one of the kid’s mom who visits my husband’s pediatric dental office mentioned a fertility doctor and gave us their contact info. The name looked so familiar...why? I searched my text history from 3 years ago and it ended up being the same contact information I had tucked away in my back pocket! At that point, it was our sign to simply “check it out.” Our prior doctor didn’t perform IUI or IVF; however, his nurse practitioner said of all the clinics that perform IVF, they recommended this new clinic,
VIOS Fertility Institute.

That late Spring, we walked into our consult with the mindset of just hearing our options. After reviewing our almost squeaky clean history, we heard it...in vitro fertilization or IVF [gulp]. But something happened when we both walked out of that new clinic. Surprisingly, we were on the same page and walked out a little motivated to try this. We both felt God’s presence and peace.

THE PLAN
After a prayerful decision, and talking to friends about my thoughts, they quelled my fear making me feel more comfortable with the process. Trying out all our options (whether they work or not) will bring some peace of mind - that we at least had tried. That way we can get rid of that always lingering “what if?” question. 

The Doctor, Dr. Rhee, discussed a plan and gave us the choice on when we would like to begin. So, we decided to wait a month and shoot for the egg retrieval in July 2018. For those that do not understand the IVF process, the egg retrieval is the first step where they retrieve a woman’s eggs (minor procedure requiring anesthesia via a long needle to extract the eggs directly from the ovaries). These eggs are combined with the man’s sperm in the laboratory. From there, it’s a wait and see game. How many embryos will develop? (more on this later).

I chose not to tell family until after the procedure. Well, I only told my Mee Maw. We watched all the videos and read through 30-some pages of documents and signed all the dotted lines. It was hard to digest all the possibilities and sign off on what we would do at certain phases of the process. We quickly became overwhelmed and unsure. So many risks, yet the part that got me was, “what if we don’t get any embryos?!” Someone once shared with me that their first time under, the doctor was unable to get any eggs! We had been very protective of our emotions and our hearts. We both agreed that if, at any point, this process added any stress to our relationship or if we were unable to recover from disappointments, then we would stop.

July came and we were getting close to the time to start the process. We have to start at a certain time of the cycle…it’s not always convenient just waiting and relying on the female body to complete each phase of the process! I even ordered my meds and we tentatively planned for a September transfer (the 2nd step where they insert the embryo). In the meantime, I signed up for just one more triathlon in August and we even scheduled a big trip to Greece. But then, I couldn’t do it. My husband sensed my anxiety about the prep work and the surgery…we BAILED.

Stay tuned for the continuation of this series....

Resources for newbies:
Good dieting tips to improve quality of eggs / sperm: Fertility Diet (ranked #11 Best Diets Overall according to US News) – Follow the Fertility Diet? From Harvard experts.

Book: It starts with the egg. Incredible information from changing out cleaning products to description of supplements and what they are used for and many more tips / resources.


Facebook Groups (any local or national support groups, fair warning, take all comments with a grain of salt and always discuss any new resources or recommendations with your doctor): Matt and Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure

National Infertility Association – a non-profit focused on advocacy and provide facts / information (also have local Facebook groups): resolve

How to improve your environment and make it safe: Environmental Working Group (mentioned in the book above)

National association for reputable resources and evidence-based facts: American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ARSM)


American Society for Reproductive Medicine:  Patient Website

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