Vancouver Infertility Story #2

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“I stopped taking the pill after we had been married for about 2 years (2008). We were excited at the thought of becoming pregnant and starting a family. We were starting a family earlier than most of our friends so there was some trepidation. After about 6 months of not getting pregnant, I started looking for suggestions as to how to increase our chances. I started using ovulation strips and was also recommended the book “taking charge of your fertility”. I started charting my cycles. This continued with no success. It got to the point where I wasn't expecting to get pregnant so each month that passed was no longer a disappointment, it was expected.

After a year of trying I went to see my GP. She referred me to Dr. Kashyap at Genesis. I went to see her and she had a number of tests ordered – blood work, HSG (Sept 2010), ultrasound, semen count and analysis. It was determined that everything was relatively OK. I think my FSH was a little high. Hubby's sperm count was a little low but really there wasn't a definitive reason as to why we were not getting pregnant. I was told I may have some mild endometriosis.

We then embarked on IUIs. We didn't want to start straight away with IVF. I was ~32 at the time and hubby was ~36. We still had some time on our side and we wanted to get pregnant as naturally as we could. However, we tried 3 rounds of IUI on one drug and 3 on another. None of them worked. After 1-2 rounds of each, again, I was not expecting to get pregnant. Perhaps the negative feelings were somewhat detrimental – who knows?

After the failed IUIs. We talked to Dr. Kashyap again and she recommended IVF/ICSI. Our first IVF was in July 2011. I was not very prepared for this process. We were excited to begin the process and had high hopes but my physical preparedness was low and I did not allow myself and my body time to rest and relax and therefore I did not set myself up for success. We had a busy social calendar at the time and immediately after transfer we had friends from England staying with us. I did not take it easy. At the time I wasn't doing acupuncture either, and I wasn't paying close attention to what I was eating and drinking. The IVF was not successful. We ended up with 3 embryos on day 3 (I think around 11 eggs had been retrieved). 2 were put in and the 3rd did not survive until day 5. We did not become pregnant.

We were told we had to wait 3 months before trying again. During this time I really spent time for me – regular acupuncture, mediclear cleanse, no alcohol, no caffeine, regular gentle exercise and lots of rest. When the IVF course started, I mostly checked out of our social life choosing to stay at home rather than go out. We don't know which of these factors made the difference, or perhaps it was that I knew what to expect, this being my 2nd IVF, but it was vastly different. We had around the same number of eggs retrieved but on day 3 we still had 7 or 8 viable. we therefore had a day 5 transfer of 1 embryo, which led to a successful pregnancy and our son. 5 of the embryos were frozen.

I had a relatively easy pregnancy – no nausea, some rib pain (saw a chiropractor who also helped with some hip pain) and had acid reflux. I had a vaginal delivery – 26 hours of labour with 2 of those active labour pushing him out. I had minimal tearing and a relatively easy recovery. My milk production was pretty good.

After 4 months I started taking the progesterone pill as I did not want to get pregnant again right away on the off chance I started ovulating (my sister in law has 2 children 54 weeks apart). After the course of 6 months of the pill were over I did not repeat the prescription because by this time the age gap between the children would have been OK (19 months).

I did not pay attention to my cycle for a couple of months. We then decided it was time to really start trying for #2. I charted my cycle and realized that it was no longer 30 days but was 27-28 days. After 2 months we got pregnant! It was a complete shock and we were beyond thrilled. We couldn't really wrap our heads around the fact that we had got pregnant naturally! However, this was short-lived as we had a miscarriage at 5 weeks (Sept 2013). We were not too upset by this because we felt that we had gained more than we had lost – knowing that we could get pregnant naturally. We continued to try (although sometimes timing was a little off. I wasn't using ovulation strips and I should have been). Also, we had to wait 2 months after the miscarriage to try again. I had an ultrasound to make sure that the lining was OK. Everything was fine. They checked my kidneys too. Again, fine.

In November we decided to get a referral back to Dr. Kashyap. We wanted our children to be around 2 years apart and although we may have had success getting pregnant again naturally, we want our children to be close in age so went to see her. Our appointment was in December. She told us about the FET and that it could be done during a natural cycle. Timing for a december transfer was not good because of Genesis's closure over the holidays. We therefore did an FET this month. Start of my cycle was Jan 2. Ovulation surge was Jan 14. FET was 19th. I am scheduled for a blood test on Jan 31. The transfer itself went really well – no issues. However, they had to defrost 3 embryos to find one that was viable. So now we have one that was put in and 2 left at Genesis. We are very hopeful that this will work. We were told that chances are 50/50, which is OK, not great. our fingers are firmly crossed and we look forward to #2!”

Vancouver Infertility Stories are actual submissions of women who will be coming to Yinstill to integrate complimentary and alternative care into their fertility journey. They are intended to be snapshots into other women's lives, to know that you are not alone. Please click Vancouver Infertility Stories to read more stories like this.

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