Our Infertility Journey

We first started trying for a baby in August of 2007. I was so sure we would get pregnant RIGHT AWAY, and I took about 20 tests the first month. I couldn’t wait to get a positive test! But the positive didn’t come. We kept trying for a few more months, but then we made the decision to leave the safe and cozy College Station, Texas and move to California for Seminary. It was a big move, so we put off trying for a baby for the rest of the year.

In August of 2008, we moved to California. Tom started seminary and I started teaching chemistry at a private school. It was only a few months before my baby fever came back with a vengeance, and I asked Tom if we could stop using birth control and just see what happened. So we agreed to not try but not not try and see where it got us.

Thus began the 3 years of infertility in California, in which we knew something was wrong but also knew it wasn’t the time to do anything about it. Having a baby didn’t make sense. We had no family nearby, I was making most of our income, Tom was slaving away at seminary, California was expensive. It wasn’t a good environment for starting a family. But we weren’t preventing pregnancy, and the fact that each year went by without a baby let us know that things weren’t quite right. And the fact that a baby didn’t make sense didn’t make each “not pregnant” month any easier on me.

In August of 2011, we moved to Texas for a brief period of time while Tom searched for jobs. A few months later, he got the job at White River, so we moved to Indiana in December of 2011. For the first time in our marriage, we felt settled. We owned a house (we had always rented), we both had good jobs, and we had a community. So we knew it was time, time to figure out why we weren’t getting pregnant.

The doctor recommend beginning the testing with the male. So in April of 2012, Tom went through the brutal process of getting tested. This identified our major infertility factor. However, we were lucky that Tom’s problem was one that could be greatly helped by clomid. I had only heard of this being used for women, but it turns out it also works great for men with particular type of male infertility. It took the better part of a year, but we learned that the clomid was successful. We were still, however, in the lower fertility range and therefore still not getting pregnant.  The urologist recommend IUI’s (intrauterine insemination). It’s ideal for candidates like us, because they concentrate the sperm and inject it directly into the uterus, thereby getting millions of sperm in the place it needs to be.

And so we began this last year of treatment, detailed below. I’m trying to go light on the fertility lingo, but this will still probably only make sense to those who know fertility treatments.

April 2013- natural IUI. Not pregnant. Decided to start me on clomid, to increase our chances of success.

May 2013-clomid, 100 mg, IUI. Not pregnant.

June 2013-clomid, 100 mg. Didn’t respond well, cycle cancelled. Not pregnant.

July 2013-clomid, 150 mg, IUI. Not pregnant.

August 2013-clomid, 150 mg, IUI. Not pregnant.

I summarized the preceding months in this blog post.

September, 2013- moved from my Ob/Gyn to Midwest Fertility.

October 2013-Gonal-F injections, IUI. Not pregnant. Really short luteal phase. Progesterone recommended for the following cycle.

November 2013-lots of cysts. month of birth control.

December 2013-Gonal-F injections. 5 mature follicles, IUI cancelled due to risk of multiples, moved to timed intercourse. Prometrium, 200 mg 2 x day. Pregnant!!!

6 week ultrasound: 2 sacs seen, 1 with a yolk sac
7 week ultrasound: The sac that had the yolk sac before was now empty, the one that had been empty now had a yolk sac and fetal pole. No hearbeat. Gave it a week, but not much hope.
8 week ultrasound: 1 empty sac plus 1 sac with a HEARTBEAT! We were thrilled beyond belief. However, the baby only measured 5 weeks, 6 days, over 2 weeks behind.
9 week ultrasound: 1 empty sac plus 1 sac with a lifeless baby measuring 6 weeks, 5 days. Induced miscarriage the next day (Febuary 6, 2014)

I wrote about the miscarriage here, here and here.

March, 2014-Gonal-F. 5 follicles again, cycle cancelled. Doctor thought there was too great a risk of higher order multiples.

April 2014-Gonal-F injections, IUI. Not pregnant. Found out on Mother’s Day.

May 2014-Gonal-F injections, IUI. Pregnant!

16dpo beta hcg: 392
18dpo beta hcg: 1317
21dpo beta hcg: 4799
US 6/30- heartbeat 127 bpm, measuring a day ahead at 7 weeks.
US 7/14-heartbeat 167 bpm, measuring a day ahead at 9 weeks. Graduated from Midwest Fertility!
8/20- It’s a GIRL!
2/2/15-Abigail Elizabeth Rich is born!

May-June 2016- redo all fertility testing in order to apply for IVF coverage through insurance. We are approved for a cycle of IVF with ICSI!

July 2016-wean Abbie in preparation for IVF cycle.