Tuesday, April 1, 2008

About Me

I'm so glad you stumbled on my website. I know what you're going through... I've been there too... it's a tough road, but there is hope! This blog is about our struggle to conceive, though I am grateful to be able to write that we DID eventually, and with twins after IVF. You are no doubt strong and smart, working hard to educate yourself on the road ahead. I encourage you to follow your heart, pray and trust that God will get you through this time in your life. For me, personally, it was a journey I wouldn't take back for anything. I learned so much about myself and what it means to "let go and let God". You always hear people say that, but until I experienced it for myself, I truly had no idea how much truth there was in that statement. It's hard. I won't lie, but stay strong and I know things will begin to look clearer for you before too long.

Lots of love,

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For a list view of my treatment history, go here

My husband and I, happy married for just a little over seven years at the time (April 2008), having finished completed our degrees, started our careers and moved into a more spacious home in a quiet neighborhood, were more than ready to start a family. As an Illinois transplant, we left most of our family and relocated to the suburbs of St. Louis nearly five years ago in the hopes that doing so would mean a better life for our children some day. As much as we planned, we never imagined on the economy to turn for the worse at the same time we were told that, most likely, the only way we would be able to conceive children of our own is to turn to the help of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), by way of In vitro Fertilization (IVF), in December of 2008.

At the young age of 12, I was rushed to the emergency room only to learn I had an unidentified mass in my abdomen that would need to be surgically removed via exploratory surgery. We would later learn that "mass" was an ovary that had twisted around my fallopian tube and formed a cyst the size of a grapefruit. For years I was told that I would be able to get pregnant "without a problem", but today I'm faced with quite the opposite. Following several months of visiting different OBGYN's, cycle after anovulatory cycle and failed attempts at clomid and metformin, we decided it was time to make an appointment with a specialist. Initial tests and blood work a few years ago revealed that I have PCOS, a condition where multiple cysts form on the ovary, causing a woman not to ovulate; new bloodwork done by my RE confirms this is still the case. My husband is also dealing with a mild male factor - low count and head abnormalities.

Most shocking of all, though, were the findings revealed through a sonohystogram. My reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Peter Ahlering of the SHER Institute for Reproductive Technologies who we LOVE, explained that my only remaining ovary has adhered to my uterus, most likely due to pelvic scarring caused by the surgery many years ago. This leads him to also believe that because of the severity of damage, the chances of my existing fallopian tube functioning properly is very slim and the chance of a tubal pregnancy, if an egg was picked up, is much higher. His ultimate recommendation: skip more mild forms of infertility treatment and move straight to IVF.

Given the fact that Missouri is not an infertility insurance mandated state, and that neither my husband nor I have infertility coverage through our employers health plan, we must find a way to pay for these treatments on our own. A single cycle of IVF, on average, is around $16,000 (with meds). Statistics show that you should prepare to undergo possibly 3-4 cyles before knowing if IVF will be successful, which means that we could be looking at an expense of over $45,000.

We are prepared to do what it takes to be able to see our family grow and feel like God is leading us in this direction. We have recently decided to do IVF in August of '09! These next few months will be a nice chance to prep for what lies ahead.

Thanks for reading :)

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Falisha September 1, 2009 at 5:41 PM  

Sorry to hear you and your husband are having trouble getting pregnant. We're pretty much in the same boat. I have one ovary and a half of a uterus. Not sure if it's PCOS or not but my husband and I have been trying for 3 years now. No luck.
Good luck with Your IVF I hope it takes the first time around.

Tina October 13, 2009 at 1:14 PM  

Hi there! Your blog caught my eyes as i am reading up on my CD3 results. I see that you are now expecting twin! CONGRATS! pls. post pics of the ultrasound of the twin soon! Hubby and i are going in for a consult w/one of the top fertility physician with the Stanford fer. clinic this afternoon. SA on him also had some head abnormality, count is excellent but mobility after an hour tested below normal. Thanks for letting me share...

JensynRae October 26, 2010 at 10:28 PM  

You are truly an Inspiration to me and my husband. God bless you and your family!!

meenu March 8, 2011 at 1:18 PM  


lifeasdescribed March 8, 2011 at 7:08 PM  

Thank you Meenu. I am glad you've found my blog helpful in some way. I am very sorry to hear of your struggles. I will be praying for you that this next IVF brings you the baby(ies) you've been longing for.


stephanie April 12, 2011 at 9:40 PM  

Your story has gave me some hope. I have just begun to see Dr. Ahlering. We tried for a year with my local ob. We did metformin and clomid. Kne point in time I was on 200 mg of Clomid. But nothing worked, she referred us to Dr. Alhering. He did a vaginal ultrasound on me last Wednesday. Then I got my devastating news, my tubes are blocked. So here I am 26 and I hear the words "the only way you can get pregnant is IVF" talk about my heart dropping. I am having surgery in may , he wants to burn my tubes so the ivf would be more successful. He did tell me that I did produce good eggs. But my husband and I have started the journey of how we are going to pay for it. But we have no children so we are determined to find a way. I am curious as to the ivf, what's it like? What to expect? Is it successful most of the time? What are his rates? I don't find them out til Monday when I speak to Rachel from their office. Are you put under for the egg retrieval and embryo transfer and what effects does the medicines have? sorry I'm filled with questions an I just luckily found your site while I was browsing! I'm glad I got to read your story!

Cathy April 18, 2011 at 7:47 PM  

Hi Stephanie! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I am so glad you found my blog and that it's helping you, even if in a small way. Dr. Ahlering is the best! I hope you love him as much as we do. Most of the questions you have they will either gladly answer for you or you can find here on this blog. He has wonderful success rates (which are published and you can find them when doing a google search) and I can assure you, you are in great hands. IVF isn't easy, but it is very much worth it. Sending up prayers for you and your husband and wishing you the very best! If after talking with them you still have more questions, please feel free to e-mail me: lifeasdescribed (at) gmail (dot) com. I'd be happy to help in any way I can!


Unknown September 14, 2012 at 4:16 AM  

Hi Cathy,

Im from Karachi, Pakistan ( a very long way away) and I stumbled upon your blog while googling Poor ovarian reserve, a term I learnt from my doctor recently who is about to start us on our second IVF cycle.
Im a little disheartened at this point (had 2 IUIs only to be told that my husbands results are too severe for us to try anything but ICSI)and 1 failed ICSI cycle in which I had only 5 follicles for ovum pick up and only 2 that made it to the embryo stage and only 1 that was transplanted..and it didnt take.
My husband and I were thinking that if this current ICSI fails (God forbid) then we would attempt our third one perhaps, in USA, where the standard of healthcare might be better.
Do you have any suggestions or recommendations I can work with?
It was very uplifting to read your blog and your unwavering faith in God warmed my heart. Im truly happy for you.

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