Infertility is never a journey I thought we would have to cross and trying IVF terrified me. I didn’t know back at the start that it would be our saving grace to create our miracle.
After about 2 years in we finally were able to see an OBGYN and we started with multiple blood tests and we started clomid and I was able to get pregnant three times but I miscarried each time. The next step was a HSG (Hysterosalpingography) which if anyone has ever had one will know it can be completely painful. The pain was intense enough that I passed out from the pain! This test showed that I had a blocked tube but since I passed out we didn’t know the dye broke through the blockage until surgery. We waiting to see Victoria Fertility Clinic at that point our first appointment was before my surgery where we met Dr. Hudson. He didn’t want to try any treatments until my surgery which thankfully happened a few months later. We found nothing wrong during my surgery other than my left ovary being higher than the right. It was a common joke at VFC that I was leaving my left ovary in Nanaimo as it was hard to see. I worked overtime and 7 days a week to pay for IUI process, since my body LH wouldn’t show up properly only ovulation sticks I needed daily blood work to test my ovulation level. I hoped this process was going to work for us but the heartbreak hit every time the phone call came with a negative blood test.
The next step was IVF. The stress of the cost, the emotions, and the unknown all rushed through our minds. My husband worked away in order to make extra money for us to be able to complete IVF. We put all our efforts into this because it was the only option we had at the time. We had been trying for 5 years at this point and we had very few options, as adoption cost more than we could afford.
Multiple injections, many bruises and I’ll still never forget that I forgot one medication injection and I had to meet with someone from VFC at Tim Hortons in Duncan because we forgot my dose that morning. As she wasn’t a nurse, she couldn’t give me the shot and I remember having my nurse on the phone just talking me through how to give myself a shot, as I had previously had others do my injections.
August 1st 2015, I had my egg retrieved and they collected 23 eggs and 16 were mature. We had 9 fertilized by ICSI but our non ICSI eggs didn’t fertilize (so we thought). By day 3 we had 9 ICSI embryos and 2 of our non ICSI eggs decided to fertilize. Those two eggs didn’t make it. One disintegrated and the other stopped growing. Our 9 little ICSI babies all made it to day 5, and 5 little embryos made it to the freezing stage.
I was unable to do a fresh transfer because I was high risk for OHSS. This would give my body time to heal before doing a frozen transfer. In November 2015 we did our transfer. Four days later we saw a pink line and every day it would get darker and darker. We couldn’t be more excited. We got our first blood work and our number was 185. I couldn’t believe it as I never seen my HCG number that high!! I literally found out in the middle of Costco. Oh yes, I was crying in the middle of Costco. The next day I started to spotting so I feared it was all over, but it wasn’t. My HCG level at 9dp was 455! We were completely shocked that it more than doubled in 24 hours. As a precaution we did blood work at 11dp my number went up to 998. I couldn’t believe the number!! The last blood test was at 14dp and my number went all the way to 4419!! I was shocked my numbers were going up so fast. I swear I was having twins because of how fast my numbers were rising.
My pregnancy wasn’t easy as I had HG (hyperemesis gravidarum) and spent a lot of my pregnancy in and out of the hospital getting IV fluid to keep my body hydrated. I also had bleeding on and off for 12 weeks of my pregnancy and there were times I thought we lost our miracle - but he held on.
At 38 weeks our little miracle was born, but he had a rough start. Our son was born with an apgar score of 1 and had to be resuscitated at birth. After some slight complications and a nicu stay we able to take our son home after 5 days. We couldn’t believe our little boy was here.
On my 9 week ultrasound I will always remember Dr.Graham saying “James is a good name” and we didn’t know the gender of our miracle until he was born. We decided to name him Luca Stephen James. His middle names are to honour Dr. Hudson and Dr. Graham.
It took 5 years to get our little miracle and there were a lot of ups and downs in the process but we are blessed to finally have our miracle. Our road of parenthood is a new journey in itself as we have a special needs child. Luca was diagnosed with epilepsy before his second birthday. Shortly after he was diagnosed with Autism. We have had many other diagnosis and he has been a rock through them all.
If you haven’t read the poem welcome to Holland. I want to share it with you here:
Welcome to Holland - By Emily Perl Kingsley
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like you’re planning a vacation to Italy. You’re all excited. You get a whole bunch of guidebooks, you learn a few phrases so you can get around, and then it comes time to pack your bags and head for the airport.
Only when you land, the stewardess says, “WELCOME TO HOLLAND.”
You look at one another in disbelief and shock, saying, “HOLLAND? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I SIGNED UP FOR ITALY.”
But they explain that there’s been a change of plan, that you’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
“BUT I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HOLLAND!” you say. ‘I DON’T WANT TO STAY!”
But stay, you do.
You go out and buy some new guidebooks, you learn some new phrases, and you meet people you never knew existed.
The important thing is that you are not in a bad place filled with despair. You’re simply in a different place than you had planned.
It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy, but after you’ve been there a little while and you have a chance to catch your breath, you begin to discover that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland has Rembrandts.
But everyone else you know is busy coming and going from Italy. They’re all bragging about what a great time they had there, and for the rest of your life, you’ll say, “YES, THAT’S WHAT I HAD PLANNED.”
The pain of that will never go away.
You have to accept that pain, because the loss of that dream, the loss of that plan, is a very, very significant loss.
But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to go to Italy, you will never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.
Such a beautiful way of looking at how to not feel that you missed out on having “typical” child but instead one that brings such beauty into the world that you treasure even when things get hard. If you spend life mourning what you thought you would have, you will miss out on everything that is right in front of you.
Our journey one day I hope that we be able to do IVF again as I would love my son to have a sibling. I hope it’s in the cards for us.