After our second miscarriage in early December, Mike and I were feeling very drained and not wanting to jump back into trying to have a baby like we did after the first miscarriage. It was almost bizarre how differently I felt after the second miscarriage when compared to the first. I was much angrier this time, and felt like I was saying, "Really, Lord? REALLY?" It is such a hard thing not to become bitter in this journey, and that is definitely something I have struggled with, and still struggle with to this day. Mike and I had to take a month off after the miscarriage, and we weren't even sure we would resume treatments in January. Dr. K asked us to come in for blood work so we could try to figure out why I was miscarrying. He felt like we had figured out why I couldn't get pregnant, and now he wanted to figure out why I couldn't sustain a pregnancy. We did the blood tests and Dr. K said he would call us to come back in January after all of the tests were back to discuss the results.
Mike and I had been praying that through the blood tests they would figure out why I was miscarrying, and that it would be something we could fix. I was extremely nervous going into the appointment, but tried to stay calm. When we sat down with Dr. K and he opened my file, I immediately noticed that on the page of test results, one line was highlighted. I felt like my heart stopped...all I could think was, "They found something!" but I didn't know if that was going to be good news or bad news.
After explaining all of the things that weren't wrong, he said that one of the tests came back abnormal. One test was positive for a DNA mutation in me, called Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR). Try to say that 3 times fast! Basically, it is a condition I was born with that makes me severely deficient in Folic Acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12...all of which are very important in being able to carry a baby full term. [On a side note, when I told my younger brother that I had a DNA mutation, his first question was, "Are you an Xmen??" He even gave me an Xmen name! LOL] This deficiency can also make you more susceptible to blood clots, heart disease, miscarriage and neural tube defects in babies (like spina bifida). Obviously, all of this sounded really strange and scary, but then Dr. K told us the good news...the treatment for this was vitamins! For the rest of my life, I will take a vitamin called Folguard that has very high doses of Folic Acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 in it, in addition to my prenatal vitamin. Once I become pregnant again, I will increase the Folguard vitamin to 2 a day, plus my prenatal vitamin. Dr. K said he had now checked everything on me and he was very confident that this was the reason I had been miscarrying.
We really felt like the Lord has answered our prayers about finding something they could fix...and as easily as taking a vitamin! We felt like this was the first ray of hope that we had received in a while, and it gave us the desire back to resume treatments. Another good thing was that we could start back in right away with an IUI cycle for January. We felt confident and excited that if I could just get pregnant again, we would have a much higher chance to carry full-term.
We completed the first IUI cycle of 2012 in January, but it was not successful. The day I found out, I was just crushed. I guess I just thought that we had gone through this really hard past year to find out this important information about me that we probably wouldn't have ever found out otherwise, and now it was time for this to work for us. I always think that maybe I will get used to the negative pregnancy test after so many months of the same result, but it's never any easier. In fact, it's harder each month...harder not to want to just quit and give up, harder not to become depressed, and harder to not grow bitter with the Lord and the 6,754 other women around me announcing their pregnancies and celebrating the births of their children. Of course, I am so happy for those women when it happens for them because it's something I want with all of my heart, but it's so hard not to think, "When will it be MY turn?"
Mike and I had decided in January that we would do 3 more IUI cycles and then take a break from the treatments for awhile. So the day after I found out I wasn't pregnant in January, I was back at Dr. K's office to begin our IUI cycle in February. [That is such a hard thing about fertility treatments...there is no break in between cycles! You have no time to grieve the loss and the disappointment before you're back at it again...it gets exhausting!] In February, we did the normal dosages of Clomid and the Follistim injections, and in my first sonogram Dr. K noticed that my right follicle was larger than my left, which meant that my right ovary would release the egg. Because my right fallopian tube is blocked, we really want the egg to release from the left side. (I had released from the left side when I got pregnant before.) They had me do more injections and come back for some more sonograms (4 total this month...yes, I was at Dr. K's office 7 times this month!!) At my last sonogram, the left follicle hadn't done anything, so they were convinced that the follicle would be coming from the right side. Dr. K said that meant we had a 15% chance of getting pregnant this month. 15%...wow, not the odds we wanted to hear when we're spending so much money to try to INCREASE our odds! Dr. K suggested that we wait until the next month to do an IUI to save us some money. (In reality, we still spent MORE money than normal because of all of the extra sonograms, and we didn't even get to do the IUI! SOOOO frustrating!!) Dr. K told us to try on our own and then come back in 2 weeks for a blood pregnancy test.
Unfortunately, we did not get pregnant in February either. I wasn't really that surprised, since I knew it was a 15% chance, but of course I was still so disappointed. I was also frustrated that we had spent $2500 in 2 months and had nothing to show for it. (And I got even more frustrated when I realized we've spent almost $7,000 since August with nothing to show for it!) After those results, I told Mike, "I only have one more cycle of this in me right now, and then I'm done for awhile." Mike agreed, so we decided that March of 2012 (which marks 2 years that we have been trying to conceive) will be our last IUI cycle, at least for now.
Dr. K actually recommended the same thing, and said that if this month doesn't work, he would recommend In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) as a next step for us. In the past, this has always really scared me, but I felt like he gave us some encouraging news about IVF. He said that because of my age and my eggs, it would probably have a 60% chance of success for us. Also, because I respond well to the fertility drugs, I would need a much lower dosage of them, so it would only be about $11-12,000 instead of $15,000-$20,000 that it normally costs. All that being said, that is still a LOT of money for something that's not guaranteed. And if we do that, we would have no money left in savings for adoption or anything else. This only reinforced mine and Mike's decision to try once more with IUI and then take a break to pray about the situation and see what we feel like the Lord wants us to do.
So that catches you up to present day...we are currently in our 3rd IUI cycle of the year, and the last one for awhile...maybe forever. I'm almost scared to be hopeful this month, which is a place I don't want to be but don't really know how to prevent. Of course I would love to think that THIS will be the month the Lord will bless us with a pregnancy, but I think that every month and it's only happened 2 times out of the past 24 months. In a way, I think a break will be good for me, because this process is so draining on me time-wise, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially (same for Mike, except for the physical part). But another part of me knows that I am going to be really sad when we stop treatments because I will feel like I'm giving up. Because it's been so hard for us to get pregnant even WITH the fertility treatments, I'm so scared to try on our own while we figure things out because that will just delay the process longer. No matter what option we are faced with, it will mean more waiting, and that is so hard because we have already been waiting 2 years to have this dream realized.
We do know that we serve an Almighty God who has plans to prosper us, not to harm us, and plans to give us a hope and a future. I think my prayer this month (and the next however many months) is for the Lord to reveal to us how He plans for us to start our family. We firmly believe that we will be parents one day, we just aren't sure how or when. We ask for your continued prayers as we face this month, waiting on the Lord for direction and patience.