Fertility After Loss of our 9 month old IVF Baby
Fertility After Loss of our 9 month old IVF Baby
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Ron Coleman is organizing this fundraiser.
Our story starts nearly 19 years ago, when my wife and I met freshman year in college. It was love at first sight, at least for me, and I knew that I would marry her one day. There was an instant connection and from our first date, we have been inseparable. We were engaged within the first year of dating, but we waited until after college to get married. From the beginning, we knew that we wanted to have a family together, but we wanted to be responsible and establish ourselves first and spend time with each other before having children.
After 10 years of being together, we knew the time was right. However, we quickly found out that having children wasn’t easy for everyone. After over a year of trying, RobbieLee went to the doctors and found that she has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). We were given metformin as a potential treatment, but after nearly another year of trying, we realized that wasn’t going to work. We nearly gave up on having our own children and started looking into foster-to adoption. After being told we were not the candidates that Adams County was looking for, as we wouldn’t be dependent on the government assistance for the foster children, we felt completely defeated.
As a last resort, we investigated fertility treatment, not thinking we would be able to afford it. We reached out to CCRM and had an initial consultation, where they sold us on trying timed intercourse, along with metformin, as an inexpensive option. Of course, this did not work. They then told us that we should try IUI, as a less expensive option to IVF. After two rounds of that, we realized that we have now spent more money than if we were to have just tried IVF in the first place. After over a year with CCRM, they offered to allow us into a study that would partially pay for a round of IVM, as they wanted to see how IVM would work on women with PCOS. After our egg retrieval, they were successful in maturing three embryos and we were so excited. We were now nearly two years in on our fertility journey and we knew that we were getting older and that we probably couldn’t afford another transfer, so we requested that they transfer two embryos. We wanted to have at least two kids and we wanted them as close to each other as possible, so they always had each other. Neither of us grew up with a close relationship to our siblings, so that was so important to us.
Unfortunately, we lost one of our babies in the first trimester. We had to keep our heads up, as we were still going to have a son and we were going to have our family that we worked so hard for over the years.
The pregnancy didn’t go well, as RobbieLee developed severe PreE and HELLP and we had to deliver at 30+4. We spent 42 days in the NICU but came home with our precious son, Reacher James.
As I mentioned, having at least two kids was very important to us. We decided to dip into our retirement to try one last time with our final embryo. On the day of the transfer, after they gave RobbieLee valium, the doctor came in and said that someone broke the vial with our embryo and that it was compromised, and we couldn’t move forward. They offered pay for a new egg retrieval, but we would still have to cover the cost of the transfer. At this point, we didn’t have a choice and just moved forward. We were able to get three new embryos matured through IVM, though one was not viable, and had a successful transfer.
RobbieLee got PreE and HELLP a second time, but it developed at 35 weeks, and we were able to deliver at 36 weeks. This time, however, post-partum was much harder, and they had to give her a blood transfusion and she was hospitalized for 9 days, but our son, Renner, was perfectly healthy and we had our two boys within a couple years of each other (not exactly what we wanted, but we were beyond happy).
Our lives were finally perfect. After nearly nine years in our infertility journey, we had two beautiful red-headed, blue-eyed boys that loved and adored each other.
9 ½ month later, our son, Renner Jack, died of an unexpected and rare brain aneurysm and possible medical incompetence. His entire future taken away and our lives left in shambles. He only knew a quarantine world in a time of Covid.
In the midst of our mourning, we knew we had one more embryo and wanted to give Reacher someone to grow up with. We knew that RobbieLee shouldn’t try and carry again and one of our good friends agreed to be a compassionate gestational carrier. We liquidated all our retirement and savings and tried one last time. Unfortunately, our GC had a miscarriage, and we don’t have anything left to try again.
We know that having another kid now will be more than 5 years apart from Reacher, but as we get older, we know we don’t have much more time and many more options and desperately want to grow our family.