Our IVF Journey
Our IVF Journey
158Days to go
Kassandra Steele is organizing this fundraiser.
Our Goal –
We are hoping to raise enough money to cover surgery costs, costs of any additional testing that may be needed, a transfer, along with the medication costs that will be needed for the transfer.
We are doing a puzzle fundraiser. The puzzle that we have chosen for this fundraiser is 500 pieces and we are setting each puzzle piece at $10. Once each puzzle piece has a sponsor, we will put the puzzle together and frame it. It will be hung in our house to serve as a reminder of the “village” that we have and remind us to always be grateful. We are so very thankful for each and every one of you!
Our Story (it’s a long one) –
We haven’t been completely transparent about this, but I believe it’s time to open up about our infertility journey, as it’s a common challenge that many couples face. For nearly four years, we’ve been grappling with secondary infertility. In 2020, we encountered an ectopic pregnancy in my right fallopian tube, which required two rounds of methotrexate to save the tube. Moving ahead to 2021, despite our efforts, we were still unable to conceive. We decided to consult a Reproductive Endocrinologist to explore the issue further. An HSG procedure was performed to assess my fallopian tubes, confirming that they were open and appeared to be “fine.” However, during the HSG, it was revealed that I had either a bicornuate or septate uterus.
A bicornuate uterus has a heart-shaped structure with two sides instead of a hollow space, while a septate uterus is normally shaped but has tissue dividing it into two sections. The latter is generally more correctable than the former. Interestingly, during my pregnancy with Braylon, a high-risk OB had mentioned the possibility of a septum but didn’t provide further details, so it hadn’t crossed my mind until now. Following the HSG, I underwent an MRI, which indicated that I likely had a combination of both a bicornuate and septate uterus.
After consulting with several doctors, we decided that surgery to correct my uterus as much as possible was the best course of action for our journey. The surgery was performed relatively quickly, and we were eager to move forward with our family expansion plans after a successful recovery. Following the surgery, we were informed that I had a septate uterus rather than a combination, which came as a huge relief.
As we reached 2022, we were still struggling to conceive. I discussed trying a round of Letrozole with my OB before considering IVF, and we were elated when we finally received a positive pregnancy test after the first round. However, due to our previous ectopic pregnancy, I needed to start monitoring earlier than someone without complications. Initially, my HCG levels were rising as expected for a normal pregnancy. But soon after, I began experiencing symptoms like my previous ectopic pregnancy.
Multiple ultrasounds and blood tests over three weeks revealed an empty uterus with no signs of a pregnancy. Worry set in as we learned that I was experiencing another ectopic pregnancy, this time in my left tube. On the same day as the diagnosis, I underwent another round of methotrexate treatment at the cancer treatment center nearby. Those weeks were incredibly tough and emotionally draining.
It became increasingly evident that IVF was our best option, as my tubes were proving to be problematic. I reached out to different clinics for quotes on IVF, all of which were priced at upwards of $20,000 for a single round, which was simply not feasible for us. So, I embarked on a journey to find a part-time job that offered fertility benefits. Eventually, I discovered that Tractor Supply offered fertility benefits after 30 days for part-time employees working an average of 10 hours per week. It felt like we had hit the jackpot, especially with the support system in place to help care for our son. Before we could officially start IVF, I had to have my tubes removed due to suspected Hydrosalpinx and to remove the possibility of a third ectopic. We were able to go through two egg retrievals and one frozen transfer.
However, our plans hit a roadblock when we learned in late August of this year that Tractor Supply was changing its fertility benefits. Originally, we had enough coverage for two frozen transfers, but as of September 28th, our second frozen transfer was being revoked. Our first frozen transfer took place on September 11, 2023. Despite my efforts to refrain from testing too early, my self-control waned, and I started testing three days after the transfer. To our excitement, there was a faint shadow that eventually turned into a second line over the next few days. We were overjoyed and relieved, eagerly anticipating my HCG (pregnancy hormone) bloodwork to watch it rise.
However, my first HCG test came back at 28.8, much lower than I had expected. Fear started to creep in, but my clinic reassured me that they preferred the HCG level to be above 20 and that the rate of increase was the most crucial factor. It should double or at least increase by 60% in two days. My HCG increased very slightly over the next week before dropping and confirming a miscarriage was taking place. We have processed this loss and are ready to try to continue to grow our family. I am scheduled to have surgery to try to get rid of my residual septum on October 16th, which will require a few months of recovery before we are able to try another transfer. We are hoping to try another transfer in February.
|October 12, 2023
|October 04, 2023
|October 03, 2023
|October 02, 2023
|October 02, 2023
|October 02, 2023