Today’s post from our “Being There Through Infertility” series is focused on the journey that couples go through. Matt and Kristin discuss their story, including how they continue to show up for each other during the many ups and downs of infertility.
Tell us a little bit about your infertility journey
We were married on June 7, 2014 and after about eight months we decided to try for a family. Because of our age it was recommended by my doctor that we try to conceive naturally for about six months before running tests and possibly seeing a fertility specialist. After six months of trying we decided it was time to go back to the doctor. After running some basic tests she found “nothing to be wrong” and referred us to a specialist.
After more tests I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and we were told that we would most likely need help trying to conceive. After many months of appointments, medications and procedures we decided to give IVF a shot. Talk about an emotional roller coaster. Some of the thoughts that consumed us during those few short weeks… “We/I can do this.” “We/I can’t do this.” “What side effects will I have?” “Will I get ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome?” “Will the injections hurt?” “Will I get a blood clot?” “Is it ok to take baby aspirin since it’s an NSAID and I have Crohn’s Disease?”
Once all of our medications came I was extremely nervous mostly about the side effects. Matt read about all of them so he knew what to watch for. This helped with my anxiety. On February 15th we started the injections. Two each day that Matt administered in my stomach. At first the injections weren’t too bad but I soon learned that some of the medicine burned and my stomach became bruised, bloated, and tender. After five days we added a third injection. We ended up injecting for a total of 12 days before my egg retrieval in which ten mature eggs were retrieved. Recovery from the egg retrieval took about a week and when we got the final call we were told that six of our eggs made it to day five embryos or blastocysts. We were so happy and feeling very blessed.
Our first attempt at a frozen embryo transfer (FET) was cancelled after a month of more injections, birth control, antibiotics and steroids, and estrogen patches due to fluid in my uterus. We were extremely disappointed but trusted God and our doctors. We did not want to risk losing any of our embryos. A month later, on June 3rd we had our first FET. Our two highest quality embryos were transferred and we found out a week later that it was successful. We were pregnant and due February 19, 2017!
In what ways have you shown up for each other during your journey?
We were both supportive of each other and the decisions we made during our journey. Matt administered my injections so that it was something I did not have to think or worry about. Constantly reminding each other that we were doing the right thing and that, God willing, we would have our miracle baby in the end. Positive and humorous text messages, special dinners and date nights, relaxing together, and flowers throughout the long days of fertility treatments
Did you ever find yourselves in a position where one of you was having a positive day, while the other was experiencing the complete opposite? How did you handle that?
Every time we got a negative result on a pregnancy test Matt was there to provide me with positive thoughts and reassurances that things will work out as they are meant to and that timing is everything. Since I was the one going through the injections and dealing with side effects from medications, it was difficult to stay positive but having him by my side made our journey bearable. When our first FET was cancelled I was very depressed, especially after taking a month’s worth of injections and drugs that really affected my body, and Matt was there to lift me up and help me focus on the positives. He was my rock through all of this.
How has your journey impacted other relationships in your lives?
Our journey has given us a whole new perspective on what is important in life and to not take things or relationships for granted. We have had immense support from family and close friends and couldn’t have done this without them.
What was the most helpful thing someone said or did for you during this journey?
The constant reassurance and prayers from our family and friends that everything would work out the way it was meant to. We would get little notes, cards, flowers, texts, emails, and phone calls from family and friends who were sharing this journey with us and it truly helped lift us up.
What was the least helpful, or even most hurtful?
The sometimes negative stigma attached to IVF. Having some friends react differently than you were hoping.
How did you decide on being so open with your story?
We felt that our story could help others who are going through something similar with infertility and give them hope that miracles can and do happen. I wrote a blog documenting our journey that helped me get through the difficult days and to share with others as well.