Right after my husband and I got married in 2012, we decided we wanted to start a family. But, after what seemed like forever of trying on our own with home ovulation tests, it soon hit us that we were getting nowhere.
We began our infertility journey with Coastal Women's Healthcare in Scarborough with Dr. Dawson. She ran the routine blood tests and ultrasound to check my ovaries, and we even participated in an HSG test, to check on my Fallopian tubes.
To our surprise, all of my tests were normal. Although this was good news, it was frustrating not having any answers, and trying to fix something when we didn't even know what was broken was like working in the dark.
Thankfully, Dr. Dawson was open and willing to let us try a few different methods anyway. We did a couple rounds of Clomid and then Femara to jump start my ovaries, and we even combined these medications with a few IUI procedures. I don't even remember how many of those that we did, but it felt like a lot! Sadly, we continued to come up empty-handed.
It wasn't until many, many months later, when I convinced Dr. Dawson to give me a laparoscopy. It was my last hope at figuring out what was wrong, when we discovered I have endometriosis on both ovaries and also my uterus. She was able to remove what I had during my surgery, and we were encouraged to continue trying to conceive after, but once again, it didn't seem to be working.
Finally, I was referred to Boston IVF.
At this point, I had been so frustrated from my body "failing" me time and time again, that I had worked my way up to 260 pounds by the time I met with Dr. Lannon at the South Portland fertility clinic.
Upon meeting him, he was very welcoming and informative, despite my obvious weight issues.
After our initial meeting with Dr. Lannon, it was basically "crunch time" for my husband and I. Because IVF isn't cheap, we began the saving process. While my husband worked overtime and I picked up another part time job on the side, I also began to work on myself to increase our chances of IVF working.
The following year, 2014, when Zach and I had finally saved up enough money to go ahead with the procedure, I had lost 130 pounds (all through exercise and clean eating).
I was determined and we were ready!
And so began our IVF journey. We started off by doing three rounds of the "mini IVF," but after finding that my ovaries were not responding at all, Dr. Lannon suggested that we try the full IVF instead.
In December of 2014, I participated in my first full round of IVF. Thankfully, my body responded better than it had with the previous, weaker, medications. 17 eggs were retrieved during my cycle, and although only 2 survived, we transferred one and froze the remainder.
I got extremely lucky because our first cycle of IVF stuck, and it was December 26th of that year, via blood test, that Zach and I found out we were expecting our first child.
To this day, it still blows my mind that this actually happened.
Because Dr. Lannon did not give up on me, because he was willing and open to my suggestions, I am now a mother. I cannot thank the staff at Boston IVF enough for that gift, and I am forever grateful to them.
How did your boston ivf physician and nursing team help to make your journey a success?
Dr. Lannon, Nurse Amy and all the other staff at Boston IVF in Maine were always so helpful and informative - and I loved how open minded they always were.
Dr. Lannon allowed me to try the "mini" IVF before undergoing the full cycle, which is what I had requested.
He was always willing to work with me on how I wanted to do things, so I always felt like I was a part of the process. While you can't control your infertility, it is at least nice to be able to participate in the treatment planning.
Did anyone/anything else help you through your infertility journey?
Not anything I can think of right now.
What were some highs or lows of your treatment(s)? What is unique/different about your story?
The hardest part of my infertility journey was admitting defeat time and time again, and also not being able to have control over my body and what was happening.
There is no worse feeling than getting your hopes up after spending thousands of dollars on treatment and seeing a negative pregnancy test.
The best part was not only getting pregnant, but also learning so much about myself in the process. I also think the fact that I lost 130 pounds on my own during this journey is pretty amazing!
What advice do you have for other struggling with infertility?
Don't give up!
I know it's easier said than done, but even when it seems as though there is nothing else you can do, keep going!
Do your research, ask questions, reach out for help, explore your options! You may regret giving up, but you'll never regret trying.