Posted May 7, 2008 - Last updated July
After a year of trying the natural way,
we moved onto clomid and then clomid w/ IUI's.
Nothing happened. I went to a big specialist and went
to injectibles with IUI. As a result I contracted Strep
A Toxic Shock Syndrome and nearly died. After 2 surgeries,
8 days of ICU, 7 days in the hospital and 3 months of
rehab, I beat the odds, which were that about two-thirds
of people who contract this awful disease die within
After a year of dealing with this near
death experience I went to a different specialist and
with a careful hand, we had a successful and unremarkable
fresh IVF. My
beautiful twin girls are now 3 yrs old. Mother's Day
is every day for me.
I'm now considering a FET
cycle, but it is too early to decide yet. While Streptococcal
Toxic Shock is a rare and deadly disease, it was the
result of dangerous bacteria passing through the body's
natural defense barriers and into a fertile, prepared
uterus. The ER Dr's initially thought is was Ovarian
but I'm grateful that the Trauma Chief rerouted my gurney
away from the ob/gyn sono room and straight into the
OR. I would have died while getting the sono. Clearly,
I don't recomend the "big specialist" as it
was at least a half dozen unanswered calls to him that
landed me in the ER. I often do recommend the doctor
and practice that ultimately helped me with my pregnancy.
They are my angels on earth.
Update from Sept 30, 2008
My husband and I decided to do a FET back
in July. We met with the doctor who helped us with our
twins back in 2005. He perfectly understood our situation
of wanting to have another child and our concern about
the idea of having another set of twins. He explained
that he typically transfers between 2 or 3 embryos for
their FET cycles because, in general FET has a lower
success rate vs fresh IVF. And even so, he has a relatively
tiny FET twin rate, with a decent success rate. But
my doctor was sympathetic to our concerns and agreed
that we should do a single embryo transfer, so as to
almost eliminate any chance of twins. And while his
practice has had amazing advances in embryo selection
which would help mitigate the recuded probability of
success, given the single embryo transfer, we were all
prepared to undergo a couple of cycles, hoping for success
sooner than later. So we thawed 3 day 3 embryos, cultured
them to day 5, selected and transfered one, and refroze
the other two.
To my amazement and the credit of awesome
doctors, I am now starting my 12th week of my singleton
pregnancy. The only little suprise I encountered is
how long the progesterone shots and estrace tablets
continued after the positive prgenancy test. In fact,
tomorrow is my last shot! Hurrah!
My message is that anyone having fertility issues should
find a doctor/practice that they are comfortable with,
and have faith in. I mean, have a real rapprt with the
doctor, who takes the time to undertsand you as a whole
patient, not just via the stirrups - and then do some
praying, and don't give up hope.
I highly recommend my doctor, who has given my husband
and I the opporptunity to be the parents of 3 - which
was my girlhood dream of the perfect family and which
was almost taken away from me by another doctor who
processed me like cattle.
If you're in the NY area, please go see Dr. James Grifo
at the NYU center for IVF. It is worth the trip(s)!
Update from Oct 4, 2008
Last week I sent in an update for my story
(orignal posted back in May) and here is an update to
Unfortunately on 10/2 I went for my regular ob checkup
to find that the heart had stopped beating. I was 11
weeks 3 days, and measurements indicated that growth
had ceased at 11 weeks one day. My heart pretty much
stopped beating when I heard the news. I got a second
opion, but unfortunately it was the same. So yesterday,
10/3, I had a D-N-C and now it is all over. I am devasted.
Both my OB and my fertility Dr. tell me it is simply
a coincidence that this happened the day after I stopped
the estrace/progesterone therapy, but I'm wondering
if anyone else had a similar situation. Both sets of
doctors were also suprised that it happened so late
and without any symptoms, especially after having been
a strong pregnancy up until then.
For now, I have a lot of healing to do, but it helps
sharing stories with this community who have have a
unique sense of empathy.
from Oct 9, 2008 (in response to my letter)
It was so unexpected, because I had no
signs - no cramping, no bleeding,
nothing. And by that point of the pregnancy, you tend
to breath a
Each day gets a little better, but it still is pretty
crappy. I don't
know how women can get remotivated to try again after
experience. I'd love some of those stories to help me
start to wrap my
head around what seems like a closed door right now.
Thanks for the work you do with the website. It is
helpful to have such
a connection to a community dealing with similar issues.
from Jan 7, 2009
I'm considering another go at FET. Follow
up tests show that I have a factor II mutation, which
sometimes causes blood clotting issues. My fertility
Doc isn't convinced, but my OB and my "new"
Hematologist seems to think this was the issue. I'll
likely be on lovenox if I try again. It seems that there
is some inconsistency as to when in the cycle to start
the lovenox, so I was wondering if you had any experience
Update from July 8, 2009
I felt like my story could not end with
the October miscarriage, so my husband and I decided
to try another FET this past May. We were armed with
Lovenox shots from my hematologist to counteract any
potential impact of the Factor II mutation and with
a bank of 7 frozen embryos we marched forward. The lovenox
shots stung pretty bad, but once I got used to icing
them it was just fine and I was happy to start them
concurent with the estrace since that drug increases
your clotting potential.
The Dr postponed my transfer 1 day because
we thawed two beautiful embryos and he wanted another
day to see if one developed even better than the other,
since I was determined to only transfer 1. My first
HCG was a BFP at 68. We were thrilled and yet a little
nervous at the same time because of the October miscarriage,
but we decided to be happy when you can be happy. On
the second HCG things started to go bad - it had increased,
but not at the rate the Dr's had hoped (it was only
doubling every 2.8 days). The 3rd and 4th betas over
the next week kept showing the same trend, so we were
worried about an ectopic. Finally, after another week,
the gestational sac appeared in the uterus, ruling out
ectopic, although it was smaller than expected.
My Dr recommened that we wait until day
52 for the pregnancy to present itself with a heartbeat,
although two of his partners were already suggesting
at day 44 that I stop all the meds. My husband and I
decided that we had come this far and HAD to give it
another week to be 100% sure either way. The weeks between
the second Beta and day 52 were pretty awful. I was
pregnant (technically), feeling fatigue and nausea and
caring for myself like every other woman in her early
pregnancy does, yet I didn't know what I was doing this
all for. One of my Dr's partners suggested that I "prepare
for the worst, but hope for the best" which in
this case is way too contradictory to even make any
sense. Unfortunately, there was no heartbeat at day
52 and after discontinuing the drugs, nature took its
course 5 days later. After spotting during the day,
I had the worst cramps ever for about 3 hours and then
everything passed and relief came: physical and mental.
Sure I am disappointed with the outcome,
but I am absorbing this in my mind as the baby "never
really took", since it really never progressed
beyond a typical sac. The Dr says to wait two cycles
to try again, which brings me right to my 40th birthday.
It is too early to know, but I'm very much considering
closing the book on trying again. I've spent my 30's
trying to have children and I do have my beautiful twins.
Everyone needs to determine how much is enough, and
I think I may be ready to stop having my life on hold.
We'll see - so for now, I'm signing off as a happy mom