IVF Gave Us a Chance | Fertility Out Loud

My Fertility Journey: IVF Gave Us a Chance

The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult your doctor for the most appropriate treatment.

“I bet you a million dollars you’ll conceive by the end of year,” our fertility specialist (reproductive endocrinologist) said after I had finished anxiously explaining that I had yet to see two pink lines.

Call it a future mother’s intuition, but while we had only been trying for five months, I was almost certain our path to parenthood wouldn’t start with a romantic dinner and a night of passion. A week later, my suspicions were confirmed.

The diagnosis was “male factor infertility.” The doctor tried to explain what that meant for us. He then said, “You’re an easy case. I’ll have you pregnant by Christmas.”

My husband and I went to our favorite coffee shop after that appointment to reflect on the journey ahead. He was no stranger to in vitro fertilization (IVF), having been conceived almost thirty years prior with early iterations of the technology.

However, our experience was anything but the “easy” one our doctor had promised. Yes, we made genetically normal embryos relatively easily—after one egg retrieval, we had six chances at bringing a healthy baby home, meaning we had 6 embryos that passed preimplantation genetic testing (PGT).

What we had not thought through was the tremendous strain IVF would place on our relationship.

My husband and I confronted our diagnosis on parallel planes. I was determined to become a mother. Nothing and no one would get in my way. Until my husband did.

In my pursuit of motherhood, I had failed to notice he was struggling, unmoored by his shame for being the “cause” of our infertility. He said, “It’s like you care more about a hypothetical baby than the person who is right here in front of you.”

And he was right. So, as painful as it was, we pressed pause. We found a therapist. We focused our attention on one another, on our communication and our intimacy, until we knew that no matter what, our marriage was the priority. It was then clear that no matter what, we would always have one another.

We began IVF again. Our first two transfers failed. My uterine lining did not respond well to our protocol. We decided it was time to find a new doctor. 

It was April 2020. Covid-19 was ubiquitous. Fertility clinics were delaying procedures. Desperately, I called around and found a clinic that was still transferring embryos. I had my embryos shipped. I put on a mask and eagerly met my new fertility specialist.

He was gentle and kind, and he felt confident that with alterations to my protocol, he could help me achieve pregnancy. He was right. My once unresponsive uterine lining doubled its prior thickness.

After what my doctor described as a “successful transfer,” I left his office to meet my husband, who was waiting anxiously in his car around the corner. I was clutching a picture of the embryo that we desperately hoped would make my body its home for the next nine months.

I was clutching a picture of the embryo that we desperately hoped would make my body its home for the next nine months.

“It’s a boy,” I said, handing him the photograph. “Let’s call him Ezra.”

On December 26, 2020, we held our newborn for the first time. Our beautiful, so deeply wanted and fought for son—our Ezra.

Almost four years after that successful transfer, we are parents to two IVF-conceived boys. Ezra and Oren are the greatest gifts we will ever receive.

I am thankful for science and technology, and for the community of warriors that help fight the stigma and shatter the silence of infertility. I am a proud mother, married to an IVF-conceived husband, with two IVF-conceived babies. IVF is never a promise, but my goodness am I thankful it gave us a chance.

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