An IVF Journey After Testicular Cancer | Fertility Out Loud

My Fertility Journey: An IVF Journey After Testicular Cancer

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The journey to our baby girl was a struggle, but we would do it again every time. 

The night I met my husband, he told me “the only way I am able to have kids is to go through in vitro fertilization (IVF).” I had no idea what was in store for us.

In 2013, my husband Colte was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He had to get 51 lymph nodes removed. Thankfully, none of them were cancerous. Before the surgery, the doctor told him he might not be able to have kids naturally, so he decided to store his sperm for the future. Thank goodness he did! 

Fast forward a few years: we got married, bought a house, and got a puppy. The next thing on the list was to have a baby. 

In 2020, we scheduled our first appointment with a fertility specialist at an IVF clinic. I thought we’d do one round, get a bunch of embryos, do an embryo transfer, and have a baby. Unfortunately, we found out that I had low AMH (Anti-Müllerian hormone) and a naturally thin uterine lining. 

Our first egg retrieval gave us one normal embryo. We decided to do a second egg retrieval to try for more. The second round we were able to get two normal embryos.

After some trial and error with medication, my doctor was able to determine the best time to do the embryo transfer to increase our chances of success. On transfer day, we got the heartbreaking news that our embryo did not thaw correctly. We were disappointed, as so much time, money, and tears had gone into that.

The doctor was able to thaw another embryo and decided to try transferring both. Five days later, a negative pregnancy test at home dashed my hopes, which was then confirmed by the official pregnancy blood test. The two embryos would have been boys. 

We decided to try another transfer with our last normal embryo, not knowing the gender. I was so nervous while waiting for the results until my nurse called to tell me, “You’re pregnant!”

I was so nervous while waiting for the results until my nurse called to tell me…“You’re pregnant!”

We were thrilled, especially when we found out we were having a girl. I had an easy pregnancy up until I was diagnosed with preeclampsia at my 38-week appointment and had to be induced that same night. I frantically called my husband and we went to the hospital, ready to have a baby! Little did I know I would be in labor until the next day and end up having an emergency c-section. 

That night, our perfect girl finally joined us. Our joy was cut short when I started hemorrhaging because my placenta did not come out normally. I lost over three liters of blood. I had “placenta accreta,” meaning my placenta had grown into my uterine wall. Luckily, I didn’t need a hysterectomy, but I will need specialized care if I get pregnant again. 

Fast forward to the fall of 2023: we did a third egg retrieval that gave us two normal embryos. We decided to try doing a transfer again. We started out hopeful but the first transfer didn’t succeed. We did one more transfer with our last normal embryo. The second transfer also didn’t work. 

Heartbroken, all I could listen to was Taylor Swift’s song, “Bigger Than The Whole Sky,” and think to myself, “another month not pregnant.” After reviewing our options, we decided to try a fourth egg retrieval.

I started supplements and made peace with the fact that I had no control over what would happen. My doctor was able to retrieve nine eggs, which resulted in three normal embryos and one mosaic! We’re grateful to have four more chances of giving a sibling to our baby girl. 

I started my anonymous Instagram account,, to connect with other women who were also going through IVF. Throughout this whole process, I’ve been able to turn to this community for support in my darkest times (in addition to my husband, of course). I’ve been able to be real, cry, talk about medications, share very personal stories, and make so many dear friends who understand the struggle. Please know if you are struggling with any fertility issues: you are not alone. 

We don’t know what the future holds at this time, but we are so thankful for my doctor and his team for great care, our family and friends for support, the IVF Instagram community who feel like my sisters, every Taylor Swift album that helped with distraction, everyone we’ve met along the way, and finally, our beautiful baby girl.

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