Back in December, I was out Christmas
shopping in the outdoor shopping center by my house. It has a lot of great
stores, but to get to any of them, you have to take these roads within the mall
that have these sharp twists and turns. I was trying to get to a home furniture
store. I could see it. It was right there, in the distance. I slowed
down to take a hairpin right, and suddenly found myself driving away from the
store. Shoot! I took the next left and pointed my car back in the direction of
the store, visible again. It was right there! But the road twisted around again
and it took me another five minutes to finally, finally navigate the tangled
mess of roadway and arrive at my destination.
It’s been a similar experience in the last
year, as my husband and I have hit numerous walls in our journey to have a
baby. Ah, see that perfect, squishy baby up ahead? Well, you have to make a
sharp left, hit the four-way stop, curve right, hit the two-way stop, sharp
turn left, make the circle, sharp turn left ... aaaand, you missed the entrance
into the parking lot. Turn around.
It seemed like every time we got ahead of
the game, something would happen. Insurance would decide they weren’t going to
pay for that IVF. Only one egg was mature enough to fertilize out of the eight
eggs retrieved. Dangerously high blood pressure from a fertility medication
led to a cancelled cycle. Yes, even the first set of donor eggs from a young
healthy woman weren’t good enough to produce viable embryos and get me pregnant.
year, I was angry. My body was failing and failing to get pregnant. When we
came to the conclusion that this may be an issue of egg quality, I had to
grieve the loss of my own eggs. But we at least had some sort of reason now for
the infertility. When I lost the last two embryos, the image of that perfectly
squishy baby up ahead was again lost from view as we skidded down a road
traveling in the opposite direction.
No more messing around. This is it. We have a game plan. We know what we want. Like any hero says at the climax of a bad action movie: It’s time to finish this.
So when I found out my lab work was indeed
showing a genetic mutation that could possibly be the cause of some of these
fertility issues, I couldn’t believe it. A real, fixable diagnosis. A
guarantee? No. But a good start.
Two weeks ago, we again gathered on the
phone—my husband, our doctor and myself—and hashed out a plan for the coming
cycle. He explained to us that a MTHFR mutation hasn’t been studied enough to
know how it affects fertility. It’s still a new thing and it might be a cause
of pregnancy loss because it makes certain people more prone to blood clots,
but researchers aren’t even sure why. However, fertility doctors have found
that using a combination of baby aspirin and folic acid can work for people who
have this mutation.
I explained to him that we needed to be as
aggressive as possible with this next cycle, because we don’t have the finances
for more cycles after this. We’ve exhausted our savings. I then asked him
what his thoughts were on letting me do Lovenox injections as well with this
cycle and he said he was completely on board with it and was hoping we would be
too. Lovenox is a blood thinner that is injected into the abdomen. It’s hurts
like hell, and can leave some impressive bruises, but I know how many women
have had success with it. In fact, they swear it was what kept their babies
alive in-utero, after previous miscarriages.
In addition to the folic acid, aspirin and
Lovenox this time around, we are also picking from the top donors—the donors
who have had the most successful pregnancies with their eggs. No more messing
around. I picked my last donor because she looked the most like me, with the
least amount of health issues. This time, we’re going for Molly McFertile. You
got ten women pregnant? I want you to get me pregnant too.
No more messing around. This is it. We have
a game plan. We know what we want. Like any hero says at the climax of a bad
action movie: It’s time to finish this.