Our Infertility Story

I had my IUD removed in November of 2012 and we started trying in January of 2013. We planned it out perfectly. I had graduated with my Master's degree and had practiced as a Certified Nurse Midwife for a year. We figured if we got pregnant within the first couple months of trying that we would deliver close to the holidays. Maternity leave for the holidays... for a Midwife?? Awesome!! Well God had a different plan.

In February of that year I unexpectedly accepted a job in South Carolina. This meant selling our house and moving 11 hours from home in Ohio. A physician I worked with encouraged me to get some blood-work done. Since we were about to move away we went ahead and did it. Everything came back relatively normal. My FSH was a little elevated which can be an indication of low ovarian reserve, but that was it. Next step was the semen analysis. My husband was a trooper!  Not a man's idea of fun but he did it because he knew what it meant to me. Still no answers.

6 months after moving to South Carolina we decided it was time to start looking for answers. We did a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to evaluate if my tube were open. Easy-peasy. Not painful at all and they were easily open. I expressed some concerns over my extremely light periods so my doctor suggested an ultrasound to evaluate my endometrial lining. SURPRISE!  On ultrasound they found a 5 cm complex cyst. Even as a midwife all I knew about cysts was that we wanted it to be simple. Simple=Good. Complex=Bad.

This large black circle began to haunt me. Was it cancer? Was is endometriosis? Is this why we can't get pregnant? Would surgery makes things better? Would surgery make things worse? We got several varying opinions on the plan of care and decided to move forward with removal in hopes that this would improve our chances on conceiving. I had an uncomplicated laparoscopic cystectomy in November 2013. Our doctor suggested Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) as soon as I felt recovered from surgery. Recovery was much easier than I anticipated.

Before surgery we had an anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) level drawn. An AMH tests for ovarian reserve (how many eggs are left). Initially my level was 0.63. A normal AMH is above 1. Not good. When we saw the infertility doctor to get his opinion on the cyst he did an ultrasound. He did what's called an Antral Follice Count (AFC). An AFC is also an indicator of ovarian reserve. He saw 11 antral follicles.  Not bad. Because he saw so many he decided to draw another AMH level. This time it was 0.99. Not great, but better. He seemed hopeful about our chances of conceiving with IUI. 

We did our first IUI in December of 2013. We used Femara with Follistim injections followed by an HCG trigger shot and prometrium suppositories. We found out that our IUI had failed right before New Year's Eve. I should have been more upset but I quickly accepted it and looked forward to another try in January. We started our next cycle right away. Days before our actual IUI, mid-injection, we got a life changing text. And thus starts the story of Brennan's adoption.

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