“We probably shouldn’t have done that round. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!”

Rachael

Name: Rachael

Age: 40

Time TTC: 3 years

Diagnosis: IUI/s, IVF, Failed IVF Cycle/s, Endometriosis, Female Infertility, Secondary Infertility, Genetic Testing, Miscarriage / Loss

Strategies: Ovulation Charting / Tracking, Fertility Diet, Fertility Herbs, Fertility Massage, Fertility Coaching, Fertility Counselling, Supplements, Naturopathy, Acupuncture, Lifestyle Changes, Relaxation Techniques

My fertility story

My TTC Timeline:

July 2013 – commence TTC for baby #2 naturally. Baby #1 was conceived very easily (2nd try).

March 2014 – first BFP (natural conception). Line is very light though and gets lighter. Chemical pregnancy.

July 2014 – we start with IVF clinic. Decide to do IUI. BFN

August 2014 – second IUI. BFP – but same as last time. Light line getting lighter. Betas going down. Chemical pregnancy AGAIN.

Beta 1: 21 / Beta 2: 12

October 2014 – IVF #1

We were told to expect a good number of eggs and embryos as I had high AMH and we’ve had a baby before. They were expecting things to go smoothly.
Stims – 150 Gonal F, 250 Orgalutran from day 5
16 eggs collected, only 2 fertilised (a big surprise for everyone).
Only 1 embryo by day 3 (and not a very good one). We had it transferred but no joy. BFN.

January 2015 – IVF #2

This time we did ICSI in an attempt to improve fertilisation. We also signed up for genetic testing of the embryos.
Stims – no change – 150 Gonal F, 250 Orgalutran from day 5
13 eggs collected, 8 fertilised (ICSI), 3 day 5 blasts biopsied and put on ice. Samples sent for genetic testing.
All embryos ABNORMAL. No transfer.

March 2015 – IVF #3

We probably shouldn’t have done this round. The definition of insanity according to Einstein is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result! Anyway, we did it because we were baby crazy.
Stims – still no change – 150 Gonal F, 250 Orgalutran from day 5
16 eggs collected, 9 fertilised (ICSI), 2 day 5 blasts on ice, samples sent for genetic testing.
All embryos ABNORMAL. No transfer.
At this point we changed clinics as our existing clinic was offering us no further options.

May 2015 – Exploratory Surgery

Laparascopic surgery revealed endometriosis on the right hand side and a convoluted tube on the left.
ANSWERS. I can’t tell you how relieved I was.  Dr O was great and suggested a number of changes for our next cycle.
We planned to do a different protocol, and use melatonin, CoQ10 and a testosterone cream for priming.

July 2015 – Priming for IVF #4 – Priming with melatonin – 3mg nightly, androgen cream, CoQ10.

July 2015 – Spontaneous pregnancy!

We were very surprised by this. Felt hopeful but first beta didn’t look good.

Beta 1: 18 / Beta 2: 29

Feeling hope again after beta 2. It went up! This hadn’t happened for our previous chemicals. I felt good and started having some symptoms.

Beta 3: 190 / Beta 4: 940 / Beta 5: 2700

16 August – Miscarriage at about 6.5 weeks pregnant.

18 September – positive pregnancy test AGAIN while prepping for IVF cycle. Got the meds and everything as had a rather substantial bleed which I thought was my period and must have been implantation bleeding.

Beta 1 ~ 12dpo – 28

Beta 2 ~ 16dpo – 140 that’s 1.7 days or 41.3 hours doubling time – FAST

Beta 3 ~ 23dpo – 2000 doubling time 1.8 days or 43.79 hours. GREAT.

This pregnancy was successful and baby Holly was born by VBAC on 3 June 2016.

The lowest point in my journey and what helped me recover from it

After our second round of IVF with no healthy embryos, I felt like I might lose the plot completely and give it all up. Fertility Coaching with Karenna saved me.

Where I am right now in my journey

We have our much-wanted rainbow baby, Holly and our son Saxon. We are one of the lucky ones.

What I learned from my fertility experience

1. It is ok to question your medical providers. No one person knows everything and sadly, not everyone is across the latest research.

2. IVF is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. I naively though all clinics were the same as they all did the same thing. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

3. Find someone who is interested in solving your fertility mystery, not just flogging you through IVF over and over and over again.

If I had to start my fertility journey again: What I would do differently

I would start sooner. We waited too long as I was convinced it should be easy.

My favourite resources about fertility (websites, books, blogs or articles)

The entire WordPress infertility community is amazing. Get on there and search the blogs and find the ones who resonate with you. Rebecca Fett’s book, ‘It Starts with the Egg’, changed my life.

What I would tell someone else going through infertility right now

It is ok to be fierce in your research and ask questions. Find time to do what relaxes you – whatever that may be.

My favourite inspiring fertility quote 

You are stronger than you think you are.

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