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Real Women's Stories: Brenda

infertility This is part of an ongoing series of real women sharing their stories of infertility and hope. Today Brenda shares her story of the heartbreak and loss and conceiving against all odds.

After 7 years together and a year of marriage my husband and I decided to begin trying. In July of 2010 I stopped taking birth control which I had been on for the previous 10 years. I was a bit surprised by how quickly we actually got pregnant. In October I took a pregnancy test 2 days after my missed period, and it was positive. The next day I began spotting. My Dr. suggested a trip to the ER, which was traumatic and frustrating. Being that I was so newly pregnant, they ran a battery of tests, all inconclusive and could neither confirm nor deny a miscarriage. The next day my Dr. completed all the same tests and began, for those of you who’ve had a miscarriage know, to be several weeks of torturous hcg blood test results. These tests track your levels to make sure they are declining. My Dr. reassured me that sometimes early miscarriages happen and we should wait a few months and try again.

In January of 2011 our first month of our second try, we achieved a pregnancy, which I also quickly miscarried. Both of the miscarriages were devastating. I felt like I lost the dream that had already begin building and I needed to mourn that. My Dr. was not willing to begin running any additional tests and I had a very bad experience in her office that led me to seek another Dr. The following month, after finding a new Dr. I found out that I have an MTHFR mutation that makes it hard for my body to metabolize folic acid, as well as a suspected clotting disorder and low progesterone. Once we had a diagnosis and supplements were prescribed I felt a renewed sense of hope and optimism.

As we began trying for the third time I was a bit frustrated that it seemed to be taking longer to achieve pregnancy. Then in September of 2011 I had a positive pregnancy test. I was feeling good, and very excited, assuming that this time would work for us. My new FABULOUS Dr. wanted an early ultrasound. I had the ultrasound at 9 am on Sept. 7th and at noon the same day had emergency laparoscopic surgery. It turns out I’d had an ectopic pregnancy. When the Dr. got a good look at all the plumbing, she gave my remaining Fallopian tube about a 20% chance of working correctly. She did not recommend we continue trying, as my remaining Fallopian tube would probably not work.

During recovering from surgery, My Dr. recommended throwing out all the calendars and future fertility planning and just focus on feeling better, I embraced that. We made the decision to move forward with invitro , meeting with a fertility specialist and scheduling treatment for January 2012. I felt really positive about invitro, I actually had the thought “well, if I can’t use this body for baby making, I’m going to go back to really just enjoying sex, for the fun of it.”

I head back to my OB for my 2 week post op appointment on Sept. 22nd and she clears me for all activity (even the horizontal hula) It had been a LONG time, so like a high school student I jump my husband’s bones, thinking there is no way we need to be careful 2 weeks after surgery we’ll start that “next time”.

For a few weeks, I waited for my “cycle to regulate” and it just didn’t start. I started to think this was a bit odd, because after both other miscarriages the factory got right back to business. I had one left over test from all the “trying” and we’re not going to need it, because once we start IVF in January, they will monitor me like a hawk. On a fluke I take the home test and BAM! 2 PINK LINES!

I was terrified at this point. It had literally been 3 weeks since I had endured abdominal surgery, I was petrified that we’d be headed right back to the OR. What has actually happened in the weeks following that test on October 4th, is 3 ultrasounds, 6 blood tests, 7 doctor appointments and many nervous phone calls. What we have found out is that I am now 7 weeks and 2 days pregnant. The embryo is in the right spot, and last week I even saw a heartbeat.

I share this story so that others may find some inspiration. I had given up all hope of natural conception. Against all these challenges: I was two weeks post op, we had sex one time, I ovulated on the left side where I no longer have a Fallopian tube, I am now 7 weeks pregnant! Struggling with infertility can be emotionally painful, gut wrenching, and all consuming, but it can also be full of hope, joy and in some cases surprise even the most cynical of women. I’m due on June 26th, 2012.

If you want to share your story, please send it to me to at melbellblodgett@gmail.com.

image: The Daybook

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