My IVF Story

I guess you could say my infertility started when I was 14 years old.

At 14 I had my first menstrual cycle -very normal except I didn't have another one till 3-4 months after that. At 17 my OB prescribed me birth control but it wasn't until I was 25 when that same doctor diagnosed me with PCOS due to my blood work showing high testosterone. He said I shouldn't worry and I should stay on birth control to "regulate" my cycle. So I did and I thought I was truly regulating my cycles.

At 29 (early 2015) my husband and I were living together, would soon be planning a wedding, and knew we both wanted kids. I got off birth control because I wanted to see what would happen with my periods. Unfortunately I didn't have a period for almost an entire year.

I knew that going an entire year without a period was weird but I kept telling myself "maybe in a couple more months it'll come..." -so I waited, and I waited. It wasn't until I went to my annual well woman exam when the nurse asked "date of last cycle?" and gave me the look she did when I answered " about a year ago" that, I had the thought -is something really wrong? for the very first time.

The doctor saw me, the same doctor I had been seeing since I was 17, and again brushed off concern and again prescribed me birth control to "regulate" my cycle.

"But I don't want to be on birth control anymore," I replied, sad and confused. He assured me that I indeed needed the hormones to at least get my cycle back and then after 6 months I could get off and we would start blood work to determine a better long term solution.

I left that appointment googling "no cycle for a year" and menopause results flooded the page. Menopause? What..!? -There's no way, right?

That day was the start of my silent years -the years that I pretended nothing was wrong while everything on the inside felt broken.

Planning our wedding was an easy distraction to keep my mind and emotions off what was a really terrifying reality. Had I gone through menopause -real menopause, or that thing I saw called premature menopause?? Is my cycle ever going to be normal without birth control?

I was full of silenced worries.

Before our wedding I worked with an endocrinologist and a hormone specialist to determine what could be done. I tried different diets, supplements, and hormone medications -nothing worked. My cycle only came if I was on the pill.

After our wedding I waited 6 months before I was brave enough to get off birth control again (March 2017). I was too scared of facing the same reality I had 2 years ago -how had it already been 2 years!?

I got off birth control and had 2 regular cycles!!!! This was a huge milestone for me. I felt great but still, I went to see a fertility doctor for the first time early May 2017 to make sure everything was okay. Unfortunately that doctor was not much help and didn't seem to take my PCOS/absent cycle history seriously. Nonetheless my cycle had returned so we began "trying" but, it was the kind of trying where you still want things to happen naturally and surprisingly. So, we didn't track or monitor my cycles or predict my ovulation window, we just tried -hopelessly but hopefully.

After a few months my cycles began getting more and more spread out again, between 45-60 days -sometimes more. In this time I began seeing a new endocrinologist who promised to have me pregnant within 3 months. That was September 2017.

December 2017 blood work determined that I actually was not ovulating during my cycles. All those months of trying for nothing. I felt defeated but at least I hadn't shared our journey yet, and I was able to hide it -so I thought.

I cried to my mom one day and I couldn't explain why it was that I felt so incredibly sad on the inside. The words, "My heart has so much love to give...and I have no one to give it to," poured out of me with my tears.

-She knew.

"You're going to be a mother one day, Mija -you will be."

The New Year 2018 came and all I wanted was a baby. I had spent all of 2017 praying for motherhood so with the start of the new year, I wished for it and I believed that was enough. I even posted a photo on Instagram with the caption: Here's to all of our wishes coming true this year.

By March of 2018 I had been taking progesterone and Clomid for about 3 months in hopes to regulate my cycles and force ovulation. Somehow we managed to root our feelings of hopelessness in hopefulness, and we tried desperately still hoping for a miracle. The routine and -what were beginning to seem like pointless doctor appointments and blood work- were exhausting and served as a constant reminder of how fine things weren't.

So, I found the cutest little puppy ever -a tiny maltipoo from a breeder online. We named her Bella. 

She made me a mommy

Unfortunately, Bella fell sick shortly after we brought her home. We took her to her regular veterinarian and twice to the emergency vet clinic but no doctor could explain why she was so sick -not eating, more and more lethargic as the days passed, blood in her stool and vomit. Her test for parvo came back negative and we were told to monitor her as best we could and to keep her hydrated.

We lost Bella in one short week.

In one short week, we fell in love with her, (even) through her sickness.  All we wanted was to make her better. We took turns staying home from work with her just to be with her. When we lost her we were so mad at the doctors for not having answers because we would have done anything to keep her. She was our baby.

-I wasn't a mommy anymore.

Of course my husband promised me he'd get me another "baby" but I refused. I was completely and utterly broken. One day I walked in the door and my husband could see that I had been crying.

"I want a baby," I sobbed to him.

He hugged me and said, "Okay lets go pick one out, we can go today!"

"No... -I want a real one."

"Okay, we will have a real one -just tell me whatever it is that we have to do and I'll do it."

April 2018 we met with our first IVF clinic and rather than consult and inform us of their process it felt like a very heavy business-like transaction during our very first visit. There was so much paperwork and signatures required -what was all of this, was I even going to have an exam first??

We left that clinic feeling as if we had just purchased and closed on a new home -tired and overwhelmed, and a little confused. With a bad taste in our mouth about IVF, we decided it wasn't the right time for us. We decided instead to enjoy our spring and summer with no more doctors and blood work or constant "trying" -although we never actually stopped trying.

September 19, 2018, my birthday, came and yet another year of life had passed and a new year awaited me. What would be new this year? What had I achieved this past year? What was I proud of? I drew a blank. Sadly, imagining every Christmas without a baby to spoil, to surprise, to bake cookies for, to wear matching pajamas with -seemed so pointless. So was that it? Was that what I had to look forward to for the rest of my life -a Christmas morning spent opening a gift just from my husband -one that I'd probably picked out myself? Each birthday baking myself a cake to sing to myself with just me and my husband?

Although I loved him deeply, there was something deeper than him -it was my soul craving to love his children, our children

I went skydiving that day off a whim just to feel alive -just to be able to say this year I did this! -because honestly a child felt so far away.

It was October 2018 and I had been on progesterone and Clomid unsuccessfully trying for about 9 months, not counting the year before in 2017, or the 2 years before that when I had no period at all in 2015. How quickly 3 years flew by.

After my birthday we made the decision to try again with a different clinic -actually it was one we first visited in June 2018, even though we had agreed to enjoy our summer without doctors. October 1, 2018 we had our first visit and decided to start slow with IUI rather than jump into IVF. Our doctor felt I would be a good candidate for IUI because of my high AMH. In the month of October we induced a cycle and monitored closely, realizing my uterus and follicles only reached half of the optimal size required to sustain pregnancy (uterus thickness) or to release an egg (follicle maturation/size). With the close monitoring my doctor was able to medicate accordingly in order to force those two things to occur.

November 4, 2018 we had our first IUI procedure. I wrote to the baby who we conceived a lot following that day and referred to them as Little One before I even knew we had in fact conceived. We found out November 19 that our IUI was successful and even then, I struggled to be excited. For so long I had lived in a numb state of emotion, hiding my feelings surrounding a baby. We decided to share with our families -I needed to celebrate; I needed to shift my emotion surrounding our baby.

Our family gave me that naturalness and element of surprise I wanted for so long when I was trying. They gave me the overwhelming emotion I myself had been missing. There are few moments in life when words become unwillingly absent. When words don't suffice. When emotion becomes the only thing you can do. Telling our families was that moment. I hugged my mom and cried, letting out all of everything that had been so bottled up for so long.  And my mother in law, she gave me a feeling of completeness, as if our united tears of an unknown (until then) joy filled a void I was unaware existed -and there were no spoken words, just emotion.

"I felt your presence, Little One. Through emotion and tears, I knew you were there. I will forever share that with you." -written November 30, 2018

On December 18, 2018 after a short 8 weeks together Little One left us.

We hadn't shared the fact that we had done IUI with our family before our loss. There was a sense of pride we were still protecting. With the miscarriage I felt pressure and I felt responsible. Pressure to have another child -to replace the one I let so many people love prematurely. Responsible for their pain, for my pain, for my husband's pain. I wanted it all to go away. I wasn't strong enough.

The night before IUI, I prayed to God and asked him that if he wanted this (motherhood) for me that he please let this work. He did -but only to take it away.

I was mad at Him.

I wanted my baby...I needed my baby!

That need -that empty feeling that creates a physical pain -is what led me to abruptly begin IVF. From December 2018 through April 1, 2019 I underwent 2 full anesthesia surgeries, countless nights of hormones exploding my body beyond a natural state (for egg retrieval), full depression and hormonal depression, medication side effects, OHSS following retrieval.... which all resulted in one successful IVF transfer!

-It was all worth it.

The day my fertility clinic called to confirm my pregnancy they of course began with all of the instructions of what activity to abstain from, what medication to continue and for how long, etc., and then they tell you the estimated due date.

~December 18, 2019.

I knew that was a message from God, from my first baby, and from this baby. 

I had cried for the weeks following the loss of my first baby because I was so looking forward to a new Christmas this year (2019), to matching pajamas, ~to having a baby! It felt like that was all gone and again it felt so far away. The day the nurse gave me my expected due date, exactly one year to the day from our loss...

This is our rainbow baby and from here forward this will be our new Christmas.

What a blessing?!

In those silent years when I knew something was terribly wrong but I was too afraid to say it out loud, I fought a constant battle within and struggled emotionally and spiritually with whether God intended for me to have children. How was it that something I wanted so deeply from my soul's core seemed so impossible? And the only way to attain what I wanted was everything outside of what seemed natural? Procreating was supposed to be a gift given from God...? 

Why wasn't God giving me that

Before moving forward with our last fertility doctor I mostly struggled to find peace and acceptance with my situation. I needed to know God was still in control. I needed to know this was what he intended for me -this: IUI, IVF, infertility -all of it.

He gave me that message.

December 18 
~will forever be my message from Him

He was in control all along.     


  1. True transparency. May God bless you with what your heart desires. But also allow His will to be done.

    1. Yes -His will and recognizing it as that so that I can let go. Thank you for the message I needed that today <3 -xoxo, Jess

  2. Felt like I was reading my story. Being a PCOS sufferer , I have been there and I know what the pain and agony you would have faced on first child miscarriage. Have faith in God. Do your best to stay healthy and rest things will fall in place on time.

    1. I feel the same when I read other stories from PCOS women too. It is comforting to be understood and bonded by shared experience. Thank you for the well wishes I am excited for our new chapter of life as parents. -xoxo, Jess

  3. Wow--such an emotional post! You've struggled so much, but it will soon be worth it. Nothing can replace your lost pup or your first little one, but that sorrow will soon take a backseat to new joy. I wish the best for you and your new expanded family!

    1. Thank you, I look forward to the joy of our first child and beginning a new chapter called "motherhood." -xoxo, Jess


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