Today’s journey story is about a woman named Chrissie. She is a 36-year-old assistant principal, co-founder of a publishing company, and co-author of the book Navigating the Road of Infertility. After about six months of trying to conceive, they saw a reproductive endocrinologist, where both Chrissie and her husband received infertility diagnoses. Both of them underwent surgeries in an attempt to correct their issues. Two years later, they began exploring foster care as an option and two girls were placed in their home. Six months after that, they lost the girls during an attempt to adopt them and began trying IVF. Join us to hear how her journey so far has been tumultuous to say the least, including multiple IVF cycles, multiple miscarriages, additional infertility diagnoses, and being denied the option to adopt internationally — and what’s coming up for her next.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- Chrissie runs a mentoring basketball club for 4th-5th grade boys at her school and is a youth mentor for high school students at her church
- Before infertility, she was more carefree, naïve, and looked at a life full of possibilities
- How she met her husband 9 years ago at a bar where they both were out with friends
- As a couple, they are stronger than ever, and still know how to communicate, even with the ups and downs of their life together
- How she always assumed she’d be a mom and even took it for granted
- They started trying to conceive a few months after marriage and saw her OB a few months later
- For her, it was a large uterine fibroid tumor and for him, a varicocele
- The first RE appointment: looking at the options of what could be done
- She had a myomectomy to remove the uterine tumor and he had the varicose veins removed
- As the doctor recommended IVF, they prepared to be foster parents
- They fostered two girls for 5 months and prepared for IVF
- How the girls were taken from them, without even a chance to say goodbye
- The first IVF, when she almost died during egg retrieval
- From 12 eggs to 3 embryos, with no success
- 2nd IVF round, and another near-death experience in retrieval: 2 high-quality embryos
- Transferred one and froze one, became pregnant, but lost it due to a blighted ovum
- Transferred the frozen embryo, became pregnant, and miscarried a few days later
- She went to a hematologist for tests for a possible blood-clotting issue
- One more IVF round: good eggs, but not great sperm because the varicocele had grown back
- Closed the door on IVF and explored international adoption
- How they wanted a child from China with disabilities but were told they didn’t qualify
- Considering domestic adoption and then embryo adoption, and pursued it
- Looking to transfer their chosen embryo very soon
- When Chrissie lost hope after losing the girls and having the 2nd miscarriage
- A positive memory of taking the girls to Disneyland for some “normal parent moments”
- How Chrissie found hope again through embryo adoption
- Balancing work and the ups and downs of their journey: “Not everyone has been supportive”
- The financial strain and the many loans they had to take out
- Learning to be more respectful as a self-advocate
- Tips for knowing your limitations and asking your questions as an advocate
- Why she chose to co-author her book with her husband: “We have to tell people our story.”
- How infertility has changed Chrissie: “It’s made me a more humble person and changed my perspective in many different ways. I’ve met many people and gone through many different emotions. It has completely changed my life. It’s enabled me to turn my mess into my message.”
- What’s next for Chrissie: They have chosen their embryo and will have the transfer very soon.
Words of Hope:Every day, even though I'm not a mom, I get to go into a school and have interactions with kids who keep me hopeful. They make me feel needed and there is a hopeful moment in every day. Click To Tweet
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Information about uterine abnormalities
- Information about male factor infertility
- Information about adoption
- Navigating the Road of Infertility
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