Dual Factor Infertility: Lizzy’s Story [SUCCESS]

December 14, 2020

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Today’s success story of a woman named Lizzy. She is a 37-year-old architect who enjoys traveling, photography, and party planning. She dressed as Cinderella and Tinkerbell for transfers and incorporated Disney throughout the journey to stay positive. She and her husband faced 3 failed retrievals — with no embryos to freeze or transfer. Because of their dual factor infertility, they were told IVF with ICSI using donor eggs was their best option. They had a very early pregnancy loss while starting the international adoption process. Surprisingly, they conceived spontaneously before their 4th retrieval. They won a free IVF cycle the same week that they had a miscarriage scare. After an emergency C-section due to a placental abruption — where she and the baby almost died — their daughter was born. When it was time to try for a second child, her diminished ovarian reserve was even worse. Both IUI and IVF cycles were canceled because follicles weren’t developing. They took a month off and again conceived spontaneously. This led to her second high-risk pregnancy, this time during a pandemic. Join us to hear how their son was born by scheduled C-section to avoid stillbirth and they celebrated with a “We Beat Infertility Party”!

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Lizzy was an eternal optimist with a ready smile and excitement for each day
  • How she met her husband after high school when they both worked at a national park in South Dakota; he wore a Smokey the Bear outfit when she first saw him
  • As a couple, they are ambitious, energetic, stubborn, and fun-loving
  • How Lizzy always loved kids, babysat, worked with kids, and was determined to be a mom someday
  • How she designed their new home for their future children, even designing a Lion King nursery seven years before she got pregnant
  • In 2016, they started trying to conceive after eight years of marriage and thought “it would just happen”
  • A semen analysis showed male factor infertility and made IVF with ICSI their only option
  • Lizzy had an HSG and hormone tests, and her husband had varicocele surgery, but IVF with ICSI was still the recommended route
  • How Lizzy decided to change her diet and lose weight
  • With polyp removal surgery and a saline sonogram, Lizzy scheduled twelve weeks of FMLA leave to have back-to-back IVF cycles
  • After multiple failed cycles, none of their embryos made it to Day 5 for transfers or freezing
  • How Lizzy found support through healing prayer, visualizations, and Resolve group meetings
  • How she took supplements and started fertility acupuncture to improve her fertility
  • How Lizzy prepared for a fresh transfer and dressed as Cinderella, but the Day 3 embryo didn’t implant
  • How she contacted multiple adoption agencies and even looked into embryo adoption
  • How they took a month off in 2017 as Lizzy found the Beat Infertility podcast, read It
  • Starts With the Egg, and committed to a cleaner diet and lifestyle
  • Why it was difficult for Lizzy to return to work after her FMLA leave and tell people that IVF didn’t work
  • Why Christmas 2017 was one to forget for Lizzy–for several reasons
  • How Lizzy decided a life without kids wasn’t an option and kept asking her younger sister for her eggs
  • In 2018, the third IVF cycle led Lizzy to dress as Tinkerbell for her transfer; two embryos were implanted, and one took—but a chemical pregnancy ended that dream
  • A pregnancy loss panel revealed the MTHFR gene mutation, and Lizzy was prescribed baby aspirin
  • Why they started looking at international adoption but prepared to try their fourth IVF cycle first; they conceived their daughter naturally during this time while on a trip to San Francisco
  • In May 2018, they won a free IVF retrieval and transfer, which gave Lizzy hope if this pregnancy didn’t work out
  • How their lives were full of celebrations with a surprise announcement party, gender reveal party, and baby showers
  • How Lizzy saw a high-risk doctor because she was over 35, and their daughter was born in November 2018
  • A scary bleeding incident at 37 weeks led to an emergency C-section due to a placental abruption
  • Troubles with breastfeeding and a scare with genetic testing revealed galactosemia
  • With a new OB and a new hospital, Lizzy started trying in 2019 for a second baby and prepared with acupuncture and supplements
  • The first IVF for a second baby was canceled due to cysts, so Lizzy turned to Resolve, fertility yoga, self-care, and counseling
  • A second opinion led them to a doctor open to trying an IUI to use the leftover medications before they expired, but Lizzy hit an all-time low when the IUI was canceled
  • As they began to lose hope for a second child, they took a break; Lizzy received three signs in three days that told her that her son, Wesley, was coming to her soon
  • As COVID hit and fertility clinics closed, Lizzy took a pregnancy test and found that she was spontaneously pregnant again
  • With a scheduled C-section at 39 weeks, her son was born in September 2020
  • How they celebrated in the hospital with a “We Beat Infertility” party—and with another party when they got home
  • How Lizzy chose her RE
  • Why Lizzy chose to dress up like Disney characters throughout her journey
  • How Lizzy stayed positive
  • How Lizzy responded to other pregnant women when she was still on the journey to becoming a mom
  • How Lizzy and her husband reacted to their diagnoses
  • The lowest point for Lizzy was the first IVF failure and the realization that infertility is a long and painful journey
  • A positive moment occurred after their third failed IVF when they took a vacation to Mexico to enjoy being together
  • How Lizzy communicated with her boss and coworkers about her IVF plans
  • How Lizzy and her husband balanced work and treatment with flexible scheduling and FMLA
  • How they were able to afford treatment that amounted to $60K for their daughter and $20K for their son
  • How Lizzy’s relationship with her husband was a struggle to deal with the infertility journey even though they are best friends and soulmates
  • How Lizzy’s relationships with friends and family were affected by insensitive responses, but she made many supportive friendships also
  • How infertility changed Lizzy: “I’m a stronger woman and mother now. I’m more grateful for my two miracles, cherishing every moment with them.”
  • Lizzy’s advice to her past self: “There are no right or wrong choices on this journey. What you decide is right in that moment. Everything happens for a reason.”

References:

Thanks for listening!

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