Dual Factor Infertility: Rebecca’s Story [SUCCESS]

September 9, 2019

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Rebecca. She is a 31-year-old finance professional who enjoys traveling and cooking. After about a year of trying to conceive, her husband had a semen analysis, which uncovered 0% morphology. Two months later, they tried an IUI cycle. During the two-week wait, they found out they were both carriers of a genetic disorder called spinal muscular atrophy. When the IUI was unsuccessful, they moved on to IVF. After two rounds, they had 5 PGT normal embryos. But they relocated shortly after and decided to leave the embryos behind and take a break. Join us to hear how Rebecca had a polyp removed before her first embryo transfer, which resulted in her current pregnancy.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Rebecca was a planner who was a giving person
  • How she met her husband when they worked for the same company in NYC; they became friends for several years, and then knew on their second date that they would get married
  • As a couple, they are kind and loving; they are good communicators who love to help and support each other
  • As the oldest of three siblings, Rebecca always knew she loved children and wanted to be a mom someday
  • Why moving from NYC to Chicago gave her a better work-life balance, and then moving to Texas gave them an even better family-friendly environment
  • Why Rebecca went for a prenatal appointment before trying to conceive, and then started using OPK’s
  • When she saw her OB/GYN, she had an HSG test, but her husband’s semen analysis showed a serious morphology issue
  • When they saw the first RE and discussed their options, it was recommended to begin with IUI
  • Genetic testing preceded the first IUI with Clomid, which produced horrible side effects for Rebecca
  • The genetic testing revealed that Rebecca is a carrier of the disease SMA, or spinal muscular atrophy (3% of the population is a carrier for SMA)
  • During the two-week wait, they found out that Rebecca’s husband is also a carrier of SMA, which was shocking; they prayed for the IUI to fail
  • They were relieved when the result of the IUI was negative, but they needed to move forward with IVF so the embryos could be genetically tested
  • How they had to have family members’ saliva samples to build a probe to detect the SMA gene, which involved several weeks of waiting
  • During the IVF cycle, they had extensive testing on their embryos to look for abnormalities
  • Because of Rebecca’s age and their great insurance coverage, they decided to move ahead with a second cycle to get more eggs
  • Why the second cycle was much harder on Rebecca because they moved to Texas and she had a uterine polyp removed
  • How it was difficult to coordinate her care and tests between Texas and Chicago
  • The mix-up that led to them thinking their transferred embryo was a boy, but then finding out the doctor chose the female embryo
  • The thrill of a positive pregnancy result, but miscommunication led them to leave the clinic in Texas and fly back to the one on Chicago
  • When Rebecca started bleeding, she feared a miscarriage but found out it was a subchorionic hemorrhage that required weekly checks—and she’s 33 weeks along now
  • How Rebecca knew that something was wrong in the beginning
  • The reactions Rebecca and her husband had to the semen analysis results and the visit to the reproductive urologist
  • How Rebecca’s OB/GYN helped get them into a clinic with a doctor they loved
  • Why IUI was recommended to them in the very beginning, even with the genetic diagnosis
  • How they felt about the double SMA carrier diagnosis, even though there was no family history
  • The results of the probe showed that both Rebecca and her husband have a parent who is a carrier
  • A positive moment of taking a break from treatment and how they felt refreshed and reinvigorated
  • How they decided what to share and what not to share with coworkers
  • How Rebecca’s relationship with her husband reached a new level of stress from which they are still recovering today
  • With friends and family, it was difficult to keep anything private, and some couldn’t offer much support
  • How they navigated the infertility journey from different locations around the country
  • How infertility has changed Rebecca: “Infertility has helped me put things into perspective. It’s clarified the few important decisions in life, like plans for a family. I’ve learned to focus on the core things and let the little things go.”
  • Rebecca’s advice to her past self: “Indecision is a decision. Infertility isn’t going to correct itself. You can’t guarantee that a treatment will work, but at least you’re taking a step forward.”

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