Egg Quality: Emily’s Story [SUCCESS]

August 27, 2018

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Emily. She is a 36-year-old account executive at a genetics laboratory who enjoys cooking, traveling, entertaining, and spending time with family. During the first year of trying to conceive on their own, Emily had three miscarriages. Unfortunately, all the routine testing done by her regular OB/GYN offered no explanation. However, after supplementing with progesterone, her fourth pregnancy resulted in her son. But her story doesn’t end there. Join us to hear how Emily had two additional miscarriages and went through three egg retrieval cycles before finally becoming pregnant with her daughter.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Emily was positive, carefree, and a bit naive. She had a sense that if she worked hard and put her mind to something, that she would accomplish it.
  • How she met her husband 12 years ago when they worked at the same company; they hit it off right away and have been married now for 8 years
  • As a couple, they are partners who consistently stretch and challenge each other and they are happy together
  • As a child, Emily was obsessed with children and dolls, and babysat a lot as a teenager
  • When her infertility journey began, having a child was the only thing they ever thought about or prepared for
  • How they “put a few years on hold” because fertility was the priority and everything else became secondary
  • Emily got pregnant soon after they started trying; she knew “something was up” with her body when she was on a work trip and then took a home pregnancy test and had an early miscarriage
  • She got pregnant again a few months later and had another early miscarriage
  • How the doctor told her there was nothing they could do and insurance wouldn’t pay for further treatment until she had 3 miscarriages
  • In 2012, she had the 3rd miscarriage at 6-½ weeks and saw a new Ob-gyn who ordered new tests—-which all came back normal
  • How Emily read about progesterone suppositories and the doctor OK’d them
  • She got pregnant, did “about 1000” home pregnancy tests, saw the heartbeat at 8-½ weeks, and delivered son, Carter, in April 2013
  • Why they waited 1-2 years to start trying again
  • In 2015, they were trying again. They moved and saw a new Ob, who ordered more tests—which, again, came back normal
  • They were pregnant by Christmastime and had a miscarriage at 7-8 weeks. She had a D & C which showed a chromosomal abnormality
  • The doctor sent them to a local RE, who diagnosed her with unexplained infertility and suggested IUI’s with Clomid (they did 3 unsuccessful rounds)
  • IVF was recommended, even they felt naive about the process, and “the nightmare began”
  • 18 mature eggs and no Day 5 blasts. Emily was shocked and devastated
  • They met with the RE, discussed the situation, and were told there was an egg quality issue
  • Why they didn’t like the RE’s smug response about their options or the facility
  • How they did a free phone consultation with a respected fertility clinic in another state and found the RE to be “a breath of fresh air”
  • In Dec. 2015, Emily started meds for her egg retrieval while she focused on balancing her hormones
  • 18 eggs retrieved and 2 made it to Day 6. PGS testing was normal, so both embryos (both boys) were implanted. One embryo survived but then there was no heartbeat at the ultrasound
  • When the embryo was tested, it was found to be a mosaic with a trisomy condition—even though the PGS testing was done!
  • They took the summer off from treatment and prepared in July for an August retrieval, where 12 eggs were retrieved and there were 2 PGS-normal embryos–both girls
  • Both embryos were transferred and Emily is 37 weeks along with her daughter
  • Why Emily started with her regular Ob rather than an RE
  • Emily’s initial first impression of the first RE, his partners, and staff
  • Why they chose PGS testing and how they feel now about finding out about the mosaic embryo
  • How they felt about finding an egg quality issue that is still unsolved
  • How they balanced work, treatments, and losses
  • How they were able to afford their treatment by making sound financial decisions ahead of time
  • How infertility has changed Emily: “I”m much more empathetic and can respond more appropriately to others. I see the world through different eyes. I’m a bit more hardened by this journey, but I’m trying to get back to the carefree person I was–and want to be.”
  • Emily’s advice to herself back then: “Advocate for yourself financially. Shop around and apply for grants. Also, I would say to take care of yourself emotionally. Absorb what’s happening and push through.”

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Thanks for listening!

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