Endometriosis, DOR & Uterine Abnormalities: Rebecca’s Story [SUCCESS]

April 29, 2019

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Rebecca. She is a 34-year-old cardiac registered nurse who enjoys walking, reading, and spending time with family. After a year of trying to conceive, she finally became pregnant but unfortunately miscarried. This led them to take a year off. Following a year of trying on their own again and still not pregnant, her OB/GYN put her on clomid. Another year passed, and she still wasn’t pregnant. So, they saw their first reproductive endocrinologist. She already knew she had endometriosis, but her doctor also diagnosed her with diminished ovarian reserve and recommended IVF. Their first retrieval resulted in one genetically normal embryo. The transfer was successful, but again she miscarried. Her second retrieval resulted in two genetically normal embryos. When her second transfer didn’t work, they decided to do an ERA, which recommended transferring a day earlier. Join us to hear how Rebecca moved out of state, sought another opinion, was diagnosed with uterine abnormalities, underwent several more ERAs to pin down her window of implantation, and finally gave birth to her daughter.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Rebecca was easygoing, unworried, and lived in the moment
  • How she met her husband through mutual friends, and they started dating a few months later
  • As a couple, they are strong, grounded, encouraging, and complement each other
  • How she always wanted to be a mom, and her career choices were affected by her plan for parenthood
  • She used OPK’s, tracked her cycles, and became pregnant right away
  • She was thrilled, but bleeding signaled an early miscarriage, so they took a break
  • When she discussed her endometriosis with her Ob-gyn, Clomid was recommended, which gave Rebecca crazy side effects
  • Subsequent lab work showed diminished ovarian reserve, and she was referred to her first RE, who recommended IVF
  • The first retrieval yielded 5 eggs that were PGS-tested, resulting in only one genetically-normal embryo
  • The embryo was transferred, and she became pregnant, but the ultrasound showed no fetal heartbeat
  • The next retrieval gave 5 more eggs, and only 2 were normal
  • One embryo was transferred unsuccessfully, but there were no answers
  • The RE recommended an ERA test, which showed that they should transfer a day earlier
  • Rebecca found out her RE was leaving the clinic and her partner would take over her care
  • The next cycle was canceled because her lining wasn’t cooperating, and a saline ultrasound was recommended
  • A 3-D image showed a heart-shaped uterus, and she had a hysteroscopy to remove a polyp
  • More lining trouble led Rebecca to seek a second opinion
  • How her fertility support group introduced her to the Beat Infertility podcast, she found Dr. Rodgers and scheduled a consultation
  • Dr. Rodgers did an ERA test, 3D ultrasound, and hysteroscopy; she found a uterine septum, which could have played a factor in the earlier miscarriages
  • The septum was removed, a second ERA was done, and the final embryo was transferred in October 2017
  • A positive pregnancy result made Rebecca cautiously excited, and their lives were changed forever when their son was born in July 2018
  • How she always knew she would have trouble conceiving and why she started with her Ob
  • The first impression of the fertility clinic: the staff were nice, and the doctor seemed empathetic but seemed very protocol-driven
  • The last straw at the first fertility clinic, because the new RE seemed disinterested and distracted
  • Why Rebecca tried Mayan abdominal therapy, yoga, acupuncture, and other self-care practices
  • What it was like to be nervous during pregnancy because of multiple losses
  • How she felt relieved but devastated when she received a diagnosis
  • The lowest point: after a failed cycle during the 2016 holidays
  • The positive aspect of meeting incredible women who are Rebecca’s lifelong friends
  • How Rebecca faced the challenge of balancing work and treatments
  • With no insurance coverage, Rebecca and her husband cut back on expenses to afford treatments
  • How her relationship with her husband became stronger as they learned to talk things out and communicate better
  • How her friends and family were mostly supportive, even though some friends didn’t really know what they were going through
  • How Rebecca found it difficult to advocate for herself but had to learn to push for answers and trust her gut
  • How infertility changed Rebecca: “It’s made me a stronger person. I never realized how strong I was. I’ve become more empathetic to my patients.”
  • Rebecca’s advice to herself back then: “Enjoy the small victories.”

References:

Thanks for listening!

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