Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovaries & Male Factor: Kristin’s Story [JOURNEY]

January 25, 2021

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Today’s journey story of a woman named Kristin. She is a 38-year-old international trade compliance professional who enjoys cooking, golfing, and skiing. Kristin’s husband had a vasectomy after having children from prior relationships. When they decided to build their own family, he had a vasectomy reversal. Unfortunately, 6 months later, they learned that it had failed. Several months later, they had their first egg retrieval and transferred 1 embryo. But she did not get pregnant. She began acupuncture before her next transfer. She became pregnant, but it was ectopic. Another retrieval and fresh transfer did not result in a pregnancy. A laparoscopy discovered severe endometriosis, and her left tube was removed. They tested their remaining embryos, but all came back abnormal. Her third retrieval produced 6 embryos, all of which were abnormal. Join us to hear how Kristin is currently prepping for an ERA — and what’s coming up next in her journey.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Kristin was a planner who was naive about life’s problems
  • How she met her husband while in college, and even though they dated for a few months, their breakup lasted for 15 years until they met again–after he had five children
  • As a couple, they are opposites who bring out the best in each other
  • How Kristin always assumed that she would be a mom
  • How her husband revealed that he had had a vasectomy after fathering five sons; he had a reversal soon after their marriage
  • When they started trying but had no success after a few months, they found out his vasectomy reversal had failed; this left IVF as their only option
  • They met with the RE and scheduled the first retrieval for January 2019; with three embryos, they transferred one—but had no success
  • The remaining two embryos were transferred next, and Kristin became excited when her pregnancy test was positive
  • Although her beta numbers kept rising, the ultrasound didn’t show a baby; it was a roller coaster until she miscarried at 8-½ weeks with what they called an ectopic or chemical pregnancy
  • How counseling helped Kristin and her husband work through their emotions as a couple
  • In preparing for the second retrieval, Kristin did acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and took supplements; they got five embryos and transferred two—with no success
  • How Kristin asked for further tests, which were all discouraged by her doctor
  • How the BI podcast helped her learn to advocate for herself, and she moved to a new clinic
  • A laparoscopy showed severe endometriosis, and Kristin lost her left tube in the surgery
  • How PGS testing in the remaining embryos showed abnormalities
  • With the third retrieval, Kristin experienced severe OHSS and a bladder infection
  • With six embryos retrieved, only three could be tested–and they were all abnormal
  • How they went back to their original clinic but changed to another doctor within the clinic; this is where they are in their journey today
  • Kristin’s initial impression of both clinics and how she felt differently about each one
  • What it’s like to be a stepparent to her husband’s five sons when she can’t as yet have her own baby
  • Why Kristin and her husband have chosen not to tell the boys about trying to have another baby
  • How BI has helped Kristin on her journey
  • How Kristin and her husband felt about her endometriosis diagnosis and finally having answers
  • What Kristin’s periods were like before and after her surgery
  • What it was like to wake up from surgery and find out she had lost one of her tubes
  • How Kristin was able to move forward from her lowest point
  • How she and her husband have become a strong team from the difficulties they’ve encountered in building their family
  • How Kristin decided who would be her support group on her journey
  • Kristin’s advice about deciding what to share and with whom to share
  • Kristin’s advice about communicating with a boss and coworkers about infertility
  • How Kristin balanced work and treatment, which was made financially possible by wonderful insurance coverage
  • Why Kristin’s relationships with friends and family haven’t changed much over her journey
  • Examples of how Kristin advocated for herself with her doctors by suggesting tests and next steps
  • Why Kristin remains hopeful about her next steps
  • How infertility has changed Kristin: “I’ve become so much more aware of infertility. I had no idea before. I want to help other women like so many others have helped me.”
  • Kristin’s advice to her past self: “I wish my Ob had told me to freeze my eggs when I was single for all those years. I wish I hadn’t been so naive.”
  • Why Kristin’s next step is an ERA test

References:

Thanks for listening!

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