Hypo-Hypo & PCOS: Casey’s Story [SUCCESS]

October 15, 2018

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Casey. She is a 33-year-old director in the medical device industry who enjoys yoga and hanging out with her dog and family. When her period did not return three months after discontinuing birth control, her general practitioner referred her to a reproductive endocrinologist. After two failed Clomid cycles, she moved on to stims. Although she became pregnant the first stim cycle, it ended in a miscarriage. Several more failed stim cycles later, they decided it was time to try IVF. During her first retrieval, she hyperstimulated. Once she recovered, she had her first frozen transfer, which unfortunately failed. Using a new endometrial lining scoring technology, several frozen transfers were cancelled because her uterus was not ready for implantation. Join us to hear how Casey eventually transferred all five embryos from her first retrieval, went through another retrieval cycle, hyperstimulated again, and ultimately had a daughter thanks to her cousin serving as her gestational carrier.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Casey was an athletic, animal-loving foodie
  • She met her husband while they were in university together while she battled an eating disorder, but they stayed in touch across countries, and they’ve now been together for 14 years
  • As a couple, they are chill, best friends, low drama, with similar interests but different personalities
  • She always wanted to be a mom, but put her career first for awhile
  • How jobs and commuting decisions were affected by her plans for children
  • In 2012, she went off birth control but never got her period; she saw her family doctor, and then her Ob, and then an RE
  • She was diagnosed with PCOS and hypothalamic amenorrhea and was put on Clomid
  • In 2014, she was pregnant on a stim cycle, but there was no heartbeat on ultrasound and she miscarried
  • There were several more stim cycles with no luck, and then IVF
  • In 2015, they froze five embryos and did a transfer with no success
  • Another transfer ended in chemical pregnancy
  • A new procedure was used to quantify uterine lining quality and her cycles were monitored closely
  • With a different protocol, transferring the third embryo yielded no success
  • When the remaining two embryos were tested, they were both abnormal
  • Another IVF cycle was done with new drugs, and five embryos were PGS-normal
  • They pursued surrogacy with her cousin, who had approached them earlier about it; she became pregnant on the first try and their daughter, Riley, was born last August
  • How eating disorders can impact fertility
  • Casey’s initial impressions of the RE and clinic
  • The decision to move forward with surrogacy and the initial conversation with Sue, Casey’s cousin
  • Why they are trying again now to carry their own child
  • Dealing with expectations of conceiving vs. reality
  • The lowest point: right before the last two embryos were thawed, tested, and found to be abnormal
  • A hopeful moment was when they found out they were pregnant early on, because Casey never allowed herself to think it could really happen
  • How they finally realized their dreams of parenthood in the delivery room at Riley’s birth
  • How Casey was able to induce lactation and begin breastfeeding Riley immediately at birth
  • In her relationship with her husband, they had to figure out how to comfort each other and interact with each other as they became parents
  • With their families, they remained close, with everyone being nervous about the surrogacy and the birth, just hoping nothing would go wrong
  • Why Casey has always been a good advocate for herself, but never really had to push hard in her journey, because her doctors always seemed to be on the same page with her
  • How infertility has been a life-altering experience and increased her empathy for others
  • Casey’s advice to herself back then: “Be with what is. Take the journey as it comes, work your way through, and know there is an end there.”

References:

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