Today’s success story is about a woman named Kristin. She is a 33-year-old teacher who loves playing and teaching piano, hiking, taking walks, spending time with her husband, and traveling. Her story is a bit unique in that her first reproductive endocrinologist visit took place before she even met her husband. Years later after they were married, she went straight to her doctor rather than trying on their own because she knew she wasn’t ovulating. Once it was clear she’d need IVF, she went into research mode to find the best clinic abroad. Join us to hear how her journey spanned multiple countries, involved several losses, and resulted in her changing jobs before she finally became pregnant with her daughter.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- Before infertility, she was goal-oriented and worked abroad in Kuwait and Qatar, attending graduate school and working toward her PhD
- How she met her husband through eHarmony and they were a perfect match
- As a couple, they are prepared, organized, independent, and have good communication and a strong bond
- How teaching made her want to be a parent
- She left her special ed teaching job to teach private piano lessons; this gave her flexible hours and allowed her to focus intensively on her infertility journey
- Her issues with not having a period told her something was wrong
- Seeing an Ob in Kuwait and then an RE in Canada
- How she saw doctors and naturopaths, took supplements, and had blood tests and MRI’s
- The diagnoses: hypothalamic amenorrhea, PCOS, and anovulation
- The first IUI and a chemical pregnancy
- On to IVF and a clinic in Greece, after much research
- July 2016: Five embryos, one transferred, and a negative pregnancy test
- September 2016: Acupuncture, a frozen embryo transfer, and an early loss
- November 2016: Acupuncture, DHEA, blood thinners, and a cancelled cycle
- January 2017: A fresh cycle, transferred two embryos, and daughter, Harriet, was born in October
- Why the decision to go to Europe instead of treatment in the Persian Gulf
- Advice for choosing a clinic abroad:
- Look for a high number of “own egg” cycles
- Speak to doctors via Skype
- Use Airbnb for accommodations
- When Kristin lost all hope after the failed cycle she had planned and hoped for
- Keeping the process going with research and looking forward to what’s next
- A fond memory of receiving a pomegranate for good luck as they boarded a flight for Greece
- Why Kristin didn’t accept the fact that motherhood was a possibility for her until her daughter was placed on her chest
- How they balanced work, travel, and treatments
- How her relationship with her husband only grew stronger and more supportive during infertility
- Why Kristin cut off communication with friends with babies
- Kristin’s tips for advocating for yourself: Do your research, ask for meetings with the doctor, be informed, and listen to the BI podcast!
- How it felt to Beat Infertility: “She was so strong. Her story is amazing. She was a frozen embryo in Greece, waiting for six months until she was transferred. I’m so proud of her.”
- How infertility has changed Kristin: “It gives strength and empathy. What it really does is make you use the strength you already have inside of you. It makes you really want to help others who go through this too. No one should face this alone.”
- Kristin’s advice to herself back then: “IVF is a process and not a singular event. Manage expectations and maintain hope for the long run and not a sprint. Treat infertility with a problem-solving approach until you find what works.”
Words of Hope:It's easy to get discouraged when you see all that you have to go through when it's so easy for others. That's all the more reason to persist and be proud of your journey. Click To Tweet
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