Male Factor Infertility: Cara’s Story [SUCCESS]

August 12, 2019

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Cara. She is a 32-year-old nurse practitioner who enjoys reading and spending time outdoors. After nearly two years of trying to conceive, she finally saw her OB/GYN for guidance. At first, she did multiple rounds of Clomid without success. She was then referred to a reproductive endocrinologist. Her husband’s semen analysis came back with low motility. They were told IVF was the best approach, but they could try IUI first. Before they could begin a cycle, they were surprised to learn Cara was pregnant. Unfortunately, at her 12-week scan, they learned their daughter had Turner Syndrome, and she passed away at 14 weeks. Six months after her D&C, they tried IUI twice with Letrozole without success. It was time to move on to IVF. Join us to hear how Cara became pregnant with high-risk mono-mono twins despite transferring only one embryo and then experienced discrimination after returning to work following their birth.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Cara was serious and goal-driven
  • How she met her husband by dating his friend, then they began dating later and kept a long-distance relationship alive for two years
  • As a couple, they have gone through adversity and trials, but they take care of each other and have the freedom to accomplish separate goals while still being partners
  • Cara always wanted to be a mom, with or without a partner
  • The family-friendly choices they made regarding buying a house and choosing careers
  • How Cara expected to be pregnant within a couple of months when they started trying
  • When they had no success, Cara did OPK’s, scheduled intercourse, and saw her Ob-gyn
  • She was put on Clomid and had ultrasounds done, but there was no semen analysis
  • When she was referred to her first RE, a semen analysis showed low motility, and she was diagnosed with amenorrhea
  • IVF was recommended, but they were told they could try IUI first
  • After two rounds of IUI, there was no success
  • A spontaneous pregnancy brought spotting at 12 weeks, and the ultrasound showed abnormalities; the diagnosis for their daughter was Turner’s syndrome, which meant she was missing an X chromosome and only had a three-chambered heart
  • The 14-week ultrasound confirmed that their daughter had passed away
  • When they started trying again, Cara faced depression and started seeing a therapist from years before
  • How she gave her husband an ultimatum about having a child, and they visited adoption agencies to explore their options
  • They were given a 50/50 shot with IVF, so they decided to try three times
  • When Cara became pregnant on the first cycle, the six-week ultrasound showed two babies, even though only one embryo was transferred
  • The suspicion was mo-mo twins in which they share the same placenta and amniotic sac, which is extremely high risk
  • Several scans later showed the babies shared the same placenta but separate sacs, which is still a dangerous situation
  • An ultrasound at 22 weeks showed contractions and one baby descending into the birth canal, so Cara was admitted to the hospital and given the option to terminate or have a cervical cerclage (she chose this option)
  • How Cara had just started a new job with good insurance coverage but was terminated when she was put on bed rest
  • At 34 weeks, her girls were born healthy and didn’t even require a NICU stay
  • Why Cara reapplied for the same job and got it back, securing a nanny for her girls and maintaining a good attendance record at work
  • How she applied for FMLA to have further treatment for another child but was denied, making her feel like she had to choose between her career and her family
  • The first frozen cycle failed, but the fresh cycle she did recently resulted in a chemical pregnancy
  • They now have two frozen embryos that they plan to transfer at a future date
  • Why Cara has to be strategic in planning for absences and missed days at work
  • Cara’s first impressions of the two clinics and the differences in how insurance was handled
  • Cara’s advice on handling job transfers and infertility, and how she had to fight for what she wanted while following the red tape rules
  • Why infertility is still a hush-hush topic that isn’t discussed, which allows companies to make it a hard situation for their employees
  • How you should speak to coworkers and bosses about infertility to not be viewed as a liability
  • How Cara and her husband felt after receiving their diagnoses
  • The lowest point of losing their first daughter to Turner’s syndrome, and how counseling helped Cara recover
  • How Cara’s relationship with her husband was strengthened, and how infertility defined hard lines that had to be supported
  • Why Cara’s relationship with friends and family led her to be separate and aloof from some
  • How infertility changed Cara: “I realize that I’m not in control of everything, which has prepared me for the chaos of having kids. I have such gratitude for them that it’s hard to be upset over the small things.”
  • Cara’s advice to her past self: “I wish I had been kinder to myself and used my time of grief to grow in other ways.”

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