Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Crystal’s Story [SUCCESS]

October 7, 2019

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Crystal. She is a 32-year-old head of product development who enjoys running, gardening, and spending time with family. Because she has a history of stroke and heart surgery, Crystal’s journey began by asking if it was even safe for her to become pregnant. Once they were cleared and after several months of trying on their own, her OB/GYN ran bloodwork and performed an ultrasound but reported “nothing remarkable” about the findings. However, upon visiting an RE at the 1-year mark, she was diagnosed with severe PCOS and told it was highly unlikely she could conceive naturally or via IUI. They wanted to keep trying on their own anyway and spent the next year seeking natural remedies before returning to the clinic to start IVF. A retrieval a month later resulted in 42 eggs and severe OHSS. Join us to hear how Crystal was finally given the go-ahead to begin her FET cycle, which resulted in her daughter.

Episode Sponsor:

Infertility Coaching with Heather Huhman

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Crystal had a motivated attitude but had prior health issues that shaped her infertility journey
  • How she met her husband through a friend, and it was love at first sight
  • As a couple, they are strong and solid, and they’ve grown up together during this journey
  • How Crystal knew she wanted to have kids by her early teen years
  • Why Crystal is glad she intentionally did things in younger years so she wouldn’t feel like she was “missing out” when she became a parent
  • How they tried for several months on their own, despite Crystal’s irregular cycles and the testing that gave no clear reason for any infertility
  • Why Crystal felt frustration and relief when she visited a fertility clinic, and the ultrasound showed severe PCOS
  • How Crystal tried several things to improve her fertility on her own, like a keto diet, decreasing strenuous exercise, acupuncture, and meditation
  • When they moved to IVF, the retrieval yielded 42 eggs and 28 were frozen, but the cycle was canceled because of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
  • Several months later, the transfer of one embryo was successful
  • How Crystal had a subchorionic hemorrhage that made her think she was miscarrying, and she spent the first trimester on semi-bedrest
  • Early signs that something might be wrong were excessive facial hair growth and very random periods
  • The first impression of the fertility clinic was amazement at how many people were there, but the staff was very focused, and the clinic was comfortable and emphasized holistic methods
  • How no one realized that Crystal was having ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
  • How Crystal’s prior medical history of stroke and a heart implant impacted her infertility journey
  • How she documented her journey by recording videos on her phone
  • How Crystal became an advocate for infertility patients
  • How she felt about the severe PCOS diagnosis
  • The lowest point for Crystal was the hyperstimulation episode and a very difficult baby shower that she attended
  • How teaching her husband about infertility procedures and being able to joke and laugh became positive memories
  • How Crystal balanced work and treatment, all while hardly telling anyone what she was doing
  • How they relied on savings and some financing to afford treatment
  • In her relationship with her husband, they “grew up faster” and learned to be forgiving and open in their communication
  • In relationships with family and friends, Crystal had awesome support even though it was hard on her parents to watch her struggle
  • Why Crystal regrets not advocating more for herself early on, and how her mother helped her learn to stand up for herself
  • How infertility changed Crystal: “Infertility made me a better friend and a better person to be around. I’m hyper-aware now that people may be falling apart on the inside, but may have a smile plastered on their face. We have to be aware of how we treat people and the need for empathy and respect.”
  • Crystal’s advice to her past self: “Let people who love you know what’s going on sooner rather than later, and allow them to help.”

References:

Thanks for listening!

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