Unexplained Infertility: Katie’s Story [JOURNEY]

June 25, 2018

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Today’s journey story is about a woman named Katie. She is a 38-year-old infertility and couples psychotherapist who enjoys gardening, reading, and hanging out with her husband and their rescue dogs. A year and a half into their journey and still not pregnant, she sought out a reproductive endocrinologist. Just three short months later, she underwent an IVF retrieval cycle, which resulted in nine embryos. Unfortunately, her fresh transfer failed. Join us to hear how she has since had two frozen transfers, one of which failed and the other that ended in a miscarriage — and what’s coming up next in her journey.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Katie’s work as a therapist, on a Trauma Response Team, and helping her husband with his business
  • Before infertility, she didn’t even have children on her radar and was very career-focused, grateful, and passionate
  • How she and her husband had a whirlwind romance via a dating website and met in their 30’s, both after other long relationships
  • As a couple, they are proud of their marriage, kind to each other, and good at communicating and listening
  • When she met her husband was the first time she considered having children
  • How Katie has made professional and financial decisions to prepare for parenthood
  • In 2016, they started trying naturally and tracking cycles
  • How she started acupuncture but became suspicious that there were problems with her menstrual cycle
  • In 2017, she saw an RE for initial tests, received no answers, was given a 1-2% chance of conceiving naturally, and IVF was recommended as their best chance
  • IVF began in June 2017, with 13 eggs retrieved: the first fresh transfer was unsuccessful, the second frozen one ended in early miscarriage, and the third frozen was also unsuccessful
  • How they selected a fertility clinic, mainly based on location and a female physician
  • Katie’s first impression of the clinic: a soothing environment, a kind doctor, but the feeling that there was a “formula” to follow and she wasn’t treated with individual care
  • How Katie’s work as an infertility therapist has been healing for her and for others
  • The feelings of “trusting the process” with her intuition in this time of waiting
  • How Katie is dealing with the expectations of getting pregnant vs. the reality of infertility
  • The yearning for a child, the coping with grief and sadness, and Katie’s gratefulness
  • How she deals with the frustration over not having a clear diagnosis
  • The hardest part so far was when the third transfer was unsuccessful, because she had held on to hope until that point
  • The most positive part of her journey has been the opportunities to expand her community in a personal way
  • In balancing work and treatments, Katie made the choice to be open with those at work, created a flexible schedule where possible, and created specific boundaries for herself
  • Even though Massachusetts has mandated fertility coverage, there have been changes in their insurance. To continue means huge out-of-pocket costs for Katie and her husband
  • In her relationship with her husband, she felt herself become more isolated from him with the last two transfers
  • How Katie has had to make changes in some relationships, both with friends and family–even having to deal with painful situations and set boundaries
  • The crossroads: Katie doesn’t know what to do next, because continuing with treatment means huge financial burdens. A friend has volunteered for surrogacy and they have explored adoption possibilities
  • How Katie remains fully committed to working on her physical body and health and hasn’t lost hope in restoring her menstrual cycle yet
  • What keeps Katie hopeful is that she and her husband can be happy together, with or without a child. “Regardless of what the future holds for us, we are a family together.”

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Thanks for listening!

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