- 30. 5. 2016
- Ours & yours stories
I knew when I got married in 2008 we would have trouble conceiving. I just wasn’t aware how hard it really was to get pregnant.
My husband and I started trying right away with the help of a reproductive endocrinologist. We were told his numbers were low, and it might be hard to get pregnant, but it was possible. Then we were told I have PCOS and I should loose some weight. In addition to PCOS, I have several blood clotting factors that we were told could create problems in staying pregnant initially or carrying to term. With both of our issues we were told we were the “poster children” for IVF. I remember leaving the office crushed and frustrated.
Serious talks went into what we should do next. I lost my job and my husband was working nights as hospital security. We decided to “go big or go home” and my husband enlisted in the Army. It was time to move across the country… and find a new doctor. I learned quickly the future challenges that being a military couple and undergoing fertility treatments would be an ongoing frustration and “life pauser.”
His first duty station was El Paso, Texas. Good old Fort Bliss. We moved across the country, I found a doctor and a hematologist to work with to start clomid. After first being sat down by two different doctors and given a packet of information about blood clotting factors and encouraged to perhaps seek alternative ways to start our family because pregnancy might kill me or the baby should it occur. We were able to try three rounds of clomid before we found out my husband was deploying. Enter first fertility treatment pause. We hurriedly tried one last time and this time added an IUI for good measure. It didn’t work.
I relocated while my husband was deployed, back to our home state of Minnesota. I went back to the doctor we initially saw and he told me that I was clomid resistant and would need to try gonadotropin therapy, or injectables. I was nervous and scared. I had to take a class on how to inject myself in the stomach, I was terrified I would do something wrong. But I was determined to try everything I could before IVF. We didn’t have the kind of money it took to cover a cycle of treatment and our Health insurance i.e. “government benefit” was not required to cover it. My husband returned from deployment to Texas and I worked and lived in Minnesota. Long distance fertility treatments are very tricky to plan but we made it work. I remember giving myself injections before going to the airport to fly down for the weekend. The solution became to try another IUI in addition to our injectable drugs. After three rounds of trying we came up empty handed. Nothing was working.
It was also about time for my husband to reenlist and he was offered Vicenza, Italy as a duty station. We were thrilled! I had been reading about fertility clinics in Europe and how they were so much cheaper and had wonderful results.
We moved to Italy and I soon discovered the drugs that had once been covered in the States were no longer covered or available while I was overseas. My doctor was equally as unhelpful and told me that if the army wanted us to have children they would have issued them to us. I was referred out to the local Italian endocrinologist and told I would need to provide my own translator and only one appointment would be covered. We paid out of pocket for more testing, only to learn what we already knew. My hormones were off and we needed to try IVF to be successful. The Italian doctor thought I was young and to keep trying. We pushed to go ahead with IVF and he conceded. The cost was $10,000 to do IVF in Vicenza. Our next appointment however, we were given more disappointing news; the clinic we were being seen at decided I was too high risk of a case to deal with and did not want to proceed with treatments. I was told I would be better served in Bologna.
All of the disappointment and frustrations were once again put on hold as my husband deployed to Afghanistan. I decided in the meantime I would find out as much information as I could about IVF in Europe. I learned about 3-day and 5-day embryo transfers; I researched places in Italy near us. I found that the average cost in Italy was around $9,000 and they only offered 3-day transfers. I continued my hunt and found the answer I was looking for. Reprogenesis in Brno, Czech Republic offered IVF/ICSI at a fraction of the cost of Italy. Their success rates were exceptional, they did 5-day transfers and best of all they were only 8 hours from us! I immediately contacted them and Helena responded. She was caring and prompt with her responses and made me feel absolutely taken care of. We went for an initial appointment and to check out the clinic. I felt like it was too good to be true. We proceeded with ICSI. Somehow everything was perfectly timed. The doctor was caring and kept asking if I had questions. The entire staff was devoted to making sure I felt comfortable. We transferred two beautiful top quality 5-day blastocysts and held our breath.
Three weeks later an ultrasound confirmed what I thought could never happen.
After 3 states, 13 doctors, 3 countries and 6.5 years of treatments, I was carrying twins!!
My pregnancy wasn’t an easy one, but I would definitely do it all again for my boys. Infertility is hard. Going through it alone was harder. I became vocal in our military community and left my name with many people. I posted on websites and Facebook pages. I didn’t want the pain, heartache, and frustration that I went through to happen to anyone else.
If you are struggling with infertility and need some answers do not be afraid to reach out!
I cannot say enough wonderful things about ReproGenesis; they truly made my dreams come true.