Thursday, July 14, 2011

Finally pregnant after a frozen ET !

Here's a heartfelt success story from one of our patients.

I think our journey to IVF started like for most couples. First, we got married and were perfectly content childless. Then, we started thinking about when to have kids and soon decided that “now” was the right time. After a few months, I started to read more and more on the internet about the fertile days, printed out ovulation calendars, and made temperature charts. Finally, I bought one of those electronic ovulation kits and invested quite some money in these gadgets. Well, but that still didn’t make me pregnant.

My gynecologist said everything was fine, apart from two fibroids, but that shouldn’t matter. My husband, reluctantly, had his sperm tested and it seemed fine, too. So why did it not work?

I tried a few rounds of clomid and two IUIs - to no avail.

The lack of diagnosis made me frustrated and after a year and a half I tossed the thermometer and the ovulation sticks and even caught myself avoiding all friends that had recently had babies, obviously without even trying hard! The worst was to be brandished as child-hating yuppies.

Two years after having started to try for a baby we moved to Mumbai. I had quit my job and I knew this was the perfect opportunity to tackle our infertility. I researched online about the best IVF doctors in the city. The first two doctors wouldn’t even treat me without first removing my fibroids, although they were intramural. Reluctantly, I finally agreed to the surgery. I was really depressed, especially after reading that I would need to wait several months after the surgery before being able to try IVF.

On a short visit back home in Europe I consulted two different doctors who were very conservative and basically said the risk of scarring through surgery could outweigh the benefit of getting rid of the fibroids which might have been a cause for my infertility. Shortly before the date, I chickened out of surgery.

Consequently, I needed to find a new doctor. I decided to try Dr. Malpani whose website I had been reading for quite some time already.

The first visit went really well and we agreed to at least try one round of IVF before further thinking about surgery. The treatment went smoothly although it is certainly not pleasant to have to get daily injections. I produced enough eggs and most of them got fertilized; on the fifth day six embryos had survived and we decided to transfer two, freezing the remaining four.

To shield myself from disappointment I had kept my expectations very low, so I was really surprised when the beta hcg test came back positive – although on the very low end. Unfortunately, the next blood test was negative. Dr. Malpani explained to me that this had been a “chemical pregnancy”, so basically a very early miscarriage. Contrary to what I would have expected myself, this gave me a lot of hope – after all, one of two embryos had nearly implanted! I had never been so close to pregnancy in my life.

The next thing was a Frozen Embryo Transfer, two months later. Unfortunately, this resulted in not even a chemical pregnancy.

We still had two “frosties” left – I was determined to try the next FET and only then would I think about the further steps.

After the next FET I couldn’t wait until the first beta HCG test and took a home pregnancy test – I couldn’t believe it when I saw a very faint second line appear on the stick! The blood tests came back with really good beta hcg numbers. However, after one week I started bleeding. I thought that now that was it! I called Dr. Malpani and to my surprise he said bleeding doesn’t mean it’s over and that I should try to relax. I wanted to believe him but I couldn’t. Two days later the bleeding had nearly stopped and I went for an ultrasound – to my surprise, a small gestational sac could be seen on the screen. I was so happy.

Ten days later, I bled again, this time even heavier. However, on the ultrasound a tiny embryo with a heartbeat was visible!

The emotional ups and downs were very hard to take. In the third months, I was told that my placenta was “low-lying” – of course, I freaked out again. Further on, when everything seemed to go well I started to relax and allow myself to be actually happy and look forward to having a baby.

Now I am in my sixth month and my placenta seems to have moved up a bit. I know that I still have a way to go and that nothing can be taken for granted but I am much more positive now and already consider my journey a “success story” for which I will always be thankful to Dr. Malpani!



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