My husband and I started trying to grow our family soon after we got married. After 8 months of trying and no success, we were referred to the fertility clinic and took some preliminary tests. It turned out that I have PCOS and was rarely, if ever, ovulating. After meeting with Dr. Taylor, we went ahead with a couple of months of using Clomid. Although it did make me ovulate, there was no pregnancy. That's when we went ahead with a superovulation cycle with IUI. It resulted in a pregnancy. We had our ultrasound done at the 8 week mark with Dr. Hitkari where we learned just how 'pregnant' we were: we had triplets!
Dr. Hitkari was incredibly sensitive but also seemed worried. Matt and I were just elated - not understanding how complicated a pregnancy with more than one baby could be. In our minds, we had won the lottery. As we stood outside the office building, we wept and laughed and cheered as we shared the exciting news of this triplet pregnancy with our nearest and dearest.
Unfortunately, after a variety of complications and situations, the triplets were born at nearly 23 weeks gestation and did not survive. We were heartbroken, spiritbroken, just plain broken. However, the need for us to continue the path to having children never waivered. We went back to the clinic, met with Dr. Hitkari, cried as we talked with him about the loss and also the options of us continuing to try to get pregnant (with just one baby at a time...).
We attempted IVF the following spring, grew so many follicles that we had to stop the drugs, then lost all follicles before the retrieval. Another devastation and yet, we became more resolved than ever to just keep trying. After more attempts at superovulation etc., we ended up trying IVF again in the fall and it worked - we got three 5 day embryos, put one in, and got our beautiful daughter, Clara, 9 months later.
A year and a half later, we attempted pregnancies with the then frozen embryos but neither one of them took. So, a few months later, we chose to go through the IVF process again. This time, we were fortunate enough to get 6 5-day embryos, got one in, and it resulted in us having our son, Evan, another healthy 9 months later. We had won the lottery, again. A healthy girl and a healthy boy to love, raise, and be our greatest gifts.
For us, that was going to be the end of our fertility road. I was 35 then and happy. I hadn't felt right or well through the pregnancy with Evan. I had horrible eczema like rashes, a bad cough that wouldn't go away, and was exhausted both during the pregnancy and well after. After feeling lumps in my neck, I went to the doctor and, after a variety of tests and a biopsy of the enlarged lymph nodes in my neck, discovered that I had Stage III Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Thankfully, that type of cancer is well researched and has an established chemotherapy protocol that is extremely effective. After 12 rounds of chemotherapy, the scans showed I was all clear. I am beyond grateful to have had so many wonderful nurses, doctors, pharmacists along the way that saved my life. My oncologist had told me that I would most likely be in menopause because of the cancer treatment and that, if I had wanted to have more children, it wouldn't be likely. I did tell him at the time that we had 5 frozen embryos and we've never gotten pregnant on our own anyway, so it's okay.
Well, it turns out the chemotherapy actually made me more fertile than ever and we got a complete surprise a few months post clean PET scan: we were pregnant, again. For the first time, we got pregnant on our own. The pregnancy was free of any complications and we got another healthy boy after 9 months who we named Nathan.
Today, our kids are 5 1/2, 3, and 7 1/2 months old. I am completely healthy, the kids are busy and happy, and I most certainly know how very fortunate we are to all be together. I'm living my dream and it's only because of the dedicated, talented, caring doctors and nurses that have helped me along the way that this dream is at all a reality.
Inclusion of all gender and sexually diverse people is an important value of Olive Fertility Centre. We are continuously striving to create an environment of compassionate belonging where all of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are supported, valued and respected.
Olive Fertility Centre resides on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Tsleil-waututh Nations (Vancouver and Surrey clinics), of the Lekwungen people (Victoria clinic), of the syilx/Okanagan people (Kelowna clinic) and of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (Blossom Fertility clinic in Prince George).
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