I’m Rebecca, I’m 28 years old. Because my husband is a childhood cancer survivor, we have always known that our journey to parenthood might not be typical. Infertility is a common long-term effect of the chemotherapy he received at just three years old. In 2016, he was offered fertility testing as part of his cancer follow-up care. Based on the results, his doctors told us that it was “extremely, extremely unlikely” for us to have children without IVF. To make matters worse, we later found out that I had antiphospholipid antibodies and a very low AMH and that our insurance wouldn’t cover any part of IVF. After being told the price tag for treatment in the US, we started looking into other options and found our incredible medical team in Barbados. In May 2019, we spent two weeks there for our first fresh cycle. Despite my low AMH, the doctors were able to get 15 mature eggs and fertilize them all via ICSI. We transferred the strongest embryo, and a week later I got a BFP. My initial HCG levels were reassuring, but then at the beginning of my 5th week they suddenly dropped. My pregnancy wasn’t viable.
After my loss, I cried more than I ever had. Unexpectedly, I also felt guilty for being so sad over a pregnancy that had barely even started. The thing that finally helped me to process my grief was to accept the situation for what it was- a loss- and to allow myself to hurt and accept support. No matter how early, it’s OK to be upset and grieve the loss of your baby and the future you had started planning the minute you saw those two pink lines.
If IVF has taught me anything, it’s that I’m stronger than I think. It was intimidating to go into another cycle after the grief that resulted from our first attempt, but I told myself that if my husband could go through cancer treatment, then going through another round of IVF is the least I can do to help us become parents. We now have a frozen embryo transfer coming up, and somewhere amidst the nervousness there is excitement. I am hopeful that this is it. If it’s not, though, I know that I’ll be OK. I will keep up the fight and stay strong for my future baby. Going through infertility and having a loss doesn’t change the fact that I am meant to be a mother.
One thing that has really helped me in this journey has been the TTC community. Seeing others bravely sharing their stories and their ups and downs has brought me so much hope and helped me to not feel alone in my darkest times. I hope that my story does the same for other women out there struggling. Sending peace, love, and baby dust!