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Monthly Feature Story - August 2018 Brandell & Adam Davis' Journey - Infertility Awareness

Hi, I am Brandell Davis (aka in_godstiming on Instagram) and my husband is Adam Davis, our journey started in March of 2015. We decided it was time to get my IUD removed. We were giddy and nervous and naïve to what heartache was in store. We tried to conceive for about 12 months naturally, but both deep down knew something was wrong. We messaged our primary ob about ordering some fertility testing. My labs all came back normal which was somewhat reassuring but also crushing because we were searching for a culprit. Next my husband provided a semen sample. I will never forget the call my husband received on our Valentine’s Day dinner 2016. My heart sank, I knew the results were likely abnormal. Our doctor revealed my husband’s count was severely low and it would be difficult to ever conceive naturally. She recommended we set up a consultation with a fertility doctor and expect IVF to be discussed. She said we could see a urologist as well to make sure there were no “structural” abnormalities. Needless to say we did not finish our meal. We cried ourselves to sleep that night and just held one another. 

 

The urologist did further testing and put my husband on Clomid for several months. We continued to try natural in hopes of a miracle. Sadly, his count decreased even lower. The urologist did not give us a diagnosis but thinks the low count was likely related to a descent surgery he had as a baby. We discontinued the Clomid and paced ourselves for what was next. As the months went on we decided to follow through with the IVF consult. As predicted, IVF was recommended. This was terrifying financially, physically, and emotionally but we knew this was our fighting chance. We had no insurance coverage but thankfully were able to make payments as well as get some family help. We started baseline testing right away in August, 2016. Unfortunately, a saline sonohystragram for me revealed a uterine polyp and possible endometrosis. Our cycle was cancelled. I was prepped for surgery a couple weeks later. Surgery recovery was rough but I was filled with hope. The surgeon diagnosed me with Stage III endometrosis and removed the polyp. We were told even without the low sperm count we would not have been able to conceive with all the severe adhesions.

 

A few months later our fertility doctors started me on birth control to start the retrieval process.  We started injections which left me with bruises and pain. During the injection process my 31 year old brother/best friend was murdered. I helped my mother function to plan his funeral. We were all so weak and weary. IVF was an outlet of hope for our family so we decided to continue treatment in the midst of all this. We retrieved 12 eggs, 9 of which were mature and only 3 that fertilized normally. All embryos arrested between days 4-6. The doctor did not have a definite reason this happened but attributed it to stress or possible egg quality concerns.

 

Our second cycle (January 2018), we switched to another clinic for the sake of trying something different.  This clinic does multi-cycle packages making more cycles somewhat more “affordable”. Due to our history and a new low AMH diagnosis our doctor recommended we do a day 3 fresh transfer instead of day 5. We started w/ 10 follicles retrieved, 8 mature of which were mature, and 4 fertilized. When we arrived at the hospital for our transfer, we both felt strongly to transfer two since we could not be “as selective” as a day 5 transfer. Sadly we lost our other two embryos on day 6. And about two weeks later we found out the twins did not implant. We were left with nothing again. That cycle was the first time the doctor used the diagnosis “decreased ovarian reserve” for me.

 

Our third cycle aka our “Hail Mary” cycle (March 2018), we switched everything up including medications and supplements. The reason we called it that was because financially this was our last hope. We did an estrogen priming protocol which I personally think was our saving grace. Much to our surprise we retrieved 19, 9 of which fertilized (the most we ever had at that stage). Unfortunately, sometime during the stim process I developed another uterine polyp. We could not proceed with another fresh transfer as planned. Initially we were both devastated, but the delay was actually blessing in disguise. We had gained for the first time ever 2 blastocysts which both safely made it to the freezer. To some this may not sound like much but to us it was a sheer miracle. After I healed from surgery and completed a medicated FET protocol, we transferred our day 5 “A” on Memorial Day, 2018. Against all odds, we just received the news our beta HCG’s came back strong and we are officially pregnant. My husband and I are in awe of God’s faithfulness. It is very early, but we know that God is orchestrating all of this and are very hopeful. I can honestly say every injection, tear, dollar spent, setback, and surgery was worth it all. Thank you kindly for taking the time to read this, my prayer our journey brings other couples a new hope. God bless.

Brandell