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March Feature Story - Infertility & Loss

Hey everyone! I’m Robyn and this is my fertility story.

My husband and I met in highschool, fell in love and naturally, began talking about our future together. These conversations included dogs, marriage, a house, kids, you name it. We were naïve to the fact that one of these would be extremely difficult for us to achieve. We had nothing but hope for the future and were blissfully unaware of the storm that awaited us.

 

We got married in June of 2017 and at this point, had our dogs and a home already checked off our list. I was graduating in November and had plans to open my spa right after, so we put off trying for a baby for a while. I went off birth control in January 2018 and by summer, we were ready. We tried and triedand nothing was happening. It had been about a year so I brought it up to my family doctor and she then referred us to a fertility clinic. Once we began with the new clinic we did initial testing like semen analysis, sonohysterogram, ultrasounds and bloodwork to check my hormone levels. Oddly enough I got pregnant that very month! I’m not entirely sure what allowed this to happen but it did and we were ecstatic! We told our family in cute and creative ways and were all on cloud 9. Then the unthinkable happened. We went in for an ultrasound and bloodwork to see how the baby was progressing and didn’t receive the best news. The doctor had told us that the baby was measuring behind and the heartbeat wasn’t where they’d like it to be. We were unaware of what this truly meant and had hope that all would be okay. One week later, we were back at the clinic for our checkup and got the worst news of our lives. The doctor called us into her office, closed the door behind us and we all sat down. She looked us in the eyes and said “I wish I had better news for you but unfortunately your baby’s heart has stopped beating.” She explained to us that we had had what’s called a missed miscarriage and I would have to take pills to expel the fetus. This experience was by far the worst in my life so far. Accepting that our baby had died and I now had to force it out of my body was horrific. The side effects to the medication definitely didn’t help either.

This happened in early December 2019 so we took the rest of the month to grieve and recuperate.

 

In February we were ready to try again and went back to the clinic. We were then diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” which honestly, isn’t even a thing. This news was difficult to hear since we didn’t have any answers for our infertility or miscarriage but we moved forward with medication to help induce ovulation. I had an appointment booked in March see how my follicles were growing and to check for ovulation. This was exactly when the world shut down, March 2020, so my appointment was cancelled. I was devastated as I now had to put my journey to baby H on hold. My business was shut down and everyone was told to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary. During this time I decided to take a pregnancy test, just for fun. Well it was positive! We were cautiously optimistic this time. We wanted to allow ourselves to be happy and to get excited but all while guarding our hearts.

I was scheduled for my first ultrasound and received less than stellar results, once again. They couldn’t really see much so I was scheduled to return in 2 weeks. These were the longest two weeks of my life, with no distractions and nothing but time to wait. I went to my ultrasound, terrified and was told that there was nothing there. We had once again, had a failed pregnancy and had to take the same protocol as last time. Our hearts were shattered and we were losing hope.

Over the course of the rest of the year we had tried a few more round to letrozole and experienced a few chemical miscarriages. I was losing hope in this clinic and was told by a friend to get a referral to a clinic in Toronto for IVF, even if it wasn’t something I was planning at that point. I am so grateful I listened, even though at that point I was in complete denial that I would ever need that much medical intervention.

 

We began at Create Fertility in Toronto in September 2021 and had our initial, extensive testing done. This clinic does all of the testing required to really pinpoint any issues you are having. They are the ones who finally figured out why we were having such problems. Aside from my thyroid condition, they found that I have multiple blood clotting gene mutations, which were causing the miscarriages. We finally had answers and a clear direction to go in! We jumped right in and tried an IUI, which unfortunately failed. Due to the 5 hour drive we had to make each time we visited the clinic, we all decided that heading straight into IVF would be the best for us.

I was loaded up with meds and injections and we were well on our way to what we’ve dreamt of for so long. The retrieval was scheduled in October and the transfer would be planned after we received our embryo test results back.

 

The results were amazing and we were now ready to prep for our transfer! Medications were added to my protocol and our transfer was scheduled for Christmas Eve.

 

Our transfer was successful and I am now 13 weeks pregnant! Although I am super happy and excited to be where I am today, there will always be that fear lingering.

 

What I’ve learnt this past year especially is that you really have to advocate for yourself. There are so many more details to our story that I could have shared but it would definitely turn this into a novel!

 

Check out my Instagram page for helpful tips and for more details on our journey to baby H, @bliss_candlesco.

 

Always remember, you are worthy of a baby.