(No longer) A piece missing...

Our infertility story.

Josh & I met March 21st 2009 (both just turned 30) it was literally the best first date ever! From then on we were inseparable. We married March 12, 2011 it was truly the happiest day of our lives.
We have had so much to be thankful for in our nearly 9 years together. We both have great careers. Have 3 fur babies Two English bulldogs Angus & Lola then there is Ziggi my 11 year old cat.

We have wonderful parents, loving families and amazing friends.

But sadly, there was a piece missing from our story, our hearts and our home.

We had always wanted to be parents and knew it even more we met, fell in love and married. The time came to start a family. Little did we know that we would struggle SO greatly with infertility.

We have spent over 5 years trying to have a baby. I have had countless tests, poked, prodded, had surgery, meditated, vitamins, clean eating, read books and had acupuncture to name a few. Being diagnosed with unexplained infertility was the single most heartbreaking and frustrating thing we have went through. (Not to mention my husbands very fluctuated and lower sperm count) We did fall pregnant December 2012 & November 2013 both ending in miscarriage (chemical). We also did 4 IUI cycles with clomid & letrozole all failed.

At age 35 we decided to do one more round of IUI this time with injectable medication. Despite stimulating so well it also failed which left us even more devastated. (That's 5 iui cycles)

June 5, 2014 we moved forward and took the IVF class. This is a scary, emotional, exciting step for us. Sadly, insurance didn't pay for ANYTHING and definitely wouldn’t be helping in this step.

After our first IVF, we were so happy to become pregnant but it was short lived after the first ultra sound we learned it was a chemical pregnancy. We were completely devastated yet again.

Then 2 months later we are ready to try a FET (frozen embryo transfer) We were super excited and nervous!
We chose to thaw 2 of our remaining 4 embryos. Then got the the call both survived. That next morning was the big day to our disappointment only one survived over night. After crying and talking we chose to just use the one and pray. 2 weeks later we got the fantastic news we were pregnant and my levels were rising great! Then at 6 weeks 2 days we saw something we never saw before our babies heartbeat!!! Truly the happiest day of my life besides marrying my husband. We were so excited to graduate!(leave the fertility clinic & move on to our regular obgyn) We were able to use the $4,691.00 donated by our friends, family & strangers for this!

On December 2nd 2014 we had our first Ob appointment. We were 9 weeks 2 days. Everything was going good then the Dr wanted to reassure me and do an ultrasound... He couldn't seem to find the heartbeat. He sent us across the hall to the ultrasound tech. She was quiet during the whole process.... I felt a dark cloud come over my husband and I. The Dr was speechless and called and set me back up with our fertility doc. After all his machine was far more advanced and hopefully they were wrong. We prepared and the next day it was confirmed we lost our baby at 7 weeks and 2 days. It was yet again the worst day of our lives.

We were crushed, broken, lost, angry and scarred. Our next step (doctors suggestion) was to do chromosomal & autoimmune testing. So May 2015 they drew 9 vials of blood from me and 1 vial of blood from my husband we thought finally we would get some answers. Sadly, we were both 100% FINE, yet again we were left clueless and with a new bill.
I, knowing we only had 2 embryos left decided we needed one more opinion, a fresh set of eyes, someone to look over it all before we used our last embryos.
Our new Dr suggested NK cell testing (natural killer cells) After 2 1/2 weeks we finally got the call and a DIAGNOSIS!!!! I have very elevated NK cells (normal range 8.5, mine is 36.3) basically my body is attacking the embryo and destroying it. Good news is we finally have a diagnosis and there is a treatment!
We were gearing up for an August 2015 frozen embryo transfer and got a saline ultrasound to check and make sure all was well from our last loss.
Sadly... an outer uterine fibroid had grown and was pushing into my uterus so then no transfer and surgery to remove it. (This will set us back 6 months) while I am happy to finally make some progress we are so heartbroken with this setback. Hopefully surgery will be covered because it is "gynecological" (we shall find out soon) .
On August 5th 2015 I had surgery to remove my outer uterine fibroid, they also found 2 other tiny ones and removed them along with some scar tissue, recovery was much harder than anticipated but I know we are making a nice cozy home for our future baby.

Now we waited... 6 months was target to do a frozen embryo transfer so was hoping January 2016. We will also be treating the Natural killer cells (IV intralipids)

Fast forward January 24th 2016, we were gearing up to start Meds in December of 2015 when tragically and unexpectedly my father in law passed. I then myself fell ill and landed in the hospital. Needles to say the stress of both things made me realize I couldn't be healthy mental or physically so we postponed it til January. We had moved our 2 remaining embryos from our old doctors office to our new doctors office. We were feeling so happy and hopeful about our choice. The protocol for the frozen embryo transfer with the new doctor was MUCH MORE strict and full of Meds and needles. They addressed a number of issues dealing with reoccurring loss. Injections started 1-27-15 and transfer date late February!)
(January 2016
Saline ultrasound (post surgery) ultrasound showed a small outer uterine fibroid, with the saline revealed its not pushing on the uterus but I do have 2 polyps inside my uterus. (In house surgery set for 2/1/16)

Fast forward to the day of the transfer, we received the worst call, the embryos did not survive the thaw. To say we were devastated was an understatement. We didn’t even speak about it for nearly 2 weeks. My dr called to days later to check on me (she’s amazing!) we made an appointment to follow up. All I could think was there is NO way we can afford another retrieval. But after sitting in the office taking with her, I just couldn’t give up, we couldn’t give up. After all I feel like she found the reason for all my losses and was treating me.

So here we go again...
April 2016 start injections again.
Early May 2016
EGG RETRIEVAL! 35 eggs retrieved, ovaries hyper stimulated so lots of rest and Gatorade. I was feeling awful. Mid may Got the call 25 eggs fertilized normally! Then 2 days later
25 were still growing but 19 looked amazing. Then we were told we have to freeze ALL and not do a fresh transfer were very sad. But having OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome) was very painful. End of May 2016 Chart review for FET and transfer date set July 12, 2016!!!
(14 embryos total!!!!!! We are floored and so happy! (2 hatching blasts)

So, finally on July 12 we transferred 2 beautiful embryos. Those first 6 weeks were SCARY, I had high numbers and was so excited then had a heavy bleed, emergency ultrasound time.. 5 weeks 5 days there it was beating away and we were cautiously optimistic yet again. But this time felt different, I knew he/she was here to stay!

We now have a beautiful 9 month old amazing little boy.

I felt it was time to update our story we want to thank everyone for all the support the five years that we struggled!

Love,  Josh, Nichole & baby Bane
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Nichole Farmer Martin 
St Louis, MO
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