Adam and I met nearly ten years ago. We were high school sweethearts and were married on a beautiful July day in 2012. Almost immediately, we wanted children. We were young and in love--the best time for children, right?
After nearly two years of no success. we began seeing a doctor to help us conceive. After one year of new medications and appointments, we were referred to our amazing fertility specialist Dr. John Jarrett of Indiana Fertility Institute.
When we first met with the doctor in the spring of 2016, he was optimistic that he knew exactly what the holdup was and gave us an estimate that three months from our appointment, we would be calling him with news of pregnancy.
Armed with a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS and a new regime of fertility drugs, we remember leaving that day so incredibly hopeful that our dreams would soon come true.
Three months came and went. I did not become pregnant. So, we rescheduled with the doctor and laid out a plan for a new medication that would force me to ovulate and help me get pregnant.
It did not.
So, back to the drawing board we went. It was September 2016, and the doctor changed our plan to insemination. Artificial insemination was scheduled, medicine was ordered, and we were (again) so hopeful that THIS was going to be it. We would be pregnant and announce at Thanksgiving.
￼￼Our first insemination was so exciting. This was going to work!
But it did not work.
And neither did the next month. In fact, my insemination scheduled for October 2016 was cancelled because my body had failed to produce any eggs. We were devastated, but we met with the doctor again and came up with a plan.
In November 2016, I was scheduled for laparoscopy—a minor procedure conducted on the female reproductive organs. It was determined then that I had a large cyst on my ovary and a decent amount of endometriosis that could be preventing pregnancy. We were happy with the results, and we took two months off to allow my body to heal to prep for a whole new year of trying to conceive.
In January 2017, we scheduled our third insemination. We felt that THIS time was truly going to be it because my body was ready and the fertility medication was increased.
But it failed.
In February 2017, Adam and I decided it was finally time to talk about the one major technique we never in a million years thought we would ever have to consider—In Vitro Fertilization or IVF.
We met with Dr. Jarrett to discuss IVF, a procedure that would cost thousands of dollars and inflict lots of emotional and physical pain on us. We were shocked it could cost as much as $30,000 for one round of IVF and that the chances of success were not 100%. We were silent on the ride home and I think both of us were trying to process how in the world we were going to do this. IVF was the only way it seemed we could achieve our dream of being parents—something we wanted more than anything in the world.
After many talks and arguments, we decided to take a risk. We were scared and hopeful all at the same time. IVF was new and unchartered water to us but we knew we had to try.
In April 2017, we finally started our IVF journey. I did injections on myself every day for two weeks and began traveling to the doctor in Carmel every other day for monitoring of my eggs. It was such an emotional time for us—the medicine was messing with my body and hormones, but we were still so excited to be doing such an amazing procedure to conceive.
￼￼In case you are wondering how much medication IVF requires...
￼￼Super excited to get started!
On May 5, we were told that I was not responding very well to the medicine and that we might consider canceling this round to try again in a later month. Again, we were devastated, but we decided that we had come so far and to not give up.
On May 8, I was scheduled for egg retrieval. I was placed under a light anesthesia and woke up to the wonderful news that SIX eggs had been retrieved. We were beyond excited. SIX! We have SIX potential eggs that could one day be our living children. Wonderful news!
￼￼Before egg retrieval...
￼￼...and after. The anesthesia hit me hard but still so happy we had six!
And then the next day came.
I received a call that of the six eggs, only one had survived. So, it wasn’t six but it was still ONE beautiful egg—now an embryo that could live to be our child. We were still so excited.
The next five days were terrible. The little embryo that lived was placed in an incubator to grow. It needed to survive all the way to day five in order for it to be placed back inside me in hopes it would attach and develop into a fetus. The embryo can’t be disturbed during this five-day time, so no one had any idea if it was alive or if it had died. IT. WAS. TERRIBLE.
But finally, five days later, Adam and I headed back to the lab for the much-anticipated embryo transfer! I was instructed to change into the hospital gown and was told the embryologist would be in soon with the news of our embryo. When the embryologist came in, she introduced herself and informed us IT HAD LIVED! Adam and I held each other and cried for what seemed like an eternity. We could not believe that we had created an embryo that had lived and was ready to be placed inside me.
So, it was placed and we left the office that day believing that for the first time in a long set of years that we were pregnant.
￼￼Before embryo transfer. We were ready!
￼￼The best feeling in the world was in this moment. I was officially pregnant until proven otherwise.
But we were not. At least, not completely.
On Monday, May 24, we received that call that I was in-fact pregnant by technical terms but that the hormone level was too low for a sustainable pregnancy. The nurse’s exact words were, “you can expect to pass it in a few days.”
IVF had failed.
Never in our lives had we experienced such a sadness. That phone call wiped so much hope and optimism completely from us. In the days before, we were picking names and planning the nursery. Now, we were sitting in opposite rooms trying to process why this was happening to us. We had done everything exactly right. Nevertheless, we wiped our tears and started the grieving process to move on.
So, call us crazy, but Adam and I are prepared to do IVF one more time. We have a new medication plan and a new approach to the procedure that will yield a better success. Although our hearts and bodies are ready, unfortunately our finances are not which is why we are sharing our story. So far, we have spent almost $30,000 out of pocket on fertility procedures. Our one round of IVF was $16,500.
Any donation would be a tremendous help and we will remain forever thankful for your kindness. We also completely understand and appreciate if the only thing you can offer is your love and prayers.
We hope that IVF Round #2 brings us the one thing—or things—we desire most in this world. We are ready to be parents and hope to one day very soon introduce you to Baby Cole.
Adam and Erin Cole