Nyssa and I first decided to try fertility treatments in 2019 after many years of failed attempts naturally. Going to a clinic like ours was a bit eye opening; hearing of how common infertility is. Our first suggested treatment was called IUI (Intrauterine Insemination). A description of this procedure is, "The hoped-for outcome intrauterine insemination is for the sperm to swim into the fallopian tube and fertilize a waiting egg, resulting in a normal pregnancy". We attempted these 4 different times. The first 3 were unsuccessful for any number of reasons. When you go through this sort of thing the emotions and thoughts are tough to deal with when you hear it was unsuccessful. It hits a bit harder when you realize the cost of all this was for nothing. We decided to try one more time before moving on to other methods. This attempt changed our outlook towards these treatments and gave us a lot of answers, just not the ones we had hoped for.
This 4th time was just like each attempt before it. You must be a hopeful pessimist in a way. We were prepared for the worst but expecting the best. Would that be pessimistic optimism? Regardless, I think you get the point. The hormone they look for to see if your pregnant or not is called HCG. If your levels steadily rise it is a good sign, if they double, or triple overtime it looks even better. The 2 weeks after the procedure we had to get a pregnancy test. After waiting for 2 weeks, it is hard to just leave everything up to those HCG levels and we got impatient. Initially when you look at it you feel as if your brain is playing tricks on you. We had obviously hoped for a positive test, but that second line was not showing. After some time, we went back and looked again directly under the light. If you tilt your head just enough and squint, you can see a slim and barely noticeable second line. We were excited but wanted to wait for the doctor to tell us the good news before we got ahead of ourselves. When we got to the clinic, we told the doctor of our experience, they took some tests and sent us home. Turns out the HCG levels were lower than they should have been but barely above the limit to prove a successful pregnancy was there. Over the next week we saw her numbers rise and keep rising. The last ultrasound before things changed, we were told that there was no embryo in her Uterus. Meaning that this would result in a non-viable pregnancy and that although it could be painful, Nyssa could miscarry naturally. We went home feeling as low as we had felt in a long time. We went about our day and went to bed. I woke up suddenly to Nyssa screaming and holding her stomach. Later she had mentioned that it was the worst pain she had ever experienced, even more so than giving birth to her daughter. I called the nurse immediately and they suggested we come down to the hospital right away. Once we got there, we were rushed back to the emergency room, she was given some tests and an MRI. The doctor came back to tell us the bad news. It was literally our worst fear. She was having an ectopic pregnancy. The doctor mentioned that it was a good thing we came in when we did because it could have burst. All I could do was pray that as they rushed her into surgery all would be fine. I can only imagine the fear and anxiety that she was feeling as she was rolled back there. She came out from surgery groggy, sore and just devastated. We both were. It was a quiet ride home, but we were both determined to get back to trying to plan our family. During the surgery, the doctor noticed scarring on the fallopian tube, which is what potentially caused the ectopic. With the risk of this happening again we decided to try for IVF.
IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is described as, "the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish". This was considerably more expensive than IUI. We were incredibly fortunate along the way to have support from our families. Unfortunately, with the increase of cost associated with IVF we had to set up a personal account with our clinic that they allow us to pay back over time.
Our first attempt at IVF was sadly unsuccessful. We knew the cost would be high and were prepared to go into debt for what we felt was important to us. We were able to freeze the remaining embryos after our 1st attempt and waited until we felt the time was right. The second round was just the transfer but still required the countless number of injections that the first one did. Nyssa stayed strong through both because she knew what the outcome could be. With a little luck and support from so many we were pregnant. This was such a great moment in both our hearts and minds. We felt compelled to tell family, close friends. Unfortunately, the doctor gave us the bad news after a few weeks. Nyssa was going to miscarry. We really had to rethink how we were going to go about this.
We were in debt to the clinic, but that was going through a monthly arrangement. We had just received the stimulus money and thought that we should do one more round and pay for the medication, and freeze the embryos until we felt it was right to proceed. We did not really have a timeline, but knew we wanted to try again soon. After a 3rd round of injections, we were able to save and freeze 11 embryos. 11 chances at being parents. We really had to be thoughtful about how we would move forward. The idea of surrogacy was brought up as to not risk the embryos. We thought if we were going to go deeper down this path, we need to do something that will give us the best chance at having a child. I looked up the cost of having a gestational surrogate and it was something we couldn't even fathom affording.
Luckily, we found the most thoughtful, trustworthy, and caring person to carry our child. Someone very close to us personally. We are struggling. Struggling to manage the cost of the medication, doctor visits, lawyers, psychologists, etc. Asking for help is never easy, especially for something like this. We are hopeful and refuse to let the cost of this make us think that having a child is not worth it. It is and always will be. It disappointed us to know that our fertility treatments over the years are not and never will be covered by our insurance. Some people don't believe in this type of procedure, and that is fine. But we wholeheartedly do.
Roshny has been kind enough to offer and create this gofundme for us. We are truly grateful for that. Our feeling is that if this is going to be out there, those donating have a right to know our story and struggle. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. We love you all.
John, Nyssa & Tehya Hanan
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