Posts Tagged ‘in vitro fertilization’

 If you have been following my blog, I am telling a story about myself and my marriage to my husband, the father of  my son J.O.  If you want to start from the beginning please read my post called Another story begins . . . ,  Hard times: a need to relocate . . . ,  There are good people in the world . . . ,   A place of posterity . . .  and  Chicago and a time of crisis . . .  or to learn a little bit more about my son, read:   And then it begins .

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We stayed in Chicago for a little over two years.  During that time I had a job offer from a consulting company that was too good to ignore.  The offer was a large increase compared to my salary that I was getting at the bank.  Initially I turned the offer down because they were only going to match what I was making currently at the bank.  Then the owner of the company flew into Chicago to meet with me and convince me to come on board.  When we met, she had increases the amount and I accepted the offer. 

The only drawback was that the job location was in Columbus, Ohio and I would have to commute back and forth.   There was a crew of people already there working on upgrading an application which supported the servicing of mortgage loans.  Within that crew there were two people who I had worked with in Texas.  The owner indicated that I was not going to be working on the same project.  Instead, I would be testing an application that manages delinquent mortgage loans.  The set up of the job was working ten days straight and then get four days off.  They provided accommodations and the expense for commuting back and forth to Chicago. 

My husband and I were in agreement about doing this consulting work, which would be a big help, especially since were paying the mortgage, taxes and insurance for my parents.

So off I was to Columbus, Ohio.  Upon arrival I got a rental car and then found the apartment that was assigned to me.  It was pretty nice.  It was a fully equipped apartment, which was at no expense to me.  The next day was my first day at work.  I connected with the two individuals that I knew, and they introduced me to the management that I would be working for.  The manager had a group of business analysts and testers in her department.  Their job was to ensure that all technology development work met quality standards.

In my first meeting with the manager she indicated that this ten days on and four days off arrangement was not going to work.  She wanted me there five days a week.  Well that threw a wrench into my plans.  At this point I had no choice.  I had resigned from my job in Chicago and I had to accept the arrangement requested, even though I wasn’t happy about the change.

After commuting back and forth two or three times, I realized that it was not worth the hassle because it provided me very little time with my husband.  So, I contacted the owner of the consulting company and I told her that since the working arrangements had changed I was going to relocate my husband to Columbus, Ohio and we would shut our residence in Chicago down.  Luckily for me, she agreed.  She also agreed to pay for the moving of my belongings.

So, here we go, relocating again.  At this point we put all of our belongings into storage.  We only took necessary items with us, and what would fit in our car.  We stayed in Columbus for almost three years.  Originally my contract with the mortgage company was for six months, but they kept extending it and I was put on many different projects.  The company treated me like one of their employees and valued my experience.

Besides having a great job, over those three years the consulting company annually had a company get together.  The first year it was in Florida.  In between meeting we saw some of the sights in Orlando.  For entertainment they provided tickets for Disney World and we also went to a dinner theatre.  The second year the meeting was held on a cruise ship and we went to Nassau.  The third year it was held in Florida again.  Once again Disney ticket, a swamp air boat tour, and a tour of NASA.  The benefits with this job were pretty sweet.

Meanwhile my husband was creating a new company that exported goods to West Africa.  He had an investor, the product, the processing plant, and investment funds.  In addition he found a partner that was going to be responsible for getting purchase agreements for the sale of the goods.  My husband’s responsibility was to create a processing plant in the U.S. and obtain the product, process it, and send it to West Africa to fulfill purchase orders.  The business was pretty straight forward and our intent would be that I would quit my consulting job and then instead manage the processing operations in the U.S., along with my husband.

By the fall of my last year at the mortgage company.  The location for the processing plant had been identified.  The structure needed to be modified, but we planned on starting business in a section of it until the modification were complete.  At this point we had a green light for the business. 

So we started the discussion about how I would depart from my current job, and then join the new company.  Our plan was for me to work through the end of the year, and after the holidays give my resignation notice. 

In December it occurred to me that in January I was turning forty years old, which was our deadline for trying to have a baby naturally.  We hadn’t been successful yet. You can read my post called Job, jobs. Sometimes they get in the way of life . . . or not? which has the details of the whole baby situation which eventually led to in vitro fertilization (IVF).  The income from the consulting job gave me the ability to save enough money to pay for the IVF process. 

Coincidently, during the process of setting up the processing plant for his company, my husband met a gentleman who had a daughter that had just given birth to twins as a result of IVF.  This is how we got a recommendation for a specialist for IVF.  So the decision was made I would resign in January, and we would relocate to the location of the processing plant which was close to the clinic that had the IVF specialist.

If you have been following my previous posts, I am continuing with a description of how J.O., my son, came into my life.  Read my previous posts to review the story from the beginning.

We had one month to wait. Then the doctor was going to do an ultra sound to see how the embryos are doing. Waiting, waiting and more waiting.

So now all we had to do was wait. A whole month. Just wait. I know I had four embryos inside. I prayed that one survived. I will be honest I prayed that more than one survived. This was my last chance. I thought I could handle multiples. One would be nice. Two would be great. Three was causing a little anxiety, but others do it. Why couldn’t I? Now four sounded frightening, but that was a risk I had to take.

I had so many thoughts and emotions during this time. First of all I just couldn’t believe the fact that I was actually pregnant. I was so excited.  Just like the saying, I wanted to shout the news from the roof tops. But then I was very cautious. I didn’t want to get too happy because what if the embryos didn’t make it. It is like you want to be happy and celebrate, but then you hold back that feeling because you don’t want to hex it or have the feeling of disappointment. During this whole process there were only a few people who knew about the IVF process or that I was pregnant. My parents. My sister and her family. Two of my husband’s brothers. Everyone was holding their breath. Waiting.

Thirty days are a long time and seemed like forever. I was feeling fine and didn’t have any symptoms of being pregnant. No morning sickness. One day after about three weeks I was working at my husband’s company. I had been rearranging some inventory when I felt a pain in my lower stomach. I immediately started to panic. Did I move in the wrong way and it was just a muscle ache? No it felt more like a cramp. Something was happening and I suspect I was losing the babies. I started to panic and to cry. This was our only chance. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I wanted a baby so bad. One baby or multiple babies, I had envisioned what our life would be like.  The topic of losing all of the babies was not talked about, not even with my husband.

But now none of this was coming true. Not multiple babies. Not one baby. When the cramping started I laid down on a box. My husband found me there. I told him what was happening. He said the inventory was not important and he said shouldn’t have been doing it in the first place.  Why do men respond in anger in moments like this?  He took me home so that I could rest. At first I didn’t want to move. I was afraid if I stood up it would make the situation worse. Like gravity had something to do with it, which was a silly thought. Shortly soon after, the cramping stopped. I had mixed feelings about this because did this mean it’s over. The babies are gone. Or did it mean I was ok and the babies are ok.

So I went home and basically stayed in bed for the last week. Laying in bed made it even worse.  All I really could do is think.  Worrying about the babies and waiting.  And more waiting.

If you have been following my previous posts, I am continuing with a description of how J.O., my son, came into my life.  Read my previous posts to review the story from the beginning.

I can not really describe our excitement when we had reached this moment.  Probably the best description would be exhilaration.  We were very close to successfully having a baby or babies.  Up to that point in time our situation was considered to be a hopeless dream.  My emotions were already all over the place because of all the injections. Add to that the exhilaration we were feeling at this stage in the IVF process.  It is at this moment that your thoughts begin to describe the current circumstances as being miraculous.

 At this point, the specialist reminds us that this is the critical stage of the process and that we needed to treat it very seriously.  He stressed that we should follow all of the procedures and recommended precautions.  This sounded pretty scary. Our exhilaration quickly changed to somberness (I’m not sure that is a word, but I am sure you understand it.).  It was obvious the jubilation we were feeling was much too early.

After the embryos were transferred to my uterus and after laying flat on my back for an hour or so, the procedure was to continue supplementing my system with progesterone.  The goal of this is to create a good environment for the embryos, which increases the pregnancy chances. Once again this comes with body aches depression, and mood swings.  I couldn’t tell you if they used synthetic progesterone medication or natural progesterone.  One of the risks of synthetic progesterone is the possibility of birth defects.  It is also true that using natural progesterone is not a guarantee for having a child without birth defects.

Besides supplementing my system with progesterone, the specialist recommend:

  • no heavy lifting for 48 hours
  • no strenuous physical activity
  • no tub baths or swimming for 48 hours
  • no douching, tampons or using a bidet
  • no alcohol, smoking or recreational drug use
  • no intercourse and no orgasms (this stays in effect until you can see a fetal heartbeat via ultrasound or you have a negative pregnancy test)

Unless advised otherwise, you can:

  • return to work immediately (assuming it does not require heavy lifting, physical exertion or being submerged in water)
  • engage in light activity (housework, driving, shopping)
  • travel
  • engage in sexual activity other than intercourse for your partner’s pleasure – no orgasms for you! (this stays in effect until you can see a fetal heartbeat via ultrasound or you have a negative pregnancy test)

We were then sent home and the specialist said he would see us again in one month.  At that time he would determine if I was pregnant.  Waiting one month was one of the most stressful times.  Plus there were so many mixed emotions.  You didn’t want to get overly excitement, especially since the percentages of success were not in your favor.  At that time the success ratio for a woman who is 40 years old was 6 to 10% chance.  The odds were not good. 

More to come later . . .

If you have been following my previous posts, I am continuing with a description of how J.O., my son, came into my life.  Read my previous posts to review the story from the beginning.

At the time I had a technology consulting  job in which I did quite a bit of traveling.  We knew that my job was not very conducive to supporting this IVF process.  So, I resigned from my job.  The owner of the company wanted to know why.   I told her that I needed to concentrate on making a baby and my current job would make that difficult.  I told her that making a baby was more important than any job. She convinced me to stay with the company and she assigned me a project that I could do without traveling.  She said we could revisit the decision once the IVF process was successful. 

Lucky me. I could pursue this dream that had many risks, and still not jeopardize my job. If it worked, beautiful. If it didn’t work out, besides experiencing heart-break, we at least had a safety net in regard to our financial situation.

Roadblock three had been removed.  I did not have to quit my job and the job was not going to be an impediment to me making a baby.

More to come later. . .

If you have been following my previous posts,  I am continuing with a description of how J.O., my son, came into my life.  Read my previous posts to review the story from the beginning.  Also, sorry for the brief interlude where I took a little turn off the main road for a moment of passionate opinion.

So, in about a month I ended the consulting project that I had been working on and made an appointment with the specialist, which was in about 2 weeks.  Finally the meeting date came.  I was so anxious.  I was very determined to have a child, but I also did not really know what it meant to do IVF.   In our first meeting with the specialist he introduced himself and said, “So, you are interested in in vitro fertilization?”  I responded, “We are not interested in in vitro fertilization.  We are going to do in vitro fertilization.”  I immediately got his attention and he could see that I was a very determined woman.

In those days, and maybe it is true today, typically there was a hierarchy of steps that you had to go through to address  infertility. Typically you could not just jump in and do IVF.  Other fertility methods had to be tried first.  I am not sure why it was this way or if it is still that way today.  Perhaps it was a convenient way for the health care industry to take advantage of desperate situations and make more money. Cynical?  Not really, just very observant. 

So once the specialist heard about my history of eptopic pregnancies, there was no problem moving straight forward to the discussion of  IVF.  The specialist described, in detail, the entire process and the risks associated with the process.  During this discussion I asked the specialist what were the chances of us accomplishing this.  His response was, “Well, your old and you smoke.”  He continued to explain how age and smoking negatively affect the process.  Well there wasn’t anything I could do about my age.  I had just turned 40 years old two weeks earlier, and there is not much more I can say about that issue.  But his statement about smoking caught my attention.  I quit smoking that very day in that very moment.  I had smoked for over 20 years.  I had tried quitting many times, but it never lasted.  It is funny how circumstances in life can change your motivation to do things.  That concept seems to be a prevailing theme throughout my life.

More to come later. . .