Over the past eight years, Carly Lee and her husband Rob have been trying to start a family.
The 29-year-old from Australia has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and has been candid on her Facebook page, Little Miss Conception, about her journey to motherhood. Although many who share their IVF experiences include the struggles, Carly’s didn’t include the eventual happy ending that so many parents are eager to share online.
“A few weeks ago, we decided to use our last remaining embryo. Our one, genetically untested, 6-day-old frozen embryo, the only embryo from our last IVF stim cycle,” Carly wrote on Facebook. “Honestly we were just using it as a matter of course, we didn’t have high hopes for this tiny little life, when all others had tested abnormal or hadn’t survived.”
This last embryo was known as the “unknown” one because it hadn’t grown enough to be tested. Carly explained that they had it transferred, and then she tried to get on with her daily life while she waited for the results without letting themselves get too excited about the possibility of a positive pregnancy test. “Of course by the time this day came two weeks later we hoped, you can never not hope, but we were realistic, the chances of it working were slim, especially after all this time, and all these cycles,” she wrote.
But when the results finally came back, they left Carly and Rob speechless. “POSITIVE how was this possible? It must have been a mistake,” she wrote. “How could it have been positive? How was I finally pregnant?”
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Carly and Rob still tried to remain “realistic” because the only other time she had been pregnant during their IVF attempts, her blood work didn’t progress as expected, and she miscarried a short time later. “That might happen again this time. We were cautiously optimistic,” she wrote. “Don’t tell people just in case, don’t get too excited we told ourselves.”
However, each week her blood tests were right on track, and she continued to get positive news during doctors’ appointments. “Then the pregnancy symptoms started to kick in. Do you know how good it feels to finally actually feel pregnant?” she wrote. “The tiredness, sickness and constant peeing meant it felt real. It wasn’t just a number on a scale.”
They started making plans through more doctors’ appointments and scans. They even began buying baby things, making lists, and talking about baby names. At six weeks, Carly even let herself begin to put their past behind them. “We allowed ourselves to relax a little and talk about our future. Our future as parents,” she wrote. “Finally, after all this time our dreams had come true. Everyone was right, it did finally happen. Why did I ever think we wouldn’t eventually fall pregnant? It was all worth it.”
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She even prepared their pregnancy announcement that they were going to share with friends and family:
Days trying for a baby: 2999 (over 8 years)
Doctors consultations: 62
Blood tests: 64
IVF cycles: 11
Amount spent: $66,000
After all this time waiting, our dreams have come true, we are beyond excited to announce that our baby is due in February.
But within seconds, their hopes were completely destroyed. “One moment all our dreams had come true, the next the feeling of tearing followed by gushes of blood, pain, warmth, more blood, not slow leaking blood, bleeding, flowing, so much blood, clots, tissue, so much pain,” she wrote. “All our dreams and hopes… gone. Shattered. Over. Everything covered in blood.”
After the time, pain, and money it took for Carly to get pregnant, it was all over within weeks, and this devastating news left Carly reeling. “My body had failed us again,” Carly wrote. “Do you know what it’s like to hear you husband cry for the loss of your baby? A child that he will never get back? And to know you’ve caused all this pain and grief to him, to everyone else.”
Carly’s days now start and end in tears. “Our lives have turned from bright to black in an instant,” she wrote. “After 8 years I was actually coming to the realization that we would never have children. I shouldn’t have so easily believed that our dreams had come true, that I was actually pregnant, of course it was always going to end, that’s just what happens to us.”
After all of this pain and suffering, Carly and Rob have decided to stop trying. That last “unknown” embryo was their final IVF attempt, and they are now just trying to make peace with that difficult decision. “How can we possibly pick ourselves up and try again when this journey has brought nothing but unhappiness and despair above all else?” she wrote. “I can’t imagine adding anymore numbers to our list, no more blood tests, appointment, needles, procedures, scans, money, no more drugs, no more IVF cycles and please no more miscarriages. No more. It’s over. We can’t do this anymore.” #baby #babyproducts