Our IVF Journey: The Background and Our First Doctors Appointment

Well, we have officially started the next round of IVF to hopefully bring baby girl Busch into the world!  We recently had our first doctor’s appointment and are getting ready to start the medicine.  Before I jump into what’s going on this week, I thought I’d give you all a little background into how we got here today.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with our first IVF journey, you can read all about it on my blog, and I’ll give you a quick background before we officially jump into this next journey…

After being off birth control for a bit and playing the “not trying but not, not trying” game for a few months with no luck, we decided to get more active about actually trying to get pregnant. I downloaded the ovulation apps, we gave it a whirl and still … nothing. Then we got a bit more aggressive and purchased the at-home ovulation kits, assuming we had messed up our ovulation dates (that had to be it). After a few months, still … nothing. We then began having sex 24/7 thinking, “well, if there is always sperm up there, we are bound to get pregnant at some point.”  STILL … NOTHING!

I was at wits ends, moody and depressed and had turned into a sex dictator – literally taking every ounce of romance out of the activity. We were past the year mark and that, coupled with some health issues (hair loss and bleeding), made us decide to finally make an appointment with my OBGYN.

After some tests, we found that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, otherwise known as PCOS. (You can read more about that here from an earlier blog).  I was put on Clomid, a fertility drug that is supposed to help you ovulate because that was the assumption that the problem was.

After four months of being an absolutely crazy person (no really, I would cry hysterically or have a tantrum over absolutely anything), everyone within contact with me urged – OK, begged and pleaded with me – to go back to my OBGYN to try something different. When they didn’t have any more ideas of what to try, I was recommended to visit a fertility clinic because they felt like we needed more help than my OBGYN could provide.

We headed over to the REACH Clinic here in Charlotte, NC. They ran numerous tests on myself and my husband Kyle. We found out that I didn’t make any mature (aka good) eggs; and Kyle had a very low sperm count and they were, for lack of a better word, predominantly misshapen. So long story short, with no great eggs and mostly crappy sperm, we weren’t having a baby without doing IVF and ICSI (where they actually place the sperm into the egg in cases of male-factor infertility).

Many would think that news like this would be upsetting or defeating, but for us, finally having an answer and a goal and a treatment plan for the first time in a long time gave us hope. We ended up successfully going through the IVF process and having a healthy baby boy. Our son Brexton Locke Busch was born on May 18, 2015! I blogged about our birth story if you want to read it (grab some tissues!)

Now here we are again, about to enter round 2 of IVF to try to give Brexton a little sister. I have very mixed emotions. On one hand, this time will not be nearly as bad because we don’t have to go through the egg retrieval which was daunting (read all about my experience here). We had eight healthy embryos from the last time and have three viable girl embryos.

However, the first time, I was hopelessly ignorant in that I assumed everyone who went through IVF had a baby. They have all of these medicines, calculations and obviously are experts at making babies, not to mention, I’m on the younger side on the infertility spectrum, so I thought, no problem. And for the first round, there truly weren’t any bumps in the road for us.  Now though, after sharing our story publicly and creating the Bundle of Joy Fund, I know all too well that this isn’t the case for many.  For the past five years, I have read or heard countless stories of infertility not ending in a healthy, happy baby and not only does that break my heart for those couples, but it knocked a huge dose of reality into my happy and hopeful little bubble.

A lot of people have asked me why we have been so open with our infertility and IVF journey (especially knowing we’re not guaranteed a happy ending). It’s because I want people to feel comfortable talking about it, feel like they can reach out and ask a question and to not feel alone. We need to take the stigma of infertility and IVF away. The more all of us talk about it, we bring comfort and support to others going through it. We are able to educate people who know someone going through it, so they can help connect with them. Nobody bats an eye when a fertile couple tells us they are trying, so let’s take away the shock or misunderstanding when someone says they are experiencing fertility problems, using fertility medications, trying IUIs or going through IVF.

So, that being said, let’s continue with this IVF journey!  Here’s a BTS video of our first official doctor visit …

We had our first official IVF appointment with my amazing doctor at REACH recently to lay the groundwork for this next round of treatment. First, we had blood work tests and then checked my uterus and ovaries (I have been experiencing a lot of pain in my left ovary for several months now).

The ultrasound found a small polyp in my uterus, which they are going to monitor again after my next period. They are unsure if, since I haven’t had a period in three months (it’s normal with PCOS to have crazy weird menstrual cycles), if it’s just lining buildup or a polyp. Additionally, they found that my left ovary was indeed enlarged.  To give a 1-10 scale, a normal ovary is a size 2-3. My right was a 4 and my left was an 8. They said this is something they will watch for over the years, but because it will not affect this pregnancy, they didn’t dive too deep into it for now. They also performed a trial embryo transfer, noting the placement of my uterus and other things they will need to know on the actual embryo transfer day.

After the procedures, we went into the doctor’s office to discuss the timeline and dates for this IVF treatment plan. The most amazing thing is that you can essentially choose the date you want to have your baby (or close enough). Take that, fertile couples!  LOL

So, of course, we consulted the NASCAR schedule. Spring was out because we are on the west coast swing, and I wasn’t chancing Kyle having to jump on a 4-hour flight home if I went into labor.  May and June are Kyle’s, Brexton’s and my birthdays so that’s a little crazy.  I always wanted a late summer baby because when I was pregnant with Brex, I hated wearing pants so I just wanted to live in dresses and lay poolside! August looked like a good month … before the Chase and there was an off week! Sign us up!

The next discussion – and this is a big one – is choosing the embryo they will fertilize and transfer. Based on the genetic testing we had to do because of our conditions, they are able to give us an idea of what embryo they think we should choose based on the likelihood of the pregnancy going to full-term.  With Brexton, they had one they were most confident in, so that was an easy choice (read about the embryo transfer here).

This time, however, there are two viable choices. For Kyle, he knew right away. But for me, this still weighs really heavily on my heart, and I still think about it constantly. The only thing I can think is, I trust in God and maybe He chose and made Kyle confident about it for a reason. This is the one area I still have a lot of trouble wrapping my mind around to be perfectly honest.

Before we left, we met with the nurse to go over paperwork and order all the medication we will be starting. Then we were off to start this next journey to welcome the next Baby Busch into the world!

Next up, I will share more about the medication I’m on, some tips about the needles and injections and how Dr. Kyle and Nurse Brexton help get me through this process!

Follow along as we continue to document this IVF journey. We will be posting video updates on my YouTube channel and a new blog every Tuesday with updates, IVF topics and Q&As.  If you have any questions or anything you’d like to know more about, please comment below so we can be sure to cover it.

Xoxo,
Samantha

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