Alexa and I have been married since 2016, but we have known one another since high school. As friends, we were in each others’ orbits for at least twelve years, until it became obvious that we were in love and were always meant to be together. The thought of raising a family together filled us with hope and excitement. Like so many couples, the idea that we wouldn’t be able to have kids never seemed real. Infertility was always something that happened to others…until it happened to us.
After trying for months—casually at first, then not-so-casually—we began to seek outside help. Despite an initial diagnosis of low ovarian reserve, two years passed before our first IVF cycle. To our great sadness, none of the six eggs retrieved became blastocysts. We fared better on our second retrieval, and eventually were able to transfer one frozen PGS-tested blastocyst, but unfortunately the embryo failed to implant.
Devastated on multiple fronts—by the emotional toll of these losses, the financial toll of our procedures (which we were unprepared for), and the lack of transparency on the part of our clinic—we left our clinic at the end of 2020. In early 2021, we found a new clinic whose practice prioritized communication, knowledge, and kindness, as well as an inspiring doctor whose own history of infertility resonated deeply with our own. Nevertheless, despite the best efforts of our team, our subsequent procedures did not lead to a pregnancy. Late last year, a cycle that was preceded by intralipids treatment and LIT therapy yielded only one PGS-normal embryo that was transferred—again without success. Our most recent retrieval, which was scheduled for earlier this year, was canceled due to low follicle count.
Six rounds of IVF and six failed transfers later, we were exhausted, and found it increasingly challenging to participate in the patterns of daily life without the cloud of infertility hanging over us. We entered a vicious financial cycle, where we would cut back on work because we were feeling overwhelmed, which then made the costs of our treatments more acute, thereby triggering more stress and anxiety. And while we were genuinely happy for our close friends, who have had several children over the past four years, the gap between our experience and the experiences of those close to us only added to our sense of loneliness.
Despite all this, there have been some positive elements in our journey. Throughout this ordeal, our relationship held fast; in fact, it has never been stronger than it is today. We learned to accept, to the best of our ability, what lay beyond our control. Most importantly, we learned to broaden our definitions of happiness, success, and family. Eventually, we came to see the prospect of having children with the aid of egg donation not as a second choice, but as a beautiful path forward in and of itself, with its own unique advantages and joys.
We were lucky enough to be paired with an egg donor only a few weeks ago, and are on the cusp of pursuing treatment. We couldn’t be more grateful to the Fertility Friends Foundation for their generous financial support, and to our doctor for referring us to this wonderful organization. Grants like this make the costs of infertility, both financial and emotional, easier to bear, and we deeply appreciate being recipients of this funding.
Thank you for your support, and for letting us share our story!