We have been trying to have children for more than 10 years, and our way to try has been physically and mentally exhausting. We have both dreamed of being the parents of a boy or girl and we always imagine what it would be like or how it would look.
When we decided to start a family, we never imagined that it would be difficult. The first years were calm, and we thought that it was normal, that it would take time and although we wanted to have children, we did not focus 100% because I was still young. I was 28 years old, and we did not have in a hurry. We knew that the day of being parents was going to come one day.
Years passed, and I decided to go to the family doctor to see if everything was okay, he did a series of medical tests and then I referred to the gynecologist, everything seemed to be fine, but I didn’t get pregnant. My gynecologist referred me to the first fertility clinic. At that time, I was already 35 years old, and I began to worry a lot because I thought that I was no longer normal, and I felt that many years had passed. A year passed and the doctor told me that it was going to be difficult because of my age and that the only way was by in vitro fertilization (IVF). The doctor put me on the waiting list and told us that the waiting time could be 2 years.
I felt that my world was falling apart and that being a mother was never going to come. During this time my husband and I had some differences and I decided not to continue with the process until we were okay, because this was affecting him too.
Finally, we realized that this was the most difficult test of our lives and of our relationship, and that it was not going to be easy, but if we had faith we could have a miracle, so we decided to continue with the process, but we decided to change the clinic because I didn’t feel comfortable where we were. In this second clinic everything seemed to be fine, they received us very well, and they did more necessary studies, and in one of the ultrasounds they found a polyp in the uterus which I had to remove to be able to have the first embryo transfer. I was already almost 38 years old, we tried to stay positive and happy all the time because of our mental health and our relationship. In this first IVF everything seemed to be very good because I managed to have 27 eggs and I was very happy, but during the process fertilization the number was going down, and in the chromosome count test only one was normal, and another was diagnosed without signs. I was not allowed to see if it came with all the complete chromosomes which meant taking a risk and making the transfer of that embryo, The process was very hard for me because I never imagined those results and I came to think that it was a punishment from God. Many things went through my head, but Carlos, my husband, was there to encourage me and help me get up. He always stays positive.
We proceeded with the embryo transfer, which was normal, and we thought that we only needed one to get pregnant. Finally, the results were positive. I got pregnant but only for a few days because later I lost it. The hormones did not increase as we expected. In those days the doctor I noticed an increase in calcium in my blood and he sent me to the specialist, it turned out that I had parathyroidism and they had to remove a gland that produced a lot of calcium. It was probably the reason for the loss of the first pregnancy but that could not be diagnosed by the doctor. He told us that it could have been other causes, we don’t know.
During the transfer of the second embryo, the stress and worries increased, because a few months before the transfer my father died due to a traffic accident, my spirits were on the ground, I had a lot of pain in my heart, I felt angry with life, with the people. My dad is everything to me, he is my hero, before my dad passed away I had told him that if he had a girl I would name her like him, Valentina my dad was very excited about the news and he called me every day asking me “How was the treatment going, how is Valentina”, and I answered her “we are preparing her well”, unfortunately if the pregnancy is achieved my father will not meet her. The second transfer turned out to be all good, but the embryo was not implanted because we were not sure that it was healthy. After this, the doctor gave us two options: Try another IVf cycle or donate eggs and in the end he mentioned with emphasis that it is very expensive, very expensive.
I felt very, very bad emotionally, but something in me told me that I had to move on and try to be happy with what I have and with Carlos. I didn’t like the idea of having a baby with a donated egg at all because I felt that it wasn’t going to be mine genetically speaking. But after thinking about it and meditating on it a lot for several weeks and talking about it with Carlos, I decided to investigate more about this process and check prices.
I want to be a mother and my husband a father, although he tells me that’s how he wants me to marry me without children and without thinking that one day I would have them. I know that he wants to be a father I see it in his eyes, in the way he sees other babies, when we go through a children’s store he always tells me “look when I have a child I’m going to buy him that little jacket or whatever he’s looking at that moment. It was very difficult to make the decision to choose the option of a donor egg. We know what this implies with our finances and emotional matters, and I also know that a mother is not only the one who gives life, she is also the one who raises, gives love and teaches to give love, education and wisdom. At the same time it is difficult to understand it that way.
After a few months of talking to the doctors very thoroughly, we decided to go for a donated egg, and we looked for clinics that do this procedure. We found Tripod Fertility – I spoke to them and told them our situation. When I told them my story I said to myself “I suggest you talk to the doctor before choosing a donated egg, I think you can do a second IVF procedure, but you have to talk to the doctor to see what options he gives you”.
That’s how it happened, I made an appointment with the doctor, he checked my medical history and told me “we can go for another IVF I think we can achieve it by giving you the correct treatment, so once again I prepared myself for another IVF procedure, keeping in mind that it might not work, and once again I prepared myself mentally, putting all my faith in this treatment. This day has been super exhausting in every way, and then the pandemic arrived and that made things worse, because with the pandemic came the vaccines, the confinement, and many other things.
God has given me the strength not to give up, my body has had many changes due to treatment and age. Something in me tells me not to give up and to persevere. We started the second process with all a positive attitude despite the pandemic, once again everything seemed to be fine. The results were better, 2 normal embryos came out, the doctor decided to do a couple of studies before performing the first embryo transfer, to be sure what type of procedure or treatment was prescribed for me.
During this period in my work area (personal support worker) they were demanding the Covid 19 vaccination, because without the vaccine I would not be able to continue working, a situation that made me stressed because they did not have precise data that it did not affect the pregnancy and on the other hand I needed my job to be able to cover the costs of the in vitro treatment. After consulting with the doctor, he told me that the vaccine did not affect me and that it was better to protect myself, and yes, I agree with him on that part, but that the vaccine did not affect the process, but I was not sure.
They administered the Covid 19 vaccine and 3 months later the embryo transfer, sadly the embryo did not implant and something in my heart tells me that it was because of the Covid 19 vaccine, the doctors say no, the reason could be something else and maybe yes, but I’ll never know that. For the second transfer, the treatment was a little more aggressive because I had infusions, but that didn’t matter to me if I could hold my baby in my arms. Finally, the day of the second transfer arrived, and I was full of fears for fear that it wouldn’t worked, but the transfer worked.
It was a complete success and the pregnancy test came back positive, we were very happy, my husband talked to the baby every day, he touched my tummy and gave him kisses and I prayed to God to take care of my baby. A few days before the appointment for the ultrasound we were happy that we were finally going to be able to listen to his little heart. That same day blood came, it terrified me, and it made me very afraid. I tried to calm down and see it in a positive way, and I called the nurse and they told me “come tomorrow for an ultrasound” sadly that day his heart could not be heard and the bag was empty and the doctor confirmed that there was no baby, I can’t explain the pain I felt at that moment I just hugged Carlos and cried.
I thought of that life is very unfair for women who want to be moms. I am in a healing process, and I am in the process of understanding why, why to me. I am sure that we all have a mission in this world, and I don’t know if mine is to be a mother or someone else. This hurts a lot, and once again to get up and move on.
Now our next option is a donated egg. Somehow, I had already accepted that this was going to happen, but Carlos, no, this is more difficult for him, because of the genetic process, the baby will carry his genes but not mine. And that is very difficult for him, we had to look for a lot of information.
When I talked to my family about this, my niece without thinking said to me “I, aunt, donate them to you, you have supported me a lot and I also love you very much and now I want to help you, I have nothing to think about”. It gave me a lot of emotion to hear her say that. We are in this process now we do not know if it will work, the only thing I know is that we are with all the positive attitude and accepting what God wants for me and my husband. This is little compared to what I have gone through, and I hope my story can help other women.
We are not alone and no matter what happens we must find a way to continue being happy to do what we like the most. I am infinitely grateful to Fertility Friends Foundation for this great opportunity. THANK YOU!