Thursday, August 7, 2008

Luna's Story

Luna is the contributing editor for Infertility. She writes daily at Life From Here: Musings from the Edge where she covers her infertility story from loss and IVF to her current journey through domestic adoption.

More than six years of infertility, and over four years of trying to bring home a baby…

5 surgeries, 4 IUIs, an IVF and FET, thousands of acupuncture needles, and countless herbal remedies…

One beautiful baby boy lost halfway to term at 21 weeks due to P-PROM…

And two loving people who would make wonderful parents…

This is my story.

I first realized I might be infertile more than 6 years ago, when I discovered that a massive fibroid was consuming my uterus. I was 32 years old, just finishing graduate school and beginning to think about starting our family. For years, I was infertile and didn’t even know it. When I learned this mass had been growing inside me for years and threatened my fertility, I was shocked. The thought had never occurred to me: I might not ever have children.

Suddenly I was facing major surgery and an uncertain future. My doctor offered hope, but there was a chance that I would never have a baby, at least without serious complications. We thought we were resolving our infertility problems before they even began. We had no idea how wrong we were.

After healing, we tried to conceive without success for over a year before seeking help. I was diagnosed with a variety of problems – recurrence of new smaller fibroids, a blocked tube, uterine and pelvic adhesions, hormonal imbalance (sometimes anovulatory cycles, short luteal phase). Later, we learned that my husband’s sperm, while plentiful and motile, had poor morphology, yet another problem to overcome.

With irregular cycles and a blocked tube, the chance of conceiving was greatly diminished. If I was able to conceive, a small fibroid was blocking my one open tube, and scar tissue from my uterine surgery further inhibited implantation. Even if I could overcome those obstacles, I had a significant risk of miscarriage or pre-term labor. If I made it to term, there was a risk of uterine rupture or loss. Plus, the fibroids would grow during the first trimester from elevating estrogen, resulting in an even higher risk pregnancy.

Yet somehow, in the fall of 2005, I beat the odds and became pregnant, without medical help, after a year and half of trying to conceive. It was probably a miracle, or at least a fluke. I didn’t even believe it. When I made it to the second trimester without any issues, we were elated. Our baby boy was perfect. We were blissful.

Then it all changed. In two weeks, he was gone.

I began spotting lightly just before 19 weeks. A week later, I woke up in a pool of wet.

Somehow I had suffered a substantial rupture of the amniotic sac. Preterm premature rupture of the membrane, or P-PROM, is rare and occurs in just 1-2% of all pregnancies (possibly with a 1 in 3 chance of recurrence). If the rupture did not heal, our baby boy would die. Life was not viable inside or outside. Our only chance was to wait and see. I was placed on strict bedrest for a week.

Despite all of our hopes and prayers, we lost our baby boy at 21 weeks, on February 3, 2006. Nothing could be done. Part of me died that day with him. I was lost, an empty shell.

Eventually, we were ready to try again. While nothing could replace our son, the only thought that kept me going was that we would try again. So we were back to the beginning…

After healing from several extensive surgeries, my RE encouraged us to try on our own in April 2007. I spent thousands on acupuncture and herbs. I changed my diet. We had already tried clomid for 3 months, which gave me nothing but a headache. We returned to the RE and tried 4 medicated IUIs before moving to IVF in November 2007 and an FET in March 2008. When that failed, our hope of a biological child was crushed. Our dream continued to elude us.

While I will always grieve the loss of our son and all that my infertility has taken from me, I am finally now facing the future and letting go…

After searching our hearts, we realized that becoming parents was more important than becoming pregnant. And so we have begun down a new path, as we pursue domestic open adoption with open hearts and minds. We know another long road still lies ahead, but we have finally taken the first steps on the next phase of our journey to parenthood. And so we move from hopeless to hopeful…

My blog life from here: musings from the edge began as an online journal to explore my infertility and document our IVF after nearly four years of lost hope. It also provided an outlet to process my lingering grief over losing my only child at 21 weeks gestation in February 2006. It now documents the aftermath of infertility as well as our pursuit of parenthood through domestic open adoption. Thank you for sharing our journey.

NOTE: this post was excerpted from a longer more detailed version of my journey on my blog.

2 comments:

Lori said...

Thanks, Luna, for this synopsis of your story. There were parts I was unaware of.

Clicking over to your post now...

Lil said...

Nice to meet you Luna. My experience with pregnancy is so different from yours (as you'll soon see as I'm joining the team), but I totally feel for what you've been through.

Peace,
Lil