You know this story well. You've spent years trying to bring a baby into the world and countless hours obsessing over the "why" and the "how"
You finally decide to pull up your big girl panties and get answers. But they aren't the answers you wanted to hear. Your OBGYN explains something in your body is either blocked, twisted or missing.
You're devastated and his discovery creates an environment where the "why" turns to "WHY ME?!"
You sob there on that office floor. If you could drown yourself in your tears, you would. You look to your partner for support. Your husband tries to confort you, reassuring you. He affirms: "you will have your baby!". But he doesn't get it. You feel lost. You feel broken.
Then the doctor hands you the card of the "specialist", who you're supposed to call immediately, because, you know if you don't get pregnant ASAP the world might implode. And secretly you're wishing it would.
So you call. And so begins your journey on an IVF rollercoaster.
You're pregnant. You're not. It's happy. It's painful. It's calm. It's stressful. But you don't give up. You're in relentless pursuit to be a mom and IVF is your only option. And it's an expensive one. It'll cost you more than your hard earned dollars. It'll cost you your relationships, your feelings and possibly even your sanity.
And if you think this is a price you don't want to pay, hear this:
You're about to be blessed to bare witness to the miracle of life in this way. You have a backstage stage pass and this isn't your final destination.
God's and Mother's Nature VIP Pass
You'll learn, as I did, that when you open your mind to IVF, you have the privilege to view the formation of a life on an intimate level. You'll know exactly how G-d and Mother Nature create the miracle of life, even when people call it "unnatural".
You'll join a secret society that shatters labels by day and defies odds by night. You won't realize this when you're in a state of worry and sadness that stems from not being able to conceive naturally.
But when you open your mind to IVF, you can, very naturally, increase your success with IVF and become an IVF transformer. When your only choice is IVF, you choose to ride the rollercoaster, you choose transformation. You choose love.
My 5 Rounds of IVF
During our first round we had 34 eggs retrieved, 14 of which were fertilized and 4 transferred. Our very first cycle was successful, easy even. Today she is 10 years old.
In 2009, we decided to have a second baby. Due to a mistake by the nurse who gave me the incorrect medicine amount, I got very sick with OHSS and our cycle had to be cancelled. The RE offered us another cycle at no cost.
This time we decided to do chromosomal testing, because we wanted a baby boy. We had 4 embryos, 3 were male. The single female embryo was the less developed. Oddly enough, I got pregnant with that baby girl.
My pregnancy was good all the way, including the amniocentesis, which confirmed we were expecting a girl. Everything was normal. But no one knew that I was developing a blood clot. At 39 weeks, 3 days before the delivery due date, our Isabelle died in my womb due to a blood clot in the umbilical cord.
I had to deliver her anyway. Devastated and lost, I felt guilty for what happened. It was very painful and empty. So empty that we pursue a 4th round of IVF 3 months later. I did get a positive test but I guess from the sadness, the loss, the stress and the fear combined with other personal issues, I miscarried at 7 weeks.
In 2011, we got to the point of being completely lost, with no sign of how to find our way again. Driven by fear and ego, our relationship with each other turned into a disaster and we almost got divorced.
We choose to transform. We choose love. Because even IVF babies need love. Not a single baby deserves to enter this world with anything but LOVE.
In 2012, we decided to go for another round of IVF the 5th and final. This cycle was an amazing experience; full of love, healthy dialogue and peace. Which was a direct result of the internal struggles and then shifts we made, together, as a team.
We got a positive pregnancy test and today she is 3 years old, I feel so strong that this little one is our Isabelle's soul back in a different little body, but this is a story for another post.
IVF teaches you patience, kindness, acceptance, love, understanding, courage and strength. It teaches you how to be better parents and partners. Because underneath those bumps, tears and near breakups, IVF is a blessing.
This experience is what led me to the work I was called to do. I became an IVF Coach and my goal is to help other women that are on the same rollercoaster, no matter if they are single, or if they have a partner as well as LBGT couples, to see the beautiful side of IVF even when it feels ugly.
Because infertility isn’t a curse, a death sentence or other menacing unhappy ending. It’s your ally, your miracle and your new BFF.
Monica Bivas is a married mom of 3, born in Colombia and became an IVF Coach from her own struggle to conceive. She is helping women and couples no matter their choice, going through this fertility process, to approach it in a much positive way.