Nick & Abby's Mental and Physical IVF Journey-Optimism,Hope and Strength
Many couples struggle with infertility. This week's testimony features a couple who took those odds and used their story to not only inform others by to inspire, encourage and spread hope. You are not alone.
Nick and I met on July 5th, 2013, at Starbucks and had an instant connection. After a little more than three years of dating, we were engaged. A few months later, we had a small destination wedding. We knew we wanted to be parents, however, we wanted to enjoy time with each other first. Being planners, we decided we would wait before starting to build our family.
Fast forward to October 2017, we agreed it was time to start a family. However, after only a few months of “trying”, we knew something was wrong. We scheduled a visit with my OBGYN and created a plan to our plan to start a family.
Over the next several months we would begin fertility treatments including monitoring, timed intercourse, medications consisting of pills and injections, and four unsuccessful cycles of IUI’s (intrauterine insemination). Each month we had new hope for what that cycle could bring us.
We began to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) in July, after our fourth failed IUI. He scheduled his own battery of tests, blood work, and procedures over the next few months, before deciding we needed to use In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant.
As we embarked into IVF, we wanted to share our story as a segway to help others understand what infertility really looks and feels like. January 4, 2019, we decided to start the new year with sharing our journey. That evening, we talked through the pros and cons of sharing our lives and ultimately posted a photograph onto my Facebook and Instagram pages along with our story. We were nervous to let people into our lives in such a big way but felt confident it would help others. We wanted other couples to know they weren’t alone. We also wanted those not suffering from infertility to understand what others were battling on a daily basis. More than anything, we wanted to break the stigma around talking about infertility and help build a compassionate and supportive community.
Our egg retrieval was on January 21st and six days later, we had nine frozen embryos or “winter soldiers” as Nick endearingly would refer to them. After PGS (Preimplantation Genetic Screening) results came back, we were down to six. We continued to share our story daily letting others see what IVF really looks like through the eyes of a couple going through it.
A few weeks later we began preparing for our FET (Frozen Egg Transfer). Going into the transfer, we knew that my uterine lining had been measuring on the thin side. I began high doses of estrogen to help build my lining, as well as taking my acupuncturist’s advice and adding suggested teas and foods to my diet. However, my weekly checks showed little progress and our doctor decided to cancel our FET. Although we were disappointed, we knew it was the best decision. So many factors go into an FET, and we want the highest chance possible for success. Our second and third FET cycles led to cancellations as well. We are currently in the process of creating a new plan and protocol with our doctor that will lead to a thicker lining and our long awaited FET.
Our journey is far from over, but we are optimistic about what the future holds. Each day our marriage grows stronger as we work through new challenges together. We continue to share our journey, knowing that every post and conversation will help others not traveling this path to understand it better, and those contending with infertility to know they aren’t alone. We take each day one at a time and are confident that soon we will be able to say we have overcome infertility.
~Nick and Abby Schultz
Follow our journey on Instagram @Simply.Schultz