Monday, February 2, 2015

Infertility Journey: Ashley's Story

Happy Monday!  How many are having the Monday Blues?  I for one am happy to have Monday roll around. 
Today I have Ashley from The Mrs. & Co. sharing her journey through infertility.

Hello wonderful reader's of Raising Southern Grace! I am so excited to take over Sydney's blog today! My name is Ashley and my little corner of cyber space is over at The Mrs. & Co. I started my blog as a way to document our journey to parenthood and after! I have enjoyed meeting so many women on the same road as us and I hope that you stop by and say hi! I'd love to meet with you and talk a bit! Here is our journey to parenthood!

Kyle and I were married in September 2009. 
We wanted to enjoy a few years of just us so I continued taking birth control that I had been on since I was a teen. My periods were terrible. They included vomiting, fever, and terrible cramps. I dreaded it every month. Finally I got on birth control to help the cramps. They became bearable, but were still no fun.

We enjoyed our time as a married couple then in June 2012 decided we were ready to start trying for a family. I got off birth control and we began trying to conceive. When Kyle decides he's ready to do something, he's ready! When he proposed he had had the ring for 2 hours. Nothing changed when it was time to have a baby. He and I were both ready and we weren't playing around. I began taking ovulation tests in August 2012 and we were doing every right! I couldn't understand why it wasn't happening.

In January 2013, I just had this feeling I needed to talk to my OB about it. So at my yearly check up I told her everything and she suggested I have blood work done and Kyle should see a urologist to have a semen analysis done.

My blood work came back first. My thyroid was off along with my LH, which controls when an egg is released during ovulation. So my body was growing an egg, but releasing it late, which meant the egg was too mature to be fertilized.

I then made an appointment with Dr. Ku of Dallas IVF to discuss our options, but my problems were quickly put on the back burner when we received Kyle's results. The doctor diagnosed him with a condition called varicoceles. Kyle had tons (and I mean tons of swimmers), but their motility and morphology were very low due to the extra heat from the varicose veins. So pretty much his swimmers were swimming around (slowly) bumping into one another, and if they made it to my egg, they couldn't penetrate it to make a baby.

The doctor told us that we could do surgery to correct it or go straight to IVF. There was a 60-70% chance surgery would fix it and a 30% chance that it wouldn't. If the surgery didn't fix it, then it wasn't varicoceles, but an unexplained reason. So we went ahead with the surgery in March 2013. And man did Kyle take one for the team. It was a painful recovery for him, but he was willing to do it for our babies.

We were told results could take up to 6 months. So we began our wait and continued to see what my diagnosis would be. Dr. Lowell Ku from Dallas IVF diagnosed me with PCOS and a thyroid problem. He put me on medicine for my thyroid and explained that once Kyle was released and deamed "fertile" by the urologist, he would prescribe clomid for our first plan of action.

In June 2013 Kyle went in for his first check up and his numbers were a little better. The urologist was pleased and said he would see us in September 2013 to hopefully have better results!

We faxed the results to Dr. Ku who said he was willing to try an IUI round. I took a pregnancy test like the doctor asked on a Tuesday to make sure I wasn't pregnant. It was negative so we moved forward with purchasing the meds. We were so excited! My period was supposed to come on Thursday so we waited for my cycle to begin so I could start my meds, but I never started. I was pregnant. Thanks a lot pregnancy test.
We had just gotten back from a weekend at the river with my family. All weekend long I was cramping like I was about to start. The thought of being pregnant kept going through my mind, but how could that happen? When we got home that Monday around 5pm, I went inside and decided to take a test while Kyle unloaded the car. I could NOT believe it when the test said pregnant. I walked out in the garage and handed him the test. He dropped all the bags and said we were going to Kroger for most tests. I downed a bottle of water on the way home, took the tests, and yep, I was pregnant.

How the heck was this possible?! I hadn't been tracking my cycles because we were in the waiting phase of Kyle's recovery and we had only done it ONCE that month. ONCE! I went into the doctor and got a blood test and sure enough, preggers!

We surprised both of our parents (lots of tears were shed) and told our extended family. We were so excited and couldn't wait to share our news with the world.

Unfortunately on July 31, 2013 I started having cramping and spotting. My doctor told me it was normal, but I just knew something was wrong. After a day of cramps that intensified as the day went on, I started bleeding heavily at 7pm. I knew what was happening, I was losing our baby. We were told later that it was more than likely due to an unhealthy embryo since the baby was conceived without the proper help from the doctors.

I went into the doctor the next morning for blood work and sure enough, it confirmed our fears. My doctor said I needed to wait until I started my next cycle and then wait another cycle, before we could consider our next step. I was devastated, but knew that God had a plan for us.
Finally, September 2013 rolled around, I had had 2 normal cycles and Kyle had his 2nd check up where we expected to be told his numbers were back to normal since we had gotten pregnant on our own. The doctor instead told us his numbers were back to pre surgery level, he in fact didn't have varicoceles, and he couldn't explain why. He recommended IVF.

So in October 2013 we began IVF #1. I produced 38 eggs and 35 fertilized. After watching all of the eggs and waiting 5 days, we had 12 A+ embryos ready for transfer. We transferred 1 beautiful egg and froze the other 11.

We began the long 9 day wait and the fun progesterone shots.
I struggled with fear and patience and realized I was never in control, God was and I was going to have to just let it go. The night before we got the test, I ran across this verse, and it gave me so much peace as we waited for our results.
Finally the morning of November 11 rolled around and I couldn't sleep because I was so nervous for my blood test that morning. I woke up at 3am needing to pee (good sign right?). We had planned on taking a test when we woke up for work, but I knew I couldn't wait until then. I heard Kyle moving around so I told him I was taking the test. I peed on 2 tests and jumped back in bed. That 3 minutes went by so slowly, but when we picked up the tests, this is what we saw.
Our IVF had worked and I was pregnant! I honestly was shocked. I was convinced it would be negative. I didn't feel pregnant and had no symptoms. I went in for my first sono at 6 weeks and our sweet little one was there! We couldn't believe that God had blessed us with our miracle!
The pregnancy was uneventful except for a bad case of the stomach bug. Raegan's due date came and went and finally on July 24, we decided it was time to go in and get a move on.

After 28 hours of labor and failure to progress, Raegan Phair Sanderson was born on July 26, 2014 via c section at 2:36am weighing 8 lbs. 2.3 oz and measuring 21.5 inches long.

We soon found out that Raegan was born with a cleft palate and she had to have a short stay in the NICU. But she is a rock star and is defying the odds and doing amazing even with this minor set back. She will have her cleft palate repaired at the end of April 2015.

In July 2015 we plan to do our second IVF transfer. We will meet with our RE in May 2015 to discuss our options and decide how many embryos to transfer. We can't wait to add to our growing family!


  1. What an incredible story! <3 to your family!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story Ashley, it's so inspiring! I love how yours and Kyle's faith stays so strong through it all!

    1. Thank you! I don't think we could have gotten through it without relying on our Lord!

  3. Beautiful story, beautiful family! So very happy for your happy ending : )

  4. Congrats to you! I've done 3 rounds of IVF and have yet to get my BFP, we just switched doctors and are hoping a change in protocol and a fresh set of eyes will be the answer! We have unexplained infertility!

    1. Praying that the next doctor has an amazing protocol and the exact answers needed to give you your BFP!!

  5. I am crying reading this. So happy for your happy ending!

    Summer Ann
    Simply Summer Ann Blog

    1. Thank you! We feel very blessed and I cry constantly when I think about the road we have been down. Both sad and happy tears!

  6. Congratulations on the birth of sweet baby Reagan, and good luck with your upcoming transfer. 12 A+ blasts is AWESOME! What protocol did they have you on?

    Our Little Miracles

    1. Yes, my doctor was very pleased! He had me birth control for 2 weeks. Then I was on Lupron, then we added Menopur and Follistim. I was on 225 of Follistim for 2 days, then they dropped it down to 175, then 150. My body responded so well that we ended up doing the egg retrieval 2-3 days earlier than expected. I am very thankful that my body responded so well!

  7. Thanks so much Ashley for sharing your inspirational story. Love to you and the family and prayers for your upcoming journey.