Below is the brief summary of our TTC journey to date. In nearly 8 years of trying, I have been pregnant 8 times with 1 living child and a hopeful second miracle on the way. All pregnancies were natural. We also tried 2 rounds of IVF to retrieve enough eggs for PGD, but it was not successful for us.
Our journey so far…
September 2009 – Began trying to conceive.
October 16th, 2009 – Took a pregnancy test and it was positive!
September 19th, 2009 – LMP
April 6th, 2010 – Emergency C-section due to severe HELLP Syndrome, a variant of Preeclampsia. Our son Holdon was born with severe growth restriction and only weighed 1lb, 8oz.
July 20th, 2010 – Holdon Fernand Regunathan was received unto the Lord due to severe prematurity.
To learn more about Holdon, my first pregnancy and HELLP Syndrome:
Due to the type of incision with my C-section I had to wait a year before I could try to get pregnant again.
May 2011 – Began trying again.
August 4th, 2011 – Positive pregnancy test.
Date of LMP: July13th, 2011
Due date: April 18th, 2011
September 9th, 2011 – 8 week ultrasound. No heartbeat and baby only measured 61/2 weeks. Subsequent ultrasounds showed no change. Doctor called it a missed miscarriage.
September 14th, 2011 – D&C
November 4th, 2011 – Began trying again.
April 7th, 2012 – Positive pregnancy test.
Date of LMP: March 16th, 2012
Due date – December 20th, 2012
First sign of trouble: Betas didn’t double at first. They recovered and started to double, but it was a bad sign.
May 4th, 2012 – 7 week ultrasound. Gestational sac but no fetal pole. Subsequent ultrasounds showed no change. Doctor called it a Blighted Ovum.
May 13, 2012 – Tried Misoprostol medication, but it didn’t work. Took a second dose on May 15th, but it only partially worked. I didn’t want to have another D&C so decided to let nature take it’s course. It took 6 months to get a negative pregnancy test and get my period.
August 2012 – Had a consult with Dr. K, a Reproductive Endocronologist and Infertility Specialist.
September 6th, 2012 – Finally got my period.
September 8th, 2012 – Began testing with Dr. K. Saline ultrasound showed something in my uterus. Dr. K wasn’t sure if it was retained products of conception (horrible term for retained pregnancy), a fibroid or some other kind of growth.
September 10th, 2012 – Received blood test results from Dr. K: AMH was very low (<1.6) and FSH was high (14.4). We were told I have unexplained low ovarian reserve for my age, and that it was amazing I was getting pregnant at all, but that this is the likely reason for my miscarriages.
November 20, 2012 – Hysteroscopy to explore growth in uterus. Results confirmed it was retained products of conception.
Advice of Dr. K at this time: to try again on our own since we were getting pregnant, but if we didn’t become pregnant within a few months, to consider IVF with PGD so we could test our embryos for chromosomal abnormalities. We agreed to try on our own first. We waited the recommended 1 cycle after the hysteroscopy and then started trying again.
January 11th, 2013 – Began trying again on our own.
April 22nd, 2013 – Positive pregnancy test.
Date of LMP: March 31st, 2013
Due date: January 5th, 2014
Betas more than doubled and we started to hope.
May 13th, 2013 – 6 weeks, 1 day – ultrasound. Baby measured perfectly and had a good strong heartbeat. Our hope grew.
May 21st, 2013 – 7 weeks, 2 days – ultrasound. Baby grew and was still measuring perfect and still had a good strong heartbeat. We started to relax.
May 29th, 2013 – 8 weeks, 3 days – ultrasound. Our world came crashing down once again. Baby’s heart had stopped and hadn’t grown since 7 weeks 3 days. Subsequent ultrasounds confirmed results.
June 4th, 2013 – Had another D&C.
I couldn’t bare another long drawn out miscarriage so we opted for another D&C. This also allowed us to have the products of conception analyzed and we found out there was an abnormality. The baby had Trisomy 5, a rare Trisomy that is so severe, babies rarely survive past the first trimester, let alone make it to full term or survive after birth. This confirmed our RE’s suspicion that I have poor quality eggs and this is likely the cause of my abnormal pregnancies. We decided to proceed with IVF and PGD.
July 1st, 2013 – Our RE, Dr. K was no longer available so we switched fertility clinics and began seeing Dr. J.
July 12th, 2013 – Hit an all time low in this journey and started this blog.
July 23rd, 2013 – Cycle day 2 (second cycle since D&C). Ultrasound and blood work were not good. Exam showed 3 cysts on one ovary so we had to postpone our IVF cycle.
August 17th, 2013 – Cycle Day 2. Ultrasound showed no cysts and baseline follicle count showed 10 resting follicles. Not a great number, but not bad either. My Estradiol levels we were also good, so we were good to proceed. The protocol was for a long cycle with with birth control pills.
September 2nd, 2013 – Stopped birth control pills. Got my period on September 6th.
September 7th, 2013 – Began injectible meds: Follistim, Menopur, and Ganirelix.
September 18th, 2013 – Trigger day.
September 20th, 2013 – Egg retrieval #1. Retrieved 7 eggs, but of those, only 6 were mature and 5 fertilized. Dr. J wanted at least 8 fertilized eggs for PGD so we decided freeze and batch the 5 fertilized eggs and do another retrieval to get more eggs.
October 26th, 2013 – Cycle Day 1 – Start of IVF retrieval #2. Began birth control pills on October 28th.
November 14th, 2013 – Stopped birth control pills. Got my period on November 18th.
November 19th – Began injectible meds: Lupron, Follistim, Menopur, and Omnitrope.
December 1, 2013 – Trigger day.
December 3, 2013 – Egg retrieval #2. Retrieved 9 eggs, but of those, only 6 were mature and all 6 fertilized. We thawed the first batch of 5 for a total of 11 fertilized eggs. We grew all 11 at the same time. Of the 11, 4 embryos made it to 5-day blastocyst and were sent to the PGD lab for chromosomal testing. Of the 4, 1 was normal. A girl. The other 3 embryos were another girl and 2 boys, but those embryos were all missing a chromosome. So we had the one viable embryo for transfer. Dr. J, recommended freezing the embryo and doing a frozen embryo transfer the following cycle in January. You can read his rationale for this in my IVF With PGD Egg Retrieval Part 2 post from October.
January 24, 2014 – Frozen Embryo Transfer. January 31st beta was negative. Follow-up beta was also negative. Our FET failed.
Dr. J cannot explain why our transfer failed. Our embryo tested normal for chromosomal abnormalities and the transfer was perfect. I was very relaxed. My lining was perfect and the transfer went smoothly, and yet, she didn’t implant.
In hindsight, I’m not sure the above FET rationale worked for us. It made sense at the time, but the one normal embryo we had was from the first batch and had already been frozen once. They refroze her after PDG, so she ended up being frozen twice. When we transferred her, the embryologist said she was only moderate grade. Dr. J, said that didn’t matter because we did PGD and knew she was normal. However, I can’t help wondering if the double freezing damaged our sweet embryo and if this was the reason our transfer failed. Or perhaps it was the PGD process that damaged her. We’ll never know for sure, but after that long and expensive process, we only had one chance and we now have nothing to show for it.
From this point, Dr J recommended we go back to trying on our own since we get pregnant on our own and take our chances and hope for a good egg. We will likely have more miscarriages, but it is possible we could get lucky and catch a good egg. He indicated that there was no need for us to do IVF since we do get pregnant. We only did IVF to test our embryos. He doesn’t recommend doing injectible meds again because the high stim cycles didn’t’ really work for us and he thinks they might have damaged my eggs even more. He indicated that poor responders like me (those who don’t yield many eggs with high doses of meds), tend to have poorer egg quality. We hoped to improve this with the Omnitrope (human growth hormone) in the second egg retrieval, but it didn’t help. At any rate, it doesn’t make sense to do another round of high stim meds when I already have poor eggs quality without the meds and meds are likely making them worse. He said we could try a few minimal stim cycles with just Chlomid to get a few eggs at a time and batch them to get enough for testing if we really wanted to go another round of testing, but it will be very costly to do this, and Clomid might not be very good for my eggs either. We briefly considered it to see how I respond, but have since them changed our minds and are now trying on our own. We might revisit the low stim route in the future, but for now this is where we are at. The third option Dr. J gave us is donor eggs. This is a good option for me since I can carry a baby and we know my uterus is good, but I’m not ready to give up on my eggs at this time. This might also change down the road. I’m just not ready to go there yet. So we’ll see what happens.
February 7th, 2014 – Cycle Day 1. First natural cycle after failed FET.
March 5th, 2014 – Positive pregnancy test.
March 6th, 2014 – Test line appears lighter and began spotting.
March 7th, 2014 – Negative pregnancy test and bleeding. Chemical pregnancy confirmed. Cycle Day 1 of new cycle.
April 1st, 2014 – Cycle Day 1 of new cycle.
April 23rd, 2014 – 9 Days Past Ovulation (this is an estimate as I wasn’t tracking anything this cycle), decided to take a pregnancy test because I felt really tired and “off” – Faint Positive!
April 24th, 2014 – 10 Days Past Ovulation, took another test and the test line was way darker. BFP! Blood test confirmed pregnancy. Beta #1: 62
April 26th, 2014 – Beta: #2: 228. Doubling time of 23.95 hours.
April 26th – July 12th, 2014 – 6 week, 7 week, 9 week and NT Scan Ultrasounds were all good. MaterniT21/NIPT results were negative for Downs, Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13 and we found out we’re having a boy!
Due date: January 3rd, 2015
July 12th, 2014 – 15 Weeks Pregnant today!
After my miscarriage in March, I wrote this…
I’m sure we will have more losses before this journey is over, and in the end we may decide that donor eggs are the best option for us to have the family we want, but as of right now, I am not giving up on my eggs. I’m still very hopeful for the future and believe we will be blessed with our rainbow baby soon.
Today, I have gotten the furthest in pregnancy since I was pregnant with my son, Holdon in 2009-2010, and I am feeling so incredibly blessed. I’m also very scared every day that something will still go wrong, but my hope and my faith continue to pull me through, and I’m so grateful I never gave up!
December 16th, 2014 – Delivered our Miracle Boy via C-Section. Our beautiful boy, Archer, came into the world healthy and strong 3 weeks early when my water broke at 37 weeks.
March 2016 – Decided to unofficially try for a living sibling for Archer. We decided to not really actively try (no tracking or planning and we didn’t tell anyone), but not prevent and just see what happened.
For 3 months nothing. Then…
June 24th, 2016 – Discovered that I was pregnant. I was immediately really happy but also pretty scared.
June 24th – June 26, 2016 – Began to get a nice progression of darkening lines on home pregnancy tests (Wondfo and First Response Early Result). Hoped that this was a good sign.
June 27th, 2016 – Had a blood test to confirm. Beta came back at only 16. I realized this was not going to be a viable pregnancy. Took another HPT and the line was much lighter than it was 2 days before.
June 29th, 2016 – Didn’t bother with second beta because my home test was negative.
Sadly this latest pregnancy did not end well. I got my period a week later and only a few days past when it was due. I got that first positive test at only CD 20. I’m not sure when I ovulated because we were not tracking anything, but I must have ovulated really early that cycle because of how early I got that positive test. In hindsight, I really wish I hadn’t tested that early. The only reason I did is because I felt off in the way I always do in really early pregnancy, but if I hadn’t, I likely would have just thought I had a late period. Sigh… I wonder if I’ll learn my lesson next time. If there is a next time.
I have to say, it was really hard going through all that again, and yet I handled it much better than I have in the past. I guess, all my years of this have made me better equipped to deal with it, or maybe it’s because it all ended so quickly, I don’t know, but I knew we weren’t done just yet.
August 10th, 2016 – I met with my OB for a regular exam and PAP and discussed my chemical pregnancy from the cycle before with her. We also discussed the fact that my cycles were getting shorter and shorter and that it was hard to know when I was ovulating anymore. Before our miracle toddler, I had a very predictable 26 day cycle. I pretty much could pinpoint when I would ovulate even if I wasn’t tracking. This was no longer the case. I confided in my OB that I was worried that I was pre-menopausal given that I had DOR (Dimished Ovarian Reserve) and that my cycles were getting shorter and shorter. She advised me that while shorter cycles were a symptom of early pre-menopause, it didn’t mean I would go through actual menopause until my 50s like any other woman. This put my mind at ease, but given my history, she put in a requisition for blood work.
August 19th, 2016 – start of a new cycle. I had several things checked including my FSH and it was a staggering 22.9. It was 14.9 back in 2014 before I became pregnant with our miracle toddler and that was considered high. It had gone up a lot since then and 22.9 was really high. I was extremely worried that our chances of becoming pregnant again were really low, and if we did, it was extremely likely that it would mean my egg would be bad and we’d miscarry. But we tried that cycle anyway. We used OPKs and I had a strong positive on my OPK on CD 14 and I believe I ovulated on CD 15.
On 7 dpo, I felt crampy and tired. I took an early result Wondfo test the next morning at 8dpo and thought I saw a super faint line but dismissed it because I had received evap lines on these tests in previous cycles that looked exactly the same.
Apparently I had not learned my lesson about early testing, but I couldn’t help myself, I just felt like something was happening.
September 10th, 2016 – The next day (9dpo), I was out for lunch with some friends and about 20 minutes after eating, I felt really full and just off. I also had a terrible headache. So I went home and took another Wondfo. I had a box of First Response Early Result tests, but I was not using those until I had a real line on Wondfo. The Wondfos are about 20 cents a test, whereas the FRERs are much more expensive, so I was not using one unless I had reason to. I got another really faint line, but darker than the day before, so I thought, okay… maybe?
September 11th, 2016 (10 dpo) – took another Wondfo and it was definitely positive. It was still a light line but clearly there and darker than the previous day, so I dipped a FRER in the same urine sample and immediately a second line showed up and darker than the Wondfo. It was definite. I was pregnant again!
I was due to fly to Seattle the next morning really early for a girls trip with my high school bestie so I didn’t have time to even really process it. I told the hubby that night so I wouldn’t be leaving without telling him and then I went on my trip the next day. I packed both my Wondfos and my FRERS so I could track the progression over the next few days and off I went. Other than the daily testing which showed a nice progression of darkening lines, I tried to not think about it too much and have fun on my trip. It was difficult to ignore it entirely because I had a lot of really early symptoms especially the telltale throbbing headaches that I’ve had in previous pregnancies and extreme fatigue, but I truly did enjoy my time away, and because it was so early and I hadn’t had a chance to get caught up in betas or ultrasounds yet, I enjoyed the reassurance of the symptoms and just lived in the moment and celebrated being pregnant again with my dear friend. With an FSH of 22.9 at the start of the cycle, just being pregnant again was amazing.
September 15th, 2016 (14 dpo) – I returned from Seattle and went in for my first beta. It was 122. It was a solid number but I was a bit worried that it was a little low given that I was already 14 dpo. At any rate, it was only the first beta and it was really the next one and whether the number doubled that mattered so I tried really hard to not read too much into it.
September 17th, 2016 (16dpo) – Beta was 251. The numbers were doubling albiet just barely. My doctor asked me if I wanted to do a third beta and I declined. I didn’t want to get caught up in the numbers too much since I knew good betas didn’t necessarily mean a viable pregnancy, so we scheduled my first ultrasound and waited.
September 29th, 2016 (5 Weeks 6 Days) – We had our first ultrasound. It was inconclusive. We saw a gestational sac and a yolk sac and upon zooming in, a flickering something that turned out to be a fetal pole and heartbeat, but my doctor was unable to confirm at the time. So we left feeling hopeful but not really reassured. At 5 weeks 6 days it was not unusual to only see what we saw but a definitive scan with a strong heartbeat would have been been much more reassuring. Due to some scheduling issues, we were not able to get our next appointment until 3 weeks later. So again we waited.
October 25th, 2016 (9 Weeks 4 Days) – We saw a 9 week old baby measuring right on track with a strong heartbeat! This was an amazing appointment and a turning point for us with this pregnancy. We began to hope that this would be our second rainbow baby
November 3rd, 2016 – Had a phone appointment with a genetic counselor to discuss our screening options. We opted for the NIPT blood test again and the NT scan.
November 9th, 2016 – NIPT results came back negative for Downs Syndrome, Trisomy 13 and 18 and sex chromosomal abnormalities and we found out we’re having a girl!
November 14th, 2016 – NT scan. Measurement was .9 mm. Very low risk for Downs Syndrome. Just a formality at this point since we already confirmed a low risk of Downs from the NIPT.
December 23rd, 2016 – Anatomy scan at 18 weeks. Everything looked healthy and normal with baby girl and the pregnancy!
Today, as I write this update, I’m 29 weeks 3 days and in just 7 1/2 weeks we will deliver our baby girl via planned c-section at 37 weeks. Due to the classical c-section from the emergency delivery I had for my first son Holdon at 27 weeks, and then having my water break at 37 weeks with my miracle toddler Archer as well as protocol changes, my doctor wants me to deliver at just the full term point so I don’t go into labor on my own early and risk uterine rupture from the classical incision. So in less than 2 months we will be welcoming our second rainbow baby into this world. We cannot wait to meet our baby girl!
Prayers and hope she arrives safe and sound. I will update this page as this pregnancy continues.
I hope this TTC page gives someone else out there in the midst of their own TTC journey, hope that even after a long road and several complications along the way, you can become parents. It’s a different path for everyone and for some stopping is the only answer that makes sense for them, and while I admire and respect that decision, it just wasn’t an option I could accept. Our journey began nearly 8 years ago and after losing our first son, Holdon to HELLP Syndrome and severe prematurity and then going on to have several miscarriages afterward, we also welcomed our miracle boy and are soon to welcome our miracle girl. I cannot say it was easy or that we didn’t consider giving up several times along the way, but for us, we just couldn’t walk away from our dream of having a family and I can honestly say I’m so happy we didn’t. We got through this with a lot of faith and hope.