Our Story..... By Aleisa Atkinson
My husband and I got married April 2014, 3 months before my 30 birthday. I have
always loved kids and wanted them since I was a little girl. Playing house was one
of my favorite pastimes. We were both in school so we didn’t start trying to conceive right away. I am the youngest of six children and though I am aware of people with infertility
issues my immediate family has had none. One year later I finished up my
bachelor’s degree and was ready to achieve my lifelong dream of motherhood.
We started trying in September and by Christmas had zero success. My
brother jokingly asked when we were finally going to bring a child to the
Christmas eve party and I broke down in tears. Everyone asked how long we had
been trying and encourage me that it wasn’t a big deal, because 6 months is Very
Well the next summer I began reading Taking Charge of your Infertility. I saw my
primary care physician and she suggested starting the ovulation kits. In August, I
bought a thermometer to test my basal body temp each day, did ovulation tests
regularly and began analyzing my cervical mucus. Once we hit the full year of
trying mark I found an OBGYN at Circle of Life Women’s Center who specializes in
infertility. We began running some preliminary tests and everything looked great.
I kept doing all the suggested things and we were consistently trying every time I
ovulated. I got a positive ovulation result each cycle but every one of them
ended with me in tears and bleeding. I never even was tempted to take a
pregnancy test because my body was like clockwork, my temperature would drop and I was still cycling every 30 days.
The doctor started me on Clomid to see if that would improve our results, I took it
for four months and we did two months timed intercourse followed by two IUI’s
through Circle Of Life. The one in February 2016 I had three viable follicles at my
ultrasound screening and the doctor warned us of having multiples. We went through with
the IUI anyway and by the end of the two week wait, when I still was pregnant, I then became completely devastated.
After that devastation, we took some time off to help me try and regain some sanity, and
save more money. I had taken my temperature every day for more than 6
months with nothing to show for it, but a broken heart. I then had a friend who
suggested hormone therapy. My friend knew a doctor in Draper who had helped
her to stay pregnant, after multiple miscarriages, by regulating hormone levels. We waited until September to visit this doctor. After a lot of blood work and tests, they
ended up diagnosing me with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I got on thyroid
medicine and also took several other supplements that the doctor felt would help me. I hoped and prayed this was our answer and that we would get pregnant right away.
Several months passed away and though I started to get more energy and lose weight
nothing about my fertility seemed to be any better.
We reached out again for help through a reproductive endocrinologist and visited
with him in March 2018. I came prepared with over 2 ½ years’ worth of my reproductive history. He reviewed some of my history and put together a “treatment” plan for us. I felt
like it wasn’t very personalized and that the doctor was not listening to my concerns, but he is the expert not me. Our first IUI attempt was in May, they told me to come in on day 13 even though my history shows my ovulation earlier around day 10-11. I was
worried about coming in too late, but they assured me that if I ovulated sooner I
could call and come in faster. I got a positive test during the weekend, but couldn’t
get a hold of anyone. Monday we rushed in to the office to do the IUI, a nurse was going to
do the procedure not the doctor. I told her I ovulated and she said she couldn’t
tell. The nurse proceeded and implanted the sperm anyway, and then had me do some blood work to see if I actually ovulated. I went back to the office a couple days later, both tests confirmed I had ovulated and the procedure, failed.
In June we tried again, but this time with an earlier ovulation date, I was ovulating on the weekend so we had to drive further to another clinic with Saturday hours. When we got there the person doing the procedure couldn’t find my cervix, she tried so long and even
tried to get someone to help her. In the end, they said they placed the semen.
This was my fourth IUI and the only one that hurt. I experienced cramps and was in minor pain all day. After this one failed, I refused to go back to that clinic and I told my
husband I wanted to move on to IVF.
We got on a waiting list with another clinic and had an appointment for
December 2018. A friend who also went to see this doctor, was able to pull some
strings and she got us a consultation in September 2018. We decided to try one
more IUI, but couldn’t in October. November I only had one follicle and the
nurse wasn’t even 100% sure it was a follicle, she thought it might be a cyst. After
my next cycle started we did a baseline ultrasound and then proceeded to
prepare for an IUI. We did an IUI the beginning of December and found out a
week before Christmas it failed. Then Christmas day my sister in law announced
that she was 6 weeks pregnant with her boyfriend’s baby, I was completely
January came and we did an IVF consultation. We began prepping for retrieval and
planned to do a frozen embryo transfer. Our IVF process went through pretty
smoothly. We were able to have 11 follicles retrieved, ten of them were mature
and fertilized. Half of them made it to day five and were able to be frozen. It
was a stressful time as my grandmother passed away two weeks before retrieval
and the day before I started my prep. But we were so glad to have five chances
for children. We waited for my body to heal and for me to complete a work trip,
then we started prepping for transfer in April. We went in for the baseline ultrasound
and everything looked great to proceed. Our first transfer was May 16, 2019
and I went in for blood work the Tuesday after Memorial Day.
When we got the call that afternoon that I was pregnant I was in complete and
utter shock. My number was on the low side so she scheduled a follow-up blood
test for Thursday. Thursday came, we did the blood work and my numbers had
increased. Friday, I took a pregnancy test for the first time after nearly four years
of trying and it was positive. My pregnancy and delivery were almost picture
perfect. Our son and first child was born Saturday Feb 1, 2020. He is now almost
five months old, and I still do not have a “reason” for why I couldn’t’ get pregnant or
why we had to do IVF. As of today, we have one PERFECT son and four fertilized
embryos waiting for us. We hope to have 2-4 more children, but will see what life
has in store.