Our Pregnancy Journey

Growing up I always wanted to be a mom. I looked forward to the day I had my own family and had lots of babies around me all the time. The closer I got to college I still had no idea what career path I wanted to take, I just wanted to be a mom.  

I started dating my husband, Josh, when I was 17 years old. We got married when I was a senior in college at the age of 22 and moved across the country two months after I graduated. I had a degree in human development and got a job at a non-profit working as a case manager for individuals with developmental disabilities. My husband landed a job as an accountant (and later CPA). After a year of living in CO we bought our first house. We decided to officially try to grow our family. 

We knew there may be some difficulties getting pregnant, or at least we may have less times to try than most couples. PCOS often means not ovulating regularly. After 9 months of trying I had only ovulated once. Thankfully our insurance covered some fertility treatments. The only caveat was I had to see the doctor they selected, and there was only one option. He did some testing and started me on a pill to ovulate. It worked in that it made me ovulate and our doctor was optimistic I would be pregnant in no time. However,  nine months later and I still wasn’t pregnant, despite ovulating 1-3 eggs every single month with the treatments. We did 4 rounds of a pill and then 5 Intrauterine inseminations (IUI/artificial insemination). After the last IUI failed we had a consult with the doctor on what to do next. His suggestion: keep doing what we’re doing. I was only 25 and had lots of time he said; it’s bound to work one month. He didn’t perform IVF so he couldn’t help with that. But again, he thought my young age meant I had a lot of time and we didn’t need to move on to IVF quite yet.

What he failed to understand is that living a life doing fertility treatments is not a happy life. I may have only been 25, but we had spent the previous 18 months focusing on getting pregnant with no success. I had become angry and sad. Not to mention the side effects of the medications gave me horrible headaches. I remember talking to people and not even hearing what they were saying. It’s as though my body was present but my brain was not. I just wanted to be at home with my baby. My baby I wasn’t sure would ever come. 

Josh and I also dealt with each negative test differently, which ended up putting a strain on our marriage. He was sure it was going to work every month and when it didn’t he moved on to the next month. I did not work this way. For me every month treatment failed felt like I was getting further from ever being a mom. I did not tell anyone about our infertility so it was a very lonely time. 

Since our doctor had no answers we decided to get a second opinion. This also meant we would be paying all out of pocket for our new doctor. We had already paid thousands of dollars for the 9 failed treatments but we booked a consult with an amazing doctor who thought we would be great candidates for IVF. The cost would be $12k for IVF itself, $4k for medications, plus the consult and all testing they would perform which was around $2k.

When you switch fertility doctors they often want new tests done in their own labs. Of course our new doctor found a septum in my uterus that the previous doctor failed to notice. This meant surgery to have it removed and a three month recovery period before starting IVF. It also meant another $6,000 out of pocket for the surgery. 

In June of 2013 I was finally all clear to start medications. On June 18 we had our egg retrieval and got 12 eggs. The next day the embryologist called to say we had 10 fertilized embryos. And finally five days later we went in for our embryo transfer. 

Contrary to popular belief, the goal of IVF is to produce one healthy baby. Many times more embryos are transferred to try to increase the chance of success. In the days leading up to transfer we talked about whether we would transfer one or two. It wasn’t an easy decision for us. I prayed that when we went in for the transfer God would make it obvious to us what to do. As we were waiting for our transfer the embryologist came to talk to us about how many embryos we had. Two. We had two embryos waiting for us, and a few they were going to give another day to grow before freezing. The decision on whether to transfer one or two was clear as day. We transferred both embryos and went home to wait. The next day we received a call that the clinic was able to freeze just one of our remaining embryos (for $900 of course). One week later my blood test was positive. I was pregnant. 

On February 1, 2014 we delivered our twin boys, Jacob and Eli. And on that day I became a mom. The medications, the shots, the anxiety, the sadness, the surgeries, the money, the waiting was all worth it to be their mom. 

Courtney Bauerle