I was only 27 years old when I started trying for a baby. I spent three years naturally trying without success, even though I was fit, healthy, and had all the working parts. With no answers, I was sent to do a round of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). They collected 12 eggs, six eggs mature enough to fertilize, but all embryo development was poor – deplorable really. I was left thinking that it was my fault, as my husband’s sperm was fine. The doctors were no help, stating: “…they do appreciate that the treatment itself does provide a lot of information about the underlining quality of the eggs within the ovaries.”
I took matters into my own hands. I started reading and listening to as much information about fertility health as possible, which wasn’t a lot back in 2012. I started seeing a Functional Medicine Practitioner and found a clinic that was offering (at the time) controversial immune testing. We got talked out of doing the testing, as the doctors didn’t think I fit the mold. After almost a year of clean eating, we were ready to start the next round of IVF. Even though the outcome of our second round was 100% better, with six healthy embryos, the results were the same – BFN.
We did the immune testing, aka Chicago Testing. And there it was, the answer to my unexplained infertility: High Natural Killer Cells. I had an overactive immune system, which was attacking the embryos and not letting them implant. I took more time off and stayed focused on my mental and physical health. This helped me stay immensely grateful after our first Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) using immune-suppressing drugs was successful, but at my seven-week scan, there was no heartbeat.
Before my second FET, I went on the Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP). With the support of immune-suppressing drugs, I finally got to hold my first son at the end of 2015, seven years after we first started TTC. During the time of the pregnancy and over the following year, I stuck closely to a diet that worked best for me and was confident that we were going to have a baby or two from our third and last FET. When I got a BFP, I wasn’t surprised. So when I started to miscarry just a week and a half later, I was emotionally crushed.
And that was that. We were done with medical assistance. We were not going to use contraception, so technically we were naturally trying, but not charting, testing or obsessing! To our surprise, only two months after my miscarriage, I became pregnant naturally. I said, “I worked so hard on my diet and lifestyle, with the knowledge that reversing my NK Cells was doable and getting pregnant was possible. But not this soon, no way! You only hear about this kind of stuff happening from your friend, who knows someone who knows someone…..” Baby boy number two entered our family in 2018.
Monica C., Hawaii