Monica was only 27 years old when she started trying for a baby. She spent three years trying naturally without success, even though she was fit and healthy. With no answers, she decided to do a round of IVF, where doctors were able to collect 12 eggs. Six of the eggs were mature but all embryo development was poor – deplorable really. After the first cycle, she was left thinking that it was her fault, as her husband’s sperm was fine. The doctors were no help either, stating: “…they do appreciate that the treatment itself does provide a lot of information about the underlying quality of the eggs within the ovaries.”
Monica took matters into her own hands. She started reading and listening to as much information about fertility health as possible, which wasn’t a lot back in 2012. She started seeing a Functional Medicine Practitioner and found a clinic that was offering (at the time) controversial immune testing. They did not undergo the testing initially, and after almost a year of clean eating, they were ready to start the next round of IVF. Even though the outcome of their second round was 100% better, with six healthy embryos, the results were that same – BFN.
They decided to go ahead with the immune testing, and there it was. The answer to her unexplained infertility: high natural killer (NK) cells. She had an overactive immune system which was attacking the embryos and not letting them implant. Monica took more time off and kept focused on her mental and physical health. This helped her stay immensely grateful after their first FET using immune-suppressing drugs was successful, but at her seven-week scan, there was no heartbeat.
Before her second FET, Monica went on the autoimmune protocol diet (AIP). With the support of immune-suppressing drugs, she finally got to hold her first son at the end of 2015, seven years after they first started TTC. During the time of the pregnancy and over the following year, she stuck closely to a diet that worked best for her and was confident that they were going to have a baby or two from their third and last FET. When she got a BFP, she wasn’t surprised. But when she started to miscarry just a week and a half later, she was emotionally crushed.
And that was that. Monica and her husband were done with medical assistance. They were not going to use contraception, so technically they would be naturally trying, but not charting, testing or obsessing! To their surprise, only two months after her miscarriage, she became pregnant naturally.
She 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 their family in 2018.