My fertility journey started 15 years ago when I came to the United States after marrying my husband in my country, Colombia. I wanted to get pregnant right away. After a little more than a year of trying unsuccessfully, I grew worried. My husband already had a cute little girl from a previous relationship.
My OB/GYN put me on clomid for two months, but nothing happened. I felt very depressed, but my husband always supported me. After a series of blood tests, all came back normal, and my hormone levels were amazing. I always had very steady and exact periods, so all seemed OK.
After ordering an hysterosalpingogram, we were told that both of my tubes were blocked. I couldn’t get pregnant because my eggs could not travel from my tubes to the uterus. I left that office devastated, crying non-stop. My husband calmed me down and told me to look on the bright side – that there was still hope of having a baby. IVF became our only choice.
We went to see the RE in November 2004. Everything went smoothly during the first cycle, and they retrieved 34 eggs, 14 of which fertilized. We transferred four. One of those is now my 15-year-old Eliyah.
In 2009, my second cycle was canceled due to a mistake in the clinic. We did a third cycle at no charge and decided to do chromosomal testing. We had five blastocysts, but the tests found out that one had chromosomal issues, so we transferred the remaining four. One was slower to develop, and in the end, only this one attached and developed into a pregnancy.
My pregnancy was good all the way. Everything was normal. But no one knew that I was developing a blood clotting problem. At 39 weeks, three days before my due date, my Isabelle died in my womb due to a blood clot in the umbilical cord.
Stillbirth was a devastating event in my life. I had to deliver her anyway. I felt guilty for what had happened. I felt so empty that I did not even wait three months before going for round four of IVF. I did get a positive test, but I guess from the sadness of my stillbirth baby girl, the stress and the fear all combined with other personal things, I miscarried at seven weeks.
In September 2012, we started another round of IVF, our fifth and last cycle. It would be our last try to bring a sibling to our daughter, Eliyah. During this cycle I shifted my thoughts and decided to take things easy. I was more relaxed. I got a positive pregnancy test, and today she is our seven-year-old Maya. For strong reasons, I feel that Maya is our Isabelle’s soul back in a little different body.
I can’t say that infertility and IVF were an easy road for me, but it was all worth it. I would do it again if that means becoming a mom. It helped me to find my passion which is what I do today – help others walking the same path to feel supported and loved. It was a process of self-discovery for me, and I am grateful for that. It also inspired me to write my book and become a fertility coach and advocate.
That’s how my pain became my purpose.