I started my journey with RMA in June of 2017 when I decided as a 41 year old single woman, that I wanted to start my own family. After consulting with Dr. Wolf, I decided to chose a donor and attempt artificial insemination. My first insemination was September 11, 2017 and October 19, 2017 was the first time I heard the most precious sound of my baby’s heartbeat! The first attempt was a success! And while bitter sweet, I was soon released from Dr. Wolf’s care (with a congratulatory baby spoon in hand) and transferred to my OBGYN to continue on my journey. This was going to be the best Thanksgiving where I was sharing the news with my parents and siblings. On November 15, 2017, is the day I realized I had miscarried. I remember that day like it was yesterday.
I had excessive cramping and bleeding that evening. I talked to my OBGYN and decided I would go to the office in the morning for an ultrasound, but I knew it was too late. My parents were on vacation so I asked my two sisters to meet me for dinner. As soon as they saw me, they knew. I fought back the tears to stay strong so my sisters wouldn’t worry about me. I will get through this! The next morning, it was confirmed. I had lost my first baby girl due to genetic issues.
I met with Dr. Wolf again in February 2018 to attempt my second insemination. I had my first ultrasound on March 20th where we saw the gestational and yolk sac. My due date would be November 15, 2018 – what are the odds of that date resurfacing! On March 29th the heartbeat was low. The next two weeks were critical. My ultrasound on April 5th confirmed yet again another miscarriage; no heartbeat. Again, I would fight back the tears with my sister by my side and walk through the office waiting room lobby as if nothing happened. You see the same people in that lobby week after week for all the blood tests and ultrasounds. “Keep your head held high, Dawn, don’t discourage any of the others with your unfortunate news! You’ll get through this!” I thought to myself. After further tests, confirmation I had lost my first baby boy due to genetic issues.
After additional consultation with Dr. Wolf, May 2018, I decided to do IVF. I wasn’t giving up hope yet. We decided four cycles of IVF would be my game plan. So, using the same donor, I began the process. Pills, self-injections, timing my cycle, tons of bloodwork, etc. This was not an easy process, especially being single, but my family support was amazing and got me through it all. But the time has come to wait for my fourth cycle and final egg retrieval – it has been a long journey for sure! And on November 15, 2018, I started my period and called the office the next morning. This was it. My journey was coming to an end. No matter what the results, I couldn’t physically or emotionally handle any more. After all four cycles, 38 eggs retrieved and genetic testing done, I had two healthy embryos!!!
On December 6, 2018, both embryos were transferred. On December 24th, Baby A and Baby B were visibly present on my first ultrasound. It was a Christmas miracle (with the help of Dr. Wolf and Dr. Miller)!
On July 18, 2019, Annabelle Francis and Justina Suzanne were born and my family is now complete! The girls are now going on 16 months old and healthy as ever!
I am sharing my story in hopes that families out there don’t give up. While November 15th holds mixed feelings for me, I know this is how my journey was supposed to play out. Looking back, I wish I took the time to hear other’s stories sitting in the lobby. I was fortunate enough to have my support system via my family. I’m sure there are individuals that don’t have that same support system. So take the time to share a smile or a tear with other patients. Many people in that lobby are going through the same ups and downs – it’s ok to share your story.
Thank you to Dr. Wolf for encouraging me not to give up and for the many hugs and encouraging words! Dr. Miller, you were the one that did the transfer of my two baby girls, so thank you! Even though I had multiple nurses along the way, Jaclyn was there from beginning to end, even teaching me how to do injections. And Tanya…. She will hold a special place in my heart, even though she may not know it. Through all the blood draws early in the morning to my DNC, she was always so kind and put my mind at ease. To all of you, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
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