I was 34 at the time of my first IVF. To this day (and I’m 40), I don’t understand why I couldn’t get pregnant in those first years of trying. My husband had been diagnosed with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia which meant we could only get pregnant through assisted reproduction and by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Regardless of the severity of his diagnosis, we have undertaken this procedure convinced of success. My age was not an issue, I was healthy and my doctor at the time, as well as all others after him, would start the ovarian stimulation betting on success. Each time, year after year, they would lose that bet. I turned out to be their great professional disappointment because the result was always, unmistakably and with each attempt a negative one. Beta HCG results were always zero. With time, their optimism had died out and I got used to my results. I believe this happened after my third unsuccessful stimulation, several attempts of frozen embryo transfers and after several natural cycle attempts.
With time, I became poor responder. Nobody could figure out why my inseminated eggs were slow to develop, why there’s no blastocyst or why my Beta HCG results kept turning back negative. Was it a male or a female factor causing this? Time passed in uncertainty and with us not knowing where the problem lies. I was at my 6th stimulation and my 13th attempt, and at the time I was 39. After the negative result I told my husband, firmly and resolutely, that I am done with stimulation. I believe I would have stopped trying completely had he not insisted we tried one more time. I agreed but demanded this time we went for a donated egg. We have decided to once again try our luck, this time in a clinic in Prague where we set out to a springtime adventure, to our intimate spring in Prague.
Several months after the first consultations in Prague I received an email informing us they have found an egg donor. The preparation had begun. We were waiting for a egg retrieval of the donior. Finally, we were on a plane to Prague. As we were waiting for the embryo transfer we have indulged in hedonism – going to bars and restaurants, being exhilarated over and over with the magical beauty of the city. Four days after aspiration, it was time for an embryo transfer. Five superb embryos were waiting. Two were transferred, three remained frozen. It was difficult to leave Prague few days after the transfer.
Waiting for this beta HCG test results was dancing on the verge of endurance, testing the limits of self-control. And then the day came! I had gone to draw blood and hours of “dying” slowly were ahead of us. I couldn’t wait and I called the lab before it was time, my voice shaking as I spelled out my name. The voice on the other side told me an incredibly high number. I repeated my question, checking to make sure these were really my results because I couldn’t believe my ears. Getting pregnant became the most difficult task after all those years of failures, as if I was chasing dreams or seeing things that were not there. The voice on the other side repeated the number and said: “You’re pregnant!”
And then slowly, as my belly was growing, I started believing in my own pregnancy. I started believing in happy endings.