When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move,
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through,
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You,
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!
- Trust In You by Lauren Daigle
In December, we had elective surgery to remove my left fallopian tube. In January, we started our 2nd IVF cycle. In February, we found out that we were PREGNANT! At the end of February, we had to have another emergency surgery and unfortunately lost our precious Riley Patience to another ectopic pregnancy in my left fallopian tube. In March, we had to have a methotrexate injection after problems during the miscarriage process. It was a whirlwind of both joy and grief and many medical complications.
I slowly started feeling like myself again, and now am fully recovered. I was able to resume regular exercise again, which has been amazing.
Several people have asked us "Have you thought about trying naturally again?" or "Have you thought about adoption?" Before we ever decided to do IVF, we prayerfully considered all of the options to see where the Lord was leading us. Because of our strong values for life, we knew that if we were going to do IVF we would need to commit to each other to give any embryo that God allowed to form its best chance at life. Right now, we have 1 frozen embryo left in storage. So, us choosing to continue forward with at least 1 more IVF cycle was not very difficult. However, we worked hard with our doctors to see if there was anything else we could do to improve our chance of seeing this life develop on earth.
Our doctors consulted with other experts and did literature reviews to see what options we have going forward. We have an seriously elevated risk for future ectopics, even with IVF. Additionally, even though ALL of the external left fallopian tube has been removed, there is still a portion of the left fallopian tube that is inside the uterus that remains. The risk of another pregnancy again implanting in that remaining portion of tube is very high, which would be considered a cornual pregnancy and is quite dangerous. While the doctors considered removing that remaining portion, we all agreed that would cause more problems than it would solve.
Due to having the methotrexate shot, we needed to wait 3 months to allow my body to get rid of any remaining chemo, which we wouldn't want to interfere with the pregnancy. We elected to get extra imaging prior to another transfer that will allow the doctors to have a much more accurate marker for placement during the transfer. When we do another transfer, we are going to attempt to transfer it just a little bit lower this time, but without going too low and raising the risk of the embryo implanting in the cervix.
We will also be adding on EmbryoGlue to increase the likelihood that the embryo attaches where it is placed. Studies have found that this increases live birth rates, but not so astoundingly that they recommend it across the board. Primarily, because it does not solve the chance of a chromosomal abnormality in the embryo. However, while reducing ectopic pregnancies isn't EmbryoGlue's intended use, some initial studies have found that it has significantly reduced the rate of ectopic miscarriages (even with samples that have much higher than normal rates of ectopic pregnancies). We loved this as an option since it is very low cost add-on, non invasive, and has no associated risks.
After the transfer with EmbryoGlue, we will be more closely monitored and they will add in doing early ultrasounds to attempt to locate where the pregnancy is to be able to identify early on if the pregnancy is an ectopic or cornual pregnancy.
We are feeling hopeful for our next steps. We are relieved to have a break before we begin trying again. We are still so incredibly heartbroken. Our initial anger has subsided, and we are just so thankful for all the doctors on our team. They were there for us at every step, and we spoke or saw them daily for several weeks in a row. Difficult times show you how many people in your life are truly there to support you. I'm so grateful for all of the people in our lives who totally get it even when we don't have the words to explain it.