Here is Part 1 (if you missed it) for a rollercoaster ride of infertility. What a heartbreaking journey with a miraculous ending. Thank you Karmann for sharing your story with us….
I met with Dr. Sher that afternoon, and after I told him that I had had 8 miscarriages – all at 5 weeks – he didn’t even have to read over my medical records to know that I had Natural Killer Cells and matching DQ-alpha genotypes. He then asked how long it had been since I had gotten pregnant. I told him almost three years. He then proceeded to tell me why. I started crying, because this was the first time that I had an answer to that question. He explained that my body no longer allowed me to get pregnant. He sat with me for more than an hour and half, and answered everything for me. I left feeling so validated, so loved, and so excited that there was HOPE and there was a WAY to be a mom.
The way to go about it was overwhelming since the BEST option would be IVF and we didn’t have the means or insurance to cover it. I was sold and ready to do whatever was needed, but my husband, being the more rational thinker in the relationship, had a harder time working through the cost and low odds of success.
I gave him time to process the whole situation and it wasn’t until June of 2012 that we stepped back into Dr. Sher’s office to talk about things all over again. Our insurance covered 7 IUI’s so we went back hoping we could do that first before going to the IVF. Dr. Sher went over the reality of that and assured us that he would support whatever decision we made, but reiterated that the BEST way would be IVF.
He then told us about the INCIID IVF Scholarship program and we submitted our application as soon as we could. We were selected for the scholarship. Part of INCIID’s program is helping them raise awareness and fund raising. We helped INCIID raise $3500 dollars through a Dessert Event. We had our friends and family came from all over to donate to help us reach our goal of $3500 dollars. We had an amazing turn out and thanks to the event and those who sent money from all over we raised $5200 dollars for INCIID. In October 2012 we were beyond elated when we found out that we had been awarded a scholarship for free IVF treatment and matched with Dr. Sher, who donates several cycles a year to the INCIID program. I got pregnant, but my 2nd beta did not progress quickly enough, and the pregnancy did not go forward. Dr. Sher was certain that it was not the Natural Killer Cell problem, and wanted to change the dose of medications to try to improve my egg quality.
I cycled again in March of 2013 with the different medication protocol, and we ended up with 7 grade 1 embryos. We transferred one embryo and had six left to freeze. After 8 1/2 years of trying, 9 miscarriages, and going from doctor to doctor, we found our Angel here on earth!!! Dr. Sher has changed our lives forever! It has been a long and hard road but having it end with the Sher Institute was PERFECT!!!! Even though I got pregnant the road to have a healthy baby was still a long ways out. I had to do interlipid infusions every 2 weeks till 28 weeks gestation. I had an emergency cerclage put in at 14 weeks as our little one was trying to come too early. My high risk doctor told me that he watches his IVF patient’s cervix very carefully since he has noticed a trend of the cervix opening due to the IVF procedures. How thankful we were for him! I also have the blood clotting disorder so I was on Lovenox up to 6 weeks postpartum. I had to be induced and it was a 26 hour labor. It was intense and long but our little baby’s heart rate never wavered.
We didn’t know what we were having. We wanted it to be a surprise! Hearing my husband tell me, “it’s a boy” will be a moment I will remember forever! Karl Kai was born November 21st, 2013. We named him Karl after his dad, grandfather, and great grandfather but he goes by Kai. Kai means: ocean, strong, unbreakable, and triumphant! Kai is all of those and more! Its hard to believe that he will be 3 in November! He is the light of our life! He is our miracle He is such a happy boy!
When Kai was 9 months old I felt very strongly that we were to have another baby. The toll of the whole process weighed heavy on me but I couldn’t shake the feeling. After discussing it with Ryan and doing a lot of prayer we decided that it was the right thing to do. We sat with Dr. Sher and discussed the options and the percentage it would be for it to even work. We have an 11% chance. Even though we both knew that we both felt we needed to go forward. I did the October cycle and became pregnant after transferring one of our frozen eggs. At 6 weeks I started to bleed and I lost the baby. I was sad but felt carried. I had went forward in faith knowing I was suppose to try and even though it didn’t work I knew it was ok. I knew we were supposed to try again though. So we signed up for the March Cycle to transfer another frozen egg. I got pregnant but right away my levels showed concern. They were going up but did not double like they should. At 6 weeks the baby was there but there was no heartbeat. We were leaving for a few weeks and we scheduled for another ultrasound when I got back. My next ultrasound I should have been 9 weeks and I was still only showing 6 weeks with no heartbeat. At that point Dr. Sher wanted to do a D&C right away. I opted to do it without drugs. As I laid there and endured the D&C I felt so carried and so loved. I was thankful that Dr. Sher was able to remove the baby and I didn’t have to do the miscarriage process once again at my home. I really don’t think I could of endured having the baby pass and see it in my pants another time. A few weeks later I received a phone call that they had done genetic testing on the baby and it was a GIRL. She had trisomny 16, which is a chromosomal defect that is very common, and most women lose the baby within the first 3 months of their pregnancy. It was a tender mercy from my Heavenly Father. For once it wasn’t my autoimmune problem but it was just an egg that didn’t form correctly. At that moment I knew that I needed to try again and that a little girl was trying to come.
We set up for the October cycle again and this time my levels were great and on November 7, 2015 we heard a strong heartbeat. We opted to find out again but I knew all along that she was a GIRL. I knew the same little spirit that had tried coming twice before was coming in the right egg at the right time. On June 15, 2016 my big girl weighing 9’7 entered into the world. She made it safe and she was perfect in every way. Kamryn adds a sweetness to our family and we feel so blessed to have a boy and a girl.
Being parents has been the hardest, greatest, most rewarding job! They both have taught us so much and we are better people because of them! I love being a mom! It is everything and more than I could have ever imagined. I have tried to share our story to as many people that I can! I want others to know that there is ALWAYS Hope! Our situation with the Auto Immune Disorder is becoming more and more common. It is becoming the answer for some couples that used to be called, “unexplained fertility”. We are eternally grateful for Dr. Sher! We would not be parents if it wasn’t for him. We would not have these sweet, happy, adorable little miracles in our lives!