I met my husband Bill almost eight years ago when we were working for the same company. We fell in love and after getting married almost five years ago, we were thrilled to start our lives together and have a family.
Little did I know that starting a family would turn into a life-changing experience and four years of treatment.
After trying with no success, we booked an appointment with our OB. We did three IUI’s with no success. I wanted to seek further treatment and find out what the issue was. That is when I was introduced to the “infertility lingo.” If you’re not familiar, I will give you a rundown of some common terms: IUI (intrauterine insemination), IVF (in vitro fertilization), POF (premature ovarian failure), TTC (trying to conceive), and the elusive BFP (big fat positive, as in a positive pregnancy test).
Hearing that I had infertility and being introduced to a slew of acronyms was overwhelming, and I felt wholly unprepared. Wanting to educate myself, I started searching for videos on YouTube. While perusing YouTube channels and comment threads, I discovered I wasn’t alone. There was a community of women who had infertility just like me. After watching other channels, I decided to start my own and share my journey online. Now I have 5,000 subscribers to my channel and an endless level of support. Without the community and friends I have made through this social media outlet, I would never have gotten through everything staying as strong as I have.
After working with my OB, I was then referred to Dr. Eve Feinberg for infertility treatment. When I met Dr. Feinberg, I loved her. She didn’t beat around the bush, and she did everything she could to uncover a diagnosis and help us have a family. I trust her and I know she understands what I am going through.
But my diagnosis was difficult to hear.
I learned that I had poor ovarian reserve, and that my eggs were no longer viable. In order to have a baby, I would need to use donor egg.
At first I was broken. I felt like less of a woman because I couldn’t do what my body was supposed to do. But knowing that our overall goal was to be parents, we pushed on and kept going. As my diagnosis unfolded, I shared videos to my channel documenting my experience. Over time, a group of close friends emerged, but one stood out in particular.
Kelli is a mother of three who was adopted as a child, 28 years old (she was 26 when we met), and had just recently had an ablation after her last child because she had decided she was done having kids. She told me that her connection with her family was strong, and that genetics didn’t make or affect her family’s relationship. We discussed family and infertility, and our friendship progressed.
I found Kelli in the summer of 2012, while looking up a product review she did on YouTube. I commented on her video and she commented back. I then started watching her pregnancy vlogs as she was pregnant at the time I had found her. We then began messaging on Facebook, talking on FaceTime, and finally met in person for the first time in April 2013. We became very close. After a visit last summer, Kelli asked me and my husband something that shocked us — she asked me if I wanted to use her eggs to have a baby. At this point in our friendship we had met about four times in person, FaceTimed daily and become the best of friends. She lives two states away, but we drove to visit her and her family drove to visit us.
At this point I had three failed IUIs and two failed IVF cycles. At first, I was nervous to accept her offer. I couldn’t believe that someone had just offered me her eggs. After talking to Bill, we were eager to move forward. It's almost as if fate had brought us together via YouTube, as silly as that sounds.
To prepare for Kelli’s egg retrieval, we started syncing our cycles with birth control (oddly enough, they were already synced). After Kelli underwent donor evaluation testing, which includes psychological testing, blood testing, and a physical evaluation, we were excited when she passed the evaluation tests.
For the first time since my diagnosis, I started to feel hope.
Kelli began medication and monitoring, and was scheduled for her egg retrieval with Dr. Feinberg in July. The retrieval went well, and after fertilizing the eggs, we had five embryos. Five days later, we transferred two embryos to my uterus. Unfortunately, the other three embryos didn’t make the freeze.
The two week wait nearly killed me. We all waited with baited breath for the results. We were elated when the test came back with a BFP!
My family is so excited, especially since they met Kelli. Bill and I are forever grateful to Kelli and Dr. Feinberg for bringing the joy of a baby into our lives.
I am due on April 5, 2015, and I can’t wait to meet her!
If you are on your infertility journey, know that you can find support and a friend in me. I document the details of my journey online because I want to help bring a voice to the infertility community. I am so thankful that I documented my whole journey online. So many people write me and tell me how much I have inspired them to push on with their infertility journey and that in itself makes it all worth it. I want those struggling with infertility to know they are not alone. My online community brought me hope, support, friendship, and the baby of my dreams. I hope to give hope to others as well.
I can’t help but wonder though, if this was all part of Gods master plan. To bring Kelli into our lives and give us a life to love. We are forever grateful.