I’m really excited to share my second segment of Fearless Moms today! This is where I share stories from my fellow infertility sisters, in hopes of encouraging and uplifting another mom/mom-to-be who may be struggling with infertility. If you’re interested in being featured, email me a little snippet of your journey at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will contact you to get your full story and photos.
Today’s story is a bit different and super personal to me. This a story about a family I love and care about a lot! I met Austin when we were about 6 years old and we’ve been close friends ever since. In the past year or so, I also became close with his wife, Ashley, who underwent IVF at the same time as me. In this segment, I am going to let both Austin and Ashley share their journey with infertility. I guess we could call it, Fearless Parents!
Austin: After high school, I planned to attend college like any other senior in high school when they graduate. My story is a bit different. It was July 16, 2011 when I was diagnosed with stage 3B Testicular Cancer, just a month after starting at Bridgewater State University. School came to a quick stop and I had no choice other than to defer my very first semester. It wasn’t long after my diagnosis that I began surgery and chemotherapy and followed by another surgery. I was told I could possibly never have kids naturally. Being 18, you’re not quite thinking of a future family.
However, it was my family that made me aware of what risks treatment could do to my body. It came down to me deciding on saving sperm or taking the risk of treatment not doing any damage. Again being so young, this isn’t the first thought on your mind. So, I decided on banking my sperm. Then, November 29, 2011 I got the news that I was cancer free!
Fast forward four years after treatment, I met Ashley. It didn’t take long before I knew she was the one. Ashley understood and completely accepted my past. On November 30th 2016, we went to Brigham & Women’s in Boston. We met with a doctor to discuss our future plans. She advised that if we wanted children that we would have to do it by the end of 2017 because of my age and my health insurance would cover the IVF cycle. Our chances were 50/50 and the process was going to be a long road ahead. We eventually came to a decision to sit down with a fertility specialist and figure out where to begin.
Ashley continues: On March 5th it was our egg retrieval day, we were both so nervous and we didn’t really know what to expect. Of course, we did a lot of research and our doctor talked us through everything but it was still hard to actually go through it. At the time, we didn’t know anyone who went through infertility before so I joined a lot of Facebook groups to seek support and get some advice. After the egg retrieval we were told that we had 44 eggs retrieved! Now, we had to wait (yet again) to find out how many made it to the embryo stage. The next day, we got the call we’ve been waiting for. We were told that NINE made it to the final freeze! At this time, I was taking estrogen pills, three of them 2x a day along with some blood work in between.
On April 18th, I had an appointment to get some more blood work done and a baseline ultrasound to determine when we could have our transfer. Later that day, I got a call that our transfer is scheduled for that following Sunday! Austin and I were SO excited and again so nervous. Of course, we tried to be positive, but we did have doubts too. We didn’t know if this would work the first time or if it did work, would I make it full term or not. We just kept saying our prayers and putting our faith in the doctor’s hands. While we were waiting for our transfer day, I was still taking estrogen pills, and Crinone every day. I couldn’t wait to be done with all these meds.
The day has finally arrived! April 23rd 2017. A day that we will never forget. We woke up around 6am to head to Brigham & Women’s in Boston. We got into our room and the nurses are going over paperwork with us, giving us more information about the procedure and letting us know that we were in good hands. We went in did the transfer in less than 5 minutes and we were out. We waited until May 4th to find out if this all worked!! I can’t even begin to explain how happy/excited/nervous/proud we felt all in one.
Of course, I didn’t want to wait until May 4th, (even though it was only two days away). I was just bloated and so uncomfortable since my transfer. I wanted to know what was going on with my body. So, we decided to take a home pregnancy test. I waited for that extra line to show up…and it did!
From there, we scheduled our first ultrasound on May 1st. I was about 5 weeks 6 days. We got to see our little peanut for the first time and saw their little heart beating at 168 beats per minute. We were the happiest we’ve ever been. It was worth it ALL. All the waiting, the shots, the medicine, the driving, the doctor visits, all of it was worth it!
On July 19th, we found out we were having a Boy! Being pregnant was the best feeling. I was healthy, our baby boy was healthy and we were all so happy. I loved feeling him kick, hearing his heart beat, getting ultrasounds.
Our little boy Ashtin Martin Laffan came into this world on December 31st 2017. Our new year’s eve IVF baby and our whole world wrapped in one. He couldn’t be any more perfect. We didn’t know if we were going to be able to have this opportunity to become parents, but we are forever thankful God chose us to be Ashtin’s.
Click here to read my first segment on Fearless Moms!