We recently asked someone who had been through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatments to tell us what it was like to better understand what our clients have been through or what they will go through when they are in our office for legal assistance with either their surrogacy or their egg, sperm, or embryo donation agreement. The following is a summary of her story:
When I first started IVF, I was under the impression that it was guaranteed we would hold a baby at the end of the process. I did the research; I saw the success rates. Anytime I told someone I was doing IVF, they congratulated me as if it was already guaranteed to work.
Unfortunately, that was not the case for me. Although IVF did work, and our transfer was successful. I was unable to bring home our supposed rainbow baby.
We started our first IVF cycle in early 2019 before the world stopped. It was so much more complex than I realized. I knew it was a significant process, but I did not understand the toll it would take on my body and emotions. The medications were intense. The shots were never-ending. The hurry up and wait was all-encompassing.
They retrieved 30 eggs, but only four were successfully fertilized. (FOUR out of 30?! What??) After the retrieval, I got Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), where my ovaries ballooned to the size of grapefruits. It was excruciating, and nobody warned me of this (apparently unlikely) outcome.
Despite these struggles, I was convinced that this was all worth it, and at the end of this process, I would be holding my rainbow baby.
The transfer was straightforward and even successful. I was officially pregnant! The process of IVF is technically complete after 12 weeks of pregnancy. Your clinic will “graduate” you and move you to your regular ob-gyn for the remainder of your pregnancy.
Once we graduated, I was convinced that the rest of the pregnancy would be a breeze. The hard part was over (or so I thought).
I was constantly nauseous (which I knew was expected), and I had to pee all the time (which I also knew was expected). Unfortunately, I would learn that that urge to pee constantly was an underlying UTI never treated. This untreated UTI would be the demise of my rainbow baby.
I was 19 weeks pregnant and had been diagnosed with PProm (essentially, my amniotic sac ruptured), and I would go into labor at 23 weeks. I would deliver a beautiful baby boy who would hold on long enough to steal my heart.
We later discovered an untreated UTI caused the PProm—a completely treatable UTI. Because my mind was already overwhelmed with everything we went thru from IVF, I did not think to research or prepare for everything that could go wrong during a normal pregnancy.
I told you from the beginning I was convinced that IVF would guarantee a baby. So I didn’t want to worry about everything that could go wrong because I wanted to believe that IVF would bypass all the bad stuff.
I was wrong.
If you are starting your IVF or surrogacy journey, call a law firm such as Surratt Law Practice that is experienced in Assisted Reproduction law. We seek to understand our client’s needs based on their experiences.