feature post: coming home empty-wombed: our final infertility journey

This week’s feature post is a story about endings. About realizing when part, or all, of your fertility journey is coming to an end. Casey, of Chances Our , writes about her long journey of infertility, diagnosis of translocation (click here for some science on what translocation is), and the day it all ended.

Translocation, the type Casey has, causes recurrent miscarriages or results in a baby that would die soon after birth. It means the majority of her eggs are not viable. The only way to know is to undergo IVF (in vitro fertilization) and have the embryos tested for the disorder. Casey had undergone IVF prior to testing for translocation, and had 6 frozen embryos. At the time of her diagnosis they were told it was not possible to test those already frozen embryos, as they had been allowed to grow to Day 5, and the test had to be done at Day 3.

Three years went by and my husband and I continued along an arduous journey. We
had two more IVFs done, resulting in 28 biopsied embryos. We also had one
naturally occurring pregnancy. All of the biopsied embryos had the translocation
and were not viable, and the naturally occurring pregnancy resulted in my fourth
miscarriage. We decided that we were done with IVF treatments. Now we only had
the matter of our six frozen embryos to figure out.

Casey and her husband then were able to find a clinic doing cutting edge genetics work, including testing Day 5 embryos for this disorder:

The process was not going to be easy. I had to prepare for an embryo transfer
just in case there was a viable embryo after testing. Since I would be doing the
transfer in Chicago, but preparing for the transfer here in New York, I had to
work carefully with both teams of fertility specialists and make sure they were
always on the same page. And we had to ship our embryos from New York to
Chicago, which was scary and traumatizing. Talk about a fragile package.

And this is where I want to write that it all worked out, there was a viable embryo and their dream came true. But I can’t write that, and neither can Casey. I know what it’s like to come home “empty wombed.” But I don’t know what it’s like to know that this time, this time it’s forever. Sure, there are ‘miracles’, but there is also that moment when you have to say, it’s over. You have to let go, and really mean it and know it.

Casey shares in her post how sad that is, how the grieving process is not short or easy. But she also shares that,

I also felt immediately grateful and relieved to be officially done with my
journey with infertility treatments. I feel a lot lighter knowing that I am done
with tests, shots, doctor appointments, arguing with insurance companies,
dealing with pharmacies, surgical procedures and just feeling like my body is
not mine.

I hope you’ll read Casey’s post, Coming Home Empty-wombed: Our Final Infertility Journey, read about her fertility journey and share your thoughts and support. As always comments here are closed so you can comment on Casey’s blog.

*****

Casey, in her own words: My personal journey as an infertility survivor, battling endometriosis, recurrent pregnancy loss and a balanced translocation. Trying to help others on their journey.

*****

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  1. […] of knowing your fertility journey is over. How deeply sad that can be, yet also freeing. ”Coming home empty-wombed” shares Casey’s long and arduous journey of struggling with a diagnosis of […]

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