If you haven’t followed our story for the past few years, it may seem odd to you that we have decided to use a surrogate to carry our baby. This isn’t how we wanted our story to end (or begin,) but after years of struggles, we have decided that this is our best option. One thing I do want to point out is that we will be using my egg and Dave’s sperm, so the baby will have our genetic make up. Back when surrogacy began, it meant that the woman carrying your baby, was, more than likely, using her egg, and the father’s sperm. So, the term for someone who carries the intended parent’s egg and sperm is called a gestational carrier. So, we are using a gestational carrier, but I say surrogate to keep things easy.
I became pregnant in 2014. We got to hear that wonderful heartbeat at 8 weeks, and I’ll never forget at our 10 week ultrasound she said, “Yes, the baby has grown, but unfortunately its heart has stopped.” I immediately had a D&C (surgery to remove the baby.) We did genetic testing on the baby to find out it was 46XX, and that made everything more real. A girl. It was obviously an emotional and a terrible time for us, but we assumed we would get pregnant easily after that because it only took six months of truly trying to conceive this baby. We were so optimistic, yet so naive. Unfortunately, the doctor didn’t get the placenta out, and worse, she didn’t realize that for another two months. At that time, the placenta had very much attached to me. So, surgery #2 happened to remove the placenta. Again, we thought, “voila, this is it, we will be pregnant in no time!” Sadly, I didn’t get a period again, and after basically turning into a “Google Girl,” I continually begged my fertility specialist to take another look because I thought I had Asherman’s Syndrome. She laughed, and said there was no way.
Asherman’s Syndrome is very serious, and the doctors don’t talk to you (well mine didn’t) about the risks of a D&C. Asherman’s typically occurs after extensive damage to the uterus. It is scar tissue, and without having it removed, it’s unlikely for an embryo to implant and for a woman to become pregnant. I want to shout to the world… “If you ever have to have a D&C, and I pray you don’t, please know the risks!!!!!!” There is a 25% chance of being diagnosed with Asherman’s Syndrome after a D&C, yet, so many people aren’t aware of this condition.
After four more months of fertility, absent periods, obsessions with Google and begging my doctor, we decided to get a second opinion. It was the best thing we ever did. We went to Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine and Dr. Debra Minjarez was absolutely phenomenal. She took one look in me, and immediately let us know that I was scarred and had a zero percent chance of conceiving a child. Here we had been spending thousands of dollars on fertility each month in Omaha, and it never would have worked. So, onto the THIRD surgery…. ahhh!!! Dr. Minjarez was able to remove all of the scarring, and said 95% of the time, the uterine lining will return. Sadly, we tried every crazy thing (tons of drugs, hyperbaric oxygen, acupuncture, vitamins, fertility yoga, fertility massages, shopping, lots of wine …hahah… the list goes on) possible to get my lining back, but no such luck.
After two years of fertility, we have learned, that either I will get pregnant with thin lining (it does happen… just not as likely, but there is always hope, right?!) or we will use a gestational carrier to bring Baby Klein to us. We transferred a normal, genetically tested embryo in October, and the embryo didn’t end up attaching to my thin lining. After that, I kept thinking, had I transferred that embryo to a woman who could carry, I would be holding my baby boy in 2016. I’m trying not to be so selfish and give our future babies the best chances of coming into this world. And, this so happens to be the best route.
Please reach out to me if you ever have questions about Asherman’s Syndrome, miscarriage or a D&C. I would love to spread awareness and have this happen less and less. Wow, this was a long post, and too many facts for my liking, but we want you to know why we chose this path. I have met many “thin lining friends,” and that has helped lessen all of the pain.
Here is a link to the Asherman’s Website