Fertility Journey: Erin Boelhower

 

My husband and I tried to get pregnant for one year before going to see my OB. After an examination by my doctor, I learned that not only did I have PCOS, but that my left fallopian tube had also (somehow) become infected, died, and needed to be surgically removed via laparoscopy surgery. After that, we tried Clomid for 3 months – this had me really excited. I had so many friends around me that had success while on Clomid that I thought for sure this would be it – wrong again. We moved onto IUI, had three failed cycles, and jumped into IVF. In Nov. 2014, we had our first embryo transfer. 9 days after transfer we found out that we were pregnant, for the first time. We were both beyond ecstatic and tears streamed down our faces. Our dreams came shattering down on us a few weeks later when we learned at our first ultrasound that our baby didn’t have a heartbeat. It was devastating and soul crushing. Since then, we have done 7 more embryo transfers. 3 have ended in miscarriages, 3 have been failed attempts (BFNs) & our most recent IVF transfer (transfer #8) we are currently waiting to see if it worked. In total, since 2014, we have done 4 egg retrievals and 8 transfers. 


We’ve tried it ALL – no caffeine, acupuncture, eating pineapple core for five days starting on day of transfer, eating McDonald’s french fries after transfer, etc – you name it, we’ve tried it! Most recently, I started a weight loss journey and have lost 50lbs to date. I’m also seeing a reproductive immunologist (Dr. Kwak Kim) who discovered I have heightened Natural Killer Cells and high levels of inflammation in my body. Basically – my body thinks the fetus is foreign and kills it off. Since going gluten free and being on a steroid, we have gotten these levels back in the normal range.

Very early in our journey, we had decided to go public with our struggle. We didn’t know much about what we were about to embark on, nor did we know anyone who did IVF (at least not publicly) & we really wanted to raise awareness. Sharing our journey is the best thing we have ever done. It has allowed us to be surrounded by thousands of people – family, friends, and strangers – that are praying for us, cheering us on, and want nothing but the best for us. It helped me feel not so alone in our struggle. I’ve also connected with so many other women struggling with infertility through social media and that has helped me immensely.

This journey isn’t easy. There are times you’re going to want to give up, pull your hair out, and not get out of bed. But what is important is that at the end of the day, you get out of bed and keep going. Surround yourself with positive people & others that understand what you’re going through. Know that the end result to this nightmare will be one of the most beautiful, rewarding, and extraordinary things that will EVER happen in your life. I promise, you have the strength in you to keep going. You are WARRIORS. Never forget that.

Erin Boelhower

Follow Erin on Instagram: @journeytothree_ivf