We are Candice & Tristan from Fort McMurray, Alberta who have been through many ups and downs since 2015 when it comes to infertility but we still haven’t given up. While our story doesn’t end with a pregnancy, our journey hasn’t ended yet.
Our journey started in late June, 2015 when we knew my cycle was late and I was feeling very fatigued; but the question was always, “Is it my fibromyalgia or are we lucky enough to be pregnant?”
Our very first pregnancy test came back positive, along with the other 5 that my husband made me take because we were in such shock, but so excited. The trouble was we were flying out to Newfoundland on the redeye to get married at home with family & friends the same night of the positive test, so we had no time to see a doctor before leaving. Little did we know that our excitement would turn into complete heartbreak one week after getting married. Our first pregnancy loss ended in a D&C, never knowing there would be more losses to come.
July, 2015 is when our lives as husband and wife began, but our lives as the couple who would struggle with becoming parents also began, and we all know that as soon as you get married, people start asking when the baby is coming.
From 2015 to 2018 we experienced 5 pregnancy losses; one of those being an ectopic that really changed our lives and also our outlook on becoming parents. My ectopic pregnancy ruptured, causing severe internal bleeding and lots of heartache. The moment I saw my husband in tears over not knowing if I would be alive the next day or not, was not worth having a baby over.
The ectopic scare changed everything for us; it changed in the sense that we knew from this moment forward, trying on our own was no longer an option. This led to many hard discussions, of do we try other options like adoption or IVF or do we give up? And, nope we didn’t give up, we tried other options.
In 2017, we tried our first in vitro fertilization treatment (IVF) cycle with Effortless IVF in Calgary, where we ended up with two frozen embryos and neither of them implanted, and once again experienced more sorrow and heartbreak. Our second option then came into place when we attended an adoption seminar in Edmonton, where we realized this option wasn’t for us at this time in our lives, but so happy that it is an option available if we ever change our minds. We left the seminar sharing the same thoughts and also let it leave our minds. We also let the word pregnancy leave our minds and we decided to enjoy life and give ourselves a little break from the mental and emotional stress of trying to conceive. Until one day, we both agreed we were ready and wanted to try IVF again.
In July of 2018, we had our first appointment with the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine (PCRM) in Edmonton, where once again we were diagnosed with unexplained infertility and that no test could explain our miscarriages and past failed treatment attempts. The amount of blood work, ultrasounds and tears and to have no answer, in our eyes is not acceptable. Unexplained infertility giving no answers, is by far the hardest thing to cope with; most days I would love to hear that there was something wrong, instead of sorry Mrs. Gould, but we can’t find anything wrong. Our fertility doctors told us they could not see any reason for us not being able to conceive a baby and achieve our happily-ever-after family. So we decided to pursue another IVF treatment cycle. In August we were told that we could start our medications in September, but were delayed because of treatment wait times. So when my next cycle came in October I called back again to find out we would start our IVF treatment in December (the waiting game is so hard) and we packed up our things and went to Edmonton for four weeks. During this round of IVF treatment, we had twenty eggs retrieved which resulted in six embryos. It was the hardest four weeks; I was so sick, so swollen and so hormonal but I didn’t give up. We did a fresh transfer which ended in a loss, and we now have five frozen embryos left.
One month after our January loss, I had to complete a sonohysterogram test to find out that I now need to have a hysteroscopy and also an endometrial biopsy before proceeding with another transfer, to determine if the transfer can go ahead. The waiting game hasn’t ended, and as a couple we don’t know how much more waiting we can handle. But with the help of PCRM, family, friends and each other we are able to keep going.
PCRM is amazing, I felt like I could cry and they understood, I didn’t feel like I was just a number. And, I was also honoured to have met other amazing strong woman with similar journeys.
If there is anything that anyone can take away from this, I want all couples to know that they are not alone. This isn’t easy, there are many days I cry myself to sleep, but I wake up with a smile and keep going. It’s okay to feel ashamed, it’s okay to feel alone, it’s okay to feel mad and it’s definitely okay to be upset when seeing pregnancy announcements on social media. I don’t attend baby showers sometimes as sometimes it’s like no one understands your journey, except you. But don’t give up and make sure to always lean on each other, as each other is all you need right now.