Our Unconventional Infertility Story

by: Kimberly Smith

After the birth of my oldest daughter at age 23, I decided to have my tubes tied. I always wanted a big family, but, at 23, I had two small children, no savings, and was just starting my career in education.  I made the decision that most young mothers in my situation would.  The decision to have my tubes tied would become one of the biggest and most costly regrets of my life.

At the age of 31, I found myself a divorced mom of 2 young children.  On September 4, 2009, I met the love of my life.  Tray was 35 and, having never been married, had no children of his own.  There’s nothing like love, happiness, stability, and security to bring back the desire to add to your family. We were married the following July and immediately scheduled an appointment with a fertility specialist about tubal reversal.  I had done a lot of research on tubal ligation and reversal procedures, and felt extremely confident in our doctor and this method of trying to concieve.  The surgery itself was outpatient and cost just under $8000, and our chance of pregnancy success was about 80%.  It was a no-brainer decision, and we proceeded pretty quickly. The surgery was deemed to be a success. For the next 15 months, I charted ovulation and consulted every website known to man on how to increase my chances of pregnancy.  Every month was a complete emotional breakdown of negative pregnancy tests and crushed hopes. Out of desperation, we scheduled an appointment with Dr. Fry at Lifespring in Bentonville.  She immediately scheduled a hysteriogram to check the viability of my tubes, after which we received another devastating blow–both tubes were completely blocked. That was utterly devastating. I was angry, distraught, hopeless… you name it. My emotions ran the gamut.

At that point, we were told that our only option would be IVF treatment. IVF is not only a tough rollercoaster, physically and emotionally, but is also extremely costly.  One IVF cycle costs between $12,000-15,000. It meant many miles of travel, blood draws, ultrasounds, mass amounts of hormone injections, two outpatient surgeries, and then MAYBE you will get pregnant.  We were okay with this, though, because the desire to have a child was more important than anything that we would have to go up against.  It was still scary, however. It took every bit of financial finagling to finance the first treatment, and we had all our eggs, no pun intended, in that basket.  We just knew that it was a done deal. We did successfully end up pregnant, but the pregnancy miscarried at just 6 weeks — another devastating blow.  Not only was it a blow to us, but it was a blow to my two children and our families. We were just done.  Our marraige was suffering, our jobs were suffering, our financial reserves were gone, and our emotional stability was rocky at best.  We had to let it go, and, for just about a year, we did just that.

We stopped talking about it. I think we were both scared to bring it up to each other for fear of making the other person break down.  I couldn’t stand being around other pregnant women, and I was constantly reminded that I already had two wonderful and healthy children, and I should just be happy with that — how awful to say that to someone!

One year later, I was attending a church event and visiting with a friend who had recently had a baby, and I gave in to holding her. That was all it took for me to look at Tray and start crying. We found out that both of us really weren’t over it. We wanted to try again, but how in the world were we going to fund it, and what if it didn’t work again? Could we emotionally handle that?  Could our marriage handle that?

Through some soul-searching and financial assistance from our families, we did move forward with a much more aggressive, more costly IVF cycle. Due to the disappointment of our last cycle, still only having three good graded embryos, and my age (35), our doctor recommended transferring all 3 of the embryos.  The rest is history! I was well-cared for during pregnancy by Dr. Fry (OBGYN) and Dr. Canzoneri (Perinatologist).  Hudson, Grant, and Charlotte were born December 13, 2013, at 31 weeks. They were born at Northwest in Bentonville and were immediately transferred to Willow Creek, where we were in the NICU for five weeks.  The babies weighed 3.13 lbs, 4 lbs, and 2.8 lbs. Today, they are thriving, healthy, active preschoolers and will be turning four in December.  Raising triplets isn’t for the weak, but, with the right support and mindset, we found the joy!  My advice is: don’t give up. Try every avenue and be sure your choices won’t leave you with regrets.  Know it will be tough in every way possible, but, oh, the reward when you finally hold your baby or babies — all the trials and sadness are forgotten. Please reach out to me if you have more questions or are looking for triplet support in NWA, at kim.smith.temp@gmail.com

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