Monday, November 29, 2010

Spotlight on Infertility: Genna and Chris

Please give a warm welcome to Genna, Chris and Baby "Smudge" in their amazing story. She is a sweet, sweet person who gives a lot of support to other women struggling through TTC.

1. You and your significant others names: Chris and Genna

2. How long have you been trying to conceive? We tried to get pregnant for over 2 years

3. What stage of Infertility are you in (Natural, Clomid, I UI , I VF)?
I am currently pregnant, but IVF with ICSI was our only option. We had to do 2 cycles, and at one point we had to consider donor eggs. If this cycle didn’t work, we would have gone ahead with donor eggs.

4. What procedures have you gone through to diagnose you and your significant
other? More testing than anyone would have thought possible. DH has had umpteen semen analysis done, a testicular ultrasound, a trans rectal ultrasound and genetic/hormonal blood testing. I had the typical workup including HSG, hormonal/genetic blood testing and numerous trans vaginal ultrasounds. After the first IVF
cycle was an abysmal failure, I then had additional blood work including a full blood clotting panel, repeat pregnancy loss panel and AMH level.

5. If you have been diagnosed, would you please share?
We have significant Male Factor Infertility (with only 1.8mil total motile sperm at best count, less than 1mil at worst count) which was most likely caused by surgeon error during a bilateral hernia repair when Chris was a small child. I have also been diagnosed with the Homozygous C677T MTHFR mutation and with
my extremely low AMH level. I’ve also been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure. As an added bonus, I’m also considered AMA because I’ll be 35 when the baby is born.

6. Are you seeing an Ob/Gyn or a RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist)
I stopped seeing my Gyn for reproductive care the day she told me to enjoy being
a newlywed and just relax about getting pregnant. I’ve been seeing the RE ever since. I found a new OB/Gyn when I got pregnant.

7. What supplements are you taking (PNV, Fertile Aid, Etc.)? Chris takes a multivitamin and 1200mg of fish oil daily. I take (in the morning) my Rainbow Light PNV + DHA, 5mg of Folic Acid and a
100mg of vitamin B6. In the evenings I take between 500-1000mg of Magnesium
(every other day I take the other dose) and 400iu of Vitamin D.

During my IVF cycles, I obviously took a lot more meds than that. During my last cycle, I was doing 4 injections daily (2 in the morning and 2 at night). All of the same supplements I take now, plus 2mg of Estrace twice a day and 81mg of baby aspirin daily. I stopped most of those medications at various points of my IVF cycle. However, the PIO (progesterone in oil), Estrace and Aspirin continued until 12 weeks exactly.

During my pregnancy, I've been taking Red Raspberry Leaf tea throughout the 3rd trimester to strengthen and tone my uterus and taking Evening Primrose Oil 1000mg twice a day since 36 weeks, to aid in softening the cervix.

8. Are you charting/using ovulation predictors/fertility monitor? If you are charting,
would you want to post your chart link? I was charting until my diagnosis. Putting away the thermometer was very freeing.

9. Have you ever been pregnant before? No.

10. What are your plans for your future (infertility treatments, adoption, working
with children)? We plan on using our mutual infertilities as birth control. And if by some miracle one of his 6 sperm manages to fertilize one of my ancient eggs, we’ll be happy to accept the miracle. If not, we’ll be back at the RE to try for #2 when our LO is 1 year old and weaned from breast milk.

11. I s there anything else you would like to tell us about you? Infertility is the most difficult thing in the world to deal with. You don’t know what it’s like to know that you and/or your husband is broken. People that judge just upset me more than they can know. The courts in this country have made reproduction a right. But society seems to think it’s a privilege and if you’re infertile, it’s your responsibility to adopt all of the children of the world.

When I hear people complaining about their children, it makes me cringe. Stop having them if you don’t want them. They take what they’re given so completely for granted. They have no idea. And being pregnant doesn’t make infertility go away. At 33 weeks pregnant, I’m still checking the toilet paper every time I wipe. Infertility lasts forever. I don’t know if we’ll ever be the same.

12. Do you have a blog/website where you talk about your journey? If so, please link
here: I have been blogging about my infertility on the Blooming Babies blog since it’s inception. My last entry there will be my birth story. This is a link to my entries:

Meet my baby (we’re pretty sure Smudge is the one on the left – the embryo wash ahead in growth and Smudge was an early implanter). The embryo on the right also implanted. Smudge was a twin for a short time. We lost the 2nd baby early on.

Thank you to Genna and Chris for sharing their story with us. I can't wait to see pictures of baby "smudge" soon. 

If you would like to be part of Spotlight on Infertility, please contact me at 


Anonymous said...

Simple and sweet. I’m thinking of starting another blog or five pretty soon, and I’ll definitely consider this theme. Keep ‘em coming!

Anonymous said...

Very informative. However, the words "sweet, sweet" and "giving a lot of support" would not be the ones to describe the interviewee.