Our Journey to Conception With the Help of IUI
Story submitted by Sinamon and Ryan Cluxton.
Our journey to pregnancy began in June 2012, the month we were married. Ryan and I had been engaged since 2004 and at the age of 32, we didn’t want to waste any more time in starting our family. At first, we followed general advice to focus our efforts to become pregnant during ovulation which typically occurs between days 14-18 of your cycle. After about 8 months of negative test results, we bought an ovulation test kit and realized that I did not ovulate when the “normal” woman ovulates, but rather my ovulation was occurring during days 21-23.
After 11 months of trying to become pregnant, Ryan and I called upon Dr. Jennifer Thie from TriHealth Women’s Services Reproductive Endocrinology. Dr. Thie came highly recommended by a friend who had encountered difficulty in trying to conceive as well. The first step with Dr. Thie was to try to regulate my periods and ovulation through drug therapy and within the first month I was ovulating “properly”. Getting my body synchronized was the first step, but others followed. Unfortunately regulating my cycle wasn’t the cure-all. Conversations and treatments to help produce follicles followed, still without success. Further testing ensued and it seemed that my chances of becoming pregnant were very low. I was devastated, absolutely broken at the possibility that I would not be able to conceive a child.
Even with the bleak outlook and the low odds, Ryan and I decided to continue with injections and IUI (intrauterine insemination) treatments in November of 2013. I had read that it was extremely rare to get pregnant on the first try with IUI, but not for us! Even with the low AMH, I got the phone call in December that I was pregnant! I was so excited - what a wonderful Christmas gift. We told our families on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Everything was going well and at our 6 week ultrasound we heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Everything was looking great until mid-January when I lost all symptoms of pregnancy. My intuition told me that something was wrong. At 8.5 weeks we learned that there was no longer a heartbeat and that growth had stopped at just 6 weeks 2 days.
Dr. Thie suggested taking one cycle off and trying another IUI in April if I felt up to it. So in mid-April, we did our second IUI and 14 days later we received the call that I was pregnant. I was so thrilled but also still healing from our loss. We were optimistic, but also nervous about experiencing another devastating disappointment.
But this time around, the 6 week ultrasound offered even more excitement. There was not just one heartbeat, but two. We were expecting twins! Ryan and I were a little scared, but absolutely over the moon with amazement!
The pregnancy was not easy and I had several scares and some premature labor complications. After spending two weeks in the Good Samaritan Special Care Obstetrics Unit and another five at home on bed-rest, our gorgeous babies Sam Kay and Ari Andrew were born at 33 weeks and very healthy at Bethesda North Hospital. Because they were early and small, they spent 16 days in the Harold and Margret Thomas Special Care Nursery at Bethesda North Hospital as “feeders and growers” where they thrived until they were ready to be sent home.
Our fertility adventure was definitely not easy and often full of disappointment, but I can't thank Dr. Thie and her amazing staff (Shanna, Cindy & Rebecca) enough for helping us along this journey. They were wonderful to work with. They comforted me on those sad appointments and celebrated with me during the happy ones. Our beautiful babies were worth all of the effort!
Last Updated: May 20, 2016