My Personal Pregnancy Experience with Cancer, Artificial Insemination & In vitro Fertilization

By Melissa Moog, founder of Itsabelly

After three long years of trying to conceive in November of 2010 we finally got the news we were expecting not just one baby but two! Randy (my hubby) and I couldn’t have painted a more colorful picture of how we finally reached pregnancy nirvana! Ok, maybe it wasn’t total nirvana especially with my 24/7 nausea but we were extremely happy! I wanted to write this post to share my very personal pregnancy experience with Artificial Insemination and In vitro Fertilization because I know there are many women who have gone through something similar or have a unique story about their pregnancy.

In 2008, Randy was diagnosed with cancer (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma) and at that time our daughter Isabella was two years old. This was the most devastating news we had ever gotten and needless to say the next few years were challenging. We had just started to try for a second baby but after finding out Randy needed to go through chemo for six months we had to try alternative means. You see, chemo doesn’t bode well with what your body is supposed to produce naturally when you’re trying to conceive. Put it this way we had to freeze what I like to call “liquid gold” before Randy’s chemo started! So, we dove into the world of Artificial Insemination (AI) and In vitro Fertilization (IVF). BTW, Randy’s cancer is in remission now and he’s doing great (thank God & whew)!

To make a long story short we tried AI once and it didn’t take. Then we tried AI a second time during Portland’s huge snow storm but were totally snowed in that we couldn’t drive down to the clinic – that morning we lost what I called the golden tube of miracles. After this ordeal we went down the path of IVF – tried that once and after spending a lot of dough, being subjected to a lot of injections and a painful extraction of my eggs we still didn’t get pregnant!

It didn’t help that after implanting three embryos and losing them my doctor said “all three of your embryos looked strong and we thought at least one would have taken”. That was probably the icing on the cake after hearing we weren’t pregnant for a third time, argh! As if this news wasn’t bad enough five months later we find out my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. At this point I thought to myself that everything happened for a reason. I knew I wasn’t pregnant because I needed to be completely available to care for my mom during her illness. The good news is my mom’s cancer is in remission now too and she survived her therapy! But I have to tell you as a supporter of two cancer patients in three years its been a very tough road – surviving through it all is really about having a village of support, strong faith, hope and being resilient when you’re down!

So, now it brings me to the present – fast forward a year…we try IVF again…more money, more glorious shots in the stomach and butt AND drum roll we FINALLY get the news we’re pregnant with TWINS (boy & girl to be exact)! Randy and I jumped for joy and did our happy dance. I also cried tears of joy of course because afterall I am completely bursting with hormones at this point. I’m now 22 weeks pregnant and as BIG as a house! It’s getting harder to move around and I can’t sit down too long without having to stretch. I can only eat small meals every two hours or I’ll feel sick but overall I’m happy and over the moon with our pregnancy!

If you have a similar story or something unique about your pregnancy please share it with me by commenting on our blog. I’d love to hear about your experiences. Getting pregnant and giving birth to a baby is truly a miracle. It is something we as women should all be very proud of no matter how we got there! We have such a special gift to carry life. I feel very blessed to be able to share my personal story with you and truly believe in happy endings – thank you for listening!

Stay tuned, my next article will be on the differences between Artificial Insemination and In vitro Fertilization.

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