Katie and her husband, Steven, have been married for seven years. They met while at chiropractic school and knew right away they wanted to get married; six months later they were engaged. Together they own two chiropractic clinics that Steven manages while Katie raises their triplets, takes care of their three dogs, and creates online content.
Through Katie’s online platforms she shares her fertility challenges and triumphs.
“We started trying for a family right away and tried for over a year before visiting a reproductive endocrinologist. Our initial testing showed that everything looked great and we were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. We did one natural IUI, which was unsuccessful, before moving on to a IUI with injections added. Our second IUI was cancelled at the very end because an ultrasound found a polyp in my uterus, which needed to be surgically removed. We waited one month after surgery before moving forward with another medicated IUI. Right before the procedure they saw I had three follicles (meaning three eggs) and told us our chances that all three would take are very slim, only a 1% chance. We said we knew the risks and wanted to proceed. All three eggs took and we ended up with our triplets!"
The decision to grow their family was an easy decision for Katie and Steven.
“We always said we wanted three to four kids and knew early on that we would want to have more. We felt the time was right when the triplets turned four and we went back to the fertility clinic, thinking that we would do the same exact protocol as last time. After testing, we found that my husband had zero sperm. Steven had done testosterone replacement therapy during the fall, which completely wiped out his sperm. Our doctor told us that usually within six months the sperm numbers will return to normal, so we waited and kept retesting every two months. Steven’s numbers did improve, but not enough that we would be successful with an IUI, so we had no choice but to move onto IVF.”
Their first embryo transfer was unsuccessful, and they will receive their results from the second transfer the day after Christmas.
“We made the decision in October that we were on board with IVF and had our first embryo transfer in November, which was unfortunately unsuccessful. We had our second embryo transfer on December 18th and we are feeling hopeful that this baby will be our Christmas miracle.”
If IVF does not work, Katie and Steven are open to adoption or other alternatives. However, they are hopeful that they receive positive pregnancy results soon.
“Ultimately we both feel very strongly about adding more kids to our family, so we decided that if IVF was the only way to do that, we were on board. We have considered adoption and are open to the idea, but we both have some reservations regarding adoption at this moment. We plan on revisiting the idea of adoption in the future and talk more in depth with others who have endured the process. I know lots of people tell us, “well why don’t you just adopt?” but I think people fail to recognize just how expensive and emotionally exhausting adoption can be. We have confidence in our doctor and trust her plan! My body responded very well and very quickly to this new protocol and our transfer was absolutely perfect! We are so hopeful that this baby is going to stick and grow safely inside of my belly!”
Katie prepared for the transfer by taking good care of her physical and mental health and is now doing her best to take it easy and eat warm, nutritious foods.
“During this transfer I want to relax more than the last transfer. I’m taking all my vitamins, I got a massage, and I'm going to all of my acupuncture and chiropractic appointments. I am also trying to be aware of how I am fueling my body and I am focusing on eating warm foods and drinking warm drinks. We will find out on December 26th if our transfer was successful or not.”
Katie has learned a lot on her fertility journey, and she has words of encouragement for other women.
“First and foremost, all of your feelings are valid. All the pain, the sadness, the anger, the wanting to give up is all valid.
"It is OK to let yourself feel all of those feelings and get help if you need it! I wish I would have saw a therapist even after I had my triplets because having a baby doesn’t necessarily heal yourself from infertility. I thought I had overcome all of my feelings of infertility, but going through it a second time all of those feelings came back with vengeance.
“Take it one day at a time. I always tell people infertility is being on a roller coaster that you don’t know when you will get off. The highest of highs and lowest of lows are bound to happen when you are in the trenches of infertility. Take it one day at a time and focus on what you can control. Focus on being the absolute best version of you and strengthening your marriage.
“Stay positive while also setting your expectations. This one is a very delicate dance that I struggle with. Trying to be optimistic and hopeful that all will work out is great to do, but it is also important to know statistically what your odds may be in a successful pregnancy. Also remember that it may take several treatments before a successful pregnancy is achieved.
“Find a doctor you trust! This is so, so, so important! Find a doctor who has the same values as you and listens to you when you voice your concerns. Find a doctor who is always standing in your corner and cheering you on! It’s OK to try multiple doctors too to find the right fit!”
Thank you, Katie, for sharing your inspiring story with the Bonsie community. We are all rooting for you!
Follow along with Katie’s fertility journey @katiejo_plusourtrio