We are Rachel and Jimmy and would like to thank you for taking the time to read this.
Have you had multiple miscarriages with no answers or know someone who has? If so, please pass along our story. Not everyone will have the same issue but we want to help as many people as we can from going through the unnecessary physical and mental pain that we've been through these past 2 years.
We got married in September of 2012 and started trying to get pregnant right away. We finally got pregnant for the 1st time in November of 2013 and couldn't have been more excited. What we didn't know was that miscarriages are a very common occurrence and what was in store for us. Our OBGYN didn't think it was necessary to come in until I was at least 8 to 10 weeks pregnant since this was our 1st pregnancy. I was nervous about that because I have Hashimoto's thyroid disease, I was 39 years old and considered high risk. We scheduled the appointment like she suggested and 2 days before the appointment I started getting severe cramps and had my 1st miscarriage at 8 weeks. We spent the night in the emergency room. We asked to have genetic and chromosome testing done on the tissue but for some reason it wasn't done and we'll never have answers for the cause. We attributed the miscarriage to the stress from my job and the 15 hour work days. The experience was horrific and painful but you move on and try again. I scheduled the hernia surgery that I had been putting off, gave it some time and before we knew it we were pregnant for the 2nd time. I lost my job and 1 week later I had my 2nd miscarriage. I was only 5 weeks along this time. We began to ask a lot more questions after this. I couldn't help but blame myself. Did I work too much? Could I have eaten better? Exercised less? You name it, I blamed myself. We went back to the doctor and had testing done. The HSG test and 2-D ultrasounds revealed a likely bicornuate uterus but everything else was normal. My resting follicle counts were on the low side, my AMH level was very low and my day 3 labs were borderline but my doctor didn't seem to be worried about any of this so we decided to try one more time. A few months ago we found out we were pregnant for the 3rd time. This time things felt different. I was having all of the pregnancy symptoms we've heard all about - slight lower belly cramping, food cravings, fatigue, frequent urination, bloating, night sweats and etc. We had an ultrasound at 5 weeks and saw the sac but it was too early for the heartbeat. A few weeks later we went back for our 1st pregnancy appointment and ultrasound. We've never made it this far in all 3 pregnancies so we were really excited that we would finally get to see our baby and hear their heartbeat for the first time. We weren't exactly sure what to expect this early on so when the screen lit up we just waited for the sonographer to tell us she was ready. What she said next took us very much by surprise. She said the sac was empty and ran out to get our doctor. Our hearts dropped. How could this be? Why can't we make it to 12 weeks? I felt pregnant. It was so different this time. One week later our doctor did another ultrasound and since she still didn't see the embryo in the sac I was scheduled for a D&C the next day. I was 8 weeks along. I had extensive testing done and we made sure we had genetic and chromosome testing done on the tissue. All of tests came back normal and we recently found out that the baby died and we would have had a baby boy. That wasn't the most devastating part though.
It's exasperating knowing that you have to go through this 3 times in order for your doctor to refer you to a specialist and for most insurances to pay for it. Now that I've met the criteria we went to CCRM/Dr. Minjarez to see if we could get some answers. During our consult she scheduled me for a 3-D ultrasound and blood work. That very same day we found out that I had been misdiagnosed. The "likely" bicornuate uterus was actually a uterine septum (a birth defect) which causes 80% of miscarriages. We couldn't believe there was such a simple answer for all of this wasted time and heartache. All she has to do is perform a surgery to remove it. We could still be pregnant if we had known about the septum issue 2 years ago. That was the most devastating part.
For those of you unfamiliar - A uterine septum is a form of a congenitalmalformation where the uterine cavity is partitioned by a longitudinal septum. The outside of the uterus has a normal typical shape. The wedge-like partition may involve only the superior part of the cavity resulting in an incomplete septum or a subseptate uterus. The name of the surgery is Hysteroscopic Transcervical Resection of Uterine Septum.
Since we can't turn back time we've decided to share our story in hope that we can help as many couples as we can that are having trouble getting pregnant or are having recurrent miscarriages. OBGYN doctors don't typically look for something like this (especially if you're under 35) so you'll have to ask for a 3-D ultrasound. For a second opinion you could ask for a Hysteroscopy as well (the doctor will go in with a camera to confirm it's a uterine septum).
Now that all of this time has passed my egg quality has diminished at a rapid pace, my AMH levels are extremely low and my resting follicle count is only 4 on each side. Our only chance to have a baby is by doing IVF with CCS testing and 3 cycles of egg retrieval. To get the process started we've scheduled the septum resection surgery on November 4th. Thankfully insurance is going to cover 90% of this. Insurance will not cover anything beyond that.
The reason I will need 3 cycles of IVF egg retrievals is to hopefully get enough viable eggs for 1 IVF transfer. Most people only need 1 cycle. Because of my age (I turned 40 this month) I will also need CCS testing (Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening) which is particularly important to women 35 years of age or older whose eggs are at increased risk for chromosome errors. 6 weeks after the surgery I will start the medications.
The total cost for the 3 IVF retrievals/freezing, CCS testing on all 3 cycles and 1 IVF transfer is $43,995. The total cost for the medications for 3 months is approximately $19,000.
It's even more exasperating that we've finally figured out what our issues are and our insurance (or any individual insurances for that matter) won't cover a dime of this IVF plan. Our total out of pocket expense will be $63,000!
Naturally, we wanted to make sure we had a 2nd opinion since the cost is so outrageous. We had a 2nd and a 3rd opinion. The other doctors have confirmed that this is what we need. Their costs are approximately the same as CCRM. We've chosen to go with Dr. Minjarez not just because of her reputation and success but because of her compassion and amazing staff. They are confident they can help us. She has estimated that we will have an 80% chance of a successful pregnancy if I go through the painful process of the 3 IVF retrievals with CCS testing and IVF transfer. Those are the best odds we've ever heard of.
We've already paid $10,000 out of pocket for insurance and medical expenses (including doctor visits, genetic/chromosome testing, other blood work, ultrasounds, semen analysis with culture, Day 3 labs and PreConception Labs), the recommended vitamins to improve egg quality and medications) this year. In addition, I've been unemployed for 6 months and we just found out the cost of all of this last Friday. We've exhausted all other avenues and now we're turning to you for help. The payment is due upfront and we don't have time to wait.
Please pass along our story along to everyone you know. If we can help 1 person it will be worth it.
We appreciate any help that you can give to us and we will be forever grateful. This is our last chance to make our dreams of having baby Langs come true.
We will continue to keep you posted on our progress.
Rachel & Jimmy