Read here real, honest and raw stories from others in the community.
My name is Mimmi, I am 30 years old and currently living with my fiance in Stockholm. We have been going through infertility for the past 2,5 years, a situation we could never imagine finding ourselves in. The likely explanation why we haven’t yet been able to have a child is me having PCO, which causes me to not have a regular ovulation. Our journey so far has consisted of constant hormonal stimulation with ovulation syringes, multiple egg retrieval attempts and finally one long yet successful egg retrieval. Followed by a 3 month long wait for a transfer and so far no positive pregnancy test.
I’ve experienced our fertility journey not only as time consuming with feelings of shame, worry, hopelessness and sorrow, but it has also changed me as a person. Eventually you stop taking initiative to socialize with friends and you lose your sense of self and what makes you happy. The dream of becoming a parent becomes your top priority in life whilst actually living your own is forgotten. Despite living life with feelings of hope and longing it is truly a roller coaster of emotions not knowing how you will feel when you wake up in the morning. The scariest thing is not knowing when or if we will succeed. We try as hard as we can to remain positive during the process, trusting our amazing doctors that one day we will get there. We constantly remind ourselves that we are grateful for what we already have, that we are young and in good health.
Making the decision to open up to friends and family and sharing our struggles has been a big relief and a weight lifted off my shoulders. It makes life a bit easier to live. Before being on this journey myself I had no idea about the psychological stress included, the pain of seeing pregnancy bellies, babies, and constantly being asked when the time is right for us. You feel so alone, despite knowing how many of us are out here fighting this unfair battle.
To all of you who are struggling and still pushing forward, who are courageously hopeful for the future; you have my deepest empathy and respect. Lots of love to all of you.
I knew from the start that it was hard to conceive a child of our own with my partner. As a child he suffered from cryptorchidism and one of his testicles was removed. He was also “very fortunate” to inherit a genetic disease called NF1. During an operation a few years ago, one of his nerves got damaged which left him unable to ejaculate. He was also dealing with hydrocele testis at the time we were discussing our options with the RMC and managed to arrange an operation and combine it with a micro-tese to retrieve sperm. These are the main reasons we needed help with assisted reproductive technology. The whole process would entail IVF with ICSI & PGT. PGT was required since NF1 has a 50% chance to be inherited by the child.
When we finally moved forward to the end of our fertility exams, a pandemic started. This resulted in longer waiting times and after nearly 2 years, we finally got a letter saying I could start taking my stims in 3 months. I remember how anxious I felt in the beginning of the whole process because I was convinced we would never be able to have a child of our own. My partner had so much bad luck when it comes to his reproductive organs that it felt unlikely it would turn out to be ok. He felt down in those days because he was afraid of this too and blamed himself. I never blamed him and have been as supportive as I could. It was not his fault, and it was nothing he could do anything about to avoid it.
Basically, I am a woman going through IVF because of male fertility problems. With this story, I want to highlight that also men struggle with their fertility and suffer because of it - not just women. I have seen many women on different platforms writing about their male partners, blaming them and pointing fingers at whose fault it is. It is no one's fault. It happens to anyone for no reason. I am grateful that IVF exists and managed to help us get pregnant.
They managed to retrieve 16 eggs of which 8 were mature and fertilized. 4 of these made it into a blastocyst, got a biopsy and were frozen. Only one was healthy. One chance! Six days after my positive ovulation test, our little embryo moved in and decided to stay. I am currently 8 weeks pregnant, and, on my birthday, I will have our first ultrasound.
I am also thankful and amazed that a genetic disease that has been in my partner’s side of the family for many generations, is not inherited by our child and will not be transferred to future generations.
Since we are two girls, we knew from the get-go that having a baby would include some type of process. We started off by reading up on everything we could about sperm donation, statistics and the legislation of same sex couples that wanted to become parents. We decided on a clinic in Denmark since you had the option to choose a donor. In Sweden you get assigned a donor based on a few physical attributes in the partner who is not carrying the baby. We spent hours scrolling through all kinds of information on potential donors. What were their hobbies and education? How old were their parents? What did they look like as kids? The decision felt very important at that time. And that is something quite interesting to reflect on in retrospect, since everything changed so drastically.
We were not that confident after our first insemination, but at the same time we felt that soon we would become parents. We were so excited. We had thoughts about buying some baby things as a reminder of our trip to Denmark, but didn’t. When my period came less than a week after we were disappointed, but we knew this might take some time, and we felt hopeful. In a notebook from this period I have written “is it harder to get pregnant if you have a short luteal phase?”
We went through the same process again but unfortunately with the same results. We quickly decided to change to a clinic in Sweden. Going to Denmark over the day was quite expensive and a demanding journey. In Sweden we had to do new evaluations and needed approval from a psychologist, which resulted in us losing even more precious time – given the stress of knowing that fertility declines with age. We went through with several more inseminations that failed which resulted in us trying IVF. Around this time the excitement and joy of becoming parents had been exchanged with hopelessness and sadness as we didn’t see any progress.
The first natural IVF cycle failed, and we asked for doing the next IVF on a stimulated cycle – my short luteal phase results in me getting my period before I even could get the chance to find out if I'm pregnant. I had a feeling that this was the problem for us, but no doctor seemed to take notice. I don’t think this was written in my journal, since I had to repeat it several times. After our second IVF, amazingly I got pregnant for the first time in my life. Initially it was hard for me to feel happy, I didn't trust my body or any doctors, and I had been bleeding heavily. But in the end everything went well for us.
The hardest thing for me was not knowing when or if it would work as we had hoped, not knowing is so incredibly rough and hard for others to understand. At the same time I am impressed with myself, and everyone else out there who is struggling – despite all frustration, sorrow and anger, there is still hope.
To make babies. Nowadays that phrase has a completely different meaning.
In february 2019 we decided we were ready to have children and I removed my IUD. I have three children and have had three problem free pregnancies and deliveries and couldn’t in my wildest fantasy picture us here, three years later. We’ve gone through five miscarriages, one missed abortion and still nowhere near a successful pregnancy.
Finally in november of 2019 I got a positive pregnancy test and we were over the moon. For two weeks. Instantly when I woke up that Friday morning I felt there was something wrong. All my pregnancy symptoms were gone. Around lunch time I started bleeding and there was no doubt in my mind - I was having a miscarriage. The day after we were both very upset and on the very same day my partner's friends told us they were pregnant. My body ached out of sadness and envy. Even though we were upset, I remember telling myself that next year we'll have a baby. Miscarriages are unfortunately quite common and this was only a string of bad luck. Looking back I feel naive.
In the beginning of 2020 we were about to do a fertility evaluation but then Covid hit and all non urgent care was canceled. In the fall of 2020 when we still had not gotten pregnant we finally started the evaluation. We both had great results despite our age, especially me being 39 years old. We felt incredibly hopeful and I got pregnant again pretty close to a year after our last pregnancy. But when I reached the date of my expected period, it came. One month after that we had another positive pregnancy test, it felt like magic. But my period came once again, this time four days late. After our second miscarriage I suspected something wasn’t right and was reading about people with similar experiences online. When I had my third miscarriage I was completely devastated and was blaming myself and my body for being incapable. What’s wrong with me and why can’t I get pregnant?
Since we hadn’t had a successful pregnancy after two years of trying we got approved for IVF. In february of 2021 we started with stimulation and egg retrieval. Everything worked according to plan and they got out a lot of eggs, but only two of them were fertilized. We had a transfer with a two day old embryo. A couple of days later I was remitted to the hospital because of fluids in my abdomen and severe pain due to overstimulation. After our first IVF I had a weak pink line on the day of testing but I had miscarried once again. One month after our first attempt we tried again, this time with a five day old embryo, I was also on Prednisolon. Another positive pregnancy test but this time around the tests got more and more clear and I had symptoms. When I was 8 weeks pregnant we did an ultrasound and there was a heartbeat, we couldn't believe it and finally felt a bit of hope - maybe this was our turn. Every week that went by was a milestone and we couldn't wait for the next ultrasound and the KUB examination. The 6th of june, in the very beginning of week 12 I started bleeding and went to the emergency room where they did an ultrasound. The pregnancy had been terminated in week 8 and our sadness was beyond words. I had read stories about others who had similar experiences but who’s baby had survived against all odds, and I was clinging onto hope. But as soon as I saw the doctor's reaction I knew that the worst possible thing had happened to us. As if the grieving wasn’t enough you also have to deal with the blood and the pain while having a miscarriage. I went in for another appointment to make sure everything was out and had an ultrasound. From having our mind set on the next ultrasound and finally seeing our baby to having to go to the doctor to scrape out what no longer is.
During this time I had read a lot online on others who went abroad to seek help. Both me and my partner read up on Athens and felt that it was worth a shot. We booked a phone consultation with a doctor at Life Clinic who asked me about my medical history. Until then I hadn't thought that often about our first miscarriage. I had a burnout from work right before we got pregnant so my immune system probably wasn’t 100%. After the miscarrying I suddenly became allergic to our cats. I've never been allergic to anything but now all of a sudden I was itching my eyes obsessively as soon as I went near them. A couple of days before my first and second miscarriage I had had pains in my stomach in the uterus area. After our latest miscarriage we went to Athens where we felt very welcomed and took a lot of tests. This year in January we got pregnant again. I felt right from the start that this wasn't going to work out the way we hoped and even if the clinic did everything they could, week 6 ended in a miscarriage. The bleeding had started one week prior.
Three years later we are no closer to our dream. At the end of february we will continue with a self financed IVF with support from our clinic in Athens. The hope to succeed is still there, or else we wouldn’t continue, but it is not as strong as it was after our first miscarriage. The pressure of peeing on ovulation tests to see when you should have sex, take medications that affects you i different ways, planning, testing and analysing symptoms is really wearing us down. Waiting on our turn while social media is overflowing with pregnancies and newborns makes me feel like a horrible person with all the dark thoughts going through my head. After my latest miscarriage a close friend of mine told me they were pregnant, again. This time it was even harder since we had gotten pregnant around the same time.
Right now I'm afraid to plan more than one week ahead since I don't know if I will be pregnant and have a miscarriage when being away for example, even if it’s visiting close friends. Life is put on hold.
To all of those who are going through this: I feel your struggles and I wish wholeheartedly that it is our turn, very very soon. Thank you Bumpy for finding me and giving me an opportunity to be a part of your community.
Our infertility journey started two years ago. The process has not at all been what we expected and I never imagined we would be going through this. I’m 34 years old and live in Stockholm with my husband. Our journey unfortunately consists of a series of very unlucky events since there is no known cause for our infertility.
Two years ago I got a positive pregnancy test. A few days later, I suddenly became very sick and had to go to the emergency unit. Here, I was told by the doctors that I probably had a ”normal” miscarriage, although they couldn’t confirm it. We left with very little information. Several months later, I learned my diagnosis: PUL (pregnancy unknown location). This meant that the pregnancy had probably been stuck where it shouldn’t be, thus causing the strong symptoms.
Some months later, the same story happened again. A few weeks after another positive pregnancy test, I got very sick again and ended up in the hospital. The doctor told me that I had an ectopic pregnancy and that the pregnancy had caused an internal bleeding and that I needed surgery immediately. It’s sad that we never got the correct information from the beginning and knew better what to look out for. I wish I knew what my body was going through and the associated risks/consequences. We were just sent home and told that ”things will work out”.
Since the ectopic pregnancy, we have been through an infertility investigation only to hear that we have an unexplained infertility. In the fall last year, we also started IVF trials, although these were unfortunately canceled due to receiving too low doses of the simulation medications. I also had an unexpected pregnancy and miscarriage during this period. We’re now waiting to start another IVF again…
The journey has certainly not been easy. It is challenging physically but also mentally. I experience triggers that stir up emotions related to my infertility, such as hearing about the seemingly never-ending pregnancy announcements of my friends and family. I get mentally drained from the quick highs and lows throughout the entire process, never knowing what the next week will bring as I wait in uncertainty. I also have to learn to burden the happiness of my pregnancies and the sorrow of my miscarriages. Plus managing the full medical aspects of the IVF process! And yet - at the same time and despite my struggles - I am expected to function as a normal human being at work with very few people knowing about what I’m actually going through. The situation is not easy with the taboo surrounding all of this.
It has been very helpful to hear other people’s infertility/IVF stories and experiences during my process and to know that I am not alone in this. By sharing my story I hope that it can help someone else and that we can help build a stronger community and support each other. With more awareness and knowledge, it’s easier for family and friends to support someone they know are going through infertility. I am sending lots of hugs to all infertility and IVF warriors! It takes some really strong people to go through all of this. We got this!
This is #mybumpystory – an emotional rollercoaster with repeated miscarriages and hopefully soon a baby.
It actually feels like my journey started many years ago when I first became pregnant, which wasn’t planned. My partner didn’t feel ready. We decided to get an abortion and after I went through with it the longing of becoming a mother grew stronger. I was angry at myself and terrified that the abortion would somehow punish me in the future. In the summer of 2020 we both felt ready and I became pregnant. That pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Two months later I became pregnant once again, but it also ended in a miscarriage. I remember thinking that maybe I am being punished after all. Googling became an obsession. I was googling several hours a day. Why is this happening to me?
I got pregnant again. This time I got progesterone and blood thinners to take and in week 8 we saw for the first time a heart beat but sadly it stopped a week later. I got pregnant again a few weeks later. But in week 11 I had yet another miscarriage.
Around this time I went through every type of medical evaluation available. Everything was normal and I was told there was nothing that could be done. I felt alone and scared. IVF wasn’t an option according to the doctors since I had no problem getting pregnant. I called Huddinge reproductive medicine clinic in Sweden to ask if we could do PGD testing (genetic diagnosis of embryo). But they declined. Instead I was told to keep myself occupied with something else and put our efforts on hold for a while. How does one do that? Maybe I told others that I was over it, but I was still obsessing and felt devastated. Every time I was ovulating I felt crazy and depressed.
After this I got pregnant again. I decided that this time around I wasn’t going to take any medicine and not contact my doctor until a bit later in the pregnancy as my mind was still set on a miscarriage.
I am now in week 31 and over the moon!
To those of you who are still struggling: you are not alone! There are so many of us out there that are going through a bumpy road. We just need to get better at talking about it.
I have been pregnant three times. Or actually while writing this story, I am pregnant. But I don't feel it. And as for now, it looks like I will have to hold on to that fact, and nothing more. None of my three pregnancies has ended with a child in my arms.
In the fall of 2018, eager and excited me and my husband decided to start a family. It had never crossed our minds that we had such a long and bumpy journey ahead of us, with a lot of detores. That part is rarely something you hear anything about. People don’t tell you they are struggling with infertility. Our thoughts were that this will go quickly. So we prepared the best we could.
But one year went by. We were just about to start a fertility evaluation when we all of a sudden got pregnant in october 2019. I felt incredibly happy when I saw the positive test - tears, hugs and kisses! Finally! Our happiness lasted a couple of weeks. One day I felt that something wasn’t right. I didn’t feel it anymore. An ultrasound in week 12 showed that the pregnancy had ended in week 7. The sorrow washed over me. We were not prepared. We had been busy preparing for our new future, and all of a sudden it was taken from us. And there we were, not knowing what to do next.
Four months later I got pregnant again. I was scared but hopeful and as the days went by, slowly but surely we started to feel hopeful. This was our turn, right? What are the odds of having two miscarriages in a row? Week 9 came in for the second ultrasound, but unfortunately this pregnancy had also ended. One week before that we had seen a heartbeat. Once again the pregnancy had ended in week 7. The sadness knocked us off our feet. How the hell were we supposed to move on?
From there we haven’t been able to get pregnant naturally. Even though they can’t find anything wrong with either me or my husband, it just doesn’t happen. In august of 2021 we started our IVF journey. We felt a spark of hope. IVF felt like the answer we had been waiting for. Surely we might just need a little help along the way. During our first treatment I got over stimulated and therefore had to freeze all fertilized eggs. We did a frozen transfer in november, but it didn’t succeed. I was certain that it would work, since IVF was our answer. But it didn’t. My self esteem took a toll for the worse and I spent a lot of nights with tears running down my cheeks. You can’t help but feel useless when your body can’t reproduce: the most natural thing in the world.
New transfer in january. This time, it worked. The test showed on the testday that I was pregnant, for the third time. Joyfull, some might think. A positive pregnancy test when you’ve been longing for years. But the thing is that for many of us going through infertility, that’s not the case. I felt no happiness staring at the positive test. Instead came anxiety, worry, and negative thoughts. Why would it work this time?
Every time I go to the bathroom I look for blood. I check the toilet paper and in my underwear. As soon as I feel something in my uterus I wonder - am I feeling too little? Or am I feeling too much? Is it supposed to be like this? Yesterday felt different. Is this it? I want to feel nauseous! I wish that I had every horrible pregnancy symptom there is, as long as that entails a healthy pregnancy. I feel and analyze my breasts maybe 20 times a day. Are they as tender as yesterday? Or are they less tender? Because that is what happened in the last two pregnancies, the symptoms slowly went away. That’s when I knew.
So as for now, my days consist of analyzing my body. It’s not healthy, but it’s inevitable. I'm sure some might recognize themselves, but others might think I'm overreacting. But for me, being pregnant for the third time after recurrent miscarriages is a long battle, and this is my way of coping. I can’t ignore it, even though I might want to. I am terrified. Terrified of having to go through another misscarriage.
In my current pregnancy we had an ultrasound in week 8 (23 of february). The fetus they found measured 7 weeks with a heartbeat. We have another ultrasound on the 9th of march. My last pregnancy was exactly the same. At first we saw a one week too small fetus with a heartbeat that had died before the next ultrasound. And that is why, just as I mentioned in the beginning of this story, I'm saying that I have been pregnant three times. For me this pregnancy has already ended. I base it on what has happened before. This is what this journey has taught us thus far, we don't dare to hope or dream. It is very difficult when all you know is failure. By now I know that miracles do not happen to us. The road is indeed long and bumpy, with a lot of detours. And it seems like we are not there yet, and I don't know how long this journey will go on.
Sometimes I would just like to take a break and feel happy and content with where we are. But they say that the last thing that leaves us is hope. And as long as there is hope, there is a way.