Have been a fan of Mothering for awhile, but just found this forum. I was looking for a place to talk about natural parenting strategies after infertility treatment -- particularly the heavily invasive stuff like IVF.
In our late twenties my husband and stopped using birth control and figured that pregnancy would eventually happen, but it didn't. Ended up at a fertility clinic. After a diagnosis of "unknown infertility" for us, as a couple, the MD said, "you could go ahead and start out with clomid and iuis, but the success rates are low. So why not just fast forward, and go straight to IVF?" (Insurance at the time covered it partially). From that IVF we have a 3 1/2 year old daughter, born in 2008. During my pregnancy I allowed one ultrasound to confirm the heartbeat. After that, I went the midwife route ... becoming more radical the more I read (we already leaned heavily in the radical thought/simple living direction). I had no further ultrasounds. Don't trust the sound and heat waves. I made the midwife use a fetoscope and I did a homebirth. The extremely overbooked midwife did not show up at my homebirth, but that's another story ...
Although it is interwoven ... because after going through all of the tests, hormones, needles, surgeries associated with IVF and infertility--who in the world gives birth unassisted at home (albiet unintentionally). In Baltimore, MD, natural birth choices are very limited. Many of my third trimester checkups were canceled because the poor midwife was attending a birth almost every day, sometimes two. She was the only midwife in this city who does homebirths, and she has since been put out of business by a lawsuit from a Johns Hopkins obstetrician ... Three days before my due date, the midwife's assistant noted that my fundal height had dropped. The assistant tried to make me do a last minute ultrasound. I went home and read that in situations of dropping fundal height / possible medical scenarios and that doing an ultrasound will likely lead to an emergency c-section, but that the ultrasound and/ or c-section statistically would not influence outcomes. So I just cut the hedges to help induce labor. I kept telling myself that a pregnancy that comes out of ivf is not high-risk pregnancy and I wasn't going to let anyone turn it into one. I'd heard too many horror stories from women hooked up to anti-biotic drips, with internal fetal dopplers, having their water broken without permission ... Perhaps having a very natural pregnancy was something I was particularly determined to have, after all of the daily invasive exams / long list of other crap I'd had to go through in order to get pregnant. My healthy daughter weighed only 4 lbs 6 ounces at birth. Later, I read that full term IVF babies are more likely to have low birth rates. No further info. The data doesn't exist. We did go to the hospital after she was born, to have her checked out due to low birth weight. Experiences there convinced me that I was luck to have at least given birth at home...
In 2011, now paying fully out of pocket, we did an unsuccessful frozen embryo transfer. After bad experiences, decided to transfer to another clinic ... Had polyp removal surgery. Then another fet. Got a positive pregnancy test two weeks ago! Two betas look good so far. The new clinic wants to do three ultrasounds to confirm a healthy clinical pregnancy. Most fertility clinics only do one to confirm a heartbeat before releasing you into prenatal care. I have told them that they can only do one and haven't heard back yet. Thus, I enter into the beginning of a second pregnancy, still paranoid and in disbelief--a state of mind that is particularly characteristic for women who go through fertility treatment. More now than the last time, I seem to be expecting something to go wrong. Our embies were frozen when I was 35. But now I'm 39. And in contrast to before, now I'm overweight (partially due to the fertility hormones and birth control pills, which my body really didn't respond well to). How many of us are doing natural pregnancies after ivf? What kind of doubt/ psychological torture do we put ourselves through, when we choose low tech/ against the grain pregnancies and births after high tech fertility treatment? Would love to share thoughts and compare experiences.
Welcome to Mothering! And congrats on your pregnancy!!! I saw you had a rough start over on the Infertility One thread. I think you should come join us in the IVF Graduates thread (in the Pregnancy forum).
I'm 32 weeks pregnant with baby #2 - an IVF baby. I was really scared to join the grads thread for fear of jinxing things, etc. But every other mama on that thread feels the same way! Blue is there and she only got her BFP less than 2 weeks ago.
Anyway, back to the topic of this thread. I conceived my first baby naturally. Had no idea DH and I both had fertility issues. I went the birth center route. Very hands off pregnancy. Only had 1 ultrasound at 16 weeks to measure my cervix length bc I had had a leep done yrs before. Great natural water birth.
I got pregnant in 2011. I was not doing anything special except using prometrium to help my low progesterone. This was right when we were finding out what all our fertility issues were and honestly I had given up hope of conceiving naturally right when we did! I figured I would go to the OB for the 1st tri to keep getting my prometrium and then switch to a midwife. I did the 7 week u/s to see a heartbeat. I really grappled with the idea of doing another 2 weeks later. I ended up doing it bc I just keep feeling like something wasn't right that time and was so afraid I was going to miscarry. Sure enough, the 2nd u/s showed no heartbeat.
Ok so fast forward. After my miscarriage we did the IUI train and then IVF. Thankfully IVF worked on the first round. I never had the same overwhelming fear this time that I had last time - maybe my body just knew something was wrong last time. That said, I wanted as many ultrasounds as I could get early on to ease my fears. I never had the internal feeling something was wrong, but I was still terrified I would lose the baby! I felt like having a body that is less stressed from the periodic reassurance would be much healthier than not getting them. That said, if you don't feel comfortable with them or that you need them to reassure you, I don't see why you can't decline them! I can see them wanting the first bc there is definitely a risk of ectopic w/FETs. But beyond that, they really aren't medically necessary. If something is wrong, your body will likely let you know eventually. My midwife actually said an u/s is not as bad as a doppler though - which many midwifes use.
So after the 1st tri I switched to a homebirth midwife. So now I am trying to have as natural a pregnancy as I can. :-) I just don't think that having a medical conception needs to rule out having a natural pregnancy or birth! I have seen IVF listed as a risk factor in pre-term labor. But it doesn't seem to be something my midwife is at all concerned about. I am sorry you had such a heinous experience with your last midwife. I hope that you are able to find another provider this time that will give you the attention that you deserve. Also, isn't it totally normal for fundal height to drop at the end once the baby drops lower in your pelvis?
Congrats again mama!
Mama to my veggie girl (1/09) and my sweet rainbow baby (9/12).
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