Married for 5 years, travelled the world, settled with great jobs, we decided the time was right with me being 29 years old to start a family. I was very lucky to find that I was pregnant right away.The pregnancy ended in a very early miscarriage at 5-6 weeks.We were very disappointed, however took it in our stride knowing that early miscarriages are very common.The second pregnancy occurred barely 3 months later.This one progressed to about 7-8 weeks before ultrasounds failed to reveal a normal uterine pregnancy. This time around we decided to take a break, we travelled some more. In late 2004 I was pregnant for the third time. This time I was followed very closely by my doctors, was on unnecessary precautions like modified bed rest etc only to have the pregnancy end in a miscarriage at 12 weeks. This was a very traumatic miscarriage not only emotionally but also physically as I hemorrhaged.
After this I underwent every possible test under the sun for recurrent miscarriages and discovered I had a genetic disorder which would predispose us to multiple/ recurrent miscarriages but there was always that chance that we could have a completely normal pregnancy too. It was like playing russian roulette- the next pregnancy could be the one or the next 8 pregnancies could end in miscarriage. We decided that physically and emotionally I could not handle any further miscarriages. We decided to undergo PGD in the U.S. which involved stimulation, retrieval, embryo development and then analysis of a single cell from each embryo to find atleast one genetically normal embryo which could then be transferred back to me. Two cycles of PGD offered us no normal embryos, so the next logical step was to pursue egg donation.
We contacted three leading IVF specialists in Mumbai. One of them, highly acclaimed in Mumbai as a research oriented person and the head of IVF at a top notch hospital led us on a wild goose chase, the second one just did not seem concerned enough. Dr Malpani was prompt and reassuring. Unlike many others who describe bad experiences with their doctors in the U.S. I had a really superb team of doctors- both my Ob-Gyn group and my RE group were the best in the area and very caring, organized. My whole problem was to find someone in India who could liason with my group of doctors here since I wanted to conduct the early part of my cycle in the U.S. and then travel to India midway through for my transfer. Dr Malpani assured me that this was entirely possible. At every stage whether it was for a simple blood draw, for baseline ultrasounds, or for drug prescriptions he was very prompt in sending orders with his signature attached via email for the doctors I was working with here.
We travelled to India in late 2005 for our first cycle of donor egg IVF. Apart from a few hitches which Dr Malpani did his best to take care of the cycle went smoothly. We transferred 4 good looking embryos however the cycle did not work.We decided to travel to India once more in early 2006 for another cycle. By this point in time I had more or less been on artificial hormones, taking injections, undergoing ultrasounds etc pretty much non- stop for a little over 8 months. I am usually a very cheerful, feisty, buoyant person but my nerves were beginning to get frayed by this time. This cycle started out well with the donor developing almost 19 follicles. From what I recall 15 eggs were retrieved, and 12 fertilized. We were thrilled. Even if this cycle did not work, we thought we would have some to freeze.
On the day of the transfer however we found that only one of those embryos was 4 celled and that too with a lot of fragmentation. Three others were 2 celled and of very poor quality. The others were not even fit to transfer. I was so disappointed that I almost decided not to go through with the transfer. If not for Dr Malpani’s gentle persuasion I would have most definitely backed out. Anyway we did transfer the one 4 celled embryo and the three 2 celled embryos. I did not rest after the transfer, travelled the very next day, lifted heavy things etc assuming that this cycle was most definitely a bust. Dr Malpani called me a few days later to check on me and I was so disappointed that I was almost churlish on the phone. He said that he and Dr Mrs Malpani would pray for me. Wonder of wonders I tested positive 9 days later.
The pregnancy was a very difficult one with hyperemesis for the first 7 months with my having to be hospitalized for rehydration a few times, preterm labour starting at 30 weeks, gestational diabetes setting in at 24 weeks, zero weight gain leading to concerns about fetal development. At the end of all this we had a beautiful baby girl who truly has completed our family and has made all the pregnancy problems worthwhile to the extent that we are now considering another cycle soon.