This week’s story comes to us from Rosangela Sevilla. We thank her for her bravery in sharing her story with us!
“My name is Rosangela Sevilla & this is our story…
My story could possibly start at age 15, when I first was told by a medical professional that my only chance of having a baby would be getting pregnant then! (Say what?!!! I know!) … but let’s fast forward a couple of years…. I first found out ‘officially’ I had Infertility issues on November 11, 2011, a day that would change my WHOLE life. I was involved in a 6-car pile-up accident. A driver, who was texting and driving, swerved their car into the wrong lane, which caused a chain reaction in which the 5th car slammed into our car. My seatbelt saved my life, BUT also caused significant internal damage. If it hadn’t been for the seatbelt, the firefighters mentioned I would have been thrown from the car and may have hit the light pole, possibility dying from impact. As painful as the situation has been, I realize how lucky I am to have been wearing that seat belt. The impact of the other car sent us slamming into the border wall of the road. I injured my back and right hip. Amazingly I was informed, in this horrific accident, I was the only one who was seriously injured. Despite my own injuries, it was a relief to me that none of the elderly and kids who were involved were hurt.
Okay, so there I was, at the Emergency Room; Running Cat Scans, MRI, blood work, X-rays… etc. I was given muscle relaxants and painkillers and told to go home (what?!). Then, 3 days later, back to ER. I couldn’t walk! I couldn’t sit! I could only lay on my stomach. I was high on pills 24/7, so I wouldn’t lose my mind over the pain. That’s when I encountered my 2nd hospital. After another MRI, they saw my back disk had cracked! GREAT!!! (Rolling eyes emoji). How was this possibly missed the first time? This time a wonderful doctor prescribed bed rest for a month. I was young (only 21), naïve, and alone. This would not be my last visit.
Shortly after, I was back at the ER again with terrible pain on my right side. I thought I had an ovarian cyst again. They tell me it’s nothing. Send me back home and tell me to go see my physician. OKAY!!! After searching, I finally found one VERY close to home. On the first visit, he tells me ‘Ms. Sevilla, after reviewing your labs and bloodwork, I believe your weight is the cause of your pain.’ Okay, say WHAT?!! His solution was to lose 80lbs, so the pain goes away. Excuse me, but how I can exercise when I can barely walk!! BYE doctor!
I didn’t know where to turn. One night, I was rushed to the hospital for the 4th time because my right leg had literally turned purple. They released blood that was clogged and recommended I go see an Ob-Gyn. Following an ultrasound, they recommended BOTH ovaries be removed. I was devastated.
On December 30, 2011, I met my “angel” at that time. A new doctor reviewed all the labs, ran new ones and actually listened to me! Finally. He explained how the accident had torn my lumbar disk causing the friction, cracked my right hip which caused my nerve to wrap around my right ovary. Since NOBODY in the first 4 hospital visits caught it in time, the ovary was a lost cause! The left one didn’t look so good either (I’d already had a cyst removed at 15 on that one). He mentioned, the easier route was to remove the left ovary as well, to prevent any future issues, but he was not about to do that to me at 21. I cried so much! My mother was out of the country, father went MIA years ago and my ‘friends’ abandoned me after the car accident because I wasn’t “fun” anymore. I felt so alone and scared. Emmanuel and I had not met yet.
January 6, 2012 I had my first surgery removing my right ovary. I went into the procedure realizing that they might take the other one as well. My “easy” laparoscopy surgery turned out to be a 6hr Cesarean due to complications. Complications that luckily only had my right ovary removed, but left me with a pinched nerve.
The next 26 months were spent in rehab for my back, dealing with Sciatica now because of my hip. I got 18 back injections, countless back procedures and hour and hours of physical therapy… fast forward to 2015! When I met the Love of my life…. it was a coincidence in EHarmony. We fell in love immediately. We both wanted kids. He knew about my situation and still stayed! After months of trying and nothing, I went to go see a new Female Ob/Gyn. Most of the doctors who had seen me in the hospitals had been women, and I had grown to despise them after everything because of the bad luck I had with them before. The doctor who had finally helped me and was concerned with preserving my reproductive ability had been a male surgeon. I find that all to be very disappointing.
So there I was, on a friday afternoon, waiting to see this new female Ob/Gyn. I was supposed to return to work after. I should have known, with my history. I should have known!! I explained everything to her. With labs and results from previous surgeries plus explained I don’t get my periods…blah blah blah…. she ran tests and explained she believes I suffer from PCOS, scheduled more labs and tests. I had my HCG done May 24, 2015. I was told I would never have kids. It tore us apart. We cried ourselves to sleep that night. I honestly thought he was going to leave! We decided to try Clomid and Progesterone to see if I could ovulate. After 6 months of nothing we decided that it was time to see a specialist! That’s when we discovered Dr. Jason Griffith. The best doctor in the UNIVERSE!!
We had our first consultation on February 23, 2017. I was terrified. We took a bag full of all the medicine we’ve tried…Clomid, Progesterone, MACA pills, Fertility Pills for both, vitamins, prenatal, teas … the whole enchilada! I believe that first impressions are everything. He came in and greeted us at the waiting area and brought us back to his office. He was very warm, and he actually listened to everything! I gave him the bag of pills, told him my history, provided copies of labs, and jotted down all my questions. He then moved to Step 1. He gave us a history of PCOS, Infertility and the benefits of IUI & IVF. Weeks passed, and we had completed all our testing and lab work. It was confirmed. The reason I wasn’t getting pregnant was because I had completely blocked tubes. My right tube was still there even though I did not have my ovary, causing fluid to overflow my uterus. Emmanuel had a good sperm count but their mobility was not that great. We both cried that visit, not so much because of the news, but because we FINALLY had answers.
We started Birth Control pills. We planned on doing my hysteroscopy/laparoscopy, but then Dr. G called to tell me the Insurance would not cover a dime. I was devastated, mad, angry, so many emotions. He sent us to a colleague of his who would be covered under my insurance.
April 4, 2017 we had our consultation with Dr. Peet, Angel #2! Dr. G has called him to go over my case, so he was prepared before we even got there. I asked him all my questions, and he went over the surgery notes from my previous surgery. My surgeon from 2012 had left a mess with my right tube causing many issues. I had so much scar tissue that it was damaging my left ovary. (See pictures below). I had my surgery April 12, 2017. It was a very successful surgery. Dr. P was able to remove everything, clean out my tubes, uterus and colon using the DaVinci Robotic technique. He said everything went so well, he was confident IVF would work. We could finally get pregnant! (Phew, what a relief! We FINALLY get a break!)
May 5, 2017 we started our IVF injections. We started with Gonal-F & Menopur injections every night. Five days later we added Cetrotide mix to the injections. May 16th was our last day! We were getting ready for our egg retrieval. During the 11 days of injection, the pain was so bad, I would cry myself to sleep. I don’t know if having a back injury triggered something during the process or if the feelings were “normal”. I remember repeating “short term pain for a lifetime of joy”. It was my mantra. May 19that 9am we showed up for our egg retrieval. It was such an exciting day! We had a total of 11 follicles! Now, if you remember, I have a small ovary which doctors wanted to take out because they said it was “damaged”. We are over-achievers! My ovary proved all those doctors wrong and gave me 11 possibilities! 11 more reasons to be grateful! The next 5 days were so long, as we waited for our 5-day progress report. Out of our 11 possibilities, only 3 made it to day 5. As much as we wished all 11 would have made it, in reality we only need 1. But we got 3!! 3 embabies!
May 31st we went back for labs and to see when we would start new injections for FET (frozen embryo transfer) & guess what! We started May 31ST with the Minivelle Patch and Estrace pills. June 15th was the beginning of our Progesterone Oil Injections (most painful injections yet). Everything was going as planned… and then… June 20th came along! June 20, 2017 we became parents at 11:59am! Yes, 11:59am! It was the most beautiful, emotional and fulfilling experience of our lives. As I laid there with my SO holding my hand, we got to see our little miracle get implanted into this home we had prayed and worked so hard to have ready for him/her.
I share my story not for pity or for recognition of everything we need. Rather to provide hope to that soon-to-be-mother and father who struggle through one of the hardest things a couple (or individual) can go through.
I share my car accident details with you because I believe they played a huge role in our journey. Because if the car accident had not occurred, I would have never met the future father of my kids OR maybe I would have never started this journey!
I don’t regret a moment, a tear or a dime we spent. This is the beginning, only the beginning!”