Oh hey there…yep…still alive over here. It’s been a ridiculously long time since I’ve posted a blog. Probably because this pregnancy has flown by and I feel like I haven’t had much time to sit and write. Oh yeah..if you don’t follow along on social media (Instagram or Facebook)…we’re expecting!
Baby boy due in October! I’ll do another post all about the actual pregnancy itself, but I wanted to first share our story leading up to this pregnancy. This baby boy was a year and a half in the making due to secondary infertility. I was unable to get pregnant after having Madeleine and was told by a fertility doc that we would not be able to get pregnant without medical intervention. But first let’s back up…
We started trying when Madeleine was about 16 or 17 months old. I wanted them fairly close in age and thought that was a good gap. However, when nothing happened for 6 months, I went to my OB. I was not ovulating, so she put me on chlomid to help me ovulate and hopefully get pregnant. I did that for 3 months, slowly increasing the dose each month. Let me tell you, chlomid was probably the worst hormonal drug I’ve ever taken. It seems I got all of the side effects with none of the benefit (no ovulation–took ovulation tests around the clock–and therefore, no pregnancy). I had everything from hot flashes to weight gain to depression. Not a good time. Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who helped carry me through that rough patch as we hadn’t shared our journey with anyone yet. It’s hard to share something like that when it could go either way (are you pregnant, are you not?)…too much of an emotional roller coaster to feel ready to share with others. After the third round of chlomid and no success and a mom of an almost 3 yr old who wanted to get off that wretched drug, I went back to my OB who graciously said, ‘This is now out of my scope and you need to see an actual fertility doctor’. As much as I was grateful for her honesty and her letting me stop the chlomid, I was heartbroken that we were at that point…a fertility doc? Really? Am I really that broken? This is when we shared with our family and close friends what we were going through. Looking back now, I wish we had shared sooner. It was hard to talk about but having that support system and knowing you could cry with people while going through this hardship was so refreshing.
We finally got in to see the fertility doc in May of 2018. We did all.the.things. So many tests are needed in that first month because they want to gather as much information as they can. I had so many ultrasounds, I lost count. I had to take more medicine to stimulate ovulation so they could see what was happening when I was ‘ovulating’. (I put that in quotes because it was medically induced, not natural). They still couldn’t pinpoint why I wasn’t ovulating and told me I may never naturally ovulate again. Eesh. All these tests came back with a lot of ‘little’ things. I had a few issues in addition to not ovulating, Andrew had a couple issues, and we were told we needed medical intervention if we wanted to conceive again. Heart.Breaking. Of course, we were on board and wanted to get started right away but it was still quite the blow to hear, that we may never be able to get pregnant naturally again.
Our first option was Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). The is the pre-cursor to IVF. Less of a chance of working (we were given about a 13% chance) but a much cheaper option to start with–IVF is the price of a nice car. We did our first round of IUI in August of 2018. I did 10 days of shots in my stomach of fertility hormones (thankfully, these didn’t give me any weird side effects like chlomid). I’m not squeamish around needles which is good, but these honestly didn’t hurt that much until the last few days when my stomach was done being poked.
During those 10 days you go in for regular blood work and ultrasounds. According to my ultrasounds, everything looked fine, but my blood work wasn’t matching up. The drugs are supposed to increase your estrogen levels and mine stayed extremely low–probably why I didn’t have any side effects, the drugs were literally not affecting my hormones. After those 10 days you get ‘inseminated’ *so romantic* and then you wait 2 weeks to take a pregnancy test. And yes, those two weeks are the longest in the history of the world. Unfortunately, that round didn’t take and I ended up not pregnant, again. That was a really hard time as I thought we had done everything right and everything we were supposed to do and I still didn’t end up pregnant.
We decided to wait a few months before trying again for financial and emotional reasons. When we were ready to do another round we considered IVF, but our fertility doctor told us that if my estrogen levels didn’t increase with the meds I already took, that IVF wouldn’t work for us. She recommended one more round of IUI with different medication to see if she could get my estrogen level up. We went through another round of IUI in February of this year. Thankfully, on these new drugs my estrogen levels went up! Not as high as they ‘like to see’ but high for me which was a win. It also took almost 3 weeks to get them up to the right level instead of the normal 8-10 days. Once my levels were right, we did another insemination and waited the 2 weeks.
Praise the Lord, two weeks later we got a positive pregnancy test!! We were monitored by the fertility clinic for the first 8 weeks of the pregnancy as I’m at risk for an ectopic pregnancy. When everything was looking good, we were allowed to ‘proceed as normal’ with our OB. It felt amazing to get that pass.
So here I am now, 34 weeks pregnant with this baby boy and I can’t wait to meet him. The wait was hard. I know everyone says ‘the wait was worth it’ and I know it will be, but it was damn hard. Going through infertility and not knowing if it would work or not is challenging physically, mentally and emotionally. If you’re currently going through that, know my heart is with you. It is no easy thing and having a support system around you is SO important. It helped so much when we brought people in on what we were going through and had people to cry to, complain to, and just share with. If you need a support system or just someone to vent and cry with, please email me. I know the hurt and pain this process causes so please reach out and share your story. firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned for another blog post all about the actual pregnancy…workouts, nutrition, being pregnant while having a 3 yr old, etc.