Our road to getting pregnant for the second time was not an easy one. After getting pregnant with Willow so easily, I genuinely thought I would be pregnant with another baby in no time. After we decided as a couple that I would stop taking birth control, it was an exciting time and we couldn’t wait to see the positive sign on the pregnancy test! Little did we know and frustratingly, it wouldn’t be coming for quite some time.
Each month I would track my cycle with serious OCD, romantically text my husband that we had to get busy, and then subconsciously think I was pregnant and psych myself to tell the world I was with child… EVERY… SINGLE… TIME for 7 months straight. I was on an emotional roller coaster of anticipation and disappointment and eventually hit an all time low after my birthday.
I finally decided it was time to head to my OB in April. I figured that there was something wrong with me, and it turns out I was right – as most moms usually are. I had the labs of a premenopausal woman so my body was just not looking to get pregnant. Per my MD, my Estradiol was undetectable, my FSH was high and something was suppressing my ovaries. So to sum it up, at the ripe age of 33, I had California Raisins for ovaries and nobody knew why. I was devastated and all my doctor could attribute it to was the rise of environmental pollution which was an answer with little solace. They told me to come back in another month for a redraw but again, like a bad record, each month my labs would look the same and getting my period was a constant reminder I had failed. This was not the scenario I wanted to be in and the emotional roller coaster continued.
To make matters worse, I wasn’t the only one eager to announce a new baby would be joining the family… I was constantly pained by complete strangers asking me when baby #2 would be arriving. “I don’t know lady, when are you buying your 8th cat” was how I felt like responding. These conversations continued to rehash my open wounds from the internal pain I felt over my empty womb. I started telling myself I had one amazing, beautiful daughter and that’s all we needed. Though this was the truth, I would hold back tears when Willow would ask me for a little brother or sister and I felt like I was letting her down. I was frustrated, embarrassed, and just plain sad.
My infertility consumed me, and I couldn’t see the way off the emotional roller coaster. With my labs heading in the same direction, I was open to trying anything. I even started acupuncture with an amazing woman, named Natalie who happened to specialize in infertility. I would go to weekly sessions with her, discuss my labs, and she started me on a serious regimen of natural supplements and vitamins. Natalie gave me a safe place to speak about my issue, and one day we decided together that I would go see a Reproductive Endocrinologist in which their sole purpose is to get people pregnant.
I met with the doctor and to my surprise she was enthusiastically upbeat. She looked at me, my medical history and my shitty labs, she then looked right back at me and said, “We are going to get you pregnant”. It was like a weight shifted off my shoulders, the heavens parted and I had just heard the voice of an angel. I couldn’t be any happier! The doctor explained that during my next period, I would start injecting fertility drugs that would help control my ovulation in preparation for an IUI. I finally had a plan, and was beyond ecstatic.
So naturally, I went back to stalking my cycle and patiently awaited Aunt Flo. Except, Aunt Flo never made it. I was one day late, and thought well isn’t that just odd. Just to amuse myself, I decided to take a pregnancy test, completely expecting it to be negative – no pun intended. However, I was greeted with a positive sign instead. I was in shock and didn’t believe it. Surely, this was an ironic mishap of a pregnancy test. I took 6 pregnancy tests that day and I’m not sure any of them would have made me believe it.
We were beyond excited to confirm with a blood test that indeed we were pregnant. How crazy was it that on the heels of deciding to turn to a last ditch effort but before actually starting the treatment I was with child?!
The pregnancy itself was such a surprise but we didn’t realize how much of a surprise we were in for until my first ultrasound, this was when we found out just how “pregnant” we were.
The visit went something like this:
Doctor: “Um, did you take any of the drugs?”.
Doctor: Well, this is a surprise, there are two heartbeats.
Aj: Yeah, like the baby’s and Abby’s?
Doctor: No, as in there are two babies!
Me: Shut the F**k up!
And then there were two…
Photo Credit: Kate Hauschka Photography
Obviously we are elated to be welcoming two new additions to our family this year. If you asked me how we did it without fertility drugs, I don’t have a clue. I do know that once I felt comfortable with a plan from my acupuncturist and doctor that I felt less stressed and happy to be making some kind of progress. I think I stopped over thinking my own body’s downfalls thus far, and actually gave myself a break for once. I spent more time on myself, and focused on other important things in my life that made me happy. As we always said in nursing, your body follows your mind, so get your mind right.
A note on infertility: I know our personal struggle with infertility for over a year may not be relevant to your own journey. I share this with you so that you know you are not alone. I also share this with everyone else who doesn’t understand infertility because they never had to go through it. Stop asking when someone may be having a baby or second child. Sometimes what you think are words of encouragement aren’t, and just listening can be helpful. It’s better to give support than advice or suggestions.