In October, Mr. Prevention and I look forward to becoming a family of 3. I mean, 4. Sorry, Lily. Since the day after our honeymoon in June of 2009, we’ve been parents to our beloved and spoiled rotten bulldog, but nearly 5 years later, we couldn’t be happier to be welcoming a 2-legged bundle of joy this fall! I totally spilled the beans last night on Instagram 😉
Without getting into too much personal detail, we tried for over a year to conceive. With PCOS, I assumed we’d be up against some challenges and unfortunately, I was correct. I vividly remember (with my very poor memory) sitting in this local Italian restaurant back in December of 2012 when we were chatting over pizza and a beer, deciding at that point we were ready to start trying for a baby. By spring, I was frustrated and wanted to seek higher powers. But, I rounded up some patience and trudged through another 9 months of failed attempts. Every month began with the same hope and ended with the same level of sadness, frustration, and most difficult, the unknown of will this ever come to be for us?
A year later in December of 2013, we sought the help of fertility specialists, driving 90 miles and 90 minutes from home. We sat in our initial visit bug-eyed, confused, and completely overwhelmed. Big time. I thought I knew some stuff about infertility, but it was clear that this is a vast world of unknown and we had no idea what was lying ahead. The emotional, physical, and financial question marks surfaced from every direction and I left the appointment thinking, “What have we gotten ourselves into?” and of course, “Why couldn’t this just happen ‘naturally’?” So many questions and emotions flooded over me.
After some additional lab work, our treatment plan quickly progressed from follicle-stimulating drugs (Femara) and good timing, to a full blown intrauterine insemination (IUI) with Femara, a trigger injection (Ovidrel), and ultrasounds to closely monitor the process before we returned to the fertility center for the actual procedure. I Googled everything and called the clinic with every last question imaginable. Yes, I was that patient…so overwhelmed, nervous, excited, anxious, worried…all of it.
January 17th was “the day”. Of course the “very simple” IUI procedure wasn’t quite so simple. I’ll spare you the details, but there was a lot of time, effort, and pain involved. I remember lying on the exam table in a most compromising position, FREAKING out, thinking, “What if this can’t happen? What if this isn’t an option for us? Then what? THEN WHAT?!?” After the procedure, I started my commute back to work in quite some pain and feeling emotionally…numb and drained. Relieved that the procedure, in the end, was successful, but knowing that such efforts still only produced a 20% chance of conception. Did you know that? With all of the stars aligned, couples have only a 20% chance of conceiving any given cycle? Scarier yet, up to half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. No wonder this is called a miracle…it truly is!
For most women, the “two week wait” lasts forever. I managed well, keeping myself busy…hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. I heeded the advice of many and never tested before recommended (about 14 days after ovulation). My IUI was on a Friday and so two weeks later on Saturday, my period still hadn’t arrived. I started using the Wondo pregnancy tests I bought off Amazon and quickly became confused. Was that a second line? Maybe? Maybe I’m crazy. I’ll try again tomorrow. By Sunday morning, the second line was a little bolder, but still not 100% clear. I grabbed Mr. Prevention to head to the drug store for an idiot-proof digital pregnancy test that would read out “pregnant” or “not pregnant”. We returned home and I quickly retreated to the bathroom and very quickly, up popped, “pregnant”. My immediate reaction was a stupid grin, disbelief, a hand flying to my chest to keep my heart from exploding, and then jumping up and down. I shared the news with Mr. P who was by that time, laying across the bed waiting for the news. We couldn’t believe that with 20% odds, we were successful on attempt #1. Stick baby, stick.
The following day, Monday morning, I had my first beta drawn (0h the perks of working in a hospital!). At 314, I was very clearly pregnant (anything above 5 indicates pregnancy) and this number is meant to double every 48 hours. By Wednesday morning, my beta was up to 850. On February 18th, I went in for my first ultrasound where the baby was measuring 6 weeks, 4 days with a strong heartbeat of 124 beats per minute. I heard the heartbeat and BURST into tears. It was a moment I’ll never forget. I became a mom at that moment, as silly as it sounds. Mr. Prevention was with me at the next ultrasound on March 6th where the baby was again measuring right on track for 8 weeks and 6 days. The heartbeat was a rapid 177 beats per minute and the little gummy bear had grown significantly in the 2 weeks since. The baby was waving….yes, waving! It was amazing. By my third ultrasound on March 26th (11 weeks, 5 days), baby was kicking, wiggling, and doing little crunches with a busy heartbeat of 170 bpm.
Other than headaches and insane cravings for Chicago-style popcorn (cheddar + caramel), I feel great. My first trimester was a breeze, all things considered. As I enter into my second trimester, I’m thrilled to share our story and our excitement. We feel beyond blessed and fortunate…and can’t wait for October 10th (or around then) to come! 😀