This post is part of a paid sponsorship by Ferring Pharmaceuticals. All opinions are my own.
From my early childhood, I could remember always wanting children. I had a fire in me that yearned to be a mom. Whenever anyone asked me how many children I wanted to have, I would always tell them “as many as I could have.” Usually, people would respond with a laugh and thought I was kidding, but it was no joke. I wanted to have all the children.
Fast forward to my adulthood. I got married at 29 and if you’re married, you know the first question people start asking is “when are you going to have kids?” At first, it was exciting because the thought of getting pregnant and having a baby was what I always wanted. I couldn’t wait to get pregnant and surprise my husband with the news that we would be welcoming a sweet baby into the world.
A year of marriage passed, we weren’t “trying” to have a baby. What exactly does that mean? If we got pregnant, we would be stoked but there was no scheduling of sex, no checking ovulation, no stress of getting pregnant. Although deep down inside, I would hope that my period wouldn’t come and I would take a test that read positive.
I started worrying.
What if something was wrong and I couldn’t get pregnant?
What is wrong with me?
Why is everybody getting pregnant but me?
Why is this so difficult?
Why am I the only one not getting pregnant?
These thoughts ran through my head constantly. I hadn’t mentioned it to anyone because I felt alone. I didn’t know anyone in the same boat as me and I didn’t think anybody would understand. No one talked about their struggles. Another year passed and I wasn’t pregnant. The problem was we tried the second year. I was more aware of my period, our sex life, and my ovulation. I would take pregnancy tests if my period was a day late just hoping and praying it would be positive even though deep down inside I knew it would be negative. Every single time I would have my heart crushed because I wanted it so bad.
While we were on a cruise, Quinn and I had a heart to heart conversation and decided we needed to take action if we wanted to have a baby. I was nervous and excited all at the same time. Nervous that there would be something wrong and the doctor would have bad news for me but excited to know what was going on with me. The week that we got back from the cruise, I found a fertility doctor in Dallas and gave them a call. Within a week, we were sitting in the doctor’s office.
We sat down with our doctor and had a candid conversation. He interviewed us asking questions like “how often do you have sex? What do you want to see in a doctor? When’s the last time you visited an OBGYN?” The interview lasted 10 minutes but seemed like years. I just wanted to know if I was able to get pregnant. Shortly after talking with the doctor, we went into his exam room and he examined my ovaries through an internal sonogram.
I had no idea what we were looking at, if I was going to get good news or bad news but I was hopeful. Our doctor confirmed that I had little cysts on my ovaries and PCOS. This was something I had never been told before but he was hopeful and would move forward with working with me.
Here’s where things get fast and furious with my fertility journey. To spare you all the nitty-gritty, here’s a run-down of what took place after my first appointment.
- First appointment with the fertility doctor.
- A lot of blood work.
- Multiple internal sonograms to monitor my ovaries.
- Husband goes in to get his sperm tested.
- The doctor performs hysterosalpingogram to test my tubes. Dye is inserted to test if both fallopian tubes are open and whether the shape of the uterine cavity is normal.
- Tests all come back great (thank God!).
- The doctor feels we are candidates for a prescription given to induce ovulation
- The ovulation medicine is taken with lots of monitoring of ovaries. I’m in the doctor’s office at least twice a week
- I’m traveling for work and my flight from California to Texas is canceled due to bad weather. I have to miss my appointment with the doctor because everything is so time-sensitive when it comes to the medicine. I miss my window of getting pregnant this month and we are bummed.
- The doctor prescribes another dose of ovulation medicine and it’s taken for the 2nd month in a row.
- After monitoring my ovaries, the doctor sees multiple eggs and orders a “trigger shot” that makes ovulation happen.
- The shot is given and the doctor suggests we get to baby making as much as possible for 5 days. Ovulation happens between 12-24 hours of taking the shot.
- During the appointment, the doctor informs me my thyroid tests came back and they were low and would need to start taking a thyroid medicine which I will have to take the rest of my life. Bummer but I’m happy the issue was found and it could be corrected.
- Quinn and I have a mini trip to Oklahoma City that weekend which was the perfect getaway during this craziness.
- A two week wait before we can take a pregnancy test
- Pregnancy test time which means more blood work
We get a call from the doctor to tell us that although the tests say “yes, you’re pregnant but it’s not good” the hcg levels are low and what we were encountering was called a Chemical Pregnancy. The chemical pregnancy would result in a miscarriage that would be just like my period. A chemical pregnancy is believed to affect as many as 75 percent of all pregnancies.
- The news hit hard, but we were hopeful since we technically got pregnant in the second month of trying. We moved forward with one more month of ovulation medicine. If this month didn’t work with the medicine, the doctor said we needed to sit down and talk about other fertility options such as IUI or IVF.
- More internal sonograms were done.
- We take one more round of ovulation medicine.
- Doctor orders another trigger shot. Trigger shot is taken, he tells us when exactly it will hit and which ovary will ovulate (how crazy is that?)
- Wait the horrible two weeks before taking a pregnancy test.
- Go into the office for a blood test and wait the 24 hours for results.
- The phone rings from the doctor’s office and my heart drops. I’m terrified to answer but finally get the courage.
“Betsy? How are you today? Just wanted to call and let you know that you are pregnant! The pregnancy test came back positive and all your levels look great. Let’s make an appointment for you to come in so we can check everything out.”
I’m driving when I get the call. I had just ordered lunch and was planning on eating it quickly in the car then go shopping during lunch but I didn’t know what to do anymore. I pulled over and sat in amazement that I was carrying a sweet baby, the one I always dreamed about. I instantly called my husband and told him the news. I had thought that I would go buy a cute baby outfit and surprise him that night but who am I kidding? I couldn’t wait hours to tell him that all the hard work we had put in for the past 3 months has paid off and we were becoming parents.
Did you know that 1 in 8 couples struggle to get and stay pregnant?
Going to a fertility doctor was the best thing I’ve ever done. Not only did I get to talk to someone about what was going on but to see the process of getting pregnant from day 1 through sonograms was quite amazing.
The process was made easier by finding a tribe of people who I was able to tell everything to. After each appointment, I was able to talk about what was going on and release all my stress through them. Some of these women were people going through the same thing as me, some were thinking about getting pregnant and others had already become moms.
One thing I learned quickly was that I was not alone on this journey. If you have been trying for a year (under 35 years old) or 6 months (35+) and not getting pregnant, you may have fertility issues and should see a specialist (reproductive endocrinologist) as soon as possible. Ferring Pharmaceuticals developed My Fertility Navigator, a program to help women have more reproductive conversations and make the transition to seeing a specialist smoother. MyFertilityNav.com is a website designed to help women and couples navigate the rocky road of fertility by offering resources and direction to findanswers to the questions you’re afraid to ask, and guidance to help you prepare for what’s next.
I highly suggest visiting MyFertilityNav.com/contest to share your fertility story for a chance to win an all-inclusive weekend getaway for two to Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa. Because this journey isn’t easy!
Trying to conceive is a subject that isn’t talked about often enough. Increase awareness and find other families going through the same journey by using #TalkAboutTrying on social media. For every social media post shared with #TalkAboutTrying, Ferring Pharmaceuticals will donate $1 to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.
For inquiring minds, I carried baby Bryce to term and delivered him at 38 weeks. My pregnancy went so smoothly, I enjoyed every minute. Bryce was born 7lb 3oz, 20 inches long.