May 23, 2011

getting to baby

Some people decide they want to start a family, and before they have time to think too hard on the decision, they’re pregnant. For some people it takes a little longer. Statistically, 87% of couples who want to conceive will do so within 12 months of starting to try.

We were not one of those couples.

We knew when we got married we wanted to start a family post haste. We were in our late 20’s/early 30’s, had been together for almost five years, and were ready to grow our family immediately. We figured if we started trying in July-ish after the wedding, we’d be pregnant by October at the latest. The one thing I was sure I didn’t want was to be super pregnant through the entire summer, so getting pregnant in late summer or early fall was what we shot for.

And then, nothing. And then even more nothing.

After awhile, it stops being fun, the process of getting a kid. You start having to track things like ovulation cycles, thinking constantly about your next period, and wondering what’s taking so long.

I couldn’t even look at babies in the stores. Whenever someone on a blog announced they were pregnant, I wanted to reach through the computer, grab at them, and tell them that not everyone was so lucky, and couldn’t they be more sensitive?!?!? After a year, we sucked it up and got tested. Assured by close family and friends that there was probably nothing wrong, we found out there was something wrong. Our chances of natural conception dropped to single digit percents, and we were referred to a specialist.

One meeting later, and we had a plan. A good plan, and a rather non-invasive plan at that, all things considered. Thanks to healthy sperm and my new-found Thyroid medication working like a charm {did you know a Thyroid problem can keep you from ovulating?!?!?}, we were good candidates for artificial insemination. No egg extraction, which was good, but I’d still have to take hormone shots daily, which made me nervous. But we couldn’t start all that yet. Thanks to a one-month stint with Clomid {an ovulation-stimulating pill} I had two huge cysts in my uterus which had to be shrunk, so for two more months we waited, hoping we’d be ready to start.

A note about the hormone shots – if you’re experiencing infertility, don’t let the idea of shots scare you off. I was petrified, and so was Zach – he was the one who had to shove a needle into my butt once a day, after all! Truly, they do not hurt much at all though, and I’m a pretty big wimp. The shot spot will get sore, and you’ll start to act like a crazy person, but the shots themselves will not hurt. I was super scared, and for no reason. -

During this time – the tests, the shots – I kept a journal. In it, I wrote things like:

I don’t deal well with surrender, and this whole process feels like a boatload of surrender to me.

This is our fourteenth month of trying to have a baby. Fourteen months of hoping that we’d be able to call our parents and tell them they were going to be grandparents. Fourteen months of crying in the bathroom as I got my period, and then pretending I was fine with it, that we were fine with it. Fourteen months of starting and finishing other big projects because we need something, anything to keep our minds and our hands occupied while we wait to be given this gift we so long to receive.

I’m just so tired of all the thinking and waiting and hoping and wondering, of watching as people all around me have babies and play with their children, and I wonder if I’m meant to do this at all.

Insemination Day. It wasn’t a big deal, really. Went in, got sperminated, then went home and chilled. I thought it would be … more. More of what, I don’t know, but more somehow.

Last night we bought 3 pee sticks. Yes, we’re not supposed to pee on a stick until Thursday morning, and then a possible blood test, but we couldn’t wait.
A note to all the fertility doctors out there – you know we’re all buying pregnancy tests even though you tell us not to, right?!

After the first round of shots, we were beside ourselves. The day of insemination came and went pretty uneventfully, which was a nice change after so much stress and drama. We were sent home with a pregnancy test and told not to take it until the day written on the bag.


Three days before the date written on the bag, we couldn’t stand it, and picked up a three-pack of tests. I peed on one that night, and the other two the next two mornings. All three turned happily positive.

We spent the next ten weeks heading to our doctor every two weeks for blood tests, ultrasounds, and reassurances that all is working out exactly as it should. While our chances at multiples were much higher, we have only one healthy little monster growing inside me, and for that we are thankful – how do parents of twins do it?! I am relishing every second of this pregnancy – the nausea, the sleeping constantly, the already having to pee every hour on the hour.

I know that this will most likely be the only time I experience this, even if we grow our family past three, so I’m taking every moment of it in for the blessed gift that it is. For it is a gift, and quite a nice one. Even if I will be super pregnant all summer!

A Few Notes: For those of you in the Omaha area, the doctor we saw was Dr. Meghan Oakes, who works in the same office as Dr. Maude Doherty – who is commonly referred to as “Maude The God”. They are both amazing, and I recommend them highly. For those of you with fertility-related questions, please feel free to e-mail them to me. I found that there is quite a bit of information online, but to get to it you have to weed through infertility forums that can get a bit – overwhelming – on their best days. It got so I couldn’t look at them, and I promise to not do that to you!

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