I’ve sat here trying to think of a good opening line for this blog post, but the truth is, there simply isn’t one. I was raised by loving parents with a stay at home mom who homeschooled my younger sister and I. I always told folks who asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up that I wanted to be a wife and a mommy. Once I became a young adult, that perspective changed a little. I began a career, started my own photography business and loved defining myself as a working girl. When I met my husband, he was 29 and I was 24. We married that year. We talked about children prior to the wedding. We decided then that we would like to have a family someday, but we definitely wanted to wait a couple of years, travel, and do things together as a couple. So after our wedding, each time we were asked when we would be starting a family, we’d smile and say, “maybe later”.
I am so glad we took that time to build our relationship and strengthen our marriage before rushing into a family. For us, it was a good decision and it was exactly what we needed. The answers to the, “when are we going to start a family” question started getting a little more testy on my part. I felt like we were constantly being asked. I’d eventually retort, “definitely not right now “or “I’m not certain we will ever want children”. God however, had another plan. He began using two co-workers I had at the time to really convince me that children were a blessing and I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to be a parent. My heart began to soften.
I began feeling like we had a good foundation. We had a strong marriage, good jobs, we bought a house and had a wonderful support system in our parents and family. I finally began feeling ready. I’d mention little things here and there to my husband and was surprised to find out he was feeling the opposite. He never came forth and said he didn’t want children, but he would tell me he wasn’t sure or he didn’t know. After several long conversations, I found the root of his uncertainty was financial worries. He knew that I didn’t want to have to continue to work if and when we had a child and we wanted to homeschool in the future as well. That left the burden of providing for a family solely on him. He was concerned about taking several jobs to make ends meet and missing out on time with me or our family. After receiving advice from my parents and several friends, we determined we had to just give that over to God and trust He would provide.
I had just turned 28 and he was almost 33. At the beginning of the year, we began trying to conceive... After a couple of months though, I started to suspect something wasn’t quite right. My cycles were off, though I expected that after getting off the pill and I was experiencing pain that I hadn’t before. I visited my ob/gyn for an annual visit. The nurse practitioner listened to my worries and asked me if I had been diagnosed with PCOS. I told her I had not. They sent me for an ultrasound. I remember going into that room and thinking how I’d always imagined I’d be pregnant for my first ultrasound. I then met with the doctor who handed me a photo of my right ovary which was marked with dots and said I had cysts. He said that was very common and shouldn’t mean a thing for my fertility. He noted the pain I’d been experiencing could be endometriosis but he would have to do surgery to determine that and didn’t want me to go through that since we’d only been “trying” for a few months. I left that day with instructions to not worry, keep trying for a baby and call if nothing changed when I got closer to the one year mark.
By the end of August, nothing had changed. In fact, I hadn’t gotten a period in three months. I called in to the doctor. They sent me for a second ultrasound. This time the nurse practitioner consulted with the doctor and came back to tell me that they had diagnosed me with PCOS because I had three out of the seven symptoms. She said it didn’t mean I was infertile, just that my road may be longer. My right ovary was pretty heavily marked with cysts now. But my left looked ok and my uterus was in good shape. She began discussing Metformin and Clomid which would help improve our chance of conceiving. She was prepared to prescribe both right at that moment but I wasn’t ready for that. I needed time to process everything.
I cried on the way home that day. I was upset about this diagnosis and having to take medicine. I’m a holistic person and wanted to just believe God would help me conceive naturally.
I changed my diet and exercise habits immediately. I spent hours online researching PCOS and talking with my friends who have it. I began feeling that I didn’t want the dx to limit God. He was capable of helping me overcome this. PCOS didn’t mean I couldn’t have children. One morning, when counting my days and realizing I was late, I took a pregnancy test. Right then and there, the digital test flashed pregnant. I was shocked! Since my husband wasn’t home, I told my mom and my best friend. Later that day I tested again, it showed negative. I began questioning that first result… The next day and three days later, still negative. Shortly after I found out it had all been a big false alarm; the digital test must have had an error. Feeling heartbroken and completely let down, I let myself cry for an entire evening but didn’t tell my husband. Weeks later, the sadness overtook me one night and I sat crying to my husband, telling him everything. It was then that I realized I wanted this. I wanted a child, I was ready for certain.
Suddenly, the internal struggle about whether or not to allow medicinal help, ended. I went to the dr. in the fall and began taking Metformin. I was shocked at the turn around. I felt so much better, my cycles regulated and I began feeling very hopeful. I finally had positive home ovulation tests and we soon passed the year mark of trying to conceive. Every month however, my hopes were horribly dashed by a negative test. By the end of the year, I was ready to start Clomid.
Another doctor appointment to have Clomid prescribed and she informed me that she would do the first month at 50mg, second month at 100mg, and third month at 150mg. If none of that worked, she would have to refer me on to a fertility specialist. I went home that day, dreading the thought of having to see a specialist. My husband and I talked about IUI and IVF, the costs associated with it and the conversation began turning to adoption. He wasn’t in love with the idea of having a non biological child but I asked him to think very seriously about it because I didn’t feel strong enough to go through the invasive, expensive medical procedures of trying for a biological child if the Clomid didn’t work.
With heavy hearts, we began 50mg Clomid at the end of Feb. 2016. I was fully prepared for mood swings, but not for the pain. I experienced intense PCOS symptoms and was miserable the entire month. The first month wasn’t successful. I was sad, aggravated, exhausted, discouraged, and ready to throw in the towel. I wrestled with just calling it quits but after soul searching, I knew that if I didn’t run the course of the medicine, I’d always wonder what if… Especially since I had decided that this would be the extent of my medical assistance. So I called my doctor to get the next dose higher and was told she was on vacation. The doctor covering for her would only prescribe me 50mg again so I reluctantly said fine and tried again at the end of March.
Over the course of April, I began feeling disconnected from the process. So many months of timing things, tracking things and peeing on stupid sticks. I was discouraged and tired and wanted a break. The second Clomid cycle wasn’t as bad as the first, but none the less, my heart desired peace. The stress alone was becoming too much. As it neared time for my monthly cycle, I began feeling a sense of calm. I was ready to just stop trying, enjoy life, and hope that God would allow me to conceive naturally in the future.
How very surprised I was to find out on April 28th, that I was pregnant! For several days I had been spotting and waiting for my cycle to start, thinking it was just a little late since my cycles have never been exact. That first early morning test was a light positive. Nervous it was a false hope like the time before, I rushed to the drugstore on my lunch break from work and took two additional tests. With three positives starting at me, I knew this was finally it. I excitedly told my best friend and talked with her on and off all day about the excitement I could share with my husband when he got home that evening. I took off work early that day and drove to the dr’s office for bloodwork to confirm my pregnancy before stopping at a local doughnut shop to pick up a special order of my husband’s favorite donuts. The shop iced the donuts with pink and blue icing and decorated the inside of the lid to read, “You’re going to be a Daddy!”. When my husband FINALLY arrived home that night, I secretly filmed his reaction and we hugged and hugged (after his initial shock of course). It felt like a dream come true… And it was.
Every single disappointment, every doctor’s appointment, every pain, every tear, every desire, led us here. To this baby now growing inside me that we would one day call our child. God had been so good. We were so blessed. I couldn’t wait - that night I immediately began making plans to tell our families on Mother’s Day. We had already arranged a trip prior to this for our fifth wedding anniversary and I was so excited we’d have a little babymoon - where no one knew about our little secret but us. I began a baby journal that night, writing down prayers and taking Mommy notes. My husband kept hugging me… It was all so very perfect.
Until suddenly, it wasn’t perfect anymore.