I always say that I need to write on here more often, but as of late, I haven’t really known what to say. As my husband and I battled the grief of infertility, each day was tough enough. I didn’t have enough words for you to fill a document, while simultaneously trying to make headway on the book that I’ve been working on.
My husband and I began trying to for kids immediately after getting married. Our dream was to start a family, and we knew we didn’t want to wait any longer. But after 8 months of trying to conceive, including all the ovulation tests and peeing on countless sticks, I had a feeling that something was very wrong. I set up an appointment with my OB in March of 2021 and was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome.) Essentially, my ovaries were covered in cysts and my body wasn’t naturally ovulating like it was supposed to. My doctor suggested I try an ovulation induction medication called Letrozole to stimulate ovulation. Excitedly, I picked the prescription up from the pharmacy, ready to finally get pregnant. The first cycle on it, my body didn’t respond at all. The second, third, fourth, and fifth rounds of Letrozole didn’t do the trick either. I finally ovulated on the last round, but my progesterone levels were still low, and we didn’t conceive.
We were ready for more assistance. My husband and I researched different fertility specialists in our area- with the selection only being between two clinics. After weighing the pros and cons of each, we decided to see Dr. Miller. August of 2021, we had our first appointment with him. My husband and I had hope again, thinking that this would be just what we needed. By the end of the appointment, Dr. Miller had determined that I needed to have laparoscopic surgery for suspected Endometriosis, and a hysteroscopy to fix a dip in my uterus that could cause miscarriage in the future if not corrected. It was not what we were expecting, but we were thankful to try something different, and we felt reassured by the confidence Dr. Miller seemed to have in the benefits of this surgery.
Surgery Day: September 21, 2021
Surgery day rolled around, and despite being absolutely terrified of the IV I knew I was going to have, I was so ready for what was up ahead! The surgery ended up being a success. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Endometriosis, but Dr. Miller was able to remove all of it, along with fixing my uterus. There is a 50% chance that Endo will grow back within two years, but we are hopeful that it will stay away for good. By the time by body had finally finished healing and my doctor had given us the clear to start trying ovulation medications again, we discovered that I had new cysts on my ovaries that prohibited me from using ovulation meds until they shrunk or were gone. We were devastated. It was December at this point and we kept wondering when our time would finally come. I did some research and decided that I wanted to invest in seeing a fertility acupuncturist. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew other women who swore by it, so I figured it was worth an (expensive) try. In January, I began seeing my acupuncturist weekly, along with taking the Chinese herbs that were recommended. I was willing to try absolutely anything at this point, so I did. Two or three weeks after beginning in acupuncture, I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Miller to check on the status of my cysts. All of them were completely gone. They hadn’t just shrunk; they had vanished. It was finally time to begin medications. We decided that we didn’t just want to try Letrozole again in hopes that it would work. We needed more. After much discussion, we came up with a protocol. I would take a higher dosage of Letrozole for 5 days along with Dexamethasone for 10 days. I would then do a trigger shot called Ovidrel to force ovulation. I would then see Dr. Miller on day 14 of my cycle for an IUI procedure (Intrauterine Insemination) in which they take my husband’s sperm and place it directly in my uterus. We did this procedure on February 11th, and I went on a progesterone medication following the procedure, to give my body a boost of what it needed.
There is a two week wait between the procedure and being able to take a pregnancy test, and let me tell you, those two weeks are torture. The “What-if” questions are constant, and you can’t test early because the trigger shot produces a false positive, so you have to wait for that to leave your system completely. We were so hopeful, yet two weeks later, the results were negative, and we were crushed. I didn’t understand why God kept saying no. It didn’t make sense to me. Why her and not why? WHY? The thousands of tears I cried month after month couldn’t possibly be portrayed in all their fullness in this post. There aren’t words to describe this kind of pain.
We decided to take a month off. I had a lot of traveling happening in March anyway, and we decided a breather would be helpful for both of us. Let me tell you- fertility meds are no joke. They take such a toll on the mind and body. I felt like a total wreck every time I was on them, and I needed a chance to re-set. March came and went, and I gained a newfound hope and fresh perspective. I was ready to try again. Normally with women who have PCOS, Letrozole is the ovulation medication that is always used. It had failed me 6 times though, and I was ready to try something new. I knew that the risk with the other medication, Clomid, meant far more side effects. There are people that call this the “drug from hell.” But that wasn’t going to deter us. We had the same protocol again this cycle, just replacing the letrozole with clomid. Sure enough, the next two weeks were horrible. I developed a fever; I canceled lots of my plans; I was absolutely miserable- not to mention my hormones were on a whole new level, and my poor, sweet, husband was at a loss.
On April 18, 2022 I went in for our second round of IUI. I had more peace this time around. I think the month break helped with that. The following couple weeks seemed to drag on for a lifetime. I continued to see my acupuncturist, take the herbs, eat all the foods I read helped with fertility, and stay active. I didn’t want to be tempted to test early, so I had my husband hide all of my pregnancy tests. While time dragged, a peace continued to develop in me. I had a strong feeling that this was it for us. I could feel it in my bones. On April 30th, I hopped out of bed ready to test, and there, in the wee hours of the morning, I saw two pink lines show up. They were faint but there. It’s like a knowing came over me. I didn’t scream or jump up and down, because I just had this innate sense that our time had come. I didn’t want to get my hopes up in case this was still the effects of the trigger shot lingering in my system, so I kept quiet and went about my day. That night when I got home, I tested again and the lines were darker.
I was definitely pregnant.
Our deepest prayers and the longing of our heart had come true. We were going to have a baby. God finally said “Yes!!!”
The first trimester was filled with scares and different fears. We discovered at 6 weeks pregnant that we were pregnant with twins, but one of the babies hadn’t made it. That was really difficult news to receive, and I also developed some more cysts which were causing a good deal of cramping, along with hematomas which caused me to bleed a lot. Bleeding in the first trimester (to the degree that I did) is terrifying. I remember curled up in a ball sobbing my eyes out in May, because I thought I was losing the baby. There isn’t a fear quite like that.
But here we are, 16 weeks pregnant and our precious little baby is doing perfect. We aren’t going to find out the gender until birth, so while I’m pregnant, we are calling him/her Baby Em. This is our miracle Baby. The answer to our prayers summed up in one tiny little body.
About 5 and ½ more months to go, and I know there will be more fears and concerns that come up- and that’s BEFORE baby is even born. I can only imagine how it will go as our baby actually grows up! Eep. But I think of how far God has brought us and how His timing is absolutely perfect. Maybe He had us wait for so long because He knew I needed to learn to have a deeper dependence on Him. Maybe He wants me to encourage and help others walking through similar experiences. Whatever His reason, even if I never understand completely, it is far better than my own timeline. His grace has carried us this far, and His grace will continue to carry us through it all.
After close to $15,000 in fertility treatments and holy intervention from our Heavenly Father, I sit here, rubbing the baby bump that is becoming harder to hide. I am reminded of God’s redeeming work in my life, and His faithfulness to me, even in the moments when His faithfulness was painful. He is a good, good Father, who loves giving good gifts to His children. We are so thankful that God finally said “Yes!!!”
Precious Baby Em, we can’t wait to meet you this January.