Our New Years Announcement

I am currently 15 weeks and four days along. We found out about this news only about two weeks before our scheduled IVF appointment. I don’t understand why we needed to wait two and a half years to get pregnant, or why we were able to get pregnant without any medical intervention after trying so many things.  But we are extremely grateful for this chance and also incredibly nervous about being parents. After going through multiple doctors, rounds of medicine, and progressively more invasive treatments it seems such a sudden thing to happen after we had decided to take a break from the effort.

In some ways, it’s made me question what I’ve gone through over the past couple of years. But I did struggle, as real a struggle as anyone else. I’ve learned empathy, as someone who also felt the two-edged sword of emotion that accompanies someone else’s pregnancy announcement. On one hand, joy and happiness. On the other hand, an immense sadness at my own condition and inability. As one of my favorite infertility bloggers said, “Pregnancy news comes with so much joy but equal sorrow for those who are still awaiting their happy beginning. Please know I love you so much. Just as I have been there, I am here for you.”

Infertility is a part of me and a part of who I am. These last few years have been the hardest of my life. I have never cried more or been brought to my knees more. But I know I have a Savior who has walked it all with me and who has carried me. I know He is there for all of us no matter what we are going through.

Thank you to all of you for your prayers. They have strengthened us and we have felt surrounded by so much love and support. We are excited for this next adventure, and June 27th can’t come soon enough!

I wrote more about our timeline and journey here.

Our Infertility Journey

On reflecting back on everything that’s been happening on this journey, I decided to write out my timeline of all that it has happened before getting pregnant. Writing this out was actually more of an emotional and humbling experience than I thought it would be. I’m stronger than I’ve given myself credit for.

April 2016: Start trying to get pregnant (trying but not trying). After a few months, start tracking like crazy and using ovulation predictor kits.

January 2017: See a doctor for the first time. I am diagnosed with PCOS due to low progesterone. Still not worried about infertility, just focusing on getting healthy and treating PCOS. Get on medication regimen (metformin, spironalctone, progesterone) and continue tracking my cycle.

May 2017: Since it had been a year, start Clomid (ovulation inducer) while taking my basal body temperature every day and timing intercourse. I do this for about 2 months, take a break for a month (more cysts had formed), and then do it again for a 3rd month. I’m also trying ovulation predictor kits and pretty much everything I can. Dallin was tested and everything came back normal.

October 2017: Decided to start seeing a more local doctor (it took me 2 months to get in). Do a full myriad of bloodwork again (just happen to pass out and throw up afterwards). He does not believe I have PCOS (since I have very regular cycle). Everything comes back normal except my prolactin levels (same hormone found when breastfeeding that can prevent ovulation). I do an MRI and a small spot is found on my pituitary gland. I begin taking a medication to combat the high prolactin.

November/December 2017: Doctor starts me on letrozole (acts similarly to clomid) with timed intercourse. I also start going in for monthly bloodwork to determine if I am ovulating while taking the letrozole. Everything continues to come back normal.

January 2018: I go in for the HSG test to determine if my fallopian tubes have any blockage. Everything comes back normal. It was a very painful test, and since I have a tilted uterus, it always seems to throw the practitioner for a loop.

February 2018: After 3 months of letrozole with no intervention, my doctor and I decide it is time to move on to intrauterine insemination (also known as an IUI). This is done while taking letrozole. I go in for an ultrasound around day 10-11 of my cycle to see if I have any follicles forming. If yes, Dallin then gave me a trigger shot in order to tell the egg to release. The next day, I went in for the insemination, where they insert a catheter full of Dallin’s swimmers up me. Once again, the tilted uterus made things very painful and I absolutely hated it.

March and April 2018: I do this IUI thing for 2 more cycles. All three times came back negative.

May 2018: After taking letrozole for 6 months and getting to the heaviest weight of my life, I ask my doctor what he would think about taking a break. He thinks this is a good idea. I plan on taking a break for about 2-3 months. From all of my google research I assumed that after my break we would move to the next level of IUI with more intervention. May and June pass and I start tracking calories and finally am able to lose a little bit of the weight I had gained thanks to my eating habits and all of the hormones I had been taking for the past 6 -12 months.

June 2018: I still don’t feel ready to jump back into the fertility drugs and appointment world again, but I start doing a lot more research on preparing for IVF and improving my egg quality. I read a few books (It Starts With the Egg) and I decide to make some changes in my home. I attempt to go to more natural skin care, haircare, makeup, cleaning products, laundry products, etc. I honestly don’t know if I believed it all but I figured what did I have to lose? I also started taking different vitamins and supplements regularly.

July 2018: At around the same time, I decided to start the keto diet. Based on my research it seemed like the perfect diet for me: I had been deemed pre-diabetic (I was taking metformin for this reason) and I got to eat bacon and avocados on the regular 🙂 I started keto and honestly never felt better. (Almost) All of my symptoms that I had been experiencing for the past several years disappeared.

August 2018: We got our Melly doodle. Although this wasn’t anything I did with my body, my happiness levels were super high 🙂 I also reached back out to my doctor, deciding I was ready to start back into the treatments. He told me there was nothing he could do for me and he referred me to an InVitro Fertilization specialist. I was disappointed, but very excited to finally move on to the final step before knowing we had tried all we could (treatments wise) to conceive. They had a long waitlist as expected, but I was able to get an appointment scheduled in mid-November to begin the IVF process. We began waiting and a lot of burden had been lifted during these few months, as I knew we had a plan. I really didn’t think about timing or anything during these few months and it was a much needed break.

October 2018: By October, I had lost about 25 lbs doing keto. I was 7 lbs away from my goal weight and feeling better than ever. October was a month full of traveling for work and barely any time at home.

October 26th: After being 10 days late, I finally took a pregnancy test.  After 30 negatives, I got my first positive!  Joy and pure disbelief ensued. Still praying every day I don’t wake up from a really good dream 🙂

I don’t know what it was that helped me get pregnant, but I do know that it isn’t up to me. I felt very prompted to focus on my diet and health. I didn’t know if that would help me get pregnant, but I knew that I would regret it if I didn’t. Looking back, I think God was guiding me to begin keto, to start the supplements that I did, to get Melly, and to just give it all to Him.  I’m sure one day I’ll be able to look back and understand His timing, but for now, I’m just going forward in faith and trust.

,

Grown

Dear blog,

I haven’t written on you for 10 months. How is that? Yet, I have so many drafts I have written and not published. And I feel like hitting publish on a lot of them because vulnerability is power and empathy is what makes us human and if we aren’t willing to be human then what are we?

I wrote this in May earlier this year, although I do feel like I could have written it yesterday.

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The last month has felt like some sort of turning point for me. There are no words to explain it, other than the fact that I feel like I’ve reached adulthood. Like my prime has passed or like I’ve seen a lot a bit of life and the world and just hard things. It’s probably the weight and the bloat from the fertility drugs and the side effect of constant starvation. It’s probably learning to grapple with a constant emotional rollercoaster. Added responsibilities at work and at church. Close friends going through hard, real problems that are oh not so sheltered. Opening my heart to more and more love and ideas. Turning 25. Having my 3rd anniversary.

I’m sure everyone is saying — Oh, Emma. You are so young and so naive still. And while maybe I am, I don’t feel it, and the weight of the world makes my heart hurt.

I’ve always been the Jane in Pride and Prejudice. And right now, Bingley has broken my heart and I’m trying to accept that. I know that she gets Bingley in the end, but right now he seems like he’s in love with someone else and I will be perfectly content loving and being a support to those around me because I don’t need no man! (This analogy was about children not about Dallin because we all know I need Dallin in order to even survive.)

So anyways, here’s to adulthood. It’s pretty dang hard but it’s also pretty dang amazing how strong and resilient we are through it all.

Love,

Emma