I know it has been quite some time since my last post, and I have been thinking a lot about this post and exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it and what I want my message to you to be. I know that this blog, and especially these PCOS posts reach women who, like me, struggle with their own fertility journeys. I hope that what I am writing about fills you with hope and not pain, but if you do feel pain as you read this I want you to know that I understand. I have felt that. It is never my intention to hurt you. It’s important to remember that no two journeys are the same. Some take longer to reach their destination, with more turns and detours along the way and some are shorter and more direct. In either case we learn a lot and feel a lot along the way. In our fertility journey the destination of parenthood at any moment could be right around the corner, or miles down the road. We won’t know until we get there.
Back at the start of June, my husband – David and I experienced some disappointments, finding out that even though everything seemed to go perfectly – and I thought I was pregnant – I wasn’t. It was harder on us than we had expected even though we knew that this journey could take us years, and through a number of different treatment types. At the end of June and beginning of July we were facing different challenges. That cycle seemed to be a complete failure and we were having to consider making the step to injections. Which would be more invasive and quite a bit more expensive. We decided to complete that cycle and then take a break and a vacation to regroup, and decide our next step.
Before we went on our trip, my estrogen did spike (usually a sign of ovulation) and we made the best of it, knowing that it was unlikely this cycle would work. My fertility doctor told me to take some pregnancy tests on the trip “just in case” and take the first and second a day apart and if they give differing or inconclusive results take a third the next day.
So, in a hotel in Sudbury, I took the first test and got a very very light positive line. It was so light I wasn’t sure what it meant. As we drove that day, I did some googling and learned that a very faint positive could be a “chemical pregnancy” which is when a fertilized egg does not attach properly to the uterine wall and although it releases enough hCG to be detected on a pregnancy test it is not a viable pregnancy. Usually the faint line of a chemical pregnancy would be visible one day and fade the next. So the nest morning in Thunder Bay I took another test, Again I got a faint line. So back to the mighty Internet I went. I found an article that said that some women test better in the evening than they do in the morning. So, somewhere in Manitoba we found a Walmart where I could buy some more pregnancy tests. Then in the parking lot of an A&W in Manitoba I let David know that our Schrodinger’s baby was no longer both there and not. We had a very clear positive!
I can’t tell you all the feelings that filled me. For sure there was shock, joy, disbelief, a bit of fear, thankfulness, more disbelief, relief… It was my turn to drive, but we quickly switched because I couldn’t keep the tears from coming! I wasn’t at all sad. I just kept thinking that I couldn’t have asked for this to go a better way. So much of what we have gone through on our fertility treatment was not “natural”: Drugs, doctors, nurses, blood tests, scans, lather rinse repeat… Even so far as timing intimacy, instead of letting “nature take it’s course”. Every step of the way other people knew what was going on with me and my body before I did. Please don’t get me wrong,I am so thankful for each and every one of those people because they have brought me to where I am now! I would gladly do it all again! Finding out I was pregnant the way I did, at that A&W in Manitoba, I just felt so normal. My husband and I got to be the first people on the planet to know about our baby. We got to carry that secret treasure with us until we were ready to tell.
I can’t keep secrets, so it was only two days later that I told my sister. Our vacation took us to stay with my sister in BC for 10 days. And we told the rest of our families pretty much as soon as we were home.
Little Widget (as we affectionately call our baby) is 12weeks 2days along. He or she is about the size of a plum. Definitely small enough to fit easily into the palm of my hand. David and I have seen our baby twice by ultrasound, and today we will see our baby again as I have my last appointment with my fertility clinic. We are very fortunate to have had this experience. Most parents who get pregnant the “normal” way don’t get so many opportunities to see their unborn baby unless something has gone wrong. We have had pretty much constant reassurances throughout the first trimester that everything is going right.
We have had a couple of small hurdles to deal with. The first was an issue with my progesterone levels, this is not uncommon with PCOS. My progesterone was not rising on it’s own and so I have been taking a supplement to keep my progesterone up until the placenta is able to independently produce enough progesterone to keep the baby healthy and growing properly. I will be off the progesterone supplements when I’m 13weeks 0days. I can’t wait! I’ve also had a very stubborn UTI, and I have had 2 courses of antibiotics to try and get rid of it. It is common in pregnancy for moms to get UTIs and not have any noticeable symptoms, if not treated the UTI can easily turn into a kidney infection and that is totally not good! I’m not sure why we are less likely to feel the symptoms, but the greater risk of infection comes from how squished the organs involved get as the uterus expands making infection easier, and our immune systems are suppressed in pregnancy so that we don’t attack the baby. I don’t know why evolution didn’t come up with a smarter method for protecting baby from our immune system. Anyways, both of these little hurdles were caught early and have been monitored and treated efficiently because of the attention I have received through my fertility clinic.
I am so thankful to have Widget. David has been an amazing support for me and for our baby. I am so glad I have finally shared with you the story of how we found out about our little miracle.