It was 7:30 on a Sunday morning when I first discovered I was pregnant. I had purchased a box of pregnancy tests the day before and had decided it was time to give them a try. The first turned positive within five seconds. But I followed the box instructions and impatiently waited for another 30 minutes or so to confirm the results. Then I took another test and it turned positive, too! (There were three in the pack; I gave them all a go!)
"I'm pregnant!" I thought. I really couldn't believe it.
I took the third test just to make sure. Positive again!
My Path to Pregnancy
I decided three years ago on my 30th birthday that I would stop taking birth control pills and start planning for a baby. I had it all figured out. But after six months of not taking the little pill that I'd been ingesting for 15 years, nothing happened! I called my doctor and asked, "Why isn't anything happening?"
This began my infertility journey.
After six months of not being able to conceive, my husband took a sperm test and we learned that he was fine. However, I did not have such luck. I started taking the pill around 15 due to polycystic ovary syndrome. I also had a short stint with an STD in college that was curable, but caused me emotional pain. I also have a thyroid condition that was discovered a couple months into my "infertility," and I began taking a low dosage of medication (levothyroxine). I tried acupuncture for a while but it seemed to be more of a money-eating thing than a help.
My OB-GYN also discovered that my blood sugar was high. After making some drastic diet changes, like eating nothing white except for dairy and onions and cutting out wine (sob!), I had lost 20 pounds, was exercising regularly, but was still not pregnant.
I tried everything to track my fertile times: urine strips, Basel temperature charts, cervical mucus, home PH tests, an array of herbal supplements, but nothing seemed to help.
After trying to conceive for about two and a half years, it was time for the next step. I decided to go down the road of invasive tests and endured an HSG procedure, which forces X-ray sensitive liquid through the fallopian tubes to see if they are functioning. It was short and slightly uncomfortable (and not fully covered under my insurance) but came back with good results. My tubes were working, there just wasn't anything happening. Shortly after, my OB-GYN planned to start me on Clomid, and if that failed, in vitro would follow. I was overwhelmed. And I was tired of others telling me not to think about it. How do you not think about infertility?
After I got my umpteenth "period," I sat myself down and decided to finally let myself relax. I opened a bottle of wine and ate some French bread. What I didn't know was that I was pregnant!
A few days later I didn't feel quite right and my breasts were so sore. Despite feeling out of sorts, I continued jogging, even though it seemed more of challenge.
Then, Sunday morning at 7:30 the real deal happened and the Big Pregnancy Moment arrived. Instead of freaking out and crying and jumping on the bed, the most amazing calm came over me. I turned to my open-mouthed husband and said, "Can you believe it?"
Starting waist measurement: 29 inches
Starting weight: 148 pounds
Pregnancy symptoms: PMS or pregnancy symptoms? Sore breasts, feeling out of sorts, and extreme fatigue.
About the Photo: The above picture of the author was taken during her fifth week of pregnancy by Dean Lipoff.
Read the next installment: week six