Today’s post is a little more personal (& long, sheesh!) but not too personal that I’m uncomfortable sharing. Not much is that uncomfortable for me to share because I feel like that’s when we learn the most. (plus if you are taking the time to read this then I feel you are qualified to know)
I’m pretty much obsessed with all things pregnancy, birth & baby related. Ever since my mom was pregnant with my little brother (I was 17 when she had him) I’ve loved learning all about each month of pregnancy. In fact, in my senior scrapbook I had a picture of what each stage of pregnancy in the womb looked like and had a detailed description of what went on and then the pictures of my little brother as a newborn.
It wasn’t until the end of my own pregnancy that I became really interested in giving birth. Not that I wanted to give birth over and over or anything, but what I had learned about giving birth made me want to share with others what I had learned. So now I’m putting my obsession to good use and training to become a Birth doula! If you are clueless to that word, a birth doula is like a labor coach. ‘A person trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional & informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth. -DONA Website’
Me and Jared actually debated for a couple weeks before hiring the doula we interviewed. It was pre FPU times and she seemed like a lot of money & we weren’t sure if she would be worth it. My mom thought I was crazy saying that she had 5 babies and she was all the coach I needed but after meeting with her & even winning my mom over we decided to go for it. BEST decision ever made! Me and Jared had each other but it was wonderful having someone with the knowledge of things in our favor to help guide us. She was also my epidural. Since I had Jaidan at home I couldn’t have decided on an epidural if I wanted to, but she was far better than that. She is also the one teaching this training.
Training is August 10th & 11th in Austin & I’m SO EXCITED! 🙂
Another thing that has consumed some time in my life is not just pregnancy but what happens before pregnancy even occurs. Some of you people are lucky enough to just have sex & boom that’s how babies are made. Others of us have it just a bit differently. When most little girls were dreaming of their wedding or who they would marry, I was dreaming of the babies I would have. So when I married my ‘high school sweetheart’ I couldn’t wait to start the whole family thing.
I’m obviously not on the extreme side of things as I have a beautiful spunky little child, but it’s still a difficult thing to have to go through when all of your friends get to plan their children and even what month they want them born in!
We conceived Jaidan after 15 months of trying & the latter part involved temping, OPK’s, a fertility monitor, checking CM, & numerous weird creams and medicines proven to help you get pregnant. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t take that long the second time around so I sold my fertility monitor and put all the ‘trying’ behind me.
Well here we are again in the exact same position except now it was been 18 months & still no baby. To be fair, we actually did get pregnant this past January but miscarried early in February. Miscarrying is really common too and I thought I had prepared myself in case it happened but the hormones REALLY got to me and I had a very tough couple of months after that. (I’m doing SO much better now)
This is where it gets more personal so if you don’t want to know, then stop reading… 🙂
I actually went back to my old OB in April and got checked out. She said I look perfect and to come back in August if I still wasn’t pregnant and she would try some ‘tricks’. Turns out I was at a breaking point with ‘baby making sex’ & I couldn’t wait until August so I found a fertility place and got signed up as a new patient. Don’t get me wrong here, the sex is great. That’s not the problem at all. But when you don’t seem to have the regular 20% chance of getting pregnant each month (as they say unexplained infertility couples have about a 3-8% chance each month) it gets very stressful doing something that seems to not bring results.
On June 11th we had our first consult with the Dr. at the fertility place! She was very thorough in all the information, problems & reasons why conception may not be happening. We even got to start that day with testing! She did an exam on me and checked my follicles on a sonogram, all looked perfect. I was CD 6 so she did another HSG on me. Even though I hated this test, I got pregnant the following month after having it done with Jaidan so I wanted it done again. My tubes were open and that looked great too!
The following Saturday we went to the office an hour away for my glucose test and blood work. Jared also did a semen analysis & DNA fragmentation.
I went in on day CD 21 for my progesterone check to see if I was even ovulating. The Dr. was wondering if I had some sort of PCOS although not a full diagnoses of that because I do have somewhat regular cycles. The numbers came back that I am in fact ovulating, at least this month anyway.
July 9th we had our consultation for all of our results. Glucose test came back perfect, blood work all came back perfect, semen analysis was great and then DNA fragmentation came back good.
Diagnoses- unexplained infertility.
There is such a thing as secondary infertility too. Now I can’t completely be classified as that until I don’t ever get pregnant again but I don’t think that will be the case. I just think sometimes it’s harder for people for whatever reason but eventually it WILL happen. (I know for some it really doesn’t though.)
The only thing she could slightly find wrong to work on was the DNA fragmentation. DNA fragmentation is the physical breaking of one or both DNA strands in sperm chromosomes.
- 0-15% is Excellent to Good
- 15-30% is Good to Fair
- 30%+ is Poor
Ours was 14.5% so bordering on just good.
The Dr. prescribed Jared a high antioxidant vitamin to take for at least 6 weeks before we start anything else. Then we are great candidates for IUI! IUI is intrauterine insemination so basically artificial insemination. They do a special sperm washing and insert it straight to my uterus via catheter. This was music to my ears!! That may seem weird but to be able to get back to sex for pleasure and not for torturing myself trying to make a baby is the best news I’ve ever heard!!
I will call them on day 1 of my cycle to schedule everything, come in on day 2 or 3 to get my baseline sonogram (to make sure no cysts or anything have developed). Then on days 3-7 I will take Clomid.
(The wait also buys the Dr. time to find someone that will crush clomid into a liquid for me since I can’t swallow pills. And yes that is serious, it’s not that I have a hard time swallowing pills, I simply CANNOT and I’ve never swallowed a pill in my life. You will not be able to cure me with your suggestions, trust me I’ve tried everything. I actually swallowed a tic tac a couple years ago and I’m still scarred from it. :P)
From there I kinda don’t remember what goes on but something about a couple sonograms to make sure my follicles are big enough and then an injection to jump start ovulation, IUI two days in a row and then come back at 11dpo (days past ovulation) for blood work to see if I’m pregnant or not. It sounds very clinical and I’m SOOO okay with that!! The Dr. said a pregnancy should happen by 1-3 months and if not we can do more aggressive fertility treatments like injectibles but she doesn’t think we will need that.
I think one of the reasons infertility isn’t talked about much is because it’s such a sensitive subject. I know people have given me all kinds of advice about why I’m not getting pregnant. Most people mean no harm, but they are doing harm by offering their suggestions. I’ve been told a lot of crazy reasons, here are a few to share:
- You’re too skinny
- It’s just not your time
- You’re not trying hard enough
- You’re trying too hard
- You’re too stressed
- You’re doing it wrong
The only things I really agree with is timing (It’s all God’s timing anyway) and being stressed. And the only reason I’m stressed is because you in your all knowing knowledge keeps telling me I’m trying too hard or not hard enough! Slightly kidding. The whole first year of trying was very relaxed & ‘when it happens it happens’ kinda thing. Which is great for normal couples, but after all the trying with before and currently I know that’s not the approach we can take right now.
Not all of this has been completely horrible for me. I’ve had lots of great prayer time & patience learned. Even though it’s been a roller coaster of emotions I’m thankful for so many things that it really puts a great perspective on life for me.
Still, I can honestly say this will be the first month I have not stressed myself out about everything in the past couple of months! We can let the Dr’s do what they do best while I enjoy the family I do have. 🙂