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*Trigger Warning – This posts mentions kid, loss, infertility lingo, and diabetes.
“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage…”
NOT SO FAST.
My journey to and through motherhood thus far has been long. I have one daughter and she took almost a year to conceive. But it’s trying to have a second child where my journey has had multiple detours.
Let’s start from the beginning. My daughter was born in 2013. My husband and I always envisioned having 2 kiddos. So we knew we were going to try for another. But I had NO IDEA how complicated this journey would be.
in 2015, I became pregnant again. However, a few weeks later, I miscarried. There was some comfort provided by my OB that my body did what it needed to do, but it was still sad. The experience of having to go to the emergency room, and then days later being told I am not pregnant anymore, was painful.
Then towards the end of 2016, I got a period that never stopped. It went on for MONTHS. I suffered not only with the bleeding, but I generally felt horrible. I was forgetful and always tired. One day, my chiropractor mentioned to me that I would always complain of fatigue to her. She knew I had been bleeding for awhile and said I could be getting anemic. That thought never occurred to me, and thanks to her, I went to get checked out by my OB. I indeed was anemic and she put me on hormones to stop the bleeding, along with an iron supplement.
I finally felt like I was on the up and up. And in 2017, I was committed to getting pregnant again. In mid 2017 my OB was ready to prescribe me fertility meds to help with my ovulation so I could get pregnant. I took the standard blood tests and got an afternoon call she was cancelling my prescription and I needed to follow up with my Primary Care Physician (PCP). She said my blood glucose was “abnormal.” I viewed my A1C results online and googled, which all led to the conclusion it could be diabetes. I thought to myself, “There is no way I am diabetic.”
I sure was. My PCP indeed confirmed I had type 2 diabetes and trying to conceive was not advised until I lowered by A1C and “managed” my diabetes. I had to do self-glucose testing with a monitor and meet with a nutritionist. It was at the nutritionist appointment where I was confronted with the fact that my poor diet choices got me to this point. I was at my heaviest weight and clearly unhealthy. The co-morbidities with diabetes along with the diabetes itself were actually really scary to think about. If I kept on that path, I would likely live a shorter life.
I began to make some simple diet changes (no more sweet iced coffees and donut on the way to work everyday). We tried to limit our eating out. I really cut back on sugary stuff in general (no more late night ice cream).
I was also annoyed at the cost of all this. Multiple doctors visits, time off work, and the cost of blood glucose monitoring were quite honestly a drain. At the end of the year, I decided I would invest in my health and bought a gym membership. My husband and I started working out 3-5 times each week. I started to lose weight and within months of being diagnosed with diabetes, my A1C dropped to prediabetes levels. My doctor was thrilled.
I also consistently started taking good supplements. I take Care/Of vitamins and drink a greens supplement everyday.
Try Care/of here: https://takecareof.com/invites/cjqanc
This is the greens supplement I drink from Ora Organic: https://amzn.to/2W3zok1
In June 2018, my bookclub ladies decided to try SoulCycle, which had recently opened at the mall near my house. You can read my journey here. It CHANGED my life. Riding at SoulCycle opened my eyes to what I am capable of. The classes are challenging, yet fun, and I’ve made friends at my home studio. And since I started SoulCycle, I have continued to lose weight and I can happily report my A1C is within normal levels.
I am no longer considered diabetic and all my blood tests from my last physical were normal.
REFERRED TO FERTILITY SPECIALIST
I then decided with my improved health, it was time to try again. I followed up with my OB and since I am older (38), he recommended that I be referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). In late fall of 2018, my husband and I began our journey with our RE. We had our first appointment learning about all things related to fertility and the options available to us. Because of my age, my RE thinks IVF would have the best chance of success, however, because all my other tests look good (ovaries and egg quality), we decided to try IUI first.
In December of 2018, we had our first IUI. I started a round of clomid and when my follicles looked ready, I had to give myself an injection to stimulate ovulation. Then we went in for the procedure 2 days later, which felt like a Pap smear. A pregnancy test is scheduled for 2 weeks after the IUI…. My period decided to show up 2 days before my scheduled pregnancy test. Womp womp.
As of the publish date of this post, we went straight into trying to conceive again. I started another round of increased clomid, and just last week triggered and had another IUI. And now I just wait.
The waiting and uncertainty is the toughest part. Am I pregnant, am I not? I won’t know for a couple weeks. (Also known as the two week wait – TWW). Should I not get pregnant this cycle, we will try another IUI and then likely move into preparing for IVF.
WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE KNOW
All of this takes time. There is so much uncertainty. It has definitely affected me professionally and personally. Professionally, I’ve had to juggle appointments with my work schedule. Driving to and from the RE’s office, sometimes multiple times in the same week takes up time. Selling LuLaRoe and blogging has taken a back seat. Personally, I worked out less because of scheduling and how I feel. Fertility drugs have made me generally crampy all the time. In December, I was almost afraid to workout and be active. This month, I’m trying stay active, mostly just to not dwell on the waiting game.
Being treated for infertility can be really expensive. We are really fortunate to have good insurance. I don’t take that for granted, as I know some people pay so much out of pocket to try and conceive. I’ve personally seen the financial toll this process can take on people.
So, I write this to give insight to my last few months. Years ago, it seemed like I would never actually get to this point. But here I am, hoping to have an update this year that I am pregnant. Until then, I’m just trying to keep my head above water. I try to have a sense of humor to laugh and smile when I can (like when I squeeze the sperm stress ball when I have a blood test). It is humbling and I am thankful for all the support I have around me.
I think it’s important to hear more stories like my own because sometimes it’s nice to not feel alone. When I had my miscarriage, I realized that no one really talks about it. Unless I search on dedicated community boards and google, it’s hard to find some sense of community and support because it’s not openly talked about.
Infertility isn’t just a diagnosis. It’s a journey. If you are struggling with infertility, I send well wishes and strength. You are not alone. If you know someone who is dealing with this, I hope my story gives you some insight and understanding.
Thanks for reading.
I am grateful for you,