First, thank you for all the sweet notes of congratulations on Monday’s announcement! We read every social media post and it meant the world to us to know we have so many people excited for this next step in our lives. Today I’m opening up about what it took for us to get pregnant. Spoiler alert: it’s not always that simple! It’s my most personal post to date, but I feel it’s important to be open about our fertility journey if it can help someone else going through something similar. It’s a long one, so I apologize in advance!
I always knew I would be a mom, I just never felt the desire to become a mom anytime soon. That was until about six months into my marriage and baby fever kicked in, big time. It took Brett a little more time to get on board with the whole baby thing and I ended up taking my last birth control pill on our first wedding anniversary.
I optimistically assumed we would be pregnant within a few months. Of course life doesn’t always go according to plan. With each passing month that I wasn’t pregnant I became more and more panicked that something was wrong. At the six month mark I called my doctor. I knew the stress and pressure I was putting on my body wasn’t doing me any good. She said her best advice to me was to relax (easier said than done) and keep trying for another six months (not what I wanted to hear). She could refer me to a specialist, but that it went against her recommendation. We went ahead and made an appointment anyway for the following week.
We had an initial consultation, which was then followed by a series of blood and ultrasound tests. In January we were given the news no one wants to hear – there is very little chance we’ll be able to conceive naturally. Upon initially hearing this news from the doctor we were (understandably) devastated. After a few days though we began to accept the situation and were ready to move on.
The next few months felt like they were moving at a snail’s pace and flying by all at once. In early February I started a cycle of birth control and in March I started IVF medications. The day the box of medications arrived was equal parts exciting and terrifying. Even a simple finger prick gives me anxiety, so getting a package with what seemed like hundreds of needles put me in major panic mode.
To be completely honest, the shots didn’t hurt as badly as I thought they would. I never experienced any of the negative side effects many women do. I am also very thankful Brett wasn’t traveling at all during this period because I don’t think I could have given them myself. The worst part was the bruising, especially on my arms. Luckily it was still cold out so I just wore long sleeves every day.
After nine days, we were told it was retrieval time. I would get one final shot and then exactly 36 hours later it would be egg retrieval time! We arrived at the fertility center about an hour and a half before the procedure and I thought we’d have a lot of down time. Between paperwork and getting prepped, it all went by very quickly. Before I knew it I was being wheeled off into the surgery room and getting the anesthesia. I woke up a short time later in the prep room and was told everything went great (they retrieved over 20 eggs!). After another 30 minutes or so we were sent home with instructions to drink lots of fluids and to rest.
I thought that because I had made it through the “stims” phase without any side effects, the recovery phase after the retrieval would be a piece of cake. Boy was I wrong. I became so bloated even yoga pants were uncomfortable to wear and just a short walk left me in pain. I was pretty much a couch potato for the next three or four days and even called my nurse to make sure this was normal. She said because of the number of eggs they retrieved and my size, it was totally normal.
Surprisingly transfer day was much more relaxed than the retrieval day. The procedure takes less than 5 minutes and you don’t need to be sedated. Brett and I were able to watch the entire process on a screen. Pretty much right after the embryo was transferred we were able to leave the office. I was scared to get up, but the doctor assured me the embryo wouldn’t fall out. 🙂 We met some friends for brunch later that morning and took it easy the rest of the day.
After spending the previous month visiting the doctor’s office nearly every day, it was odd to not have any appointments for the next two weeks. We did our best to keep busy though and the two week wait went by faster than I thought it would. Finally, the news that we had been waiting 10 months for came and we were pregnant! I know 10 months may not seem like a long time and many women who struggle with infertility have to wait far longer, but when you really want a baby any amount of time you have to wait can feel like forever. I’m so thankful that I reached out for help when I did and for the team of doctors and nurses who treated us.
I’m looking forward to sharing the rest of my pregnancy journey with you. You can also read more about our fertility journey on the Bump Club and Beyond, which I’m excited to now be a contributing writer for.
If you have any questions for me, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I know how scary and overwhelming this process can be!
photos by Monica Modzelewski