Baby Fever

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sometime after we were married, my husband and I started talking about timing for the "next step"--when we would have a baby. Although I started to have inklings of "baby fever" just a few months after the wedding, we agreed to enjoy the first year of marriage and revisit the subject around our first anniversary.

I don't want to get into all the nitty-gritty details of our journey to have a baby. But I do feel like fertility problems are sometimes a little "taboo" or something, so I feel a certain responsibility to at least be honest about our experience. As we were going through it, we didn't share our troubles with anyone. We really held onto the ideal, and wanted our families and friends to be surprised. Plus, I didn't think I could handle people asking me about it, because some days, it was the last thing I wanted to think/talk about. There were days, sometimes weeks, that were extremely hard. In the end, our problem paled in comparison to the problems of others, but when you're in it, every problem seems difficult to deal with--no matter how small or large.

Essentially, after being off birth control for 7-8 months (we weren't trying during this time), my body decided to stop ovulating consistently. Coincidentally, my body stopped working right at the time we had decided to start trying to get pregnant. Last summer, I went 100 days without a period before my doctor gave me drugs to have one. We thought perhaps it was an anomaly, but in the fall, it happened again, and it became clear that we weren't going to get pregnant if I couldn't get my body working like it was supposed to.

After some evaluation, my doctor suggested Clomid. By this point, we were pretty frustrated since it had been months and we hadn't even had a chance to get pregnant yet. In order to move forward and get the show on the road, we agreed to give the Clomid a try. My doctor told me that we had three cycles of Clomid to get pregnant before she would refer us to a reproductive endocrinologist (fertility specialist).

Long story short--Clomid was my miracle drug.

Our first Clomid cycle was a bust, and I was tremendously disappointed and discouraged. When the end of the second cycle was drawing near, I took a pregnancy test and got a negative--again. For whatever reason, I was more relaxed about the results this time, and went on with life. The next day, I tested again: another negative. Life continued to go on. Two days after that, my period was officially due. I took a third test, waited for two minutes, didn't see anything (another negative, I figured) and went back to bed until the alarm.

When I got out of bed half an hour later and went to shower, I took a second look at the test and saw the faintest of faint second lines. I thought perhaps it was an evaporation line, and knew I couldn't trust the results since the "testing period" had long gone, so I really didn't think much of it at all. But I did say to Michael--"This is weird. There is something there, and that's never happened before. If I don't get my period today, I'm testing with the GOOD test tomorrow." (So far, all the tests I had taken were Dollar Tree tests.)

I never got my period. (Oh, and my chart? Possibly the most beautiful chart EVER, if I do say so myself.)

On Tuesday morning, we woke up together and I went into the bathroom to test. I broke out the "big guns"--a First Response Early Response. I took it, opened the door, and waited for the results with Michael. After a minute or two, I turned around, picked up the test, and started laughing. There were two lines, and there was no question about it. We knew then that we're having a baby. I think we were both in shock. We laughed, we hugged, I cried.

Of course, I still wanted to "confirm" with a digital. Because I was apparently too giddy to read directions correctly, I accidentally wasted two digitals. They came up with invalid results. I was pissed! I just wanted to see the word "pregnant" pop up, was that too much to ask? Thankfully, the third (and last) digital test in the box worked, and I got my wish. "Pregnant!" From then on, it was real.

January 12, 2010 = Life will never be the same.


Gia March 17, 2010 at 8:23 PM  

Heather, so glad you decided to discuss this with your readers. I am on my first Clomid cycle. We have been trying for a year to get pregnant and have not had luck. I have had long cycles (45, 55, 65, 71 days) which really puts a damper on the whole thing. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us. Hopefully Clomid will be our miracle drug as well!

Heather March 17, 2010 at 8:37 PM  

Gia--Your ONE response makes me feel like it was worth sharing.

Good luck with your Clomid cycle. I jumped over to your blog real quick and saw that you were/are nervous about the side effects. I was lucky; I didn't have any throughout either of my two cycles. A minor headache here or there, and some weird tugging/pulling feelings in my abdomen around ovulation time, but aside from that, I couldn't complain. Oh, and I *think* I may have had like 1 or 2 hot flashes, but they weren't anything crazy. :)

I hope Clomid works for you as it did for me!

Rachelle March 17, 2010 at 8:48 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous,  March 17, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

I just wanted to comment after reading your Clomid post. I wanted to tell you all that I was on Clomid for 5 months, first at 50 mg for two cycles, then 100. I had almost given up with Clomid, and was afraid of the next step. I read that Robitussin, the expectorant only, helps because Clomid can cause a hostile environment. I also use Pre-Seed my 5th month as well. I am due in August!! I can't say it wasn't just my time, but I do recommend trying the Robitussin and Pre-Seed if you are having trouble on Clomid with negative results. The Robitussin should be taken twice a day from day 10 until your next cycle. Congrats Heather, and good luck Gia.

Gia March 17, 2010 at 10:01 PM  

You are awesome.

And the ONLY side effect I have felt was hot flashes! Weird. I actually just posted about it (and gave you a little shout-out too!)

Heather March 17, 2010 at 10:15 PM  

To the poster from 8:48 p.m., who deleted her comment--If you happen to check back here, I just wanted to let you know that I received your comment via e-mail and appreciated it. I'm not sure why you deleted, but understand that it's hard to strike a balance between what to share and not share. I can only guess that maybe you felt you shared too much. I wish you the best. I'm glad you commented, even if you needed to delete it afterward.

Hopeful,  March 17, 2010 at 10:57 PM  

I just wanted to say I've been a huge fan of your blog since the "Road to the Aisle" days. (insert a long over due thank you for your post on making that card box...totally did that!)

Anyway, this is the first time I have commented but wanted to echo Gia's comment in thanking you for posting your experiences with Clomid. Like you said, there is a stigma around fertility problems but people like you who put their story out there give hope to the rest of us. Congratulations to you Heather and good luck to all the other ladies out there trying!

Anonymous,  March 18, 2010 at 9:02 AM  

congratulations on your baby again! :)
I agree that fertility issues seem to be a bit taboo these days, but I think they're pretty widespread. I know my cycle isn't remotely regular if I'm off the pill, so I can just imagine getting pregnant might be a challenge someday. Thanks for sharing this! You've effectively removed some of the stigma and comforted some of us that are going or will go through this in the future!

Andrea March 18, 2010 at 9:17 AM  

Like the previous comments I'd like to thank you for this post.

My experience has been almost identical to yours (stopped BCP over a year ago and exactly seven months later I stopped ovulating. Since then I have only had cycles that ended with Provera).

The difference for me is that my story isn't finished yet and we're currently in the middle of our first Clomid cycle. The entire experience is very emotional but it is incredibly encouraging to hear someone else's positive experience.

Thanks again--I could not be more happy for you!

Anonymous,  March 18, 2010 at 10:11 AM  

Heather, your post brought me to tears. I've been following you since Road to the Aisle. I feel like you and I are sooo similar in many aspects. I have been married for a little over a year and we began trying during the honeymoon. I also have very irregular periods without b/c. I did clomid 3 cycles...nothing. I then started at an RE and now, we are just waiting to move on to injectibles. I'm actually on provera now, so this period will be my first shot with the "big boys". Am I nervous? Yes. Am I discouraged? Yes. BUT, reading your post has reaffirmed that infertility is such a common problem. I am going to go into this cycle with positivity. If it happens, it does. In the end, it's not my's God's plan.
I appreciate so much that you were truthful and honest about your experience.

I wish you and your husband (and little baby) nothing but health and happiness! Congratulations!

Juls March 18, 2010 at 10:27 AM  

Boy did this hit home. It is funny when its happening to you-you feel so alone. Its when others like you are brave and share your experience, it makes those of us who feel alone-feel like there is hope!! Thanks again, and congrats!!

Life of a Doctor's Wife March 18, 2010 at 10:30 AM  

Yay! That is such a wonderful story with such a happy ending. I have a friend who's going through exactly what you went through. I hope that she'll have the same happy results!

Rachel and Jeremy March 18, 2010 at 11:17 AM  

Heather thank you for sharing your story, it is nice to hear of others that have struggled with fertility issues and been able to achieve a healthy pregnancy. My husband and I currently struggling with this right now, we have been trying for over a year and have done 3 cycles of clomid with no luck. However, I have PCOS and that makes things slightly more interesting. It felt reassuring to read that I’m not the only one that feels like her issues are the only thing going on in her life. I have really struggled with all the disappointments during this but finally feel at peace. I have done a lot of praying during this time and know that things will only happen when God wants them to happen. So with his guidance and the extra help from doctors, I feel that our chance for a baby is in the very near future. (See that’s me using my new positive outlook.) Thanks again for opening up with us, it really does help.

Rachelle March 18, 2010 at 12:21 PM  

Heather, I have followed you since I started planning my wedding in Feb. 2009 and I look forward to all of your wonderful cakes.
I deleted my comment earlier and after reading the other comments, I'll repost it... part of me is still dealing with the fact that I'm 25 and the one "job" I have always wanted may not happen for me... Part of me feels like there's something "wrong" with me, as I'm sure is normal, but still feels weird...

Posted earlier...
Heather, your post brought me to tears. I am 25 and have been told that there is a 75% chance I can't have kids. My fiance and I are dealing with this realization now and trying to figure out how this changes all of the talks we had before we got this news. I have endometriosis, and have had it since I was 16, but only recently did my new doctor share this information with me after running some tests. Your post brings me hope, though. (In fact, after reading the rest of the comments, I feel better about sharing this.) I know that I may not be able to have kids, but at least I know I'm not alone in my struggles... and hopes... and dreams. Thank you for your post, thank you and congrats!!!

Stephanie,  March 18, 2010 at 1:25 PM  

Heather, thank you for sharing. That post made me tear up a bit. I rarely comment on your posts, but today I felt I had to.

Infertility is taboo and I wish that more people would talk about their struggles. I have been told that I might have trouble conceiving and that scares me a lot. As much as I wish I could start trying right now and have a bit of extra time, at 25, and barely one year into marriage it's just not the right time.

My friend used Clomid and it worked for her and I'm so glad it worked for you...

Vanessa March 18, 2010 at 4:47 PM  

Thanks so much for sharing this, Heather. I admire and respect you enormously for doing so... it's so important to break the taboo. I don't think we'll try to have a baby until about a year into our marriage, but I've always worried about fertility, it's something that's been on my mind for a long time. My mum had problems and had just one child. In any case, thank you for sharing and I am more happy than I can say that you are pregnant. You and Michael will be wonderful parents. The fact that you are sharing this will help a lot of people out, both in their quest to become pregnant and to understand that it isn't easy for everyone, even if they are young and healthy. Thank you.

Heather March 18, 2010 at 7:56 PM  

Thanks for all of the comments, everyone. It's been eye-opening to me to see how many people are coming forward who are able to relate to this. And I'm sure there are others, too.

While I wish that infertility weren't such a "secret," I can also completely understand why people keep it to themselves. It is a tremendously personal, emotional, and painful thing to go through.

Again, I know some people have it way worse than I did, people who have been trying for years. I give them a lot of credit for being able to repeatedly pick themselves up and keep moving forward because it is HARD when you realize that the dream you've had for so long isn't going to happen the way you expected. Still, I consider us to be extremely lucky in terms of our infertility because we were so quickly able to cross to the "other side." I want nothing more than for every couple who struggles to get here, too.

I already worry about what will happen when we try to have more children in the future, but I'm trying not to cross that bridge until we get to it. I'm remembering to be grateful for what we have right now, because it's more than some people get.

I am perfectly healthy in every other aspect, so it was hard for me to accept that this--the ONE thing in my body that I *really* wanted to work correctly--was going to be a problem for me. As far as I know, I don't even have PCOS--although I'd eventually like further testing, because I do suspect that I might have it to some degree.

Anyway, I sincerely wish the best for all of you who are struggling. I hope that you'll come back here and update me with the happy endings to your stories. I can't wait to hear about all of these new babies who will hopefully be on their way very, very soon!

(For those of you on Clomid right now, if you're looking for a little extra support, I suggest the BabyCenter message boards. There is a Clomid support group--Clomid Cycle Chicks--that I found to be tremendously helpful.)

Thanks again to all of you who decided to share!

Clint & Alicia McLaws March 19, 2010 at 11:41 AM  

SO glad you decided to post about your experience with Clomid. I too, have weird and wonky cycles. My body hasn't been right in a few years now. Somebody suggested Clomid, and hubby and I were kinda-sorta considering it. Yours is about the fourth success story I've heard, so I do believe I'll be going to my doctor to discuss it! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

LadyLewy ♥ April 18, 2010 at 11:53 PM  

I am so far behind! I love reading your blog and have been so involved in life the last 5 months that not only do I not blog anymore, I don't read anyone else's blog. That being said, I am catching up today and SUPER excited for you and cannot wait to read all your updates. I am currently experiencing a massive case of baby fever (hubs and I celebrated 3rd wedding anni in December and aren't looking to expand our family until summer 2011....the wait is getting unbearable!) I truly worry about conceiving (for many reasons) and am happy to know there are other women out there my age who have trouble too, so if it does happen to me - I am not alone. Thanks for sharing! It reminds us we're all human and no one should be ashamed of something so difficult.

Anonymous,  May 13, 2010 at 1:54 PM  

Heather, thank you so much for posting your story! My husband and I have been trying for about 8 months now and it has been so hard! Some days I just want to cry. Right before we were married, I went into my doc and had my yearly exam, and spoke to her about us wanting a child. Two months after our wedding we started taking all the right steps and nothing has happened! I was not on the pill so I don't know what could be happening. We are planning to go into the doc. next week. I want to ask you about Clomid. Do you really feel it was the right choice? Did you have to bring it up or did your doc? I have been doing a ton of research about it, and think it really could help us!

Heather May 13, 2010 at 2:23 PM  

Carlye--Hopefully you'll check back here for answers to your questions.

Clomid, without a doubt, was the right choice for us. Why? Well, because it's the reason I'm pregnant. If your problem is anovulation or inconsistent ovulation, Clomid is the first logical step in treatment. But you'll have to go through some testing to make sure that is, indeed, your problem, as there could be problems with your husband, too.

My doctor was the one who brought up Clomid. I started off with charting (Are you temping/charting now? If not, you should probably start--it provides a lot of insight into what your body is doing.), so I had "evidence" to show her of my wacky ovulation schedule.

Then, when we had the incident last summer when I didn't ovulate/didn't have a period for more than three months, it became clear that maybe it was something else. The doctor mentioned Clomid at that time, but also mentioned that she thought it was possible that my ovulation/periods would go back to "normal" ("normal" for me was still going to be cycles between 40-50 days long) on their own. So, because I was still apprehensive about messing with any kind of fertility drugs, we gave it more time.

Well, lo and behold, after one "normal" cycle, my body decided to go haywire again and not ovulate again. At that point, we were tremendously frustrated because we knew that without ovulation, there was not even a CHANCE for us to get pregnant. It essentially came down to, "If we want a baby, I have to take the Clomid." I called my doctor, she had me come in for one more appointment, and I was prescribed Clomid. Like I said in the post, the first time didn't work, but the second time did.

I love Clomid and I'm a huge advocate for it, but whether or not it's right for you really depends on your situation. Also, I was afraid of multiples, but we accepted the extra risk. And, as it turns out, I only have one in there. Things work out how they're supposed to, I've come to believe.

Oh, I should also mention that my doctor made my husband get tested before we were allowed to move forward with the Clomid. Although Clomid is considered relatively "mild" in the world of fertility drugs, it's not something to be taken lightly and the proper testing should be done prior to starting it so that you know that ovulation is really the problem.

Good luck to you. Definitely let me know if you have any other questions.

Anonymous,  May 13, 2010 at 4:34 PM  

Thank you so much! I am charting and doing ovulation tests now. I was nervous to start all of that, because people say if you try too hard it will never happen. But I think it will be good information to give to my doc.

It is so nice to finally talk to someone about all of this. When I first went into my doc. with all my questions she said, "Oh, don't worry you are young, you should not have any problems. Come in again in 6 months if nothing has happened." When the 6 month deadline came, I was too nervous to go in. Reading your post and the posts of the other women helped me to see that I am not the only one out there going through this! Thanks again!

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