National Infertility Awareness Week, April 22-28. This week I’m going to be blogging about infertility and I’ve never really blogged about my infertility (IF) before. I talk about it, and when we were trying to conceive (TTC) I found a great community of IF bloggers, but this blog at the time was primarily read by family and IRL friends and I wasn’t comfortable sharing the nitty gritty of the details. Partly because it seemed a little weird to me, and partly because I wanted to be able to tell in my own time when we did finally become pregnant. So this is my story.
Here’s the short version. I’m infertile. I have an ovulation disorder. GYN said PCOS, RE said probably not rather PCOS like. It doesn’t really matter because I don’t ovulate. After a year of stress over “what if” while we waited to start treatment I did two cycles of Clo.mid (one 50 mg, one 100mg) with my Gyn, who told me after the first failed cycle “you’re your, just relax, it will happen.” I got the courage to call the RE the following week – it was a month before the appointment which was 5 days after ovulation. The RE validated my stress, made me feel comfortable, and talked to us about a plan starting non-invasive and where we could go if that didn’t work. But I was already pregnant. And now Simon is here. When we’re ready to try again, we’ll go to the RE first.
The long version with details, possibly too many details, and in installments.
The first time I worried about my fertility I was in high school. I had a long to non-existent cycle. For awhile I had fairly consistent 6 week cycles that over time stretched to every 9 months or so. I asked the doctor, who was my pediatrician, about having kids some day. She told me not to worry and sent me to Plan.ned Par.enthood for a prescription for the pill. For the next seven years or so I was mostly on the pill, but when I was off, I rarely had a period.
I saw a new doctor in 2006, after I’d moved to NYC and this was the first time I heard PCOS. She didn’t make it sound like it was a big deal, and when I asked her about fertility she said “don’t worry about it, we can just give you a pill to make you ovulate when you’re ready for that.” Like magic or something. Oh, how much I’ve learned since then. I stayed on the pill. Dated some. Met my husband. Got married. Talked about having kids and when we thought we’d like to try.
Just before I started graduate school I thought I might be pregnant. I’m really, really horrible about remembering to take the pill, and since getting pregnant on our own would have been a happy surprise, I never stressed too much about it. But taking that test was scary, because the thought I might actually be pregnant was scary. The test was negative. I breathed a sigh of relief, but at the same time was a little disappointed. That’s how I knew I was about ready to start this journey. I just had to get Rob on board and figure out if even trying to have a baby in grad school was feasible.
I went to see my nurse practitioner for my yearly exam and asked her when, if I wanted to get pregnant a year from now (which would be after the first year of school), I should go off the pill. I told her I didn’t have a cycle without the pill, and thought I would likely need some kind of IF treatment. Her response was to go off the pill now, because I don’t know what my body will do because I’ve been on the pill for so long. So I did, I knew what my body would do, but this way I would at least have proof, and that waiting period of 6 months to a year before a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) will see you out of the way. I had a 45 day cycle, ovulating on day 31 and then I went 187 days and nothing.