Infertility is a tough subject. According to womenshealth.gov, about 10% of women in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. This does not account for the women who silently struggle with this. There are so many factors that can cause infertility, for females as well as males!
So here is my story with infertility…
When my first daughter was conceived, we had no issues. I was actually on birth control, and accidentally missed a dose or two! Oops!
My pregnancy with her was a breeze. I had no symptoms or sickness. Because of this, when my husband and I decided to try for baby number 2 two years later, I naturally thought it would be easy. After three months and no luck, I started using one of those nifty ovulation apps.
Then six months went by and I figured I should talk to my doctor. They performed an exam and everything looked good. He told me to wait another couple of months. If nothing happens then, we would talk more.
After three more months of tracking ovulations like a crazy person, praying, Googling all of the best positions to conceive, what to eat, following the moon, wishing on stars, standing on my head (literally), and just flat out obsessing over it, I made another doctor’s appointment. My husband and I found ourselves sitting in his personal office, staring at pictures of smiley babies, multiple college degrees on the walls, and little plastic statues of women’s reproductive organs.
We talked for what seemed like hours. His suggestion was to try Clomid. Clomid is a medication women take that makes them release more eggs while ovulating, providing a better chance for a spermy to find one. I was very apprehensive. I recall telling him I did not want to be Octomom.
He assured me that there’s only a 5-10% chance for twins on Clomid. My thought was “twins are cool…I wouldn’t mind twins if I fell into that statistic.” So we excitedly said, “Cool…let’s try Clomid!”
Side effects and the positives
I honestly didn’t think Clomid would work. I was low-key trying to figure out how we were going to pay for IVF or adoption. I started on half of the lowest dose. Then the next month, I went up. Let me tell you, the side effects of this stuff were brutal! The boobs got huge and hurt. Migraines and hormones were everywhere, turning me into a total raging you-know-what.
On our fourth wedding anniversary, after my second round of Clomid, I got a positive pregnancy test! I kept very detailed notes, so I knew I was three-weeks pregnant. I called my doctor the next day to let him know the good news and scheduled my appointment for gestational week eight.
I felt so fortunate for this to happen so quickly!
So many others aren’t that lucky. I have close friends that have struggled with infertility and the possibility of not being able to ever conceive. It hurts my heart knowing this. It hurts knowing there are so many women and men that struggle with infertility.
In 2020, we have so many options to become a parent. Different fertility treatments like IUI, IVF, ICSI & surrogacy. Or, you can foster and/or adopt one of the thousands of children who are looking for homes every single day.
My personal outcome
This could definitely be a whole blog on its own, but here we are.
On Friday, April 4, 2014, just 10 days after I found out I was pregnant, I was doubled over with stomach pains. I thought for certain that I was having a miscarriage. My husband put me in the car along with my then three-year-old daughter and we headed to the ER.
They immediately brought me back to ultrasound. I got one of those nifty internal ultrasounds that we all dread so much. Me, being the weirdo I am, I started cracking jokes. Because that’s what I do during awkward, stressful, depressing moments — I really don’t know what is wrong with me.
Anyway, as I was running my mouth, the ultrasound tech nonchalantly asked me if I had done IVF during this pregnancy. I told him no, not thinking anything of it as I continued to ramble. My husband told me to stop talking and then proceeds to ask the tech why he inquired about IVF.
This dude turns the screen around and says while pointing “one…two…three…four…”
As in FOUR heartbeats.
What did I do? I looked at my husband and started laughing. Remember, I have issues during awkward moments.
My husband responded to the counting with “April Fools”…it was April 4. The tech assured us it was not a joke and then proceeds to count again. He tells us he’s been doing this for over 25 years and this is a first for him. Which obviously makes me laugh more.
I wasn’t having a miscarriage, I was having quadruplets!
While waiting to get discharged, several nurses and doctors came in to see this freak show in person. It was a first for all of them in my tiny town.
Bright and early the following Monday morning, my mom and I were at my OB’s office, without an appointment. I handed the receptionist the ultrasound and asked her to please give it to my doctor, then I took a seat. Maybe five minutes later, he comes into the waiting room with the ultrasound and sat beside me. We just stared at it together and I, of course, started making jokes.
He decided to do his own ultrasound. We had a good look at these little creatures and he told me that baby #4 will not fully develop and that it looked like my body was going to absorb it. But the other three looked perfect. I was having triplets. I could handle triplets.
He printed the ultrasounds out and brought in the other doctors in the practice to get their opinions. Every one of them said the same thing. Baby #4 will not develop and will be absorbed.
I made an appointment for two weeks later for a follow up. That day came, another internal ultrasound, and my dear Dr. said, “Well, we have four strong heartbeats.” And that is how I became the quad-mom-shit-show that I am.
There are so many stories about this pregnancy — good, bad, ugly, uplifting, hilarious and sad. There will be so many more stories for you all about this.