Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OMG – I have a blog…. A.K.A. - The Prologue

OMG…. I have a blog. That is literally what I am thinking right now. So far, I have only told one person about this blog– my husband, Mark.
What is my reason for creating this blog? Simply put, I need an outlet. I feel like I am going crazy and I’m quite frankly tired of all these crazy thoughts/emotions and I want to get them out of my head.
I will start by giving you a little bit of a background on our situation… It has been about 1 year and 2 months since my husband and I have been actively trying to conceive a baby (We had been using the “not preventing” method prior to beginning to officially “try” several months after our wedding in May 2008). When Mark and I agreed to start to officially try for a baby, I was super excited. Being the planner that I am, I went out and bought all of the essentials – Ovulation tests, Pre-Seed, Prenatal Vitamins, “What to Expect before You’re Expecting”, a basal body thermometer… etc. We were prepared and we started “trying” like there’s no tomorrow. I was ovulating right on schedule (according to my test strips) and I had my calendar up to date. We were ready.
Several months went by and we started to get frustrated. I come from a very, ahem, fertile family and I never thought it would take more than a month or two to get pregnant. Finally, after much thought, Mark and I decided to go to a fertility clinic. I was very stressed out by the idea of admitting that we might have a problem but at the same time, I was tired of being stressed out! We booked an appointment for March of 2010.
Our first experience with the fertility clinic was on March 19th 2010. I remember feeling very emotional and apprehensive in the waiting room that day but I left feeling GREAT. I absolutely ADORED our doctor. She was super knowledgeable and took the time to go over all of the preliminary testing that we would be going through. The best part about the meeting was when she looked over my medical history and said, “My average patient’s age is 37. You are 24 years old – you are GOING to get pregnant. Even if we have to do one of the more involved treatments, we will do it, and it will work.” At that point I just started bawling in her office. Needless to say, I was very excited to be working with someone who had so much confidence in us! She explained that our next step would be to give them a call when I got my next period so that we could start scheduling our preliminary testing.
A few days later, I was anxiously awaiting my period so that I could call Shady Grove to begin my testing. I remember feeling especially tired and that my breasts were feeling extremely sore. I NEVER had experienced breast soreness at any part of my cycle before so I did think that this was a little odd. Over the next two days, the breast soreness became even worse. With no sign of my period, I finally decided to use a leftover, internet pregnancy test that I had gotten for free when I had ordered Pre-Seed from a website. I was home by myself at the time so I thought, “What the heck” and decided to take it. I remember looking at the test after about 30 seconds and thinking, “Yup, it’s negative.” About a minute later though, a distinctive, but very faint second pink line appeared! I thought, “Well, it’s probably a bad test or something.” I threw the test away and didn’t think much more about it until later that evening when I decided to pick up my “What to Expect Before You’re Expecting” book. I started reading the chapter on Pregnancy Tests and it said that if you have a second line appear on a pregnancy test, even if it is a faint line it indicates a positive result! Well, I still didn’t get too excited because I had never, EVER had a positive pregnancy test before and I did not think it was a possibility. I decided that I would test again with another freebie test with “first morning urine” the next day.
On the morning of March 25, 2010, I decided to use my last remaining pregnancy test. This time, a faint, second pink line came up almost immediately. Again, for some reason, I was still hesitant to believe it indicated a positive result. I did end up telling Mark but explained that I was “pretty sure” that it didn’t mean anything.
That afternoon, I needed to stop at Target to pick up a few things. On a whim, I decided to pick up one of the Clear Blue Digital pregnancy tests. As soon as I got home, I decided to go ahead and use it so I could stop worrying about it. In less than a few seconds, the results appeared on the screen – Pregnant! I couldn’t believe it. I was literally shaking as I picked up the phone to call Mark. Mark was of course very excited and almost in disbelief.  I called my Mom right afterwards so that I could tell her. Since my dad was coming over for dinner that night, I waited for him to get there to show him the test. It was a very exciting night for all of us! Mark immediately wanted to tell his son (my stepson) but I was very hesitant. I knew that not all pregnancies were “problem-free” but I finally gave in and decided to let him tell him.
Over the next few days, Mark wanted to tell everyone. I was selective about who he told but I eventually decided to let him tell a group of friends that we spend a good deal of time with. Since my grandparents 50th Anniversary was in a few weeks, we decided that we would wait until then to share the news with them.
When we announced that we were pregnant at my grandparent’s anniversary party – it was a very exciting time! My immediate family knew that Mark and I had been trying for a while so it was a very happy occasion for everyone. I remember feeling extremely happy and so excited to finally be pregnant.
A few days after the anniversary party, I started to lose some of my “pregnancy symptoms”. My breasts were not feeling quite so sore and I remember feeling worried that I was not yet experiencing any type of morning sickness but was already over six weeks pregnant. I tried very hard not to worry but when I started “spotting” at work a few days later, I sent Mark a message and told him that we needed to go to the ER right away.
When we arrived at the ER, I started feeling very emotional. I knew that a lot of women did experience spotting early in their pregnancies, but I still feared the worst. We were taken back to a private room in the hospital and a nurse came in for a blood sample. She told me that they needed to do an ultrasound as well. After giving blood, we had to wait about three hours before being taken to get the ultrasound. I got up at least 10 times during that time to use the bathroom. I didn’t notice any more spotting but I was still worried.
When I finally had my ultrasound I knew exactly what was going on. After it was over, I started bleeding extremely heavily and I broke down crying. Thank goodness Mark was there with me. I couldn’t imagine going through something like that without him.
We were then taken back to our room and the doctor came in to confirm our worst fear – I was having a miscarriage. He said that my HCG levels were low but that based on the results of the ultrasound, he doubted that I would need at D&C. Instead, he did an exam and checked my cervix to make sure it was closed. He told me that I could go home, patted me on the shoulder and said that he was sorry. He told me that miscarriages are very common in first pregnancies and that my chances were very good that I wouldn’t have any problems next time. 
That drive home was the worst. After I started bleeding, I started experiencing very painful cramping and back pain. I remember having a terrible migraine from crying so much and all I wanted to do was go home, get in bed, and hold my precious little dog, Sophie.
Looking back now, I feel bad for Mark and what he had to go through too. He took very good care of me and made the calls to my parents and grandparents to break the news.
We ended up eating dinner in bed and going to bed early.
I remember waking up the next morning and not wanting to get out of bed. I was extremely upset and disappointed and I did not want to talk to anyone. Finally, Mark convinced me to talk to my Mom (and later my Dad). My mom was very supportive and easy to talk to. She had gone through losing two different sets of twins so to say that she understood what I was feeling is an understatement. She made me feel a lot better and made me realize that miscarriages are very common and that it was a good thing to know that I could get pregnant.
Over the next few weeks, I started feeling much more optimistic. We decided that as soon as my cycle returned, we would start trying.
33 days after my miscarriage, I got my first period – May 9, 2010 – Ironically, Mother’s Day. We started trying right away using ovulation tests to confirm that I was ovulating regularly again. We decided to hold off on calling the fertility clinic because we thought, “It happened once… it’s got to happen again.”
After a few months went by of trying unsuccessfully, we both began to get frustrated. I could not understand what was happening and why I wasn’t getting pregnant again.
In July 2010, after returning from vacation, I received a voicemail from my assigned nurse, from the fertility clinic. She said that she was calling to see if we had any questions and to give her a call if we still wanted to move forward with testing.
Receiving that call was the push that I needed. I talked to Mark and we both decided we were ready to go back. I called my nurse the next day and left her a long, detailed message explaining what we had been through since our last visit. I was fearful that she would call back stating that we would need to continue to try on our own for a certain amount of time before going for testing since we had now gotten pregnant by ourselves.
A few days later, she returned my call and left me a message stating that she was sorry about what had happened but that we could still move forward with any testing and treatment. She told me to call the Shady Grove Office when I got my next period.
On August 14, 2010, I got my period. I called the clinic right away to schedule my “Day 3 Blood work and Ultrasound”.
On August 17th, 2010 I went in for my appointment. The woman who performed my ultrasound was super nice and even took the time to explain what we were seeing on the screen. She told me that everything looked good and that I had 12 follicles on one ovary and 13 follicles on the other.
Later that day, my nurse called me and explained that my blood work and ultrasound both looked good and everything was normal. She explained that the next procedure I would have would be an HSG which would check for any abnormalities of the uterus or any blockages in the fallopian tubes.
The HSG was a few days later. The nurse took me back to the x-ray suite and first had me sign some paperwork prior to the procedure. I then had to provide a urine sample so they could confirm that I was not pregnant. She then took me to a dressing room and explained that I needed to remove my pants and underwear and shoes. She gave me a pink hospital-type gown to wear and booties for my feet.
A few minutes later, she came back for me and took me to the room where I would be having my procedure. She had me get up on the exam table and the doctor came in with another nurse and introduced himself. I think he was one of the nicest doctors I have ever met! I was very nervous but he made me feel completely at ease. I had to lie back on the table and put my legs in stirrups (instead of my feet). I was worried because I had heard the procedure could be a little painful. The doctor explained that I might feel a little pressure. I remember feeling a little uncomfortable but I didn’t have any real pain or significant cramping. The doctor completely took my mind off of what was happening by joking with me and asking me questions about my husband. He was great!
Before I knew it, the nurses were turning on the lights and it was over! The doctor showed me the screen which showed that both of my tubes were completely open and he said my uterus looked “beautiful”.  I had to remain lying down for a few minutes and then they told me I could go get dressed. The nurse gave me a pad to wear to catch any dye that might leak out.
I was then free to leave. I went back to the waiting room to get Mark and to tell him the good news.
On the way home, I started feeling a little bit of cramping but it wasn’t too bad. Later, at work I had much more cramping (like a bad period) so I had to take some ibuprofen.
A few weeks after the HSG, Mark went to the fertility clinic office to drop off his sample for the semen analysis. I couldn’t go with him this time since I had a conference call already scheduled but I am very thankful that he is so willing to do whatever we need to do. We should have the results when we go in for our follow up appointment (to discuss treatment options!) this Friday (9/24/10) with my doctor.

So that is the beginning of our journey. I know that this is an exceptionally long first post… but I’m glad that my brand new blog is now up to date.
Counting down the days until my appointment on Friday!


  1. So very sorry to hear of your loss, but you'll find the online community of people who have experienced loss and fertility treatments very supportive. Welcome! :-)