My Infertility Journey
Hello, Dreamers! Chances are, if you are reading this blog post, you may have just recently started following my blog or you haven't followed from the beginning. I asked my Instagram followers if they wanted to see a blog post recapping my entire journey up until this point, just to fill those in who don't know me that well yet and the response was really positive and overwhelming. It seems like this blog post will help a lot of readers! Also, I wanted to add that I have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page where I've put some basic questions and answers. These are the ones that I am asked the most via email and DM. Let me know if more should be added to it!
My husband and I live in North Carolina, out in the country back roads! I am more of a city girl but I love my husband so much, so I moved out to the country where he grew up. I have definitely got used to it and it's a great place to raise a family because we are close to his family. We bought the house around 4 years ago and have been slowly fixing it up ever since. I never wanted to start a family until the renovations were done but it's just not realistic because well, we aren't made of money. If you haven't bought a house yet, I could write the dos and don'ts all day!
We always knew that we wanted a family together. Kids were always a topic that we discussed. When we were shopping for our first home, we would talk about what room would be the nursery and where our kids would sit and do their homework, you know, all of the things. Obviously, that still isn't our reality. My husband and I started trying to conceive in late July 2017, an entire calendar year ago. I never would have thought that we would be here, waiting for our next appointment with a fertility specialist, scared that we would be told that we won't be able to naturally conceive. The first month of trying to conceive, hardly counts in my opinion but I don't want to totally discredit it. We only baby danced twice and I honestly don't think either was in my fertile window. I had downloaded some app and found a website that would tell me my ovulation day and now I know that I ovulate late, then I did not know that. I also wasn't one-hundred percent clear on really, how to make a baby. I hate admitting that because of course I know HOW to make a baby but I didn't realize that women are only fertile 5 days a cycle and that we ovulate and have different phases and needs, and blah blah blah. I was totally and embarrassingly enough, clueless. I remember swearing I was pregnant that first month. I tested 7 days after we baby danced and it was a BFN so I started doing some research and learned about when you can technically get a positive pregnancy test, when you should time sex, and all that fun stuff. When I started doing this research, I felt very discouraged because I had realized how much I didn't know. But I had cramps for days after we had sex and my back was aching like never before so of course I thought, well this is different, I must be pregnant. But I was wrong. Aunt Flo came like clockwork that first month that we started trying to conceive and that was the disappointment that started all of this.
The second cycle of trying to conceive, we still didn't track ovulation or anything like that. I trusted those stupid apps and websites and just thought they were accurate instead of listening to my body! I think it's safe to say, we probably didn't baby dance in the fertile window then either. We still didn't know how important it was to do it on certain days, every other day, etc.
As time went on, I learned more about my body and about different products. On the first day of my 5th cycle trying to conceive, I joined a Facebook support group for women who are trying to conceive and it's still to this day, the best decision I've made in this journey. It's kept me sane, it's educated me, I can't say enough good things and I think that everyone should join something similar.
During my 7th cycle trying to conceive, my period came 9 days early! NINE DAY EARLY YA'LL! I was freaking out and so so so worried that something was wrong. It was the weirdest period ever. This was the first time I saw my new OBGYN (who I think is heaven sent) and she told me to purchase Pre-Seed and OPKs. I bought Easy @ Home Ovulation Predictor Kit from Amazon and did the Amazon Prime deal for the free 2-day shipping because I wanted them to arrive ASAP. For those of you who don't know, Pre-Seed is a fertility friendly lube and if you do some research online you'll see hundreds of forum comments saying how quickly someone got pregnant using it. I'm here to tell you, that's not the case for everyone. Something I wish I had put together back then is that Pre-Seed (and other fertility friendly lubes) only work if cervical mucous is your issue. Meaning you don't produce a lot of it on your own, yours is thick and sperm can't "swim freely", etc. So be cautious and don't get your hopes up the first cycle using it, because I did and I thought that this was our time because everyone else got pregnant on it. I'm really not trying to be negative, just realistic because I wish someone had warned me of that.
Ever since then, I've tracked ovulation with Easy @ Home and I feel like it's pretty accurate because I can feel some physical symptoms. Cramping is usually my first symptom.
Fast foward to cycle ten, I just hit my breaking point. This was the first cycle that I broke down crying over a negative pregnancy test to my husband showing him just how devastated I was. He cried with me and it was a moment I'll never forget. I told him that I felt like I didn't know who I was anymore because I couldn't remember a time where trying to conceive wasn't at the forefront of my mind. I felt like I was changing my entire life and getting no reward. I hit a brick wall and was desperate for someone to hear me. But the thing is, I thought I was alone for the last ten months and I wasn't. My poor husband was completely left out in the dark and I wish now, that I had let him in sooner. Cycle ten is memorable to me because it was my breakthrough and it's been better ever since, all because I let my husband in on the journey.
I started acupuncture during cycle eleven. This is also where my acupuncturist told me she is 99.9% sure that I have Endometriosis because all of my symptoms just screamed it. I have thought that for some time. She gave me some interesting information on an anti-inflammatory diet and I started that diet during the first 10 days of cycle eleven. I actually started the diet on May 3rd, 2018. I don't know why I remember that off the top of my head. I did acupuncture 2x cycle for two cycles (cycle 11 & 12) and then after cycle twelve, we were going to see a fertility specialist so I've since put the acupuncture on hold while we figure out our next steps and the cost of those steps. I also learned in cycle 11 that my luteal phase was super short! So my acupuncturist was using our time together to strengthen my ovulation and/or move my ovulation up/lengthen my cycle. And she succeeded with the egg quality for sure!
I had my annual physical during cycle twelve and my doctor put me on anxiety medication (I'm planning to write a whole thing on mental health) and told me to take Maca Root and to use Progesterone cream. I started the Progesterone cream in this cycle and my cycle was 31 days instead of 27 like it usually is. So, we were really happy about that! That means my luteal phase was longer which could potentially help us conceive!
I'm currently in cycle 13 and during this cycle I had my HSG done and my tubes were clear and uterus looked great. My husband had his semen analysis which had great motility but his morphology was abnormal. We have an appointment with our specialist on July 31st where we will find out what that means for trying to conceive or how we can improve those results. Both my husband and I are taking Maca Root this cycle, I'm still using the Progesterone cream, and I am not tracking my ovulation with OPKs this cycle because I recently bought an Ava bracelet so I'm giving that a try. I just really needed a break from stressing out about tests.
Well, there you have it. That's my entire infertility journey in a nutshell. I liked to blog posts about specific topics if you want to read them. If I left anything out, I'm so sorry! It was harder than I thought to write this entire recap because I forced myself to relive some of those months but it's funny because I see how much I've grown over the last 13 cycles. I feel like a totally different person and I really like who I am now. I love having this blog to connect with other women in the world going through similar journeys.