everyone! I’m Sara from Running From the Law.
I’m a wife, lawyer, runner and new mama to Baby Mac (16 months
old). I’ve recently started talking
about my battle with infertility on my blog, so I’m honored to be guest posting
here and I truly hope my story will help someone out there struggling to get
pregnant feel a little less alone.
starts out probably just like everyone else’s…I spent my 20’s being careful –
basically terrified of getting pregnant before I was “good and ready.” I worked hard and got a great job, I
met and married the perfect man, I went off the pill and (at the ripe old age
of 30) we started “trying” to get pregnant. It was fun. We talked about our future baby all the
time, we got excited that this would be “the month,” we talked baby
names and had the whole private vs. public school debate. And then it didn’t
happen. Month after month it didn’t happen. I started reading
books, started charting, taking my temperature daily, peeing on sticks and
really started to get nervous. After a year of trying on our own, my
OBGYN started me on a few rounds of Clomid. Six months later, I still
hadn’t ovulated. She recommended we see a fertility specialist.
the next few months things were moving pretty fast, which was completely fine
with me – I was tired of waiting, tired of feeling like everyone else’s lives
were moving on, tired of feeling like we were stuck. So, I took more
tests, I took more pills, I started injections, I went in for daily
ultrasounds, I did blood draws and urine tests and estrogen patches and shots
in my stomach. Month after month we got the news that we were not
pregnant (not only not pregnant, but never even ovulating).
medications again and for some unknown reason I had a bad reaction and wound up
in hospital with hyperstimulation.
My ovaries were larger than softballs (they should be the size of
walnuts). It was incredibly
painful and very dangerous. I was horribly bloated (I gained 16 pounds in
3 days) and had excruciating pain in my abdomen. I was at risk of
dehydration and kidney damage; but most seriously, any sudden movement and I
could rupture or twist an ovary, which could end my chances to ever conceive.
I ended up in the ER and was admitted for a week with fluid in my chest,
elevated liver enzymes, and put on blood thinners for clots. It was
horrible. I was scared, my husband was scared, even our doctor was scared.
Eventually my ovaries went down, the fluid decreased, the hormones left
my body and I was released.
whether it was worth it. After meeting with our doctor again, he
expressed real concern about our prognosis. He was unsure, after this
reaction, whether I’d ever be a candidate for IVF. I had always thought
that IVF would be our last option for getting pregnant, but now it was being
taken away from me. It felt like the end of the world. It was such
a hard blow to hear that it just might not happen for us. It’s hard
thinking back on that time now. It was such a low point in my life.
I was devastated. My husband
was less accepting of the news and made us an appointment to see a different
doctor to get a second opinion.
and asked a TON of questions. She wanted to start from scratch and
ordered an entire new battery of tests to really figure out what was wrong and
what had just happened. She diagnosed me with PCOS – and we finally had
an answer. The more I read about PCOS, the more I realized it was not the
end of the world. People got pregnant with PCOS all the time. It
was not a barrier to having kids and it would not prevent me from doing IVF, if
necessary. She wanted to take a “long slow” course of action
and did not want to hurry the process.
started me on Metformin, a drug that is usually prescribed for people with
diabetes. The pills made me sick to my stomach, but that I could handle.
I was supposed to be just taking care of myself. So, I got massages
and pedicures. I was working out again and feeling good. I
started acupuncture. After a few months of that, we tried again with
the fertility meds. I was hopeful. And then it didn’t work. I
felt like the world was crashing back down on us and it was all for nothing.
We tried again with a higher dosage. Again, no luck. I was
getting incredibly impatient and wanted things to move faster. At this
time, my cycles were 60-90 days long and I was frustrated that it took me three
times as long to try again as it should. Time felt like it was inching by
and I felt no closer to becoming a mom. So, we made another appointment
to discuss our options. I was desperate to do something more.
more aggressive with treatments. We had a trip to Italy coming up, so the
following month we’d try a different route. She made us feel very hopeful
that we’d get it all figured out. She also suggested continuing the cycle
I was on for a few more weeks, just to see if anything happened. I was
reluctant, but since we didn’t want to start any new treatments before the trip
(because who wants to take needles and meds on an international vacation), I
agreed. We did an ultrasound a few days later – no follicles. I
knew it wasn’t likely, but it was a yet another slap in the face nonetheless. I went back a couple days later for my
final ultrasound and to get a prescription to end my cycle and guess what…
bigger than the others and much bigger than it’d been a few days ago. We
kept monitoring it every other day and after another week I got my very first
positive ovulation test result and it was big enough for us to try a round of
IUI. Two weeks later, I had a positive pregnancy test. Nine months after that, Baby Mac came
into our lives and nothing’s ever been the same.
pregnancy would “fix” what was wrong with me and said that we might not have
any trouble having a second child when the time came. At first, it seemed like she was correct. Seven months after having Mac my cycles
came back on their own and were normal for the first time ever. We tried for four months and got
pregnant on our own in February.
Unfortunately it didn’t last and I had a miscarriage in March. Since that time, the PCOS seems to have
come back. My cycles are off and
I’m no longer ovulating. I am
currently undergoing a new battery of tests and we hope to start fertility treatments
again next month.
through the hard times?
have done without him. He was positive and hopeful and supportive.
He never made me feel pressured to continue or made me feel like I was
disappointing him. He told me that adoption was an option, if I wanted to
go there. He joked that if we couldn’t have kids, we’d blow all our money
on elaborate vacations, designer clothes and lobster dinners and make all our
friends with kids insanely jealous with our elaborate lifestyle.
We’d get a boat, we’d get another dog, we’d get a house in
the mountains and one on the beach. He nearly offered to kidnap a
child for me, a la Raising
Arizona. None of these things fixed the hole in my heart, but it made
it easier to get though everything knowing that he would always be there and
love me no matter what.
give to someone on their own unexpected journey.
read an article on infertility that said something along the lines of, “if you
want to be a mother, you will be a mother – you will find a way to make it
happen.” This really stuck a chord
with me. We were always open to
the idea of adoption, or surrogacy or doing whatever it took to get a child
into our home. Of course I wanted
my own children with my husband, but
if that didn’t work, there were other options to exhaust. I was so focused on “getting pregnant”
that I wasn’t even thinking about the ultimate goal of just “being a mom.” Maybe we’d do an overseas adoption? Maybe we’d get an egg donor? Maybe we’d adopt a 10 year old that’s
never had a real home? It didn’t
matter how it happened, I knew right then that I’d make it happen and one day I
would be a mom. That was the goal. That realization changed
everything. So, my advice would be
to keep an open mind as to “how you’ll become a parent” and focus on the
ultimate goal of being a mom, not on just getting pregnant. You’ll get there.
it positive, negative or both?
stronger as a couple. Going
through something so personal and emotional like infertility really makes you
appreciate what you have and hang on tightly to those that understand. It’s a very lonely experience and my
husband was always there for me, making it easier. He held me when I cried myself to sleep after hearing that a
friend was pregnant. He held my
hand in the doctor’s office every time we got bad news. He gave me shots. He kept me going. We fought long and hard for what we
wanted, together. We were a team
and we came out on the other side much stronger. But, on the other hand, man it was hard while we were in the
thick of it. Because the
infertility was on my side of the equation, I definitely internalized a lot of
the struggle and felt like it was all my fault. I constantly wondered if he regretted marrying me, if he’d
be happier with someone else who could give him a baby, if he would ever
consider leaving me. The stress
and the hormones also made a very different person than the one he
married. I was nasty and
bitter. My confidence was gone. I lost the ability to be light-hearted
about things. I cried all the
time. I didn’t want to go out with
friends or do anything because I didn’t want people asking about when we were
going to have babies or surprising me with their “good news.” I worried that it was just a matter of
time before he got completely sick of the new me and left. Of course he never gave me any
indication of that, but your mind will convince you of funny things sometimes.
other people announcing their pregnancies. It’s such a joyous occasion for those involved, but to
someone struggling with infertility, a pregnancy announcement is a slap in the
face. I hated that such wonderful
and joyous news would make me so resentful and angry. I also hated that I couldn’t be happy for my friends. As stupid as it sounds, I felt like there
were only a limited number of babies to be given out and every time someone
else got one, it made it less likely that I would get one. I know that makes no sense, but I
couldn’t help but feel that way.
Every new pregnancy announcement would send me in to a spiral of
depression and anger and despair, accompanied by lots of crying and self-pity. And don’t even get me started on people
that whine and bitch about gaining weight because they’re pregnant or not
sleeping because they were rocking a newborn all night. I would have given anything to
be in that situation.
going through this and didn’t know that they needed to wear kid-gloves around
me. Once I started talking about
our infertility issues more openly, my friends responded so sweetly and with so
much compassion and class. I even had
one friend send me a hand-written letter telling me that she was pregnant, that
she would be announcing the news to everyone else publicly soon, but did not
want it to upset me or take me by surprise so she was sending the letter to my
house, where I could read it in private and react anyway I wanted (away from
others). She mentioned how happy
they were and that she was praying for me. It was the kindest gesture I’d ever received.
this, please be considerate. Don’t
complain about pregnancy or your baby.
Don’t make comments like, “You can have my kid.” That’s not helpful and honestly just
makes you look a bit ungrateful for the beautiful child you’ve been given. Please don’t ever tell her to “Just
relax and it’ll happen” or some miracle story about someone else you know that
got pregnant after dealing with infertility. Sometimes those stories just hurt more. Just tell her you love her, you’re
praying for her and if she ever wants to talk about it you’ll be there to
Please come back next week for Caroline’s story.