At 40.5 weeks pregnant, I am very eager to meet my baby boy. The extra days of pregnancy have given me more time to reflect on the journey to having our first child. While it is a very personal topic for most women, I took comfort in reading the stories of women brave enough to share their struggles with conceiving; I hope my sharing mine gives hope to someone else.
My husband and I waited until after we were married for three years to attempt having a child. Living in CA, it felt like we could never get to the place financially where we knew we needed to be. After moving to Texas in the fall of 2015, we tried and got pregnant the first month. I continued running and my long runs capped out between 10-14 miles; I had some nausea and fatigue and backed down based on how I felt.
The eight-week sonogram showed a healthy pregnancy and I had no reason to think it would be any other way. We planned how we would tell our families and took pictures and video that my husband used to create a video announcement; it was going to be our Christmas Day surprise. We went back for a sonogram the week before Christmas and received devastating news- the baby had no heartbeat. Because I had no signs of a miscarriage, a D&C was recommended and I had that procedure the week of Christmas. It was the roughest month of my life and I still think about the baby that we never met. As we grappled with the loss, I questioned whether running or stress caused it.
We waited a few months before trying again and thought we would get pregnant immediately again. Every month that did not happen, we felt defeated. I started tracking my menstrual cycles and charting my temperature and felt glued to my cycle tracking apps. I noticed that my cycles were very off, which was the opposite of how they were before the miscarriage. I also felt physically drained and knew that something was wrong.
At the end of last August, I went to my obgyn and she ordered tests for certain hormones and fertility indicators. Getting the call that the results were abnormal was devastating. I googled low AMH levels and spent hours crying after reading too many stories of women who could not get pregnant. The doctor referred us to a fertility specialist and I narrowed my choices down to the few closest to home. I had a gut feeling that I needed more tests run to figure out what was going on and expected that to be the next step.
September 26, 2016, we visited the founder of a local fertility clinic expecting a consultation and more tests. It was the most demoralizing doctor’s appointment of my life. He told us that I could not get pregnant naturally since that would have happened already. He said that my running and mostly vegetarian diet could be reasons why I could not get pregnant. He said my AMH level was low and that we did not have time to waste. He recommended we start fertility treatment immediately and emphasized we did not have much time to try something like Clomid before trying IVF. When I repeated that my cycles were normal before the miscarriage and that I wondered if there was something else wrong, he brushed that aside. Feeling deflated and hopeless about conceiving naturally, we agreed to the next steps and I left in tears.
Over the upcoming days, I could not shake the feeling that I needed more tests and a second opinion. I got an appointment with another doctor and nervously waited for that. It was such a relief that the doctor listened to me and found it interesting that my cycles were normal before the miscarriage. He recommended additional testing (HSG) to check for abnormalities in my uterus and Fallopian tubes. The wait for that test was excruciating (tests have to be done at specific times in your cycle). Getting a call that the results showed something was such a relief. The test showed that there was something – either polyps or fibroids – in my uterus and the doctor recommended a non-invasive surgery (hysteroscopy) to remove them.
Waiting for surgery was rough but I was optimistic that it would solve the issue. The doctor found and removed two polyps and said those could have been what was causing my infertility. I finally felt a weight lifted since I had blamed myself for not being able to get pregnant. I am so thankful and grateful for a caring doctor who listened and got to the root cause of our infertility. We got the green light for trying the following cycle and hoped for the best.
A positive pregnancy test in January was surprising since it was only one month after surgery. The past nine months have been a roller coaster of emotions; after losing one baby, the thought of losing another lingers. Every week until I felt the baby move was stressful wondering if he was okay. Every day he was less active, I worried. I’m trying not to think about what can go wrong during labor and delivery; I’m trusting God that things will go smoothly.
Today it feels like so long ago that I was told I could not get pregnant naturally but yet like just yesterday. It is crazy how much things can change in one year. I cannot wait to meet our little miracle baby and I thank God every day for blessing us with him.