Back in January of 2006 John and I decided we’d start trying to conceive. We had this big plan that the baby would arrive nine months later and all would be grand. It would perfectly fit into our schedule, avoiding the window when he would be completing his current game. (He’s a game developer.) It seems SO silly looking back that we actually stressed out so much about timing. I think like most people, we thought “You make the decision, you try, you get pregnant.” Isn’t that what’s drilled in our heads when younger? You’ll get pregnant the first time!
Well it certainly didn’t happen that way for us. We started trying. Negative, negative, negative…the pregnancy tests all said. And my depression was taking a big hit. After about 6 months I really wanted to get checked out but my Gynecologist said that typically you don’t test an under-35-year-old until they’ve been trying a year. I thought that was silly. I knew something wasn’t working and I wanted answers. I didn’t want many more months of sadness and disappointment with each passing cycle.
So I located a fertility specialist (RE) in our area and gave them a call. I know we’re trained to listen to our doctors advice, but if it just doesn’t feel right, you have to do what’s best for you. Or at least that’s what I did. I have major depression and anxiety. The stress of months of negative pregnancy tests was causing weight gain, sadness. I was sleeping all the time. I just wasn’t liking myself anymore. I had made the decision to become a mom and I had to take action.
We quickly started the usual tests, and nothing came back wrong. Seriously? Nothing? Well, there were “possible issues” of course. One thing I discovered is that fertility isn’t black and white, there are lots of grey areas in the complex process of conception. The RE suggested starting with Clomid for one month and trying again on our own. That sucked, not only did we not get pregnant but I had to deal with the horrible Clomid symptoms of hot flashes, headaches, etc. The next month we chose to be more aggressive with IUI. (We had now officially been at it for one year, not too long in “infertility time”.)
They said not to test until 14 days post insemination. I was terrified to take the test. I waited till 15 days. For those of you who have TTC, you know how hard it is to wait 14 days so for me to wait one more, I must have been REALLY scared. John was sleeping and I snuck into the bathroom to take the test. 3 minutes later I looked down and all the air flew out of my lungs. I saw the word “Pregnant”!!
I ran screaming into the bedroom, jumped on top of John and said “I’m pregnant!” I don’t think he or I will ever forget that moment. So beautiful. Such spontaneous joy. I proceeded to take 4 more tests “just to be sure” and all came back fine. So we went back into the RE’s office for a blood test. Then I received a horrible call.
The office called to say I was in fact NOT pregnant. What?!? 4 at home tests could not be incorrect! I was very active at the time on the iVillage IUI message board and quickly posted my devastating news. Immediately I received a flurry of messages that there must be a mistake. I should call and get them to re-run the blood work. But I didn’t know what to think. For 2 hours I cried and felt like my world had come to an end. Turns out those ladies were correct! The office had made a mistake, and I was pregnant after all. OMG!
I was so happy to hear the news at the time, it didn’t even occur to me how horrible that mistake was. But once again it goes to show you that doctors are not always right. We must trust our own instincts and intuition too. 9, er 10 months later exactly on his due date, Ronin David Comes was born at 7 lbs 7 oz and 20 inches long. He did ingest meconium at birth (see my story on breastfeeding) and was in the NICU very briefly, but all in all, a beautiful healthy baby boy. We were and are so very blessed. And I felt as though we were meant to wait that long to get pregnant because he was meant to be our child.
When we actually decided to go for a 2nd, I knew I did NOT want to try naturally. Yes, I know, they found nothing specifically wrong and we could have possibly conceived. But my mental health is more important to me. I knew that more months of negative tests would be devastating. So we chose to do IUI again. The first one failed this time, but we achieved our pregnancy with Ellie on the 2nd round.
My story is not as heart wrenching or long as some others who’ve suffered from infertility. But I believe that just because someone else has it worse off than me, that doesn’t trivialize my own pain. It impacted me deeply, and truly made me appreciate my life’s blessings, which are many.