Do you guys know how long I’ve been waiting to write this post, guys?
MORE THAN THREE YEARS!
And, at last, at long last, my infertility journey is closed, over, done-zo. Because finally — finally! — after years of hoping, wishing, praying, giving up, trying harder, and everything darn thing and emotion in between, I am pregnant. And blissfully nauseated, fatigued and feeling all the textbook symptoms of the first trimester. Hallelujah!
I spilled the baby beans over on FBG this morning, sharing what the day I tested positive was like (spoiler: memorable workout!). But over here I want to dive into more about how it all went down. I’ve been open about every big up and down during my time trying to get pregnant — from at first freaking out at the thought of getting pregnant (well beyond that mindset now — years and thousands of dollars will do that to ya!) to hearing the “I” word to obsessing and not obsessing to acupuncture and heart work to, lastly, trusting myself and making space. I’ve had countless medical tests and paid so, so many medical bills. I’ve gotten bad results, good results and finally found care that felt right and good to me. And, guys, that’s what I think finally did it (along with a lot of luck).
In addition to weekly acupuncture sessions and herbs for the both of us — that week over week kept showing improvement in my cycle and improvement of Ryan’s numbers since last November — in May we decided to forge ahead with an IUI. A couple of years ago, we’d had two failed attempts at them, but after doing more research, I later realized that those attempts were pretty much bunk and based on outdated drugs and methods (a fact that made me feel better and worse, all at the same time … ). We knew acupuncture was helping us and that the lifestyle changes we made were helping, too (stress reduction, drinking less, cutting out gluten). So even when our new doctor said our odds at getting an IUI to work were 3 to 4 percent (seriously) with our on-paper issues, I knew in my heart that the odds were better because those on-paper numbers weren’t a reflection of how I felt.
For the first real time, I felt fertile.
And I was. After taking one round of Letrazole in mid-May, my body responded well. Ryan’s numbers were good for an IUI. And just two weeks before the IUI, Erin and I had released our collective “baby” into the world: our new book. I had done the life work. I had put everything I knew to be true about living a healthy life into a guide I was really proud of. And now there was an opening for something new in my life.
So we did the IUI and 10 days later I tested positive. Okay, I tested positive A BUNCH OF TIMES.
The conversation went a little something like this on that life-changing Saturday morning …
Me: That’s a line. That’s a line!
Ryan: Um, are you sure, Jenn?
Me: Ryan, you have no idea how many of these damn tests I’ve pored over for the last three years. That is an m-effing LINE!
Ryan: Well …
Me: Wait, I’ll get a digital one.
WAITING … *test clearly states “pregnant”*
Ryan: Oh. My. God.
Me: Told you! I’m pregnant!
Ryan: I have so much to do …
And since then we’ve been enjoying all that pregnancy has brought. I’ll write more about my college frat boy-esque cravings (minus the keggers, of course) and first trimester “adventures,” plus other fun experiences during my pregnancy as it continues (I’ll be 12 weeks tomorrow). But for now, I’m just so, so, so grateful for all of it. Even the puke-inducing moments. Because life is a freakin’ miracle.
I feel so blessed for so many reasons, but when it comes to this three-year process, I’m bowed over with gratitude that I got pregnant in a way that felt right to us. There were doctor visits, but they weren’t all the time. Instead, I had the support and guidance of a caring acupuncturist (If you’re in Kansas City and want to give acupuncture a try, look her up. I can’t recommend Stephanie enough!) who knew her stuff and helped us naturally boost our fertility in a loving environment (that I actually looked forward to going to!). From there we combined the marvels of medicine to close the deal. It worked for us. Again, I feel so lucky.
I know that compared to so many others, my infertility “journey” wasn’t much of a journey at all. We didn’t have to do IVF at all, let alone multiple times. And we didn’t suffer a loss. But I feel as though I have still had a dark glimpse of that pain and desire deep within the depths of my core. While we didn’t have to do more extensive procedures, I’ve been in those scary places and had my hopes crushed too many times to count. I feel like I’ve been to hell and back. And I know I’m so damn lucky to be where I am. So to any of you reading who are going through that, I got your back — and I hope that sharing my journey has been a glimmer of hope that doctors aren’t always right (3 to 4 percent chance, my fit bottom!), that you can trust your gut, and that a diagnosis or a “no” doesn’t mean “never” — no matter how you get to it.
And a huge, huge thank you to all the FBM readers who have followed my experience, shared your personal experiences, and left comments of understanding and encouragement. They helped me more than you’ll ever know! —Jenn