One year ago today we found out we were pregnant with our little miracle. One year ago today our lives were forever changed for the better. And one year ago today started one of the craziest and scariest journeys of our lives (although I’m sure crazier and scarier are still ahead!)
Our Battle with Infertility
When I first announced our pregnancy, I mentioned that we had struggled with infertility. I’ve gone back and forth about how much detail to share about our battle with infertility. Part of me wants to share every little detail in hopes that it might help someone else going through the same thing. Another part of me wants to keep it private because it’s not a fun thing to relive. And yet another part of me feels like I shouldn’t share it because compared to others who have struggled with the beast of infertility, our struggle seems easy and it feels selfish to talk about when we were blessed with such a happy ending.
Yet, we did battle with infertility for a year and a half and despite the extremely happy ending it was certainly hard at times. So, what I will share is the very basic facts. But, if you are dealing with infertility issues of your own and you need someone to talk to or have questions please know that you can reach out to me. It doesn’t matter if you know me or if we have never met, I am happy to talk to you and let you know that you are not alone.
Before we even tried becoming pregnant I was told that I had PCOS. When we were ready to try, I had a friend recommend a fertility doctor in Indianapolis. For a year we made the 6 hour round trip multiple times for ultrasounds, lab work, and even ovarian surgery to remove cysts. We went through multiple rounds of the fertility drug Femara and although it seemed to produce healthy eggs, we didn’t become pregnant. The next step was IUI and luckily our doctor in Indiana was able to coordinate the ultrasounds, trigger shots, and IUI procedure with a doctor in Bloomington, Illinois (who ended up becoming my OB). Unfortunately, IUI didn’t work for us and the Indiana doctor was no longer doing IVF, so he recommended we look for a new fertility specialist. Another friend recommended Fertility Centers of Illinois in Chicago, so we began more 6 hour round trips up north. The doctor we saw at FCI specialized in PCOS and after extremely thorough testing on Brent and I, he said that I actually did not have PCOS, but I did have a low ovarian reserve (not many eggs left for my age). He recommended that we start IVF as soon as possible. I stopped all fertility medications, we took the required IVF course, and we spent one month relaxing as much as possible before starting IVF. Four days before starting the IVF medications we found out we were pregnant with our little miracle baby (read more about how we found out in my pregnancy announcement blog post).
Anxiety during Pregnancy
In ways this was the start of the most exciting and happiest journey of my life, but in other ways it was the beginning of severe anxiety, which I had never experienced before. I allowed myself to enjoy the fact that we were pregnant for about 5 minutes before total panic mode set in. I was so convinced that it was too good to be true and I was constantly worried about losing the baby. I spent every second of the day and night in fear that something was going to go terribly wrong. I could barely eat (morning sickness didn’t help the situation), I only slept a few hours each night, and I was an emotional mess (again, hormones not helping).
This anxiety continued to get worse as the pregnancy progressed and during each trimester we were faced with challenges. First, it was low progesterone levels, which required medication and monitoring. Next, I had a subchorionic hematoma. Then, the bleeding started and didn’t stop until 13 weeks into the pregnancy. By 24 weeks I was having pre-term contractions, which ended us up in the hospital three times and resulted in me being put on bed rest. During one of these hospital visits we discovered there were other concerning health issues that we might be facing once the baby was born. I had multiple head colds, stomach viruses and was constantly run down from the lack of sleep and worry. I was convinced that every little thing I did was going to harm the baby.
Infertility Success Story
I promise I’m not sharing this information to complain or make you think I had a rough pregnancy journey. I know there are so many others who go through things a million times worse and I feel so deeply for them. I’m sharing this in hopes that it will help at least one other woman know that these experiences and feelings can be normal and that you’re not alone. I’ve never had anxiety like I did during pregnancy and I cannot imagine what it is like for those who suffer from it daily. It is suffocating. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing and I would not trade it for the world. I would go through every single second of the journey all over again for our sweet Camila Anne. It was all worth it. But, please know that if you are dealing with infertility or pregnancy anxiety or even just the typical pregnancy woes of morning sickness and extreme exhaustion, you are not alone. You can always reach out to me to talk, complain, cry, or ask for extra prayers. I will be praying that you also get the happy ending that we were blessed with and one year later you can look back on the journey and appreciate the fact that sometimes the most difficult moments lead to the most beautiful outcomes.
If you have any questions or just want someone to talk to feel free to message me on Instagram or Facebook. I’d be happy to go more in depth about our fertility treatments, doctors, health issues during pregnancy, etc. in hopes that it might help you, too!