It’s hard to believe that our blog has turned into an infertility story. We started it in March 2009 when we threw the birth control pills out the window and decided to start a family, thinking that it would be a fun way to chronicle our pregnancy and the adventures we would have raising babies together. Little did we know that we’d take an unexpected emotional detour before we got to that point. Here’s our story so far…
March 2009 - Kate doesn’t get her period when she is supposed to. We blissfully think we are one of those lucky, uber-fertile couples who got pregnant their first month trying. No such luck.
April 2009 - Benjamin turns 30. After a few negative pregnancy tests and a little research (thank you, Taking Charge of Your Fertility!), we realize we’re not pregnant, and there must be some other reason for Kate not getting her period. Kate calls her gynecologist, who says to make an appointment in a few weeks if Kate still hasn’t gotten a period.
May 2009 - Kate sees her gynecologist. Gets bloodwork done to test hormone levels and is put on Provera to take the “Progesterone Challenge”. Bloodwork comes back perfectly normal (doctor says, “Beautiful!”) and Provera withdrawal results in a small amount of bleeding, which are both great signs.
June 2009 - Still no period. Gynecologist says to wait it out. Kate starts charting her temp every morning and finds no thermal shift, which indicates that she’s not ovulating.
July 2009 - Gynecologist suggests that we see a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). It’s the first time anyone has used the word “infertility”, and we’re scared. Kate thinks that maybe exercise is impacting her ovulation, so she chills out on the cardio and takes up yoga.
We go to Boston IVF for our first appointment with Dr. P, our RE. He orders up a round of diagnostic tests. Bloodwork, an internal ultrasound and an HSG. And a semen analysis for Benjamin. Kate completes all the tests like a champ, even though she is kind of a baby when it comes to needles.
August 2009 - Test results are in. Although all hormone levels are normal and HSG was clear, Kate is diagnosed with Lean Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Dr. P prescribes a round of Clomid (50mg, the lowest dosage) and tells us to use an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) to see if the Clomid results in ovulation.
A week later, Kate experiences one day of bleeding. Since it is 7 days past ovulation and not enough to count as a real period, we self-diagnose as implantation bleeding and think Kate is pregnant. Again.
She’s not. Blood test confirms the negative result (as if three days of home tests didn’t confirm it enough!). Dr. P says to wait until her period comes and then try again next month.
October 2009 - But her period never comes. She goes back to Boston IVF for more bloodwork, which shows low progesterone, which indicates that she didn’t really ovulate after all. The positive OPK reading might have been triggered by a high enough LH level to set off the test, but not high enough to actually release a full egg. Dr. P increases the Clomid dosage to 100mg.
November 2009 - Kate takes round #2 of Clomid. When she hasn’t gotten a positive OPK by cycle day 14, Dr. P orders an ultrasound and bloodwork to get the skinny. Ultrasound shows two big, mature follicles (24mm and 25mm) raring to go! And bloodwork confirms that her body is in the midst of ovulating on its own. Yippee! Doctor’s orders: go home and make whoopee. One week later, a progesterone test shows a nice, high number indicating that Kate had a strong ovulation (for the first time, maybe ever!). Kate tries acupuncture in an effort to maintain her total mind-body wellness.
The two week wait finally ends, and Kate takes a home pregnancy test at 14 days past ovulation. BIG FAT POSITIVE! Benjamin, ever the videographer, catches the emotional moment on film.
First beta at 14 days past ovulation comes back at 387, a beautifully high number for 4 weeks pregnant. We can’t believe it. We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Second beta at 17 days past ovulation comes back at 1467 – much higher than the expected number (which was double the first beta). Great news! There’s most likely one very healthy baby in there, or possibly TWINS!
December 2009 - First ultrasound shows ONE healthy baby, heartbeat and all (and Benjamin captures the tears on film… again). This is it, folks. We’re really, truly pregnant this time.
January 2010 - Second ultrasound actually looks like a baby, 2 arms, 2 legs. One little hand even waves at us during the procedure. We hear the heartbeat and confirm a healthy baby at 10 weeks.
March 2010 - We announce that we are having a BOY!
Trying for #2
Late April 2012 - Though all of our friends have already moved on to their second, we were specifically waiting for a 2 1/2 year age gap between kids. We’re FINALLY ready to “try” again and pulled the, ahem, goalie.
June 27, 2012 - Follow-up ultrasound shows delayed growth again. Doctor gives 50/50 chance of pregnancy being viable, but can’t say for sure.
July 5, 2012 - Another follow-up ultrasound shows nearly no growth. Pregnancy is not viable, but doctor has to wait for heartbeat to stop on its own before any next steps can be taken.
August 2012 - Kate’s period returns right on schedule post-miscarriage and after one normal cycle, we are ready to start trying again. Cautiously.
September 2012 - Kate has has extremely long, abnormal and confusing cycle.
October 2012 - We use an ovulation predictor kit to make sense of what’s happening when. Got a positive OPK late into the cycle, when Benjamin was [thankfully] not traveling.
November 2012 - POSITIVE PREGNANCY TEST! Early ultrasounds show perfect growth and a healthy, viable pregnancy.
December 2012 – We share the good news.