I wanted to talk about infertility and pregnancy things I normally would talk about on my infertility/pregnancy blog, but it's just too much to put there. I'm putting it here because my readers who read this blog are already "in for" me talking about family, so it shouldn't surprise anyone. I'm sure anyone stuck in the depths of ttc aren't even reading my if/preg blog right now due to the pregnancy, but even if they are, they are surely not reading ~this~ blog if the pregnancy is too much for them.
There is always a fine line I try to walk on my IF blog. Of course it's known I'm pregnant and I don't give warnings or whatnot, but then again, I don't want to "rub it in" either. Ugh. Stuck in between those rocks and hard places.
My BFF told me one time that I am "the happiest pregnant girl" she's ever met. I honestly ~love~ being pregnant. Of course I still have the complaints about the aches and pains, but those are so minor compared to how I love everything else. I'm the one who loves to show my belly, never wearing any loose clothing. I always choose tight shirts and empire wasted dresses, so my belly shows as much as possible, I don't hide it underneath loose clothing. I ~love~ it if someone touches my belly. I love having someone sit next to me with their hands/eyes on my belly waiting for the baby to move. I love when people ask me about the belly. I love feeling everything I feel.
Then, on the other hand, going through the somewhat "minor" infertility myself and watching what others have gone through (and continue to go through) changes some things. While I am not changing the way I dress, I am changing the way I act in public. I try to be aware of my belly touching and unnecessary belly talk if I'm not asked first. I'm still out there, but I'm different from how I was way back in the beginning.
With my first, I went through 18 months of ttc before I got pregnant. I was only on the "regular" ttc boards then, never dipping into treatment or loss boards. I didn't blog back then either, so I never "got it" back then. The only thing I knew of was it took longer than usual for us to get pregnant. Yeah, I was diagnosed with "mild endo" and had a laproscopic surgery to clean it all off my girlie organs. I took clomid for one or two cycles. I was planning on an IUI cycle - actually, the cycle I got pregnant on was supposed to be our first IUI, but I didn't understand the timing yet. I didn't know we needed cd3 bloodwork/baseline ultrasound, so when I called in on cd4/5, my RE's office told me how I missed the window. I scheduled it for the next month and just went on with that month as a "TAB" cycle and to my surprise, I ended up pregnant. I was so surprised, I didn't even POAS until 17dpo or so.
To really show you how much I didn't "get it", check this out ... I called the RE to tell them of the +hpt and they told me they wanted me to come in for a blood test. My reaction? I declined, saying I didn't need one, as my hpt told me I was pregnant. I was actually a little pissed off at them, thinking they were just trying to make some more money off of me by performing an "unnecessary" test. Why would I need a blood test to tell me what my grocery store hpt already told me? Heh. I was ~clueless~. I knew nothing of doubling hcg numbers. I knew nothing of early ultrasounds. I was fine when I found I wasn't going to be seen by an OB until 8 weeks. I was fine in learning my first ultrasound would be at 20 weeks. To me, I thought bfp=baby.
Although I knew I was lucky, as those 18 months were tough for me, I didn't have the compassion for IF like I do now. When I got pregnant with my second, I was terrible because I got pregnant on my first month trying. I just figured my minor infertility was a fluke. I was one of those ultra-annoying girls to announce my BFP 4 weeks after getting my first ttc AF. (I was on the board for 2 months because the first month was just me being excited about ttc the next month and I checked for ovulation, but we had protected sex that first month.). I even seem to remember my TITLE of my bfp post was "~BFP~BFP~BFP~BFP~" or something as equally as irritating. The boards hadn't evolved into using the "trigs" ruling yet, but still. How fucking callous of me. I'm so embarrassed now.
With my ttc journey for #3, I found out what infertility really means. Not that I was infertile, hell, I had 2 babies and I'm carrying the 3rd, but I had some problems which earned me the title of a technical "infertile". I do think there are two distinct "infertility" definitions people use. The definition I'm using is I could not get pregnant without medical intervention, not that I can't get pregnant/carry a child to term at all. But honestly, I think most girls who are actively ttc use the former definition too because if they used the latter, they wouldn't be ttc.
I was recently told my only "infertility" issue was due to my age and I only did IVF/FET because I was "impatient". How I wish that were true. While I was impatient, as our window was closing soon, I unquestionably had some issues far beyond "age" issues. My infertility was defined by the following:
~ I was diagnosed with Asherman's Syndrome - my uterus was 70% sealed shut with scar tissue. I needed 3 uterine surgeries to open it up. Without surgery, I could ~not~ carry a child. If I did happen to have successful implantation, I would have a 100% risk of miscarriage.
~ I was diagnosed with LUF Syndrome - which meant I grew follicles like normal and even had an LH surge, but my follicles would not let go of the eggs. Instead, the presence of LH grew my follicles to enormous proportions, turning into painful 7-10cm functional cysts. They would shrink on their own once my next cycle started, but I was completely incapable of getting pregnant due to I was ~not~ ovulating. There was an easy fix, thank goodness, which was triggering ovulation with HCG, which would force my follicle(s) to release the egg(s). But without the trigger, I was the worst definition of infertile for that cycle - there was 0% chance of pregnancy.
~ I still had mild endo, as my doc did clean me up when he was in there for each surgery. This didn't deem me "infertile", but endo does have a negative effect on fertility.
~ My lining suffered due to the scar tissue and surgeries. With all the high tech meds thrown at me, I never even made it over 7mm. Another issue which had a negative effect on my fertility.
~ I have never seen fertile cervical mucus in my life, my RE said this may have been my issue with my first. I may have had other issues, like the LUF syndrome, but that was unknown. I did know I never had EWCM, which yup, you guessed it, yet another issue which negatively effected my fertility.
So, after all the surgeries to get my oven in working condition, we went to IVF and then a FET cycle. I probably didn't ~need~ this course of treatment to conceive, as once we got through my uterine anomalies, I may have been able to conceive with lesser treatments (knowing I'd still need the hcg trigger to ovulate due to LUF and some pre~seed to help the soldiers get to the egg due to the absence of fertile cervical mucus). We pulled out the big guns nevertheless because of our age. We weren't going to ttc past age 36, so we were going to do everything we could for those last 6 months to increase our chances. We simply didn't have the time to let nature take it's course.
During my 20 months ttc#3, I found Mel's blog and dove deep into the community. I found out how fucking lucky I really was. How my story, although hard for me to go through, was SHIT comparatively speaking. I'm not going to compare the pain of infertility, because I truly believe each person feels just as much pain with a failed cycle no matter what kind of position they are in. But what I could compare was I ~am~ really lucky my story had a happy ending. I did not go through failed IVF after failed IVF. We are not hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. We did not go through the pain of a failed adoption. We have not gone through the pain of a miscarriage. Sure, I spent 39 cycles ttc, but I conceived three times, only seeing a BFN 36 times. Yes we've spent thousands of dollars, probably close to $10,000, but that's really not a lot. Yup, I've gone through many painful surgeries and many many many treatment cycles, but I have two children and another one about to make an entrance in under 2 months. I've put my time in, but my sentence wasn't much more than a slap on the hand.
However, I end up still rolling my eyes at the girl who went through 14 cycles and got pregnant on her 2nd clomid cycle (making that up, if it fits anyone who is reading, it was purely a coincidence) and defines herself as "getting pregnant w/ treatment after infertility". But then again, to her, that was still hard to go through. Just because she didn't have surgeries and didn't have to jab herself with drugs everyday and didn't have to spend thousands of dollars doesn't mean it ~wasn't~ hard for HER. I try to keep it all in perspective and remember how hard it was for me when I was ttc#1. How painful it was for me in my piddly 18 cycles. How much I cried. How I was full of disappointment and I barely even scratched the surface of "infertility". I don't think you have to have the worst story out there to get support, as everyone deserves compassion.
Back to me loving my pregnancy. I think the knowledge I gained from the infertility blogworld has made this pregnancy even better because I know what I have, but I'm also much more humbled. My blog would be shitting out rainbows and puppydogs on a daily basis if I didn't know of all of the girls I've met. And while my brain is still swimming in the joy and happiness that is my growing belly, I finally know better than to push it out into the general public like I did before.
This is my last pregnancy. I'm going to miss the feeling so very much. When I was ttc#3, I was heart broken over the fact I may not feel it again. When I was pregnant with Allison, I just "knew" I'd be pregnant again, so I never let myself feel the "this is the last time" things. And when we struggled for #3, I kicked myself for being so dumb to assume I'd have another pregnancy. I knew I would be able to handle the fact I'd "only" have my two girls in my life, but I knew I'd have a hard time mourning the loss of not feeling pregnant again. And when I got pregnant this time, I at first thought I'd really struggle when I had the baby, knowing that my pregnant life was really over. But I feel different now. I'll still feel sad it'll all be over, but now I know of so many women who will never feel what it's like to carry for a variety of reasons: living childfree, adoption, using a surrogate; my feelings of my own 'end of pregnancy' seems so minor.
I went through a lot for this pregnancy. And yet, I've gone through nothing.