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My husband and I have four children. You would think that I was able to conceive easily, right? Well, that wasn’t the case. We had a hard time TTC : Trying To Conceive.
I have had a LOT of fertility struggles in my past, but thankfully, with a little help and a lot of prayers, we have four wonderful children!
I know that not everyone will agree with this, but I think of fertility treatment the same way that I of treatment to any other medical problem. (ex: you would treat a headache or diabetes, right? Why wouldn’t you treat infertility?) My take on it is that God made people intelligent enough to understand our bodies and help us to become the parents that HE had intended us to be!
My husband and I were ready to have a family and seeking medical intervention was a step that we took. It may not be for everyone, but it worked for us and I am grateful every time that I look at our children.
I knew, from the time that I was 16 and had my first appointment at the OBGYN, that I would have a very hard time conceiving, if I was able to conceive at all. Most of my friends know that I have had fertility treatment.
There are many different options when it comes to trying to conceive.
1- At home drug-free treatment: (I wish that we would have had this when we were trying to conceive each of our four children!)
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There are SO many medications that you can try. The most common seems to be Clomid. The side effect of taking medications is that it can make you feel very “emotional”. My dear friend had a hard time on this, because it affects everyone different.
3. More costly, invasive procedures.
This can range from IUI to IVF.
I am going to share my road to becoming pregnant, in hopes that you will find that even through trials, the ending can be a wonderful one!
Our first son:
Our first son was conceived after over a year of trying. We tried on our own for about 9 months. I charted, took my temperature, followed everything that I should follow and nothing happened. I finally went to seek professional help and was put on Clomid. I did not have a bad experience on this, as many do, and it worked for me. After a little over a year from when we started trying, I became pregnant with our son.
At six weeks, I went in for an ultrasound and they could not find the baby. The pregnancy tests had been positive. The blood tests all proved it, too. They searched and searched for minutes (seemed like hours!)
When the ultrasound tech. could not find him, she called for the Doctor. For about six minutes, I waited, nervously, while the Doctor made her way down to our room. Finally, the Doctor came in and after a few minutes, they found him.
He was tucked up in the top of one side of my uterus. Yes- ONE side… I have a bicornuate uterus. They discovered this during that same ultrasound. Most women have a normal shaped uterus (almost like a triangle)… mine is shaped like a heart with the middle part being so far down that it was almost separated into two sides (so picture a heart with a line in the middle, almost to the bottom, but not quite.). It looked like this: (normal- top. Bicornuate – bottom)
What does this mean? It means that the babies do not have much room to grow. Our kids each grew in a “horn”, or top side of the uterus, (which led to premature, tiny babies).
With our first son, I was told (at our first ultrasound) that his chance of survival was 5-15%. I was devastated! I went home and did a LOT of research (which drives my husband crazy!) and found that many women had given birth to healthy babies even with a bicornuate uterus and I was determined that mine would be the same.
Fast forward a few months.
At 7 months, 4 weeks, my Grandma called to check on me, after she had received a call from my Great Aunt. My Great Aunt had had a dream, the previous night, about me going into labor early. She was worried, so she called my Grandma.
I was doing great and was about to head out for dinner with my brother and his wife, to celebrate my first day off of bed rest, when she called. We had made it to almost 8 months! I told her that everything was great and that we were headed out to eat.
Four hours later… I went into premature labor. (I guess that is why she was having dreams about me- this wasn’t the first time that my Grandma and her sisters had felt something like this.)
So, that night, I went into labor. I was worried because of the bicornuate uterus, but everything went well. Our son was born the next night at 36 weeks (they tried to stop labor, but it only delayed labor by one day). He was born weighing 5 pounds.
Fast forward to his first birthday: We found out that we were pregnant with our second son. It was a complete surprise that we were able to become pregnant without intervention! We had planned for him and had been trying, but were excited & shocked to find that it happened without fertility treatment!
His pregnancy proved to be the scariest one. Not only did he have to grow in my bicornuate uterus, but he also had many issues of his own. He had intrauterine growth restriction, low amniotic fluid, single umbilical artery, prematurity, induction due to the IUGR (growth restriction) & low fluid…
He was born early, after being induced because he was no longer growing (lack of room in my small uterus) and weighed four pounds.
He was allergic to every food for about three years. (He had FPIES, we now realize). He vomited about 5-6 times a day and never ate or drank (he would go 4 days at a stretch without a bite of food). His percentiles drastically plummeted, but no one found anything wrong. I just recently (5 years later) found a diagnosis, but it is too late to help now. He stopped vomiting around 2 1/2 years of age…. thankfully!
He had very high muscle tone, known as hypertonicity, as a newborn and the doctors told us that he would probably not walk. They even told us at one point that he had suffered a stroke, but found that to be wrong, after several scans. (Imagine how scary that would be to hear that! Thankfully, it was a mistake.)
He has had 4 years of therapy (physical, occupational, play) and he is a complete miracle! He is amazing, smart, funny & wonderful today! (5 years old!) Most people don’t even know about his scary his ‘start’ to life.
I had uterine surgery before our next pregnancy. It didn’t work. They repeated it a second time… with success. They just expanded my uterus to be more “normal-sized” and it worked.
Our third son was hard to conceive. It took almost a year and more medicine. I would have loved to have tried The Stork OTC for him, because after having success our second time around, I feel like a little “push” in the right direction may have been all that we needed. Well- we kept on the medication regimen and this time it included shots to help me ovulate. We finally conceived him and we were so excited!
I had just one scare (they thought that he may have cystic fibrosis) but it turned out negative and he was born healthy and full term! He was our biggest baby at almost eight pounds!
Our fifth pregnancy & fourth baby:
Again we had to have fertility treatment and we were excited to welcome our bundle of joy earlier this year, just as healthy as ever! She was born at 6 pounds and is a very healthy beautiful baby girl- Allie.
So, there you have it! I have had my fair share of struggles when we were trying to conceive.
These things really are SO important:
- Watch what you eat
- Eat only natural foods (no chemicals) if you can avoid them
- Eat healthy foods to keep your weight in check
- work out (Not too hard!) Keep your heart rate low. I had to stay below 134. (high risk)
- avoid extra stress
- Chart your internal temperature
- Try at-home treatments FIRST before spending a lot of time/energy/money at your doctor’s office.
- Pray and try to relax.
In the end, our family is just what I prayed for.
Feel free to reach out to me. I’ve been where you are.