I am joining the ranks of the several other New Orleans Moms Blog contributors that are expecting. Our team is having a baby boom this year, and I am just about 14 weeks pregnant. So far it has been my choice to keep the news pretty quiet. So quiet that even our families haven’t been in the know. We have had such a struggle between a miscarriage and fertility challenges that I just wanted to hold this news close to us. I have been guarding it with the fear that if I put the news out there, then for some reason this pregnancy is not going to work out.
I have been super nervous. I haven’t been talking about names, nursery décor or prospective Godparents. I have been living in the moment in this pregnancy not thinking ahead about upcoming holidays and when the baby will arrive. I know what it is like to do that and then the pregnancy slips through your fingers and those daydreams haunt you. I have been on guard, protecting my emotions and heart the best I can.
However, my husband is forcing me out of the pregnancy closet. The further we get into the pregnancy the more he wants to share our good news. He wants to celebrate this time in our life, get excited and not be on pins and needles about it. I get it. It IS really good news; I just want it to stay good. I am in due in December, and when asked when I want to tell people, my answer is Thanksgiving. He is trying to push me into getting excited about the pregnancy and feeling less nervous.
So he has given me an ultimatum that I can get on board with starting to tell or he will tell for me. I, however, am perfectly fine with people thinking I am just gaining weight. He thinks I am being ridiculous.
Our Secondary Infertility Journey
So here is my pregnancy unveiling. My fertility struggle has reached the next level. I don’t want to say it is over because it is such an intangible thing.
I had a very honest conversation with my doctor about my concerns, and we developed a plan that I was comfortable with. I was ready to head down the fertility treatment path, but I kind of wanted to just stick a toe in at first and not jump in to the deep end. So we started with the basics and low medications just to see how my body would react. I underwent an IUI which, in its simplest form, is where they put the sperm and egg together so they know they met. It was quick, easy and painless. And that is what it took. After being monitored for a few weeks, I graduated from Audubon Fertility at 10 weeks. I am back with my regular OB at Ochsner as a normal pregnancy. And, it feels really good to be “normal” again.
We have been so truly blessed that even though the road to get to this point has been rocky, it was absolutely worth it the first time we saw that little heartbeat flicker on the ultrasound.
I am embracing the morning sickness, nausea, emotions, cravings and frequent trips to the restroom. All of these miserable things are symptoms of a healthy pregnancy, so I am happy to have them.
The Decision To Pursue Fertility Treatments
In hindsight, looking back on my struggle, I wish I would have felt more empowered to take control of the situation. I wish I would have picked up the phone and called a fertility specialist. I didn’t trust my gut when it was telling me that the old fashioned way was wasn’t working after so much time had passed. I felt helpless, unsure of what to do and that something was wrong with me.
I always thought fertility meant IVF, and I knew I wasn’t ready for that … but I just didn’t know where to turn. I kept quiet about my struggle for so long. And, each pregnancy announcement around me was an emotional blow.
When we finally did make that first appointment at Audubon Fertility, it was almost therapeutic to get the initial testing done. The testing was simple: just a few blood tests, an ultrasound and background information gathering.
While that was the physical aspect, from an emotional standpoint actually consulting a doctor who focused on fertility issues and treatments helped to clear our minds as we knew it was in a hands of an expert. We were able to take a step back. It was like we gifted our struggle to the doctor on our first visit, and we left the problem with her to figure out.
To Moms Still Struggling To Conceive…
I know that not everyone has a fertility story similar to mine, and some women struggle with this much longer than I did. But to the mom-to-be buying countless ovulation tests month-after-month and peeing on sticks with continual disappointment, I urge you to just explore your options. It doesn’t mean that something is wrong or that you have failed at your job as a woman. It just means you may need a little extra help.
I am so ready to take control of my daughter’s healthcare or urging my husband or parents to seek care at a moment’s notice, but when it came to me I was frozen. I was handicapped by the fear of infertility. 1 in 8 struggle with infertility. Women should be as enabled to seek care for infertility as for a sinus infection. I don’t know why it has such a negative sigma.
But in December 2014, when my little baby is born, I will be happy to have his or her picture hanging on the wall as an assurance to the mom-to-be walking in for her first consultation that you are doing the right thing by seeking answers.