As my son is about to turn three, I've been reflecting on our journey just to have him. I wanted to write a blog post about all we went through, but don't feel emotionally ready..at least this week:) You can see more details of our journey under "Infertility" and "miscarriage" from previous posts. But I would like to share some of the more difficult moments of pain and struggle to conceive with PCOS.
1. One day that greatly impacted my thoughts and mindset will always stand out to me. I had been working with one of the top fertility specialists in my city for months. He'd done ovarian drilling on me (def don't recommend this), given me hormones, and performed a lot of tests. I had endless blood work, and he called me one Saturday with the results. I still remember where I was when He called- standing in my aunt's dining room and about to head downtown with my husband to our favorite restaurant and a college ballgame.
He had called to say my hormone levels once again didn't rise as they should and I didn't ovulate despite all the hormones I took. I pressed him and asked him what my chances were, not wanting to be the crazy lady that kept holding on to some false hope. He then told me "I think you have a 0-4% chance of ever conceiving." I was completely crushed and cried SO much. I wanted to go home and curl up under my covers but instead my husband encouraged me to stick to our fun plans. I'm glad we still got out even though I did cry to the waitress while ordering my lunch. I think this doctor's statistics and comments so negatively affected my mindset in the months and years that followed. And I've slowly learned how much our mind and thoughts control our health.
2. Fast forward 3 years and a lot of hard work..a new doctor that gave me hope, diet changes, lifestyle changes, supplements, charting, another surgery (ovarian wedge resection), and a lot of tears. I finally got pregnant in Nov 2013 with our miracle baby. We saw our wriggling baby on the ultrasound screen and heard that strong heartbeat three times. My hormone levels were excellent and everything was going great. Then out of nowhere at one of my routine visits towards end of the first trimester, our baby no longer had a heartbeat. I will always remember the months of anger, confusion, anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress that followed. My low point was having such a bad panic attack a month later that I landed in the ER.
But this baby's short life gave us renewed hope and determination when we had all but given up. This baby made us cling to hope and realize that what we thought was impossible (what that dr had told me was impossible) could actually happen.
3. After my miscarriage I fought hard to figure things out. I was fiercely determined. I started working with a Naturopath and she put me on some great supplements. I also had a robotic laparoscopy to figure out what else could be wrong. I was ovulating like clock work (confirmed by ultrasound) but nothing was happening. My surgery found out that my right tube was COMPLETELY blocked and we already knew I only ovulate from my right side. We were crushed. The doctor was able to open the tube a little but said the scar tissue would form right back likely within a few months.
But just 6 months after my miscarriage, we conceived our son. I believe all our prayers, lifestyle and diet changes, supplements, acupuncture, mindset and renewed hope from our angel baby had all really worked together to make this happen (pregnancy after miscarriage is terrifying or at least was for me. I lived in constant fear that I'd lose the baby. Here's what helped me during that pregnancy- Pregnancy after Miscarriage:)
When I look at my son I'm reminded that there's always hope no matter what a doctor, specialist or expert may tell us. If I could talk to myself in those hard days, I'd say question everything, fight hard and don't be afraid to be your own advocate, always speak up, and know that all those changes and sacrifices you make, even small changes, add up to make a huge difference in your health and fertility. And probably most importantly, be gentle on yourself because it is hard.