Thursday, April 27, 2017

Infertility: I Never Thought It Would Happen to Me

I never thought INFERTILITY would be part of OUR story.

(Mother's Day 2016)

We had no family history of infertility on either side and I just assumed we'd have a baby when we decided it was time.  Neither of us were in a hurry to start our family when we first got married.  We were living in Utah, Kevin was busy with graduate school and I was teaching and working on my masters. We loved being married and were really happy just the two of us.  We started talking about having kids more seriously seven or eight years into our marriage.  We talked about the changes, the good, the bad and mostly all the unknowns.  We prayed about all of it, decided we were ready and expected positive news quickly.

I've never shared our infertility journeys, but it felt like it was time.  I wanted to write out our stories so that I'd have it to look back on and so that the kids could read it some day.  It is something that strengthened our marriage and I'm thankful for that.  It was a hard time that we went through twice, but all of it has made us EXTRA thankful to be parents to two sweet kids.


Our Journey to OLIVE

(newborn Olive 5.29.13)

We excitedly decided to start trying to have a baby, but month after month no luck.  We weren't too discouraged until we hit the one year mark.  At my routine physical I mentioned that I'd been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for a year and my doctor said I should go see a fertility specialist.  I immediately felt broken and like something was wrong with me.

We were living in Utah and it seemed as though everyone and their mom was having babies.  I was throwing baby showers for friends and coworkers, but it just wasn't my time yet.  I was thrilled for them and envious at the same time.  I made an appointment and felt nervous walking into the fertility specialist's office.  I think I was still in shock that this was necessary.  Kevin was super encouraging and optimistic through everything and I always appreciated that.

I loved my doctor right away and she seemed super confident she could help me get pregnant.  She asked questions, did exams and then we started the process of tracking, testing and taking medicine.  It was daunting and not very romantic, but we did what we had to do.  I'd go in for blood work, take medicine, track cycles and repeat.  We'd adjust dosages and then repeat.  I was responding well to her treatment plan so that was encouraging.

May 2012
June
July
August
September - I got pregnant on my 5th round of fertility medicine!

My numbers were looking great each month and things were looking promising.  The doctor adjusted my doses each month as needed and we were paying close attention to everything.  The appointments were keeping me busy since I was also teaching full time.  I did my regular monthly blood work in September, got a great report from the nurse with a big wait and see!  I still remember that moment so clearly.  I was working in my classroom after school and I felt so much excitement after her phone call!

We followed our monthly scripted schedule which is anything, but romantic and waited to see if I got pregnant.  Spoiler alert: It worked and we were pregnant with Olive.  I stuck with the same doctor through delivery and had a really pleasant pregnancy.  I had some issues with high blood pressure towards the end, but ultimately it was an uneventful pregnancy thanks to starting the process with my infertility specialist.  She's been a dreamy 1st child and has taught me that motherhood is just as wonderful as I hoped it would be.

You can read more about that back in my 2012/13 archives:

Olive's Birth Story
Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3



Our Journey to FLETCHER

(newborn Fletcher 3.29.16)

Given our infertility history with Olive, we knew we'd likely have to have some help getting pregnant a second time.

We made two big moves since living in Utah so we were now thinking about finding a doctor in Mississippi to help us.  I started by going to my regular obgyn for help.  I shared my history, gave her a print out of the timeline of my pregnancy with Olive and asked what she could do to help me.  I felt confident in the fertility medicine I used the first time and we went ahead and started that again.  Olive's doctor in Utah had told me there was no guarantee that I'd struggle with infertility again, no guarantee I'd need exactly the same medicine again and the second pregnancy could be different than my first.  So my super planned out self had prepared for things being different the next time.

We started the medicine again in October 2014.  I started going in to do my monthly blood work, testing and appointments again, but this time had to bring Olive with me.  It was hard to juggle the appointments and a little one.  Kevin was very busy with his internship and wasn't able to get much time off.  Thankfully, I had another great doctor that was more than accommodating when I'd show up with an 18 month old in tow.

October, November and December of 2014 were discouraging months.

My numbers were not reflecting my medicine and things were not working out like they did with Olive.  The medicine I had responded so well to with Olive was not working.  I knew this could happen, but the reality of it stung a bit.  My ob said given my history it was time for me to be referred to another infertility specialist.  I was disappointed and hopeful all at the same time.

It's hard to describe all of the emotions you go through throughout infertility.

I made my appointment at the big time infertility clinic that was very well known in Mississippi.  I met Kevin in the parking lot so he could take Olive.  My initial appointment was a couple hours long and I knew it wasn't doable to take Olive with me.  I was interviewed, examined, had blood drawn and then the doctor came up with a personalized plan for me.  He determined that I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and that was the cause of my fertility issues.  I was nervous the whole time and worried they'd end up saying we were going to have to do more than take some medicine to have a second baby.

I started a new, stronger fertility medicine and started tracking, timing, scheduling and making appointments again.  Kevin would tell you that this scheduling and hyper focusing on your systems was a bit exhausting.  Olive would come up with for blood work and I was always checking in.

January 2015 showed that I was not responding to the new medicine.  February - July of 2015 were a little more encouraging on the same medicine.  I was responding to the medicine so I was feeling optimistic.  Each month I'd go in, give blood, get good results, but still not be pregnant.  The doctor said he wanted to stay the course a little longer since my numbers were looking good.  July 2015 came and I did finally get pregnant for the 2nd time.  I feel like it was a bit of a miracle.  I hate to sound dramatic, but it really did feel like we could see our prayers being answered.

You may remember at this same time that we were selling our house in Mississippi, moving to Indiana and adjusting to another new city/job at this time.  When we got to Indiana, I found out that I was pregnant a few weeks later and had to find a new doctor right away.  I was so thankful for my doctor in Mississippi and was anxious to establish care in Indiana.  This was such a blessing to our family because I knew this last round - Round #10 - was my last shot at getting pregnant for a while.

It took TWICE as long to get pregnant the second time.  My doctor in MS had told me that after my last cycle in July of 2015 that I would have to come in for further testing/evaluation if I wasn't pregnant.  He said we'd need to come up with a new game plan for me to have a baby at this point.  I knew this would mean more money, more time and more details to pay attention to.  It was all really intimidating so getting pregnant with Fletcher on my last cycle was a HUGE BLESSING.  That isn't lost on me.

We had a happy, healthy 2nd pregnancy.  I still had high blood pressure issues that required extra monitoring, but everything worked out just fine.  We are super thankful to have Fletcher in our family.



My First 12 Weeks

Fletcher's Birth Story


Thanks for reading and following along with my family.
I really appreciate your support, friendship and encouragement here.


Did you know that this week is Infertility Awareness week??

If you are currently struggling with infertility, I'm so sorry.


I can easily come up with a list of sweet friends that I know are struggling with infertility right now.

 It feels like such a lonely place to be in, but I just want to encourage you that there are lots of people in the same boat even if people don't talk about it much.  I have been there and I know how challenging the process can be.  Feel free to email me polkadottyplace@hotmail.com  I have great contacts in Utah and Mississippi for Infertility doctors and would be happy to encourage you in your journey.

14 comments:

  1. Wow Whitney. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry you both struggled, but thanksfully you have two precious babes that are such a gift. :)

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  2. Wow, Whitney, I had no idea. You are always so good at talking about the positive in every day life.So thankful that you found such great doctors that walked you through that journey, and what special babies you have! Does PCOS affect you in any other ways?
    Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  3. I had no idea that you struggled with infertility! We're pregnant right now because my ob/gyn suggested that I see an infertility specialist JUST IN CASE, since I'm already 36...and it turns out that my levels weren't great, so I went on medicine right away! After weeks of injections and bloodwork and pills, we're now expecting our little girl in September! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

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  4. I struggled with infertility too and also have PCOS! I remember the monthly blood tests and rounds of medicine. I had to 4 rounds before we were successful. When I went in for my first ultrasound, they couldn't find a heartbeat. We had to wait a week later to see if the baby was just measuring a week behind or not. It was the LONGEST week of my life. Thankfully, God answered our prayers. I now have a healthy happy little boy who will turn 2 tomorrow!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this beautiful and heartfelt story. I know it's comforting to others struggling to hear they're not alone, and even better, when someone has a happy ending! xo

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  6. I loved reading this and your honesty! I have many friends going through something similar, and I know it is positive stories like yours that keeps them going! You have two beautiful babies and I know God had a perfect plan for them, when he picked you to be their mama!

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  7. Thank you for sharing your story. That education you get in FCS class makes it seem like you can get pregnant on a whim. It definitely isn't an easy journey for many. So glad you have your two little and that the timing worked out when you were down to crunch time.

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  8. Whitney- I think it is SO amazing for you to share your infertility journey!! It is a very sensitive and difficult topic for so many and by you sharing your story- I know you are going to help others going through similar trials feel not so alone. You inspire me in so many ways friend! Hope you're having a great week :)

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Whitney! <3

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  10. I'm so glad that you shared your story and that you were able to get your two babies! I have the one on the way but I definitely think ahead to the next one and what that journey is going to look like for us.

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  11. Thanks for sharing Whitney. Infertility is something that is so much more common than anyone ever realizes. I walked alongside my best friend who struggled with secondary infertility for 14 months after two quickly conceived children. It was a very long emotional road that really opened my eyes to just how difficult it can be. Each story deserves to be shared.

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  12. Thanks for sharing. I know this probably wasn't easy to. You have two beautiful blessings and I can see how much they are loved with each post you write to share snacks or crafts or trips you take.

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  13. Congratulations on your beautiful family. This is an encouragement to us all, thank you for sharing.

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I LOVE hearing from you!! Thanks for taking the time to leave sweet comments; I enjoy reading every one of them. I reply to your comments via email so make sure you aren't a "no-reply" blogger.
Smiles, Whitney