I am one of those women who always wanted to be a mother. I never knew when it would happen, but there was always an image in my mind that one day I would have kids. March 9, 2006 I found out I was pregnant. My husband and I had been married 2 1/2 years and it felt like we were in a good place to start our family. I was so excited. I looked at little baby clothes, hopped online to look at mommy-to-be discussion boards, and made sure I was eating lots of fruits and vegetables and taking my prenatal vitamins. I had an appointment with the prenatal nurse and got all my blood work done. About a month after finding out I was pregnant, I finally had my first doctor appointment. We had an ultrasound and got to see our little baby. I had tears streaming down my face. The nurse practitioner performing the ultrasound said she thought she saw a heartbeat but the baby was still pretty little so it was hard to see much. During the examination she pressed gently on my belly to ensure all was well and said "yup - a little pregnant uterus!" I was on cloud nine. Two days later I began to bleed. I went into the doctor again and she performed an ultrasound. The baby was measuring smaller than last time and there was no heartbeat. It was pretty much what I expected - I had miscarried. Fortunately I didn't have to have a D&C as my body took care of everything but I was an emotional wreck. My husband and I hugged and cried. I just wanted to be pregnant again. I cried every day, multiple times a day, for weeks. No one can prepare you for the devastation of miscarriage. Here you have all these plans for this little baby the second the strip turns pink, and suddenly it all goes away. I would see pregnant women or women with tiny babies and just long for what they had. I had a couple friends who were pregnant with their second or third babies, and while I was happy for them, I was also heartbroken and, honestly, a bit resentful. How come they get to have lots of babies and I can't even carry one? Time passed and finally what would have been my due date arrived. After that, any pregnant women I saw just made me angry. Why couldn't I have that too? I prayed every day for another chance to get pregnant, sometimes crying as I did. I know that God has a plan for us and know that things happen for a reason, but it was still just so hard to go through.
Only my immediate family, in-laws, and a couple close friends knew I had been pregnant (so I didn't have to "un-tell" a large number of people) and I heard a couple stories from those women who had miscarried. I never even knew they had gone through that. It's like, no one ever talks about miscarriage until you hear about someone who's just gone through one, and then suddenly all these people come out of the woodwork saying that they've had one too. I guess I understand, though. Going through one myself, at the time I felt so ashamed that I'd miscarried. I was almost embarrassed about it. Also, it was still a very fresh memory that I didn't want to relive any time soon. I started spending a lot of time on the Internet searching for stories of women who had miscarried and pregnancy success after miscarriage. The more I researched and talked to people, the more I realized how common miscarriage actually is. Women who've had one need to know that they're not alone. They may not want to talk about it, but they need to find comfort in knowing that it IS common, and that whenever they're ready to discuss it, there are people ready to listen.
After my miscarriage, I talked to my ob/gyn about what we could do to get me pregnant and stay pregnant. In my obsessive quest for answers, I came across women discussing polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and after reading the symptoms of it, thought I might have it and asked my doctor about the possibility of my having it. Let me just say, that I LOVE my doctor. She is amazing and a real advocate for her patients. It had been about three months since the miscarriage and I'd only had one period and waiting on the next to arrive - it had been over 40 days. We discussed how my cycles were always very irregular and that the skin under my arms is a little dark. She had some blood work done to test the some of my hormone levels and when the numbers came back and weren't normal, she made the diagnosis that I had PCOS. Just a note: PCOS isn't something that you can take a test for and find out you have it, but rather it's a diagnosis a doctor makes based on a number of symptoms. So. What to do now? As PCOS is linked to insulin resistance, my doctor put me on metformin, a drug often used with diabetics. In women with PCOS, it can often help a woman to ovulate. If nothing happened after three months of "trying" using the metformin, she would put me on Clomid for a few months to see if we had any success with that. I was also keeping track of my ovulation with the "pee on a stick" tests just to see if I was indeed ovulating. Well, my cycles were still really long, but I WAS ovulating, which I considered a good sign. My next doctor appointment was in January 2007. At this point, if I hadn't yet gotten pregnant, I would get the Clomid. Well, on January 6, 2007, I found out I was pregnant! At my appointment, my doctor had the regular prenatal blood work done as well as testing my progesterone levels. Most women with PCOS don't produce enough progesterone to keep the pregnancy going until the placenta takes over at the end of the first trimester. Sure enough - my levels were low, so my doctor started me on progesterone supplements (I used Prochieve). Week 7 - had an ultrasound and saw the heartbeat. Week 8 - heard the heartbeat. Week 9 - saw baby moving around. At week 13, I had an ultrasound and my doctor said that the placenta was well formed so I could stop taking the metformin and progesterone. I was terrified to stop, but did and in September 2007, we welcomed our son, I, now 2 1/2 years old.
My husband and I went through a lot between finding out we were pregnant, the miscarriage, the metformin trial, and finally being pregnant with our son. I am fully aware that the time we went through it all is nothing compared to some people who try years to get pregnant and are even still trying. I am sharing my story in hopes that someone who is suffering from a miscarriage or has PCOS and is wondering if they can get pregnant, can find comfort and hope that it is possible and they're not alone. Also, if you have any questions about anything I did, please feel free to leave a comment.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
When I'm at the mall, I'll often pop into See's to get a small piece of chocolate for myself, as well as the samples they give out. When the lady saw my daughter, she asked if she could have a piece. My eight-month old? I said "of course she can!" and then ate it along with my sample when we were out of the store. The same thing would happen with my son when he was her age. Is it so wrong that I am using my kids to get an extra piece of candy?
Posted by Sarah at 2:59 PM
Monday, March 15, 2010
Don't let the smiling frog toilet fool you. I am now in a new sort of personal hell: we've started my two-year-old son potty training. It's only Day 4 and he's doing great but I'M the one who's all panic-y and breaking out in a sweat every five minutes. My son can be pretty laid back about changes and potty training is no different. He has no problem going 1 or 2 in his little toilet but when he's wearing his training underpants, he just goes and doesn't tell us (unless it's a particularly uncomfortable number 2). Therefore, we've gone ahead to the "no pants" training method while at home so there's no nice little place for him to go. He's done well with it as he goes to his toilet when he feels like he needs to, he goes, proudly tells us, we wash hands, and he gets to put a sticker on his board. But seeing him run around without pants on has me watching him like a hawk to make sure a little bare bottom doesn't try to sit on my couch or that my wood floors stay dry. Any potty training stories to share?
Posted by Sarah at 1:37 PM