Monday, May 23, 2011

Fertility Facts

Although my journey with infertility is seemingly over, I don't think I will ever stop trying to encourage women who endure this battle every day, and I don't think my heart will ever not be with those that struggle with infertility. This blog was born out of my need to "vent" my frustrations, successes, and failures with my friends and family (who began to feel bad about "bugging" me with questions about what the status of things were-I never thought they were "bugging" me, by the way!) And then it turned into a little bit of everything, and now mostly updates on my two success stories. :) I know there are ladies who read this who are fighting, hoping, and praying to become a mom, and I want you girls to know that I still want to keep the "infertility" part of this blog alive and active! I thought I would share some things that helped me through my journey.

Here are some links to the early days of this blog.
The Beginning
Feeling hopeful :)
Faith tested
Some inspiration from Sandra
I thought this was funny...until I got pregnant that month! (and only with 2!)

Fertility Friend: This website was SO helpful to me. I believe there is now also a fertility friend app that another friend of mine used (and is now expecting!). Since I am plagued with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), this helped me to get a good visual of my (crazy) cycles. It also allows you to input every piece of information you can think of (some would be TMI to mention on here). And my favorite feature was being able to view charts of women who had the exact same issues as me (and also encouraging to see the MANY women with PCOS that got pregnant) For instance, I could type in that I wanted to look at women's charts who were a certain age, had PCOS, long cycles, and were on the same fertility drug as me. So awesome! And how incredible to feel that I wasn't alone in this struggle. I HIGHLY suggest playing around with this website if you're TTC! :)

Basal Body Temperature: Ok, people seem to be very divided on this method. One method of TTC (Trying to Conceive for you fertile people), is to record your body temperature RIGHT when you wake up in the morning (like before you really even sit up in bed). You have to get a certain thermometer (found at Walgreen's), and some doctors say it's highly unreliable, others swear by it. The thought is that when you notice your body temperature go up a degree or more, it means your body is preparing to ovulate. The problem is that you have to be very diligent about taking it at the same time every morning, and making sure you literally roll over in bed and grab the thermometer and immediately take it. Otherwise, it's not accurate. I did this for many months. I would wake up, take my temp, write it down and/or enter it right into my fertility friend chart. That way I could see if/when my temps started to rise. Take it or leave it, but I think I liked it so much because it was something I could do every day, and I think it just mostly made me feel like I was being proactive. :)

Ovulation Tests: If you haven't heard of these, you can buy them in bulk from any pharmacy (and I've heard of places online that sell them even cheaper). Again, yet another good thing to help you track the "magical days" you have in your cycle. For the record, I never had a positive one of these. I stopped using them fairly early on because it was emotionally tough for me to continue to see a negative result day after day, week after week, month after get the picture. :) But most fertility docs will suggest them.

Dr. LaTasha Craig: This was my fertility doctor. I can't even begin to say enough amazing things about this woman. She was recommended to me by a friend who also has PCOS. I am a thousand times over thankful to her not only for her skills as a fertility doctor, but her warmth, positivity, and encouragement through our journey. I can still remember the incredible feeling of hope she gave me after our first appointment. And the giant hug she gave me the day we saw our two miracles on the ultrasound in her office. I can't think of many doctors that hug their patients! She has endless amounts of passion for what she does, and we were so blessed to have found her. More information on her here.

(p.s. From the day of our first appointment, until the day we found out we were pregnant was approximately 3 months. We had been trying for about 7 months before that.)

And this brings me to my next important point. I know better than anyone how incredibly hard it is to make that phone call to the fertility doctor. I was still in denial that anything was "wrong" with me the day I did call. I felt silly sitting in that office, answering her questions, and felt confident that she would find no reason why we couldn't get pregnant, and just tell us to be patient. I kept thinking, "my whole family is insanely fertile", "I've always had regular cycles...until now. It's probably nothing", "there's no way this could happen to me" etc. But please, please believe me that making the phone call was the hardest part. It was all good things that happened after that. I'm not saying that it didn't have its ups and downs, but I felt so much more informed and somewhat in control of what was happening (even though I realized at the end of our journey that we aren't really the ones in control ;) And remember that if you aren't having regular cycles for 3+ months, that's enough to go check in with a fertility doctor, or if you've been tracking your cycles/timing intercourse correctly for 3+ months.

Confide in someone(s): This seems pretty common sense, but many girls seem to feel like they have to be hush hush about when they are trying to get pregnant and/or struggling with getting pregnant. I can see why many don't want to voice when they are trying in the event of a miscarriage, but I can tell you with 100% certiantly that if I had not confided in close friends/family, it never would have happened so quickly. By sharing my struggles, I received SO many prayers from people and tons of encouragement. And since then, I've been able to help several other girls go through the same journey. All because I wasn't afraid to talk about it! And it was SO much more fun to share the exciting news with them when we found out because they knew just how sweet it was. :)

Whew. I could seriously type for hours on this issue, but these are some of the big things that helped us in our journey. I should have put at the top of the list that our faith was the rock we clinged to throughout those months. I wouldn't trade what God showed us that year for anything. And as someone who knows exactly how you feel, don't let this time be wasted. As hard as it is, and as many bad days as you have, I pray that He shows you something bigger through all of it. And although you may feel like it, He really never leaves you and is good ALL the time. Although there were many days I swore He had forgotten all about us, I can look back and see it all lead us to where we are now: tired and exhausted from trying to keep up with 2 seven month old girls!

I desperately want to help you reading this and know these perils all too well. I hope you will reach out should you need any encouragement/advice. You will have your own success story SOON. But for now, I'll leave you with a few pictures of ours... ;)


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