It’s crazy to think that so many women are afraid to open up about how hard conceiving a baby can be. I know, I was! As I sit here today about to share my first conception story with you, I’m still slightly nervous about revealing such a private story but after much thought I’ve finally made the decision to open up about some of my more personal experiences leading up to motherhood. There were times throughout my journey that I felt incredibly depressed and lonely, and because of this, I turned to google to try and find people who had gone through similar experiences to me. And that is exactly why I have made the decision to share my journey with you, in the hope, that maybe I can give someone else out there who is struggling, feeling lonely and sad, that little bit of hope and comfort.
First off, I must say, that I know there are plenty of women out there who have had much more challenging experiences than mine and taken far longer to fall pregnant. But this is just my story. We are all different, so just remember that no two paths will be the same. I know too well, that it can be a lonely experience, but you need to know, that you are not alone. I went through two incredibly different paths to falling pregnant with my kids, so here is my conception story #1…
I wanted to be a mum my whole life, I have always loved kids and I’ve always been very maternal. We waited until Jase and I were both ready (I was ready much before he was) to start trying for a baby, before going off the contraceptive pill. I was on the pill from age 14 as I had a very full on period. It would last for two weeks and come every two weeks, so my doctor at the time, never considered why this was happening, rather he just put me on the pill. I had no clue what my body was going to do when going off the pill 12 years later. Someone once told me, that it is very common to fall pregnant that first month off the pill, so when we were ready to fall pregnant I went off the pill thinking nothing of it.
I had seen my gynaecologist a few months earlier who had told me to go off the pill when we were ready to start trying. He basically told me to give my body six months off the pill, just have fun with it and see what happens.
So, I went off the pill and we started trying…. month one nothing, month two nothing, month three nothing… ….as you can imagine I started to worry.
Unfortunately for me, the trend continued and after six months, not only was I not pregnant but I didn’t even get a period, so technically, we hadn’t really started trying yet as I wasn’t ovulating. By this stage, it was all starting to consume me. It was all I could think about, ALL the time. Six wasted months it felt like, for little impatient me, who was hoping to fall pregnant first go! At this point, I went back to see my gyno, who was also my obstetrician (OB) – this was great advice by my mum. She always said it was good to have a relationship with your OB before falling pregnant and boy was she right in this case! He was there for guidance and support the whole way.
Next it was time for ultrasound scans to find out what was going on as advised by my OB. It turned out my ovaries were polycystic. This is when your ovaries contain a high density of partially mature follicles. And this was the reason I was not ovulating. Some women with polycystic ovaries (PCO) do ovulate, randomly, however, I wasn’t (please note that PCO is different to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). This meant that I needed some help ovulating. We are so lucky in today’s day and age that there are drugs you can take to help with this. I was obviously shitting myself, and petrified by this point. What if I could never fall pregnant? That’s all I could think! However, at the time, I didn’t realise, how common PCO are in women! And how many women with PCO still fall pregnant. My OB was amazing at reassuring me and making me feel confident that it would happen for us. Jase was also there for me and so supportive, every step of the way.
I went on medication, called Clomid, to help me ovulate. As this drug can increase your chances of twins, first off you start taking a super low dose, and then if this doesn’t make you ovulate/ have a period, then you need to increase the dose. The first dose didn’t work for me (so that was another wasted month). But then when we increased it a second time, it worked and I finally got a period. Once I was ovulating, our OB literally drew up a graph for us, about when to have sex, when not to, how often, etc etc. It was very romantic! Totally took the fun out of it for us. Plus, Clomid made me so incredibly depressed. The mood swings were out of control. My hormones were going crazy. And my whole desire for falling pregnant had become SO consuming. It was literally ALL I could think about.
During this time, we had literally told no one what we were going through, besides my mum. I felt sooooo alone and miserable. Thank goodness for Cooper during this time, he was also there for me through it all. There’s just something about having your dog by your side when you’re going through a shitty time. Jase was an awesome support too, he really is the best husband, but guys can never really understand what us women go through with our hormones. He would randomly say things to me like; “just relax”, “don’t stress”, “the more you stress, the less likely it will happen”, “let’s just have fun!” I’m sure anyone else who has gone or is going through this can totally relate, but the more that was said to me, the harder I found it to just relax and have fun. Although he was just trying to help, it drove me nuts!
Every month we would try, I would consider every little sign or symptom my body was doing, thinking, could I be pregnant. I would be careful with what I ate and drank each month, just in case there was a chance I was pregnant. I am also one of the most impatient people I know, so I did pregnancy tests ALL the time!! I can’t even tell you how many negative pregnancy tests I had. Every month that passed, every negative pregnancy test I got, I felt more depressed, lonelier and less hopeful that it was going to happen for us. Because it was my first, it was that fear of, what if I could never fall pregnant. That was the scariest thought of all!
My OB only let’s his patients be on Clomid for 7 months in a row. And then if you are still unable to conceive, he will look at doing IVF. By the 5th month taking the medication, still nothing had happened, so I went in for a procedure to have my tubes flushed. They literally blew a balloon up inside me and flushed a die through my tubes. They could see from this that there were no blockages, which was good. And hopefully having the die flushed through my tubes, will help for the next cycle. The doc said that women often fall pregnant the cycle after having their tubes flushed or the cycle after that. I didn’t fall pregnant the month after. This meant we were one month away from looking at IVF. By this point, I turned to a friend of mine who I knew also had a tough time falling pregnant. Her journey was totally different but she fully understood that dark feeling I was going through. And having her support was incredible. It was like a little weight being lifted off my shoulders.
At this stage, it had been over a year of trying, so that next month, we went to Thailand for Xmas, NY and decided to stuff the graph chart from my OB and just do it whenever and wherever we wanted!! I got drunk and let loose, I relaxed and really enjoyed myself! I was also as fit as I’d ever been in my life as I’d turned to running to help release some of my stress and depression. Jase and I honestly had the best holiday I think we’d ever had. We seriously needed it.
The more people tell you to just relax and enjoy it, the harder it is to just relax. But I guess an element of this must have been true because it was that month that little Harper was conceived. She was our Thailand baby! It also may have been the help of having my tubes flushed. Anyways, it was a miracle. We were blessed. I took about five pregnancy tests because I didn’t believe it was true. I wished for morning sickness so I would have a sign that it was real. At the six week mark, I was blessed with morning sickness, boy did I wish that I had never wished for that!! But morning sickness is all a sign that everything is working and doing what it should be so as crappy as it was, it was all a blessing and we couldn’t have been happier.
If there is that one little bit of advice I can give you from all of this, is please, please know that you are not alone. Try and find a friend, a family member, a professional, someone you can open up to. I know this is far easier said than done as I was totally this person, but looking back, I do truly believe that the more you stress about it, the more it consumes you, the harder it is to fall pregnant. So please try to relax and enjoy the intimacy with your partner.
Please feel free to leave a comment or send me a direct email. I’d love to help and support you if I can.