When I got married at 25, getting pregnant was not the top priority on my list. Sure, my husband and I wanted kids, but I knew there were things to do before taking that plunge. I wanted to travel, see Europe, get to know my husband (we got married after a whirlwind six month courtship), and make sure that I had professional considerations taken care of. It was about two years later, after I witnessed the birth of my niece, that my biological clock started ticking in earnest. I realized I wanted to be a mom. I had gone to Europe, seen the west coast, gotten transferred to the ICU at the hospital where I worked and felt pretty comfortable with my marriage. I stopped taking my birth control and waited for it to happen.
Six months later, I was still waiting. My doctor told me to be patient. Let it happen on its own, she advised. I was starting to get nervous, because all the over the counter fertility predictors were coming up negative, as in, it was never telling me that today was a good day to conceive. Those things are supposed to detect hormones that indicate you are ovulating, and my gut told me that I was not ovulating at all. My periods had always been extremely irregular and they were getting crazier and crazier the longer I went without being on birth control. At 27, I was antsy to get things started. My husband was 33.
Finally, after nearly a year of trying with no luck, my doctor ordered some lab tests which revealed that I was not, in fact, ovulating. She started me on a medication called Clomid which causes a woman to ovulate on a specific schedule, if taken correctly. I was afraid of having the next set of octuplets, which I had heard was a problem with fertility medications, but my doctor assured me that Clomid was not associated with high multiple conceptions. My chances of conceiving twins went up a bit, but that was all.
I was on Clomid for about four months before I got pregnant. I was ecstatic! I told everyone, started wearing maternity clothes, and gained 10 pounds. Almost immediately, though, I miscarried. I was devastated, and adding to my disappointment was the fact that I had to tell everyone that I had miscarried. Things were not going well at my job at that point; I had been overlooked for a job promotion that I was more qualified for than the person that was selected. I felt like a failure in so many ways; as a wife, mother and professional. Nothing was going my way. I didn’t think, at that point, that I would ever get to hold a baby in my arms. Meanwhile, everyone seemed to be getting pregnant and having beautiful, healthy babies all around me. I felt I had so much to give a baby and my body was simply not cooperating. I started looking into adoption.
My doctor encouraged me to give Clomid another try, since it had actually been successful in helping me get pregnant. I had one normal period, started the Clomid again, and got pregnant immediately! I didn’t tell anyone this time around; I remember even telling my husband that he better be extra nice to me while I was pregnant because I didn’t know how long it was going to last this time around. I was afraid to crack open my copy of the “What to Expect…” book out of superstitious belief that I might jinx things. When I woke up on the day that I reached 8 weeks with severe nausea and vomiting, it began to sink in. I was really pregnant this time!
I suffered the woes of first trimester malaise in silence at work, leading everyone to speculate that I was just displaying a really poor attitude over my missed promotion several months earlier. When I finally broke down at 12 weeks and told my boss, in tears, that I wasn’t being nasty, I just felt nasty due to the unceasing nausea and lethargy I was going through, everything changed. From then on, I was pregnant and loving it. This time, the pregnancy went off without a hitch and I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on my husband’s 35th birthday.
At my 6 week check-up, my doctor urged me to consider going on the “mini pill” to prevent me from getting pregnant while I was nursing. I laughed. After being on birth control for seven years, I ended up having to take more medication to get pregnant, now she wanted me to go back on medication to prevent it again? Come on, I was infertile for crying out loud. I told her I would take it under consideration and then shoved the prescription all the way into the back of my purse. My daughter was seven months old when I started feeling the old queasiness return. I couldn’t believe it. I was pregnant and I hadn’t even been trying to get that way! So apparently, having a baby may cure infertility. After the second child was born, I took my doctor’s advice and had an IUD put in. Now, at 31, I have two delightful little girls and I’m getting ready to try again for my third and final baby. Will I conceive right away like I did with my second? Will I have to take Clomid again? Will it happen at all? I don’t know, but I have learned a little something along the way…Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.