I figured that I would write a post that I can share shortly after we announce our pregnancy. I’m hoping to share our journey and answer some questions that I can anticipate coming. So here it goes…
YES! We are expecting our first and we are absolutely thrilled, overwhelmed, anxious, and feeling so grateful. I have to preface this blog post with the fact that I understand how difficult it can be to hear someone announcing their pregnancy when you are struggling to get pregnant or even when you are waiting on an adoption (which we know all too well). So if this is triggering AT ALL to you please do not read ahead.
If you’ve been following our journey, we decided to adopt 5 years ago. Before that, we tried to have our own for 2 years. It’s hard to even think that we have spent 7 years on this “wanting a child” tour. We got matched with our child in the summer of 2020 but quickly learned that the chances of us bringing her home anytime soon were non-existent. Between politics and covid, the relationship between China and the US is a mess. To top that off, our agency began to hint that it might be time to pivot. We held on to our sweet daughter for a year and a half. My intuition told me late last year that we may need to start grieving the loss of what could have been and think about other options. The moment we finally decided to withdraw from the adoption was THE HARDEST moment in my life. I remember days that I struggled to get out of bed. I cried all the time. I asked why this would happen to us. It all seemed so unfair but mostly for the children stuck in the system and growing up without loving parents.
A couple of months after our decision, in one of my therapy sessions, I asked my therapist if it was crazy to see an infertility specialist while I was still grieving the loss of our child. She eased my worry that it might be too soon and Frank and I decided to reach out to an IVF clinic and talk about our options.
I looked into surrogacy because I wasn’t sure I would even be able to carry a baby. I’m a 36-year-old with Hashimoto’s and a history of abnormal paps and LEEP procedures to remove precancer cells. Not exactly your best candidate for getting pregnant.
After our first appointment with the doctor, Frank and I decided to move forward and give ourselves a year of trying again. I started IUI which is a shorter and less intensive treatment process. It’s a simple procedure that puts sperm directly inside your uterus, which helps healthy sperm get closer to your egg. BUT it also requires taking Clomid which makes you feel like shit, lots of blood work, and a shot in the stomach. There is also a very small chance of it working. I think the success rates are 10% for women under 35.
I have to say that going through this process gave me sooo much respect, compassion, and empathy for women who have gone through or are going through IVF. IUI is painful and stressful but it’s nowhere close to what women experience with IVF.
The process took about a month from start to finish and the hardest part was waiting after the insemination to find out if you are pregnant. It was a difficult two weeks and it was all I could think about. I felt very alone. We didn’t tell many people we were going through IUI and we were still grieving our daughter.
I look back at it now and I give myself so much love and compassion for the strength I held during the weekly sometimes daily doctor visits, needles, meds, and emotional ups and downs.
I remember the morning I drove myself to the doctor to have the procedure done. I put on my lucky socks and tried to keep my hopes high while also telling myself that it would be ok if this didn’t work. The sun was shining through the golden leaves and I felt strangely comforted by everything. The procedure took about 10 minutes and I stopped at the Mcdonald’s drive-through on the way home for french fries (another thing I was told to do for luck). I didn’t really believe in it but it was a great excuse to eat McD’s fries!
Two weeks after I decided to take a pregnancy test. I ordered 4 packs from Amazon. Two that showed the lines and two that spelled it out for you. I took the test and waited what felt like an hour. It showed two lines. One pretty visible pregnant line!
I didn’t believe it and took the one that says “pregnant” or “not pregnant”. I waited. PREGNANT!!!! I called my mom because I still was unsure for some reason and she suggested waiting until my blood work to confirm. I waited until Frank came home and showed him. We were both in disbelief but also SUPER excited.
I got my blood work a few days later and sure enough, it confirmed a pregnancy. I thought I would be elated but worry settled in and blanketed any excitement I had. I know miscarriage is common for women my age and for the next 8 weeks I bounced between being happy and cautious.
It helped that I had weekly check-ins at the IVF clinic and got to see the baby grow. Then after a few weeks, I graduated from our OBGYN. It was amazing seeing the baby’s heartbeat and then him/her move and when I reached 12 weeks I was able to stop worrying so much.
Around week 11 we got back the bloodwork and the baby is healthy and I’m feeling much better. I still have to pinch myself that we are expecting a baby! We found out the gender when we received the genetic results but we are waiting to share….stay tuned!
PS. I will be sharing more of our process over on my Instagram now that you all know! It’s been so hard to keep it a secret and when I can’t share everything I tend to not share much at all.