While certainly not as difficult as many other journeys, ours has not been without its challenges and bumps in the road. Here it is, in a nutshell:
March 2008: Honey and I are married.
September 2008: Ditch the Pill.
December 2008: Officially start TTC, the old-fashioned way. We BD every other day and hope for the best.
January 2009: I get my period after a 61-day cycle. My general practitioner orders blood tests to confirm PCOS, but they all come back normal.
March 2009: After 70 days without a period, I take an HPT. Big fat negative. No surprise.
April 2009: After 114 days without a period, I take another HPT. BFN. Boooo… Also, my GP tells me I probably do have PCOS, but makes that diagnosis based only on my very long menstrual cycles, with nothing else to indicate it. I fire her.
May 2009: While on a cruise to Alaska, I experience a couple days of nausea and then start spotting, very light and it’s brown. It increases slightly after sex. I’ve never experienced this before. What does it mean?
June 2009: I start bleeding for real. After 160 days, my period has finally arrived. I also pass some weird gray matter from my lady parts…was this, maybe, a miscarriage? I bleed for two weeks. I also make a visit to a new doctor, this time an OB/GYN. She schedules me for a glucose tolerance test.
July 2009: My GTT comes back normal and my doctor declares that I don’t have PCOS. She prescribes Clomid, 50 mg, to take for three months. I take progesterone for 10 days to induce a period and then take Clomid #1, days 3-7.
August 2009: BFN. I’m so bummed — what the hell is the point of Clomid if it doesn’t work?! Begin progesterone again.
September 2009: Clomid #2. Begin using OPKs, negative every time.
October 2009: BFN. Progesterone and Clomid #3. Period is very light and unusual this month.
November 2009: All OPKs are negative. Hmmmm…. Starting to feel like this just may never happen.
December 2009: Visit my doctor again. She increases my Clomid to 100mg for another three months. After that, it’s time to see an RE. More progesterone to induce yet another period.
January 2010: Clomid #4. Honey’s SA is normal. All OPKs are negative. Getting very, very scared!
February 2010: BFN, the same day I find out a good friend is expecting…and due in 2 months! Progesterone and Clomid #5.
March 2010: Experience some heavy lower abdominal pain. Doctor says it is probably an over-stimulated ovary, but nothing to worry about unless it’s excruciating and unbearable. It subsides after a few days. All OPKs are negative…but that doesn’t stop me from getting a BFP!!! Due date of 11/28/10.
April 2010: Amidst the nausea and cramping, I worry, worry, worry, convinced it’s an ectopic pregnancy.
May 2010: There’s a heartbeat!
July 2010: It’s a girl! But I have placenta previa — eek!!!
November 21, 2010, 12:09 p.m.: After an induction, 22 hours of labor, and 20 minutes of pushing, our little Cupcake takes her first breath, 7 lbs 2oz and 18 inches of cuteness. I’m in love.
December 2010 to December 2011: We take a break from TTC while I breastfeed and we enjoy our new little blessing. (Oh, God…just writing that still is enough to make me cry!)
December 2011: My period comes just 28 days after I quit breastfeeding. Here we go again… Clomid #1, 100mg.
January 2012: A few positive OPKs, but my BBT never rises. So disappointed.
February 2012: BFN. Progesterone and Clomid #2.
March 2012: One big fat positive OPK, on our 4th wedding anniversary, day 22 of my cycle. Hooray! Lots of baby-dancing.
April 2012: BFP!!! So excited, so happy, feeling so blessed! And then less than three weeks later…I bleed and bleed and bleed. No heartbeat. I cry and cry and cry. My Teddy Graham is gone.
May 2012: Finally get a negative pregnancy test at the lab, four weeks after my miscarriage. Doctor gives me the go-ahead to resume Clomid in 4 weeks. I start monitoring my BBT and OPKs again. Ugh.
June 2012: Progesterone yet again to induce another period and then Clomid, 100mg.
July 2012: No ovulation from the Clomid and a BFN (of course). More progesterone to jump-start another flow and then Clomid, 100mg again.
August 2012: Ovulation on CD14 (for the first time EVER!!!), but my period comes just 11 days later. Clomid at 100mg AGAIN. This is already getting old. And depressing.
September 2012: Ovulation on CD23. BFN and my period comes 16 dpo. Fourth round of Clomid, 100mg, begins.
October 2012: Go on holiday to London for a much-needed reprieve. Ovulate on CD20-22. My period arrives as expected 10-12dpo.
November 2012: My first visit to an RE. She officially diagnoses PCOS. She wants me to stick with Clomid (versus Femara), but be monitored for this cycle and add a trigger shot. Fifth round of Clomid, 100mg, begins. Monitoring shows no progress, but on CD25, I get a positive OPK and a BBT rise the next day. Hurray!
December 2012: My period arrives at 13dpo. Not surprised. Clomid at 150mg this month and then monitoring starting on CD13. No progress over the course of a week. Body is showing signs of impending ovulation, but no positive OPK or temp rise. So disappointed. We’ve now been trying for one year. Will this ever end???
January 2013: Start progesterone on CD29 to induce a period. Take it for 10 days and wait over two weeks after that for the flow to begin. Nothing. Take a pregnancy test. BFP — amazingness! First beta shows high levels; second blood draw is not warranted.
February 2013: Three separate ultrasounds, each a week apart, show a strong heartbeat and good embryonic growth. Find the heartbeat with my at-home doppler for the first time at 9 weeks. Our baby is okay. Sigh. Of. Relief.
March 2013: My first OB appointment is a success and shows another strong heartbeat. Baby is measuring a week ahead at our 12-week NT scan.
April 2013: It’s been one year since my miscarriage. We go Facebook public! Skittle continues to grow well and have a strong heartbeat. And I start feeling him/her move in earnest, which is just so exciting!
May 2013: An emergency trip to my OB is made, with fears that my water has broken, but it was just pee. 🙂 Our 20-week anatomy scan shows a perfectly healthy and active baby who is measuring a whole 8 days ahead. And at our gender reveal party, we learn…it’s a GIRL!!!
June 2013: All continues to go well, though my anxiety about losing this baby has not been reduced by much. Viability! And we move Cupcake into her new room so that we can start preparing the nursery for Skittle.
July 2013: Two close friends throw a joint baby shower for me and another friend. It’s such a special occasion to get the opportunity to celebrate another one of my children in this way. I’m feeling very, very lucky and blessed and grateful.
August 2013: I celebrate my 30th birthday and we have maternity photos taken. It’s a surreal, beautiful thing to finally be at this point in my pregnancy. Just last year, I was losing hope that I’d ever be here again.
September 2013: About a month before my due date, my blood pressure spikes, which leads to a lot of non-stress tests, ultrasounds, and blood work. No preeclampsia and Skittle appears to still be thriving.
October 2013: My due date comes and goes. Four days past-due, we learn that Skittle has suddenly turned breech a c-section is scheduled. Five days past-due, just five hours before my c-section, and we learn she has turned head-down again. The next day, I go to the hospital for an induction and on October 10, 2013 at 2:23 a.m., after 14 hours of labor with no epidural or other drugs, Skittle is born healthy and safe weighing 8lbs 13oz and measuring 21 1/4 inches long. I have never been happier!
December 2014: At fourteen months old, Skittle is weaned and we officially start trying for another baby.
January 2015: We get a BFP after our very first try. We’re shocked!
February 2015: Our baby, Poppy, has a heartbeat! We take a family vacation to Hawaii days later with the relief of knowing all is well in my womb.
May 2015: We learn our baby is a BOY. I’m terrified.
October 2, 2015: Three days after my due date, in a textbook labor and delivery, Poppy is born into this world after eight hours of unmedicated labor and two pushes…8lbs 6oz and 18.75 inches of sweetness and love. Relief! Joy! Sheer joy.
May 2017: Poppy is weaned. We start trying for another baby.
June-July 2017: I ovulate, but then get my period. Our lucky post-weaning ovulation did not bring us a baby this time. I am so sad. I start Clomid (100mg) once again.
August 2017: Another period. More Clomid. I am crossing my fingers and praying hard. Our second round of 100mg of Clomid is typically our “lucky cycle.”
September 2017: We get a positive HPT. Pregnant again! Thank you, God.
June 1, 2018: Six days past due, our sweet baby girl — we’ll call her Twinkle — arrives in an unmedicated hospital birth that was not what I had hoped for or expected, but was full of its own beauty nevertheless. We’re a family of six! 8lbs 6oz of dreams fulfilled.