There's the part where you're pregnant or adopting, and waiting for the baby -- and then there's the part that comes before you're expecting. Sometimes the pre-baby phase is brief, and, well, sometimes it takes a little longer than expected.
Trying to conceive mamas have to play all sorts of waiting games, and connecting with other women in the same situation -- to swap info and get support -- is crucial.
There are lots of TTC groups around here. If you're trying to get in the mama-way, check out Trying to Conceive and Infertility, Trying to Conceive - Using Fertility Meds, and Clomid Chicks (they're private groups, so you'll need to join.)
And read on to hear one woman's story of trying to conceive her first child at 36.
Anonymous has chosen to be so for a reason a lot of us (myself included) can relate to -- she doesn't want her family asking her every five minutes if she's pregnant yet. Here's her story so far.
What's your relationship status?
I'm married; we've been together three years.
What was your philosophy or plan for getting pregnant? Did you think you'd already
have a baby by now, or did things just kind of work out that way?
At first my husband and I threw caution to the wind and hoped we'd get pregnant right away. It seemed to happen that way with most people we knew. My husband is a year older than me and we knew we wanted to have a child before we turned 40, and the sooner the better.
When I was younger I thought I'd have kids by now, but honestly, there were a lot of things I thought would happen by a certain age that didn't. I'm just happy that I have a wonderful husband who's so supportive of me through this process. He's going to be a great dad someday.
How long have you been trying to conceive?
When did you start to see a doctor, and why?
I had my annual gynecologist visit in October and told her that I was trying to get pregnant. But I also told her how I'd had only three periods since May. She ran all the standard tests and discovered that my follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) was low. It was a 7 when it should be at an 11. My thyroid was also low. She gave me Provera, a medicine that induces your period.
She also recommended that I see a fertility specialist because of all this, plus my age, and that this specialist had all the technology to do testing with results in house -- meaning, less wait to find out details of all the tests my husband and I had to go through.
What happened next?
I was given a natural thyroid medicine to help get those levels up. But I wasn't ovulating on my own, so I was prescribed Clomid -- the lowest dose, since my body is very sensitive to medicines and I tend to get every side effect.
I had nausea and pain in my abdomen, plus all around irritability. I produced five eggs, but that was the good news. In simple terms, my eggs aren't well-shaped and are thinly lined, meaning the sperm can easily get in, but can also easily get out.
My husband's sperm was deemed healthy and plenty, so that's good. But my cervix opening is small, which won't prevent me from getting pregnant, but is making it all the more difficult. I had the bright idea of putting my legs in the air after sex, so my body is upside down, to try to force the sperm to go to the right place. Hilarious, right? So far it hasn't worked, but I'm willing to try anything.
Sadly, I developed a cyst that's being stubborn and won't go away. This is a side effect from the Clomid -- I wish I wasn't so sensitive to side effects!
What are you trying now?
Now I am on birth control for three weeks in an attempt to get rid of the cyst. My doctor wants to try gonadotropins next. These are injectables for women who need help with follicle development. The thought of having to inject myself in the tummy freaks me out, but I'm up for trying whatever is necessary.
I've heard about herbal treatments and while I think I need more than just a holistic approach, I'd love to know if any women out there have tried herbals and which ones are good.
What's also happening is that my husband is succumbing to the pressure. There's this sense of urgency to have sex those times when I know I'm ovulating. He's very cerebral and knowing he has to "perform" has caused him to lose his erection. It's the pressure...and I feel terrible that he's feeling it, too. But we're working on how to make it seem more spontaneous and less stressful.
How's your anxiety level? Are you feeling very concerned about things or not so much yet?
I know eight months doesn't seem long, especially since I've heard the many stories of women on CafeMom who are TTC for much longer. But for me it seems long. I hate to admit it, but I feel like the clock is ticking and I know if I'd gotten pregnant when I first started trying, I'd have a baby by now.
I try to be positive and to remember that in one way or another I will be a mom. I have some incredible friends here on CafeMom who offer advice and have opened my eyes to all options. I'm grateful for that.
So, what's next?
I'm going to try the injectables after the cyst is gone. But my sister said the sweetest thing to me the other day. She said that if I continued to have trouble with my eggs, she would give me hers. I was so choked up that she would volunteer without me ever even asking. It meant so much to me.
I asked her if that would be
weird. She told me no because the egg would be carried in my belly, my
bond with the baby would grow as the baby grew -- that I'd be the one nurturing the growth.
I love that she really thought it thorough before mentioning the idea to me, and I realized how lucky I am to have her as my sister.
So what's next is to stay positive...and I'll take all the baby dust I can get!
Are you trying to conceive and encountering some issues? Share your story and ask questions here.