“When do you want to start having kids?” …
For me and my husband, Brandon, this hot topic surfaced for the first time when I was at the ripe old age of 24. I was young, he was even younger. We had just moved into our first home, both started new jobs, purchased a new vehicle, and expanded our family by purchasing a second puppy. We were both healthy, energetic and slightly bored. Seemed like the perfect time to start discussing the topic of kids. When I asked Brandon about his ideal timeline during one of our evening walks- he said that it would be great to have a baby “next year at this time.” I was surprised to hear of his aggressive timeline – especially since this was the first time we had ever discussed the topic. And – to be honest, the week got busy, and I forgot about our conversation.
Then, a very sad incident happened – our new puppy got very ill and passed away. It was one of the hardest, gut wrenching things Brandon and I had gone through together. We stayed up with the puppy all day and night trying to nurse her back to health after several discouraging vet visits. It was a long few days, and she eventually died in our arms only a week after we had the “when do you want to start having kids” conversation. Brandon was so affected by her death that he vowed we would never buy another pet again. His exact words were – no more pets, only kids from now on.
Call it crazy, but that was the impetus that resulted in me going off of birth control. The next day, I started to do a little research about conception and pregnancy. The process seemed simple enough, and Brandon and I immediately got to “work.” When I was younger, I was naive enough to think that getting pregnant was as easy as being naked in the same room as your spouse. Easy as 1, 2, 3 – right?
There was only one small hurdle- I had extremely irregular cycles as a teen (bleeding for 2 months at at time and never a 7 day period), and after doing a little research, became concerned that this might be an issue. When I was a teen, I also suffered from high blood pressure, so I was put on blood pressure medication and continuous progesterone only birth control for nursing mothers. Around the same time, I decided to start developing a more healthy lifestyle. I was concerned about my high blood pressure and did not want to be on medication for the rest of my life like my doctor said I would.
The continuous birth control that I was put on as a kid meant one very pleasant thing. I never got a cycle. In fact, in the 9 years that I was on the pill – I never once got a 7 day period. I thought I was the luckiest girl on this side of the Mississippi. When we decided to start trying to have kids, I figured it was an appropriate time to schedule a doctors appointment to see if he had any tips for us as we embarked on the conception journey. I knew that I was living a healthy lifestyle, but wasn’t sure how long it would take my body to regulate itself. I was able to schedule a doctors appointment for about a month out, and in the meantime I started taking a natural herb supplement that I had read helped regulate cycles.
Well, it was an uneventful month waiting for the doctor appointment. By the time I got to the appointment, I was a little discouraged and concerned that I hadn’t already gotten a cycle. I went into the appointment prepared, and listed off my past health history including the high blood pressure, etc. After about 1 minute of discussion, my new doctor concluded that I had a common metabolic disorder that affected ovulation. He then scheduled me for an immediate ultrasound to confirm. Sure enough, I had the syndrome. I soon discovered that my disorder was the leading cause of infertility in women. It caused insulin resistance (diabetes), weight gain and often other unpleasant symptoms. My doctor confirmed that I had never ovulated – period. Hearing the news about this syndrome was very disheartening. I was discouraged and now sure that it would be a long road ahead. For about two weeks, I was upset –frustrated that no previous doctor of mine had diagnosed my symptoms of irregularity and high blood pressure, etc. Frustrated that I had lived so healthy for so long, now to be told that it would be hard or impossible to conceive.
Then after about two weeks of feeling bad for myself, I came to a realization. I realized that I was extremely blessed. I had an amazing husband, a great job, a new house, a perfect puppy, and a lot of years ahead to pursue my dreams. I then started considering those around me. I realized that there was no one’s life who I envied – no one who I’d rather be than myself. I didn’t envy anyone with kids, without kids, with money or with nicer cars than me. I was 100% content for maybe the first time in my life. And that was a great place to be. I had my faith, my family, my passions, and contentment.
Just a few short weeks after I had this epitome, I began to feel sick in the morning … like almost pass out and throw up in the shower sick. One day I was feeling so sick that I randomly told Brandon to buy me a pregnancy test. We both knew that sounded ridiculous, and I’m still shocked that he agreed to buy it. But that night when I got home from work, I peed on a stick with Brandon in the next room, and sure enough- it was positive! We were both in disbelief. So, I peed on another stick – same outcome. The next day, I called my doctor who was also in shock. He ordered blood work immediately which also came back very positive, and then the fun began …