National Infertility Awareness Week | My Journey to Pregnancy
April 24, 2016
This week on the Owlet blog we’re recognizing National Infertility Awareness Week. We hope that we can raise awareness of infertility and provide hope and support to families struggling with infertility.
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Did you know one in eight couples struggle with infertility? Chances are, someone you’re close to is infertile, whether you know it or not. I know from personal experience that infertility is one of the hardest things a couple can go through together.
My husband and I prayed for a child for almost two years before we were fortunate enough to get pregnant. We started trying to grow our family in May of 2014, and we’re now pregnant with boy/girl twins due May 2016. But there were a lot of treatments, tests, surgeries, and doctor’s visits that led up to our pregnancy.
To be considered “infertile” a couple has to try to get pregnant naturally for one year, and at that point doctors will start you on fertility treatments. After just six months of trying, I knew something was wrong and was anxious to be seen. My doctor agreed to run the basic blood tests to see if he could find anything abnormal, sure enough, my 20-year-old body was almost out of eggs. Because of my diminished ovarian reserve, my doctor suggested we start testing and treatments immediately because I would likely go into early menopause in my mid-to-late 20s.
So it was off to the races for us! We jumped right into the thick of things with medications, treatments, and pregnancy tests. It turns out my body was holding on to my few remaining eggs and refused to ovulate on its own, so I was put on oral medication for part of my cycle and gave myself (ok, let’s be real my husband had to do this part) injections for a few days in the middle of my cycle.
After our first medicated cycle failed, we decided we wanted to try intrauterine insemination, or IUI, the next cycle. The average couple, even without infertility problems, has about a 10 percent chance each month to get pregnant on their own. An IUI increases your chances to about 25 percent. We were so hopeful we would get pregnant with the IUI on our first try, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case for us.
It took us three tries with IUI to get pregnant. After our third IUI (on April 1, 2015) we found out we were going to be parents. Unfortunately the pregnancy ended a few weeks later due to an ectopic pregnancy (the fertilized egg implanted in my fallopian tube instead of my uterus). I had to have emergency surgery six weeks into the pregnancy to remove my fallopian tube after it ruptured.
To say we were devastated is an understatement. At this point not only had we lost a baby we tried so hard for, I also lost my fallopian tube, which (in my mind) would make it harder for us to get pregnant again. Thank goodness I was so wrong!
We took a break from trying to get pregnant for all summer 2015. In August we decided we wanted to try again. I got back on the medication and started preparing my body for another IUI. In the meantime I started a new job, my husband was busy with school and my mind wasn’t even thinking about the possibility of becoming pregnant again (despite doing the fertility treatments).
That time of the month came around again and I decided to take a pregnancy test, it was positive! I truly thought I was dreaming, I’d never had a positive pregnancy test before. Once I realized it really wasn’t a dream I called all my doctors, scheduled blood draws and ultrasounds to make sure it wasn’t another ectopic pregnancy.
Just five weeks into this pregnancy we went in for an ultrasound (still checking to make sure it wasn’t ectopic) and we saw two, perfect heart beats! We were so surprised, happy, and overwhelmed with gratitude.
Our journey to this point hasn’t been easy, but we already know these babies were worth the wait. I don’t think I’d ever be able to say I am “grateful” for my infertility experience, but I know it makes me appreciate the little things more than I would have without it. Every morning I wake up and feel these two miracles kicking around in my belly reminds me of how far we’ve come and what we had to go through to get here. I couldn’t be more happy with where we’re at now!
Stay tuned this week for more posts about National Infertility Awareness Week.
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