You know what she told me? “Just Relax.” (Which, in all fairness, she probably should have told me at that point, seeing as we’d probably been TTC for a few weeks.)
So, I tried, but the nagging feeling that something was wrong never really went away. I was one of those really annoying TTCers—you know the one. I jumped on a message board and complained about how difficult it was to see those BFNs month after month and how worried I was…when we had only been trying for 3 months.
You know what they told me? “Impatience is not a fertility issue.” (And they were right to say that. It's true.)
But somehow, I knew. Something was not right. So, I started meticulously charting my temperatures, my cervical position & mucus and every attempt we made—just so I’d have proof we were doing everything right, but that something in my body just wasn’t cooperating. Once I started charting, it was pretty easy to tell that something was up—my cycles were often 45-60+ days and often with no clear temp shift to suggest I’d ovulated. No ovulation = no pregnancy. And it seemed to be getting worse—almost every cycle was ending in a dose of Prometrium.
You know what friends and family told me? “Just Relax.” (And while this was starting to upset me, I knew that I hadn’t been diagnosed with any issues yet...)
It was right around the 7 month mark that I started reading infertility blogs—a bit premature perhaps, but I already felt like I could identify with these women. When I was down, they cheered me up. When I thought that we might have a chance during a particular cycle, they cheered me on. When I was worried, they encouraged me to go in for testing as soon as possible. (Special shout out to Secret Sloper, who was my very first infertility blog buddy, my lifesaver, my biggest cheerleader & my dear friend.)
One of the most valuable lessons that the infertility community taught me is that you have to be your own advocate. You have to read up on any issues that you think you might be experiencing, push the doctors for more tests and always ask questions, questions and more questions.
I was really lucky that my ob/gyn listened to all of the detective work I’d done and decided to do an infertility workup when we’d been TTC for 7 months. (Waiting the standard 12 months to officially be diagnosed with infertility would have been a waste of time.) There were medical issues that needed to be resolved— “Just relaxing” wasn’t going to fix any of them. When my TSH came back at 5.51, I was ecstatic to be able to pinpoint what could be the cause of our problems. What I wasn’t thrilled about was that that my ob/gyn tried to write these labs off as normal.
I had done my reading and I knew that the ideal TSH level of a woman trying to conceive is between 1-2. So, I left my ob/gyn and went to an RE (who I adore and will forever be grateful for) who immediately put me on Synthroid & a dose of Clomid. Not only was she determined to make me ovulate, she was determined to fix the reason I wasn’t ovulating. I got pregnant that month.
It’s possible that I felt more anxiety during my first medicated cycle than I did during any other cycle. I didn’t get pregnant because I decided to “just relax.” I got pregnant because I took medication that fixed what was wrong with me.
I’m pregnant again now— A total surprise after infertility. But this baby doesn’t exist because I relaxed, either—it exists because the universe has a sense of humor and decided to bless us with two children very close in age.
So many of the women I know and love have successfully created families, and several others are so close. These women were made mothers by miracles, fertility treatments and adoption. The bond I share with these women is unlike any other-- My dream is that one day, we’ll all travel across the country to meet in person, show off our beautiful babies, have a drink & “Just Relax.”