Friday, October 7, 2011

It's not you

Recycling a stack of Wall Street Journal's the other day, I stumbled on this article from July:  My Fertility Crisis.
I took away two big points from this article.
1.  I'm only thirty.  Even though we're having some difficulty, I'm in a very lucky spot.
2.  Women need to talk about fertility issues more openly.

These are not really the main points of the article, just the points that apply to my life.

I have known both of these points to be true, this was just a timely reminder.  A large part of me wants to say nothing about our issues.  To pretend everything is fine.

But deep down, I feel that the media, society and wishful thinking is allowing women to delude themselves.  While I hate talking about personal things with the world, it makes me so sad that statistics suggest there are SO many women with fertility issues, and yet I see so few people talking about it.  The only people that talk openly about getting pregnant are the ones who do so easily, and I fear that it gives women a false impression that it's easy.  And I think it drives women to put off having children because they believe that when they're ready it will be easy.

We had an appointment last week to talk about our issues.  We've already had all the tests run, that suggest that everything is fine other than mild PCOS in me.  Everything is fine, except that we've been trying to get pregnant for 11 months and still aren't.  So the discussion came down to Clomid.  Basically, even though I ovulate semi-regularly, Clomid could still improve hormone levels that may be inhibiting/preventing pregnancy.  But with it comes an increased risk of twins (1 in 20) and higher order multiples.  Having twins doesn't scare me so much, though I would feel bad for MJ.  Hoisting one sibling on her seems rough, but hoisting two siblings on her seems cruel.

My real fear is complications.  Twins are by definition a high risk pregnancy.  If I felt this was the only way for us to get pregnant I wouldn't hesitate.  But knowing we got pregnant semi-easily without clomid already, it makes me hesitant to take that risk.  I guess I read too many mom blogs, because I know or know of far too many women with devastating stories from a multiples birth.  If that happened to us, and I wasn't convinced it was a necessary risk, I'm not sure I could forgive myself.  But how do I know when it is a necessary risk, and not just impatience?


  1. Clomid is definitely a scary drug, but typically it can be monitored closely to ensure you are on the correct dosage to not overstimulate your ovaries. You may know of my SIL's horror story w/ clomid, but there was no monitoring or ultrasounds done for her to determine how many eggs she released in that cycle. This is what they do with women always when they do IUI, and I'm pretty sure they can do that normally too, so you know if it's a healthy risk to take or not.

    I'm glad you're being so open about it. I hope it helps someone else who's going through similar issues.

  2. Twins are a high risk pregnancy, but it's just not as bad as everyone says. On the other hand, I've never been pregnant with just one, so my basis for comparison is a little skewed. But all the horror stories people like to tell? They're just horror stories that people like to tell.

    I guess I'm just trying to say... don't be afraid. (and if you're interested in what IVF is like, I'm posting my experiences about it on monday and tuesday- I found old posts from when I was going through it before I became a *real* blogger.)

  3. Hey!

    I'm friends with Erin R and sporadically check your blog- I'm catching up on a few of your last ones (don't envy you the decision of work vs not work at all!) :) So many pros and cons each way.

    I'm sure everyone has their opinion to offer regarding baby making for numero dos, so I won't try to offer yet another opinion, but I will give you one more story! (umm, you're welcome :) )

    Like you, I had always just imagined that we would have 2 kids, 2 years apart.
    Didn't happen that way!

    First attempt: Totally shocked by an ectopic pregnancy and had to have emergency surgery to remove my fallopian tube as it was bursting.

    2nd attempt: got pregnant as soon as we were given the go ahead from the doc (3 months after surgery) and all went well, and now have an awesome 2 1/2 year old girl!

    3rd attempt: got pregnant right away,(kids would have been just under 2 years apart, just like we wanted) but had an early miscarriage (probably around 6-8 weeks). It was difficult, but I wanted to jump back in there and get pregnant again so I didn't feel like we were losing even more time from having another child.

    4th attempt: we tried and tried for several months and nothing happened...knowing I only had one fallopian tube I knew that my chances were lower, but I was flummoxed...what was going on? After consulting a few friends I decided to do the at home ovulation kit and saw in the first month that I didn't ovulate...It made me feel super annoyed, really? Yet one more pregnancy issue for me? Awesome! I headed to the ol' doc to see what she suggested. We did some testing, had an HSG test done, ultrasound, fun, and more fun. Pretty much all came back ok (but like you, possibly mild PCOS). After lots of talking, researching, and more talking we (hubby and I) decided to move forward with a low dose of Clomid. Our 2nd month we got pregnant and I am now 26 weeks in with another girl on the way!

    I still wonder if Clomid is what worked, or if we still would have gotten pregnant on our own and it was just timing, but I guess that's something I'll never know.

    Our kids will now be 3 years apart instead of 2, but for me now, I look back on this last year spent with my 2 year old and appreciate the extra time I got to have with her and I honestly feel lucky! It feels like it worked out this way for us on purpose.

    so yes, my pregnancy life in a nutshell (thus far!)


  4. It's nice to hear the good stories, too. I know they're out there but often not readily shared. Supposing we get pregnant fairly soon I'll be glad it happened how it did. Although I wanted kids two years apart, there is no part of me that wishes I had a newborn right now. MJ has just become her own person in the last couple months, and I want to savor that a little while longer. We have conversations! She expresses her opinions! It's been amazing, and I know I would have missed a lot of this if I currently had a newborn.