I’ve thought long and hard about sharing our story. My husband and I are rather private people and don’t tend to share our personal matters with the World. However, I wish I’d read more stories like ours as I feel it would have given us confidence and most of all, hope.
We’ve recently been blessed with a beautiful baby boy, Hunter Ray. Words can’t express how grateful we are. He is our heart and soul. Though, we thought this day would never come. It’s been a 5 year journey that felt like a lifetime, and was probably one of the hardest times we’ve endured, individually and as a couple.
After 2 years of trying and several negative pregnancy tests, we just couldn’t get the timing right including a couple other hiccoughs. We finally received a referral to the Regional Fertility and Women’s Endocrinology Clinic in Edmonton. Most physicians won’t refer you unless you’ve actively been trying for at least a year. Once you’re referred, it takes another 6-12 months to see someone at the Fertility Clinic.
It’s quite the challenge really; a person tries so hard for so many years to avoid pregnancy. Thinking, “this isn’t the right time,” “but we have that trip coming up,” “but I want to go back to school.” To some that may sound selfish but to me that’s life, and surprisingly enough getting pregnant really isn’t that easy.
Then one day we finally received a call to book our very first consultation appointment. We were full of so much excitement yet I felt strangely disappointed as I was worried it just wouldn’t happen for us. All of our friends either had children or were pregnant. It became challenging for me to go out and socialize. Especially with the dreaded question, “Sooo when are you guys having one?” My heart sank every time.
Once we had our first meeting with the Fertility doctor, we had to go through several tests to determine what process would be best for us. After all of the pre-screening was complete we learned that IVF was our only option for true success.
Invitro Fertilization, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is a medical procedure whereby an egg is fertilized by sperm in a test tube; however, there are several parts to this.
Firstly, I had to inject myself with two needles a day in the abdomen for 3 weeks. These injections were stimulating hormones to increase my follicle count (amount of eggs produced). The 3rd week consisted of me visiting the hospital almost daily at 7AM for an ultrasound to see how I was producing. By the end of the 3 weeks I was ready to have my eggs retrieved.
(I must note, prior to starting this process I was always very active. Being a personal trainer I exercised and trained individuals almost daily. While injecting myself with the hormones, my Doctor strongly advised against ANY type of movement, as my ovaries were very, very sensitive.)
The egg retrieval process was actually rather quick, but painful. With the help of an Ativan and a few other pain drugs, my follicles were retrieved and eggs collected. We opted for an additional step; ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) meaning my eggs were injected with my husbands’ sperm. The endocrinologists then monitored our embryos for 5 days until they were placed in cryo preservation. It took me a couple of days to heal but I was back to “normal” in no time.
We were filled with so much excitement at this point. The end was near. We could soon be pregnant! But we had to wait 2 menstrual cycles before transferring the embryos as I was at risk of OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome), due to all of the fertility medication still in my system.
Finally the day came, February 22, 2017. Our little embryo was transferred into my uterus. This process was very quick and felt similar to a pap test; not nearly as invasive as the retrieval process. You know, it’s quite amazing how quickly one can fall in love. We were able to see our embryo on a large screen prior to the transfer and it was at that moment I felt a sense of wholeness. My heart doubled in size I’m sure.
(I should also note that I was receiving bi-weekly Acupuncture treatment with this process www.instrinsichealing.org)
Our guts told us to transfer just 1 as many couples choose to put 2 in. After waiting 2 VERY long weeks, I went in for a blood test on March 3rd. A couple of hours later we received the call. Thinking about it now it still makes me emotional. I could tell by the Nurses’ voice that she had good news to share. We were pregnant!!!
We initially kept the news to ourselves. We were over the moon with happiness. It finally happened. It really was meant to be. After all of the negative thoughts floating through our minds, “maybe we’re just not supposed to be parents?” But we were wrong. So wrong. We just had to be patient as there was a plan all along.
The first 6 weeks of my pregnancy were rather nerve wracking. Though we had received a positive blood test, there was a chance it could be a false positive as the fertility drugs in my system could skew the results. At 8 weeks, I went for an ultrasound and saw our little peanut for the first time. I bawled my eyes out. My heart felt like it would explode.
The next few weeks were still a little stressful, as I had to take additional hormone supplements to ensure that our little peanut stayed put. I was still advised not to complete any exercise of any sort until we reached the 12 week mark.
Week 12 came, I had an additional ultrasound and peanut was still there; swiftly swimming around. As I held my husbands hand my eyes swelled with tears, I could feel the stress leaving my body. It was at this point that I felt I could truly allow myself to be excited without fear. We could finally share the news with our friends and family. As I reflect, the first 3 months of my pregnancy truly were the hardest for me, physically and emotionally.
I tend to be conservative by nature and air on the side of caution so I chose not to return to my exercise program. My heart and soul told me to relax and enjoy the process. I still did some very light stretching and walking when I felt up for it.
Now, where does the title of this blog post fit in? I’ve always wanted to be a successful, independent woman; an entrepreneur, but something was holding me back. I desperately wanted to be a Momma. I’d start a project and think, “but what if we get pregnant right away?” I’m all about goal setting and growing our family was number one on our list. Regardless of where I was professionally, the thought of “baby” was always on my mind.
Looking back, it’s interesting how our thought process shifted throughout. It started with, “okay, lets start trying,” and then, “why hasn’t it happened yet?” “Well we just aren’t doing it enough!” “Maybe something’s wrong with me? With you?” “Okay, it should have happened by now.” You get the drift. Then finally, “he’s here, our baby boy is here!”
Before becoming pregnant I was an entrepreneur lacking drive. Now I’m so proud to say that I’m a Mompreneur. Everything I do is for my beautiful baby boy. He has my heart. I will do all that I can to set a positive example for him and ensure that he has all he needs to feel loved and supported in this life. I’m beyond thankful each and every day. Sometimes my Husband and I have to pinch ourselves as we can’t believe this is our new reality.
I’d be lying if I said the whole IVF process was easy because it wasn’t. It was probably one of the hardest times we’ve endured; however, it was worth it. Every hormone injection, ultrasound, endless blood-work; we wouldn’t change a thing.
If you’re struggling to become pregnant and feeling overwhelmed with emotion; reach out for help. Trust me, it will make a world of a difference and I bet you’ll be surprised at just how many other people are dealing with the same situation. Whether it’s talking with a counselor, joining an online support group or simply chatting with your significant other.
I sincerely wish you luck with your own personal journey. Take it day by day. You will get through this!