Our Journey to Pregnancy

This is the most personal blog post I've ever written. Yet, I feel compelled to share our story. While it wasn't a long road to the positive pregnancy test, I know that any journey can be both daunting and exciting. I remember when we started discussing trying, I would research blog posts on people's journeys to pregnancy. And, surprisingly, there aren't so many out there! People will say how long they tried for, etc., but they don't give you a lot of details. And when you're beginning your journey, you want the details! Of course, it goes without saying that everyone's situation is different, and therefore learning about someone else's journey won't exactly be helpful for you. Nevertheless, there is something comforting about reading people's different experiences, seeing what you can possibly expect, etc (or at least, it was for me). So here is our story.

We found out that we were expecting on April 8th (at 3 weeks and 5 days). But let's back up a little (actually, a lot). When I was 14 I got my period for the first time. When I was 15 I got my period for the second time. Yup, I only got it once a year. My doctor decided that I should go on birth control to try and regulate my period but before that, I was told to get an ultrasound to make sure everything looked okay. I remember sitting in the waiting room, annoyed that I kept on having to drink more and more water so that they could properly perform the abdominal ultrasound and annoyed that I was there in the first place. Just put me on the pill and let's move on, I thought to myself. My mom turned to me and said that one day I would care. And boy was she right. My saving grace over the next 15 years was knowing that everything looked okay in that ultrasound. Every time I went to a new doctor, they would ask me about my history. When I told them I only got a period twice before I went on birth control, their eyes always widened and inevitably they would suggest that it's possible I have polycystic ovaries, but it was impossible to tell until I went off the pill. I remember one time asking a doctor (I switched doctors after this incident) if it would be difficult for me to get pregnant and she responded that if I got my period once a year, I would have one chance per year to conceive (this is total BS by the way). I almost fainted.

And so, for 15 years, I was frightened that it would be difficult for me to get pregnant. Yet, every doctor suggested that there was no point in me going off birth control until I was ready to start trying (or a little before). At that time we would see if I had any issues.

Over Labor Day weekend I decided to stop birth control. My first time in over 15 years (zero breaks in between). I was SO nervous that I wouldn't get my period. 41 days later, I got my period. I literally cried of relief. My cycles would range from 32 days to 41 days, with most of them on the longer side. I was just happy to get a period and didn't pay much to the length of my cycles. When we got closer to wanting to start to try, I decided to start tracking my cycles.

I used the ClearBlue advanced digital ovulation sticks. The first day you use the stick, you always get an empty circle. You continue to get an empty circle until the test detects a rise in estrogen. It will then indicate a flashing happy face, meaning it is a high fertility window and you have a chance of getting pregnant. When the test detects an LH surge, it will show a solid happy face, indicating peak fertility.

The first time I used it, it worked perfectly. And my cycle was 31 days that cycle. I felt confident that getting pregnant would be easy. The next month I tracked my cycle again. You only start testing around Day 7 of your cycle. Day 1 (which was around Day 7 of my cycle) showed an empty circle. Day 2 showed a flashing happy face. I knew this couldn't be possible because my cycles were long and this would indicate a very short cycle. Sure enough, there was a flashing happy face the entire month. Uh oh...That's when I started googling and it wasn't good. What I came across the most was that if you have polycystic ovary syndrome, ovulation kits won't work for you, since you have a persistently high level of LH. My fear that had been in the back of my mind for so many years was seemingly being confirmed with this test. The next month we decided to start trying and I tracked my cycle. The same thing happened again- I had flashing happy faces essentially the entire month. The next month (our second cycle trying), I started tracking on Day 7 (empty circle) and Day 8 I had the flashing happy face. Not good (so I thought).

I decided to call my doctor and see if there was something I should do differently (I have since changed doctors FYI). She said that she thought I wasn't actually ovulating during my long cycles. She suggested that I could come in for an ultrasound if I wanted to see if I was actually ovulating. So on Day 15 of my cycle, I went in for an ultrasound and there was one dominant follicle (which is a good sign!), but it was small and not an indication that I was about to ovulate. My other ovary looked polycystic (the notes read "PCOS??"). They suggested that I return 4 days later to see if it grew. So on Day 19 I returned and it grew, but just a little. Not a good sign. At that time the nurse said I should come back in 2 days, but if it didn't grow by then, we would consider our options for the next month, including a round of Clomid. They didn't look super optimistic, tbh. So 2 days later, on Day 21, I returned. The follicle grew! I was about to ovulate. Both the nurse and the ultrasound technician looked kind of shocked. I was SO relieved. And sure enough, that day we conceived.

I am so beyond grateful that I got pregnant so quickly. In those couple of months (which is NOTHING compared to what many women go through), I felt anxious and stressed. After all, I had so many years of doctors being uncertain whether it would be difficult for me to get pregnant. The ovulation kits and the first two ultrasounds seemed to confirm that fear. So getting pregnant in my second month of trying was truly a miracle. Would I have gotten pregnant so quickly had I not gone in for the ultrasounds? Probably not. It was such a long cycle I don't think I would have timed it correctly. I also was under the impression that long cycles like I had was an indication it would be difficult to conceive- I guess that's not always the case. I'm really glad I was proactive and went in to check things out- I think it saved me from a lot of anxiety and uncertainty.

All I can say for those who are trying is that when people say "enjoy the process", it is kind of BS. When you decide you're really ready for a baby, it's kind of all you can think about. It's really difficult to go with the flow and have one foot in and one foot out when it has to do with your body. I would suggest getting as much information from your doctor as possible. And, if offered, take advantage of any help they offer (like an ultrasound to see if you are actually ovulating). It may not be spontaneous etc., but it could really save you a lot of anxiety. Plus, I actually like our story, which is funny but something I'll obviously keep private ;).


  1. Congrats girl! You'll be a great mom!


  2. Good story, and with a happy ending! xo Uncle Ron