If you’re new to the blog and here for my infertility posts you’ll want to start here.
THE BEGINNING November 2014
D found out he was deploying in January and we decided to start trying for a baby. As this point we weren’t actively trying (i.e. I wasn’t taking ovulation tests, charting my temps, cervical mucous, etc.) but we weren’t preventing either. We knew the chances of becoming pregnant before he deployed were slim and we were okay with that figuring we’d actively start trying when he returned home.
BFP #1 January 2015
To our surprise we found out we were pregnant in January! I will never forget the excitement I felt when discovering the pregnancy test was positive. I remember butterflies, shaking, and pure JOY! I’ll also never forget D’s reaction when I told him the good news! We never have and never will experience that pure joy and innocent, naïve excitement again upon finding out we’re pregnant. But I do think back to that moment often and with every new positive pregnancy test. Deep down we’re just as excited but now the excitement is overshadowed by fear. D deployed about a week after the good news.
MISCARRIAGE #1 February 2015
I experienced my first miscarriage about a week after D deployed. I’d had spotting and cramping on and off for several days but didn’t really think much of it until I started bleeding more heavily at work. I’ll never forget that day. February 6th, 2015. My patient was pushing and I needed to use the restroom but couldn’t until the midwife came in to check on her progress. I asked the midwife to stay with the patient so I could run to the restroom quickly. That’s when I knew something was wrong. I no longer had spotting, but full on bleeding. I needed to get back to my patient since she was close to delivering so I pushed it to the back of my mind and carried on with my day. It wasn’t until several hours later after I had transferred my patient and finally had a break that I finally let it settle in and acknowledged what was happening. I was standing in the conference room in my own little world. One of my co-workers could tell something was wrong and asked multiple times, “Courtney, is everything okay?” I actually didn’t even hear her the first few times and when she finally got my attention I burst into tears and let everyone know what was happening. Since I work on L&D one of the docs did an ultrasound right then and there and we didn’t see anything on ultrasound. My hcg was 497. I should have been 6+3 weeks so we knew it wasn’t looking good. The next day my hcg was down to 227 and I continued to bleed and passed everything. I was lucky to have my mom come stay with me the next weekend since I had 4 days off and D wasn’t home.
TTC Round #2 September 2015
D returned from deployment in September so we were able to start trying for our rainbow baby!
BFP #2 November 2015
Just like the first time, after only 2 months of trying we got our second big fat positive. We were visiting family in MT and decided to tell everyone the good news.
Miscarriage #2 December 2015
Everything was going great until the day we were flying back to NC. I went to the bathroom before boarding our first flight and noticed some spotting. The spotting continued throughout the day and I just knew that it wasn’t going to be okay. With this miscarriage my hcg continued to rise, but very slowly. About a week after the spotting started I passed everything. We also had our initial infertility labs drawn in December.
REI Consult March 2016
I don’t remember how many cycles we were told to wait after our second miscarriage before trying again (because we didn’t listen!) but I had my first appointment with the fertility specialists in March. I wasn’t going to see them until I had a 3rd miscarriage but one of the docs was working the labor deck one day so I asked his opinion and he said there’s no reason I shouldn’t go and see them right away. I started Clomid and Progesterone in March.
BFP & Miscarriage #3 June 2016
Since I’m a Labor and Delivery and nurse and have the ability to draw my labs whenever I want I tested about a week before my missed period (I had a feeling I was pregnant) to find out I was pregnant for the 3rd time. My hcg was actually considered negative (1.3) but I’d had so many hcg’s drawn previously that were all <0.5 I knew 1.3 was good news. I emailed my Dr. and he said it is technically negative but with that being said they typically wouldn’t see anything above 1 outside of pregnancy. He said to have guarded optimism over the weekend and test again on Monday. If it’s increased by even 1 digit I can consider myself pregnant. On Monday it rose to 10 and my progesterone level was great at 43! The plan was to continue tracking my hcg every 2 days and by Wednesday it had fallen to 7 and had dropped a little further on Thursday. I started my period on Sunday (the day before my birthday) and knew it was time to change up the plan. If I hadn’t tested early I probably would have just thought my period was late and never would have known I was pregnant. The 3rd one hit a lot harder than I expected.
3rd and Final Round of Clomid July 2016
July was our final round of Clomid before changing the plan and moving forward with IUI. I thought we’d get pregnant for sure since we’d gotten pregnant so easily in the past and I ovulated while we were on vacation. No such luck.
IUI #1 + Fertility Break + Chinese Medicine +BFP #4 August/September 2016
We were planning on doing our first IUI in August but AF came late and it would be cutting it too close to do IUI since I was taking a vacation and D was heading off to training. Instead, we continued to try the good old fashioned way up until I left and then planned on taking a fertility break the rest of August and September. It was actually a forced (but much needed) break since D was gone. I also decided it was a good time to start some fertility acupuncture. I was put on herbal supplements to help cleanse my system and balance my hormones and also started the Whole 30 diet. I noticed I big difference in how I felt emotionally. Once again, I had a feeling I was pregnant and tested a few days before my expected period. I was shocked to see a BFP! We were cutting it so close with ovulating and me leaving for vacation I really didn’t think it was going to happen but couldn’t have been more excited. I actually had butterflies like the first time for a few minutes before the fear set in. I hadn’t been taking progesterone following ovulation since I didn’t track ovulation since I didn’t think it was going to happen.
Miscarriage #4 September 2016
My 4th pregnancy seemed to be going pretty well. I didn’t have any cramping or spotting and tracked my hcg and progesterone every few days. My hcg was rising a fair amount but not as much as I would have liked and my progesterone was good. We didn’t see much at my first ultrasound which was okay since it could have been a bit early. The next week the ultrasound still wasn’t looking right and I was told to expect a miscarriage. We did one more ultrasound the next week and still didn’t have any good news from it. There was something that was “trying” to be a gestational sac but just not getting there and we knew my dates couldn’t be too far off since D and I were together other than the first few days in August. It was evident the 4th miscarriage wasn’t going to happen on it’s own so I opted to induce it with Cytotec. My Cytotec miscarriage was the worst experience of my life. I was armed with Percocet and Zofran but they really didn’t help. It started with mild cramping, then bad menstrual like cramps, then what I imagine contractions might feel like, and then and hour and a half of horrible, constant pain. The pain was so bad I was shaking and vomiting and even called to talk to a Dr. at work to see if there was anything they could do for me.
BFP #5 October 2016
We were told to wait 1 cycle before trying again which we obviously didn’t follow since I found out I was pregnant yet again at the end of October. Not having a cycle made this pregnancy a little more complicated since we didn’t know how far along I was. We had a little bit of an idea (within a week and a half timeframe) when I ovulated because I had been trending my labs back down to zero following the 4th miscarriage.
Miscarriage #5 and IVF Planning November 2016
My hcg was rising at a great rate at first and continued to rise the entire time but did slow down quite a bit. Once again, the ultrasounds didn’t give us any hope for a positive outcome. We went from seeing nothing to something to definitely a gestational sac to the same size gestational sac plus some fluid. I was planning on waiting several weeks to let the miscarriage happen on its own but decided to induce with Cytotec after 1 more ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy wasn’t going to be viable. I only lasted about 1 week of “waiting” because I was going crazy going to the bathroom 20 times a day looking for blood every time. I decided I wanted to get it over with and move on from the miscarriages and focus on IVF with PGS. I started birth control in November as well. Birth control is required before IVF so I started a bit early to ensure we wouldn’t get pregnant and have another miscarriage which would ruin our chances of doing IVF in January.
Hysteroscopy and Change of Plans December 2016
I had a hysteroscopy in December that changed our plans. We weren’t expecting to find anything significant during the hysteroscopy (maybe some inflammation), but we found a SMALL septum and it completely changed our plans. The septum wasn’t large enough to be real confident it was the cause of all of the miscarriages but it was enough to make us cancel IVF with PGS and try on our own again.
IUI #1 January/February 2017
We were never planning on doing IUI in JAN/FEB but my body decided otherwise. For the first time ever (to my knowledge) my body decided it wasn’t going to ovulate. Most people wouldn’t know they were in an anovulatory cycle until they missed a period and weren’t pregnant. Thankfully I knew sooner since I was getting blood draws to determine when I was ovulating. Since my body wasn’t going to do it for me we decided to pump if full of drugs, make it ovulate, and shoot sperm into my uterus…IUI #1. Unfortunately, IUI #1 didn’t work.
Fertility Break March 2017
My first IUI failure was much more difficult than I ever imaged it would be so we decided to take a fertility break in March. We’re planning to jump back on this crazy TTC rollercoaster in April.
BFP #6 March 2017
So much for a break! I got my 6th BFP in March and am currently having a successful pregnancy with our rainbow baby due in December 2017.