Baby B: Week 33 Recap
My Road To Baby
I’m going to warn you all– this post is going to be a bit long, and for some of you, maybe a little tmi. I have always appreciated reading other bloggers’ accounts of their road to pregnancy and often turned to consult their pregnancy journeys when I had questions about my own. If this post helps anyone in their attempts to conceive, then I feel I have accomplished my goals in sharing this info!
My husband and I have been married for six years and honestly did not feel the urge to have a baby until about a year ago. It was funny how we both kind of came to the conclusion that we wanted a child at the same time– if you had asked us any earlier we both probably would say we weren’t ready. Last year though, we started to have serious conversations about when we wanted to start to try to have a baby. My husband is extremely busy, especially during certain months, and he wanted to accomplish a few work-related goals before we officially gave it a go, and I was fine with that. We mutually agreed that starting in March of this year, I would go off the pill, and we would see what happened.
It wasn’t just stopping birth control that was necessary. I was also taking two different medications, one to treat inflammation in my digestive tract, and the other to treat serious back inflammation/rheumatoid arthritis. I knew I could not try to conceive until both meds were out of my system for a long time. I was really worried about stopping the meds for my back and joints– I knew if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to run anymore since the act of running would be too much for my body to handle without medication. Remember when I stopped running this past winter due to hip/joint/back/leg issues? Well those issues came on strong when I stopped taking my medication in preparation of trying to conceive. I felt awful– like all of the pain that my medicine was hiding just hit me full force, but I was determined not to take any anti-inflammatories or pain-killers, not even Tylenol. I wanted all medications to be completely out of my body for at least a few months before we actively tried to have a baby. Enter physical therapy, which I started in April and has turned out to be a lifesaver! I still have pain, but it really has isolated to one joint and no longer seems to be radiating along my entire back like it used to.
So, timeline wise, I stopped birth control in late February (I couldn’t wait until March 1st!), and my other two meds in early March. I also started taking a daily prenatal vitamin in early March. I continued taking probiotics and a digestive enzyme, but that was it (and I no longer take those now).
March was a tough month– I was coming off two anti-inflammatories, I had a ton of back and leg pain, I discovered running was out of the question, and I just didn’t feel good. I actually started going to acupuncture once a week in March to help with my joint pain, and to help with gaining my period after getting off of the pill, and I do think it helped a lot in both regards. Unfortunately, I stopped acupuncture in June just because it got a bit too costly, although I am thinking of returning.
Now here’s when it may get tmi. . . let’s talk about my period. I have never gotten a regular period, even before starting birth control six years ago. In fact, I suffered from amenorrhea in high school, and took birth control pills then just to get my period. I was extremely concerned with whether or not I would get my period after taking the pill for so long. One thing that I think was a blessing in disguise is that because my back/leg pain caused me to stop running, I gained a few pounds– pounds I believe were probably needed in order for my body to return to a normal menstrual cycle. I also started to eat dairy and gluten again in February, only because I wanted to make sure my body was getting a wide range of nutrients throughout this whole process. I am in no way saying you can’t get proper nutrition through a vegan diet, but for me, I knew that sort of diet would be too limiting. That’s why you guys started to notice me indulging in Crumbs cupcakes every weekend– I was pretty lax about what I was eating in hopes all the extra fat and calories would help me get my period sooner!
I finally got my first period post birth control on April 12th– a good month and a half after stopping the pill. It was barely a period to be honest– it was light and only lasted a few days. Still, I was feeling encouraged with the fact my body had the ability to menstruate! My husband and I were not actively trying to conceive until I got my first period, so it was at that point we made more of a concerted effort. Still, on most days, our work schedules were so opposite that I didn’t see him, nevermind complete the activities that would be necessary to make a baby!
I got my next period on May 28th– again, about a month and a half after the last one. My cycles were around fifty days apart, which made it really hard to even begin to predict ovulation. My second period was also barely there– just a few days of light spotting. I was a bit frustrated that I couldn’t follow the normal rule of trying to conceive on days 14, 15, and 16 of a menstrual cycle since mine seemed to be so unpredictable, so I did what any impatient person would do– I turned to using ovulation prediction strips! A good friend of mine told me about Wondfu ovulation strips– they come in a package of fifty on Amazon and are a no frills, inexpensive way to test ovulation. Drugstore ovulation prediction kits are ridiculously expensive, but these Wondfu ones were about forty bucks for a pack of 50, which I thought was totally reasonable. I ordered them online and decided to test my urine once a day starting a week or so after my period began to see if one, the strips worked, and two, if they could tell me when I was about to ovulate. My husband was still in his super busy stretch at work, often not coming home until midnight, so I warned him that if one of those strips showed I was about to ovulate, he better make a quick visit home to see me between meetings, if you catch my drift. He agreed and I started to test every morning.
I honestly didn’t think these strip worked. Week after week the results came back negative for ovulation. Then, on June 17th (a Monday), I took the test before work one morning and actually saw two lines that were about the same color, which is the sign that your body is about to ovulate. I told my husband that he had to come home that night, at least for a few minutes, before he returned to work, since it seemed like it was prime time for trying to conceive. He ended up coming home for about twenty minutes for that express purpose that night! It was really funny in fact, but my husband and I didn’t want to waste a potential opportunity to try and make a baby!
Here’s what my positive strip looked like!
Since the directions on the strip say to do the baby dance 24-48 hours after a strip reads positive, I made him come home the next night too between his work obligations. That night was one of the nights I had extreme abdominal pain (IBS related) that I wrote about in June– pain so bad I thought something was terribly wrong! In fact, I ended up making two doctor’s appointments, one on Thursday, the 20th of June, with my primary care and the other with my gastro for the day after that. I was worried my digestive issues were “flaring”– the pain was so intense, I couldn’t think straight.
I saw my primary care doc on the 20th of June, and she asked if I was pregnant. I said no, and that if I was, I was literally a day or two pregnant. She had me take a pregnancy test anyway, and it came out negative. She then prescribed me a pretty strong pain killer to get me through until I saw my gastro the next day– I didn’t fill the prescription though because there was no way I was taking a heavy medicine if there was even a smidgen of a chance I was a day pregnant! The next day, I saw my gastro, and she had me do some abdominal Xrays and take some blood tests. The blood tests revealed I had high levels of inflammation, and the Xray showed that I was really backed up (although I didn’t think I was). She encouraged me to stay off any meds if I was trying to conceive, to back off high fiber foods, and to take Miralax (a stool softener) if I needed. Since I knew my pain wasn’t due to anything major, I just decided to eat less fiber and hope for the best. The pain did disappear by the next week, so I was happy about that of course!
Now– another thing to add to the mix. I made a gyno appointment for June 10 (about a week before I showed signs of ovulation) just to check things out in case I was not in fact ovulating at all. She had me do an ultrasound the same day I went to my gastro (June 21st), just as part of my overall checkup. The ultrasound tech noticed something that required my doc’s attention, which of course stressed me out, and a call from my doc the next week revealed it looked like I had some sort of growth (like a polyp) in my uterus. She said it was probably nothing, but that I should have an endometrial biopsy just to make sure. She told me to call her office once I got my period to schedule the biopsy because those sorts of procedures can’t be done if you are pregnant, and she wanted to make sure I wasn’t when I had the biopsy. I got this call on June 24th, so basically, I just had to sit tight for a few weeks and see if my period showed up. I knew it wouldn’t come for a long while, since it seemed like my cycle was running on a fifty-day schedule.
The next few weeks were uneventful. School was winding down, my husband was super busy to say the least and I hardly saw him, and there were no more attempts at trying to conceive if you know what I mean. Basically, I was just waiting for my period so I could schedule the biopsy. My next appointment with my gyno was set for July 19th, so if no biopsy was scheduled before that, I would at least see her on that date to figure out next steps. I kept track of the days of my cycle, and on day 45 or 46, I woke up and watched an E special on celebrity babies. It was Friday, July 12th, and the show inspired me to take a pregnancy test. I didn’t want to waste one of the expensive ones I had, so I took a cheap Wondfu strip test that came for free with the purchase of my ovulation strips.
I peed in a cup, dipped the strip in, laid it down and honestly almost forgot about it! I had no belief that it would be positive at all– I mean my husband and I only practiced the art of baby-making a few times that month! I then mosied my way back into the bathroom to check it, and I noticed two dark red strips in the test. Since I had no idea what positive even was supposed to look like, I consulted the packaging, which clearly showed two matching red strips was a positive! I still didn’t believe it though (remember, I thought the Wondfu strips were a little cheap), so I busted out my expensive pregnancy test and took it. Lo and behold, five minutes later, I saw two pink lines!
This post is already epic, and if you read the whole thing, thank you! I will pick up the story in one of my next posts. . . so to be continued!
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