I Beat PCOS
I thought since I have been at this blogging thing for a week, I’d share my story on how I got to this point in my life. Thirty-three years ago, on a warm August afternoon…
Okay, just kidding…
Fast forward more years that I care to count.
My husband and I decided to start trying to have a baby. Emphasis on the A, but I digress. (I do that a lot, if you are a faithful follower…) We tried on our own for a few months, but nothing was happening. Years prior to this, I had had a tentative diagnosis of having PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Not much is known about this disease… and information is sketchy at best online.
So, I visited my gynecologist and informed her we were ready to start trying to have a baby. (There is that pesky A again.) She immediately put me on Clomid. And nothing happened. I wasn’t even ovulating with the Clomid. I would go through the whole month and then my period wouldn’t come. Well, never fear… there is medicine for that too. For almost 6 months we repeated this crazy routine. Clomid. Baby dancing. Pregnancy testing. Prometrium. The doctor set up an appointment with a local specialist—the best in the area.
It took us over 6 months to get into to see him. Meanwhile, I began scouring the Internet for answers. I purchased a basal thermometer and began using the charts to determine when I was ovulating. Yeah, that was a pretty flat line on my chart. (No ovulation.) In frustration, I purchased $800 herbs on the internet. Yes, that said $800. They were specifically formulated for women with PCOS. You know what, they worked. I began ovulating—I was never so happy to see a “spike” on a chart in my life.
No baby luck.
I went to see the specialist alone. While talking with him, he had to leave his office a second and I started looking around and noticed a note from his kids… signed, Jeffrey, Michael and a girl’s name. It was a sign from Heaven. You see, my deceased brother’s name was Jeffrey Michael. I knew I was going to get pregnant.
After several, and usually painful tests, we began using ART—assisted reproductive therapy. This consists of high-levels of Clomid, followed by internal ultrasounds to determine when the eggs are ready, a trigger shot to release the eggs and then either timed baby dancing or artificial insemination.
Okay… this is the girl who is petrified of needles… I HAD TO GIVE MYSELF A SHOT. IN THE STOMACH. I about passed out the first time. Especially when the needle was STUCK in me and I couldn’t get it out!
The first month (May) we decided to baby dance the old fashioned way. No luck.
The second round, we decided to have the IUI done in the doctor’s office. I won’t go into details, because I would like this to remain a family-based blog… but, IUI stands for intrauterine insemination. I think you get the picture. They sent me back to work with instructions to take a pregnancy test in two weeks.
I began to feel like absolute crap.
I took a pregnancy test two weeks later and I was pregnant.
We were ecstatic.
When this happens at this particular specialist (maybe all, I don’t know), you are immediately sent for blood work. I was at a minor-league baseball game with my co-workers when I got the call. My levels were low and I was going to miscarry.
I honestly don’t remember how I got home that night. My husband was working second shift at the time and left work—but he was over an hour away from home. I just remember collapsing on the bed and crying harder than I ever had.
I was devastated.
I wanted to take a month off, but the specialist said it worked, let’s do it again. We went through the process. Clomid. Ultrasounds. Trigger shot. IUI.
Growing up, God’s promise was always reiterated with rainbows. The day of my IUI on the way to the specialist, there was a double rainbow. I kid you not. I took a picture of it. It was another sign—God’s promise to me.
I took a pregnancy test two weeks later and I was pregnant again. (In hindsight, I probably should have been a little concerned that the line showed up so fast… but, that memory wouldn’t come to me for about 6 weeks.)
They sent me for blood work. The levels were great. I was put on progesterone just in case… but, so far, so good. I was scheduled for an ultrasound to check on things in six weeks.
I began outgrowing my clothes almost immediately. Go figure.
Lying in the darkened ultrasound room, my husband was sitting up by my head. The specialist came in and introduced the intern he was mentoring. The intern began the internal ultrasound. We saw our little blob.
Then, the intern said (and I quote) “Oh my, there’s two.”
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. We were pregnant. With two.
The specialist took over and said “Well, let’s make sure there aren’t any more.”
I literally sat up off the table and said “There better not be.”
My husband looked shell-shocked.
I was pregnant.
I had a pretty uneventful first trimester. I did have some minor spotting, but that went away and my belly continued to grow. After the first trimester, I was sent back to my regular gynecologist and began seeing her and a multiples specialist.
The second trimester is when all the fun (I’m being sarcastic) began. I was tested for gestational diabetes, which came out positive. I had high blood pressure. I was required to lie on my side for two hours a day to promote blood flow. I had to test my blood sugar five times a day. One of my placentas wasn’t getting enough nutrients. I was put on complete bed rest my entire third semester. (I continued to work 40+ hours a week for my then-employer.) I was only allowed up to go to the bathroom and take a shower every other day.
Up until the week of my induction, I had planned on at least trying to have the babies normally. I went for an ultrasound on a Monday and my doctor called me before I even got home to tell me they were scheduling me for a c-section that Wednesday. I freaked out.
I won’t bore you with the birth details. Babies were fine. Mama was fine. They were full-term (I went 8 and a ½ months!) They didn’t even have to have any assistance or be put in the NICU.
Being the mom of twins is the hardest thing I have ever done. And the most rewarding. And the most tiring. I can tell you honestly that there were days when they were babies I don’t even remember—I was that tired. Throw in a colicky baby. It was a rough beginning.
My little bears just turned three years old in March.
That’s my story. I have beaten PCOS. If you have any of the symptoms or feel that something is “wrong”—please, do not hesitate to research or check it out with your doctor. It IS possible to get pregnant with PCOS. I have two beautiful children as proof.
For more information: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.cfm
Wow, I didn’t know you found out at the game that you were going to miscarry!
Even though you certainly weren’t anticipating twins, I’m very happy that you got your 2 healthy kids! 🙂
I’m so sorry for your heartache and loss of the little one…
But the joy of twins! So so wonderful!!!