Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Big Fat Positives
BFP with Unexplained Secondary Infertility for 2.5 years
I promised myself I would share our journey to BFP #2 if or when it actually ever happened.
Whether it’s primary infertility, secondary, etc., I know how incredibly difficult, painful, frustrating, and lonely this infertility process can be at times. I’m hoping my story will provide even one person some glimmer of hope.
I am turning 36 in May; wonderful, caring, supportive spouse turned 40 in October. We have a wonderful little boy who is turning 5 in July and starting kindergarten this year! When we started trying to conceive him, we were incredibly blessed it only took 4 months. I had a very easy, uneventful pregnancy and gave birth to him at 31.
I always envisioned having 2 children, 3 years apart. We started TTC #2 in July of 2014 thinking it wouldn’t take long. Had I known, we would have started WAY earlier.
Fast forward 8 months, I went to the OB that delivered my son concerned that we’ve been TTC for 8 months. She ran some initial bloodwork and all looked good. She said to come back after one year of trying if no luck.
One year later, I was back in her office. My husband had an SA with no issues (of course, he’s extremely proud of). I had a more in depth US which was unremarkable. MY AMH, LH, FSH, E2, PG – all labs were perfect. I had an HSG which was perfect. I was given the horrible diagnosis of “Secondary Unexplained Infertility.”
Though I have regular periods, always got a positive OPK on days 14-17 each month, she prescribed my Clomid to “boost my ovulation”. I was on Clomid for SIX months, unmonitored. The only monitoring I had was an ultrasound on day 12/13 each month to confirm there was a ripe follicle so I could trigger. No discussion of my lining or E2 levels. Looking back at my records – my lining was incredibly thin, a side effect from repeated use of Clomid. It also gave me terrible hot flashes and agitation. We switched to Femara for 2 more months (huge fan of vs Clomid) both with IUI but no success. In April 2016 (month 20), we decided to take a break.
In June (month 22), my sister in law convinced me to get a 2nd opinion with an infertility specialist, someone other than my OB. I felt like I was betraying all the work my OB had done but agreed – BEST DECISION EVER. I highly recommend working with a specialist – OB’s are wonderful, but not trained in all that can be involved with infertility. I had all the same labs repeated and was given the same diagnosis of “Secondary Unexplained Infertility.” She did order a different type of Ultrasound I hadn’t had yet -- an SIS (saline infused ultrasound) -- which showed I had a small polyp in my uterus which she didn’t think was the cause but wanted to remove it via hysteroscopy anyways. She also suggested I let her perform a laparoscopy at the same time to look for endometriosis. I was skeptical because I had NO symptoms of endo.
In July (month 23), I had the surgery and bam! Stage 1 endo. Though I was saddened it was only Stage 1 (never in my life did I think I would actually want endometriosis but anything was better than the “unexplained”), she was confident this was the issue. She cleaned me out and we were able to start trying again in August. We did 2 rounds of Femara, beautiful follies each time, no success.
Then 3 rounds of Follistem + IUI, responded well each time with multiple mature follies, still no success.
In January 2017, I decided we needed a break. The 30 months of trying was killing me. It changed me as a person. I was always agitated, depressed, starting to pull away from family/friends – TTC was consuming me. My whole life had revolved around giving our son a sibling and I had completely lost myself in the meantime. I started to think -- maybe our son was our miracle?
The next month in February, my husband and I went on a quick trip to Cancun for 4 nights. AF decided to show on the way to our departure gate. Seriously!!?? On a positive note, I was able to enjoy many fruity cocktails! Pina Colada con Mas Barcadi, por favor? Our second night there though I broke down in tears while having dinner. My husband and I decided I would talk to my primary doctor and get put on an anti-depressant when we got back.
5 days after getting back, I started Wellbutrin. Instantly felt better, had a TON of energy, but struggled with a little insomnia. Still better than the depression caused by the months of infertility.
Here we are now in March of 2017, week 3 of Wellbutrin, one month after getting back from our trip. I noticed my energy was gone and I was crazy tired. Tested 9 or 10dpo, very very very faint line. Labs drawn today, 11 or 12dpo, PREGNANT! And naturally. Beta 42 and progesterone 18.4. My husband and I had just discussed booking an IVF consult for June or July.
Except for the increase in being tired and sleeping like a rock, I had no other symptoms during the dreaded 2 week wait. Same with my son, my first clue was my LACK of usual PMS symptoms.
I pray sharing my story will bring any one of you some hope, love, and light. Most importantly, never.give.up. Many blessings from one infertility survivor to another.