Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Big Fat Positives
Pregnant after a full health make-over
After having my son at 38 we waited a year and a half and then decided to try for our second. I became pregnant after about a year of trying (I was breastfeeding and nearly 40 so wasn’t surprised) but I had a very early miscarriage (blighted ovum). I thought it would be easy after that but month after month the tests were negative. We tried from Feb to December with no luck. The obsession grew quickly and I spent many many hours on Two Week Wait, Fertility Friend, temping, symptom spotting etc. The highs and lows of the two week wait were excruciating. We tried Femara and AI through my gynae twice with no results. I was still breastfeeding my two year old and was generally rundown and using a lot of sugary foods to pick me up. In January 2014 - after getting temporary ashma and feeling horrible over the Christmas break - I decided to kick my health into gear and did the following:
• gave up breastfeeding (I am a big fan of extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting but it really does sap a woman’s energy and I felt almost instantly more energised after stopping – I don’t say it is necessary for everyone to stop and definitely don’t think it’s impossible to get pregnant while nursing. For me though, I think it had to happen.)
• weekly acupuncture: expensive but felt wonderful and the therapist was a real support
• yoga two or three times a week: I told the very experienced instructor why I was there and she gave me plenty of special exercises which I did at home too, mostly aimed at getting lots of blood flowing to uterus
• changed my diet, initially to whole foods and fertility boosting superfoods and then – in the month I fell pregnant - I went totally gluten-free. I have had lots of stomach issues (which I read can inhibit fertility) and some low level depression – both disappeared instantly and I felt immediately better. I slept way better too.
• Chinese herbs: given by acupuncturist to balance body’s chi as well as folic acid and pregnancy vitamins
I began to feel wayyyy better physically and emotionally but still wasn’t pregnant. We went to a fertility doctor (tests all fine) and decided that if nothing had happened by late May we’d go for IVF. I so wanted to avoid IVF, the expense for one was so high and I also really wanted all my hard work to not be for nothing. So in April I launched an all-out assault to get pregnant. As well as sticking to my health routine I introduced:
• using a hotwater bottle to warm my feet and uterus (the Chinese medicine belief is that a cold uterus is a cause of infertility and warming extremities and uterus sends lots of blood there, boosting fertility)
• taking baby aspirin to thin the blood
• taking Clomid for the very first time to boost the eggs
• taking extra estrogen for a few days before ovulation to thicken uterine lining
• taking progesterone suppositories as soon as ovulation confirmed
• going gluten-free as previously mentioned
We BD as much as possible once ovulation tests positive (once early in the week before test, then day of positive test and both days after). After many months convincing myself I was pregnant because of false symptions, this month all was very quiet so naturally thought I was out. Here are my ‘symptoms’:
DPO 1 – 8: nothing whatsoever
DPO – 8: pain on the outer sides of both breasts
DPO – 12: still no symptoms except the breast pain, but tested just to know if could go off progesterone to ensure normal cycle would resume. Very faint BFP. Hubby and I both did not believe it for a minute after so many false alarms. But of course the hope was there.
DPO – 14: managed to wait two days and then took another test. Still pretty faint but a line for sure.
DPO – 15: another positive test, blood test confirms
Symptoms kicked in about two weeks later. I’m now 34 weeks along with a girl and all going great.
What I really learned through the process is that health and holistic physical and mental wellbeing is critical to fertility, especially for those past the height of their fertile years (I’m now 41). It was hard work and took tons of research but I really don’t believe I would be expecting right if I hadn’t attacked the issue of my fertility head-on.
Sending lots of baby dust to everyone.