Here’s the crazy thing… two weeks ago, I had no idea that I’d be writing today. I wouldn’t say that it was the furthest thing from my mind. But it kind of was… And then my whole world changed 11 days ago. Flipped upside down by one single phone call. However, it was a call that my husband and I were eagerly anticipating. It’s actually early to share the news… way too early by almost everyone’s account. But you, the public, have to know the news to understand why this blog is so critical for me and interesting for you. Eleven days ago, Alex and I found out that we’re pregnant! Today marks week 5, day 5. That’s why most agree that it’s too early to share the news but now it’s out there. Now you know.
Alex and I have been trying for a baby for over 4 years. But to be really honest, after our first few months of dating and after getting all of the obligatory STD tests, we threw caution to the wind and had unprotected sex… regularly. A lot of it. We both decided that we were so sure of each other that if we were blessed with a child, we’d roll with it.
Then after 2 years of absolutely no pregnancy scares, we decided to really try. I tracked my cycles, my ovulation days. I charted our sex like a maniac. I was overzealous to say the least. I’d even pull up my tracker to show Alex how many “hearts” we had in a month and how it correlated to my cycle. But to no avail. So I sought the help of an OBGYN in New York (where we were living at the time) and we tried the “less invasive” fertility treatment – Chlomid and timed intercourse. After 4 months of trying that while at the same time deciding to relocate our entire life from Manhattan to Austin, TX, we decided to take a break. We heard that stress can prevent one from getting pregnant and so we decided to focus on our upcoming move.
Then life happened. Alex asked me to marry him (after four years of dating and moving cross country together). So we had a wedding to plan. Admittedly I really wanted to focus on having a baby instead of planning a wedding because I could feel my baby-making years slipping away. (Plus I was previously married so getting remarried and having that “dream” wedding wasn’t really a thing for me anymore.) And if I’m really being honest, I always had this thought in my mind starting in my late teens / early 20s that I would have a hard time getting pregnant. In my whole entire life, I had two pregnancy scares (e.g. my period was days or weeks late) but alas I never, ever saw the two lines on a pregnancy test. So soon after we got engaged, I dragged Alex to a fertility clinic here in Austin to run tests.
On the recommendation of a friend, we found a fertility clinic and a fertility doctor that we trusted and liked. We did all of the tests. We were poked and prodded. I even did some elective genetic testing on myself to ensure that I/we didn’t have any genetic disorders that we’d need to worry about with a future child. Everything came back normal. (And btw, my genetic testing came back perfect. Yes, you heard me – perfect. I am a perfect specimen.) Our fertility doctor explained that all of the testing they do covers about 90% of fertility issues. But there is 10% that is unexplained or unknown until a doctor can begin the IVF process and identify any deeper, underlying issues. Alex and I fell into the loathsome 10%. For us, it was almost more frustrating to not know what was wrong rather than identify something and have all of those questions answered and then you knew what to tackle or how to address.
While kicking off our fertility testing, my holistic doctor, Dr. Tenesha Wards at Infinity Wellness Center, suggested that I read a book called Spirit Babies: How to Communicate with the Child You’re Meant to Have by Walter Makichen. In the book, Walter, a medium who communicates with unborn children in the spirit world, explains and provides stories and anecdotes for a number of reasons why couples are having issues with conceiving children or keeping their pregnancies. He also dives into delicate topics like miscarriages, abortion and adoption. I highly recommend this book if you believe in the possibility of communicating with your spirit baby. But the reason why I mention the book is that strong beliefs from the mother, father or even unborn child can influence if and when parents are able to conceive. My husband comes from a traditional Puerto Rican Catholic family (although he is non-practicing himself at this time), and while he never voiced this to me, I had a strong suspicion that he wanted a traditional family, which included marriage before having a baby. So I thought we’re engaged, let’s focus on a wedding. We’ll get married. That will satisfy his innate need for traditional family and then we will be able to get pregnant. I thought maybe this was the unexplained 10% – a deep desire from Alex to be married first and then have a baby.
However, our fairytale wedding (details for another time) came and went. When we came back from our wedding and honeymoon, we continued trying. Yet no pregnancy scares. My period was like clockwork every month. I’d see “Aunt Flow” each month and feel this overwhelming disappointment and mild depression.
So 6 months after getting married, just over 5 years from the day we met, Alex and I made the leap to begin IVF. It’s a process but I’m so thankful for it nonetheless. I’m one of the lucky ones blessed by modern science and the advances fertility has made since the first “test-tube baby” in the late 70s. And so that’s where our story begins… and how I began questioning – is it hormones, a mid-life crisis or something else?