Infertility & ovulation induction
It feels exhausting to think of the journey I (and we) have gone through to get here. I can’t even begin to tell you how sad, devastated, depressed, angry and hopeless I’ve felt during the time we’ve been trying for a baby. How it felt when I found out at a gynecologist that I have multifollicular ovaries. How shocked I was when she put us in touch with the fertility clinic. Even though I guess I did I have a hunch. After all, we had already been trying for a while. I remember asking her: “Can’t I get pregnant naturally?”, and she answered, “It’s not impossible. But you probably do need some help”.
In that moment I felt like I lost something. I lost the joy of trying, the excitement, the happy chuckle of telling my friends we’re trying. From that point on forward it was just disappointment after disappointment, peeing on a stick to find out if I ovulated, for nothing, bad news month after month.
For a long time I felt like a prisoner in my own body, wrapped in a nightmarish limbo of hope, waiting, disappointment, jealousy, and hopelessness. It’s impossible to be a woman and not feel it – I literally had to live in my body and feel the symptoms of whatever time of the cycle I was living in. Overthinking all the little symptoms. Always waking up to a nightmare of either my periods starting or not starting. I’m not sure which times were worse – the cycles where my periods skipped 1 or 2 months or the ones where they turned out quickly almost on a regular rhythm.
The wait times for all the appointments at the clinic felt like years. Even though they were the best chance at getting pregnant I just felt like my hopes and dreams were slipping away from my fingers. Risto kept reminding me that we were actively doing things to make our wish come true. Why was I so bad at dealing with this?
Our first treatment was easy. Just eating a pill that would help me grow the egg and ovulate. However, it wasn’t easy. Coming home from the pharmacy and holding the pill with my name and the text “infertility” in it hit me deep in a place, I didn’t know I had. I felt broken and scared – like I was in for a long bumpy ride I wasn’t sure I was strong enough for. I feared for more difficulties and tougher treatments like IVF.
Maybe me becoming a mom just wasn’t in the cards for us? Sometimes I had to imagine a life without a child and make up good enough of a plan to be content with it. Only it seemed impossible. I tried to not think about it and just live my life, but everywhere I looked there were pregnant women or babies. Suddenly even the blogging community seemed to be full of surprise babies.
People around me were excited for me, which felt awful. Especially since I felt guilty of not having that excitement and hope. Instead I had hot flashes, I felt sick, my head hurt and mentally I was in a dump. All byproducts of the pill I was taking.
That week I suffered the worst anxiety in years, also a panic attack, and was literally just laying on our sofa hoping the days would quickly go by and I would be myself again.
Luckily it got better almost right after I stopped taking the pill. I started to feel like myself. A bit hopeful. In the first ultrasound nothing had happened in my ovaries. Another disappointment. But I still felt fine, mainly because I was relieved of being over the side effects of the pill.
A few days from that, in the next ultrasound I got good news. One egg had grown. My womb looked perfect (“couldn’t look better”, the doctor said). I got to see the egg. It was big, separated from the clump of little eggs next to it. I felt happy: there it was. A real possibility. I ovulated two days from that.
There was maybe a week of good time. A week where I didn’t have to think about anything. I didn’t have to do anything. We’ve already done our best, now it was just waiting. But I didn’t mind the wait. I felt relieved.
A negative pregnancy test
Then I started to get the all too familiar mild bleeding (a brownish thing, not blood, but close to it). We were in a hotel celebrating our 8th year anniversary. I cried a lot that weekend. But then the bleeding kind of stopped and my periods didn’t really start. I was confused. My mind wanted to get hopeful, but I didn’t want to disappoint myself again, and I felt like going crazy. I did a negative pregnancy test. Felt devastated again. Started to have super mild leakage again. I was constantly ready for my periods to start.
I had cramps and my boobs felt sore. I was just waiting for the periods. I told my friends I felt my body being broken. Like it was trying to get the periods going, but they didn’t come. They asked if I had done another test. Frustrated, I told them no, it was a clear negative before.
I was on a trip with my sisters in Hamina. Every now and then my stomach hurt and my boobs were crazy sore. I told them I had decided my periods must start the next day.
Another pregnancy test 2 weeks later
I was working on my computer and feeling the weird cramps in my stomach again. The ones, which I had been feeling for at least two weeks now. I thought my sisters must be fed up with my complaining and craziness, but I still had to vent somewhere. I told them I wished I was pregnant. I googled if I could do a test in the evening, but decided to do it in the morning anyway.
Risto wasn’t sure about the test, he didn’t want me to get disappointed again.
When I went to bed that night, I told myself I’m not pregnant and I believed it. I had to prep myself mentally for another disappointment, because I didn’t want to lose my sleep (like I did with the first test, just nightmares and anticipation the whole night).
In the morning I felt calm. I was going to do the test and not care about the negative result. “At least I can drink without worry in our midsummer cottage trip”, I said to Risto.
I peed in the cup and left it on the table for a bit, while brushing my teeth. I wasn’t eager to dip the test in it, but also didn’t dread it. It was just another test, whatever.
I was used to seeing the one line on the test: negative, not pregnant. So I was shocked, when another line appeared, quickly and clearly, on the test. I screamed out loud, a voice that Risto had not heard before: shock, but also wonder in my voice. I started to cry uncontrollably. Risto came in the bathroom and looked at the test: “Are you sure? Are two lines positive?” My hands were shaking when I tried to show him the instructions. We put another test in the cup and it was also positive, clear two lines. We were having a baby!
Yesterday I found out I’m pregnant. It feels unreal to write that down, I think I still can’t believe it. Though I feel pregnant. My boobs are sore, there’s weird feelings in my stomach (like there’s butterflies in there!) and I have to pee constantly. I also get out of breath – something I noticed while running. Besides that, some foods smell super strong and make me sick. I don’t feel sick otherwise, just like I’m losing my appetite a bit. Can you be hungry and feel like you don’t have an appetite at the same time? I feel like that.
I haven’t been this happy in a long, long time.
I had to go to the first ultrasound alone, because of covid and the rules of the clinic. Nervous selfie in the elevator before my appointment.
Week 8 – first ultrasound
Every night I touch my belly and whisper to it: “hang in there, and I will hang in here”. Meaning, I will try not to fear for the worst, I will try not to stress. It must be our time now. Everything must be fine.
Yet obviously the first ultrasound was huge for me. Were you gonna be there? Was your little heart beating?
I didn’t look at the screen when the doctor did the ultrasound. I just waited for her words. And when I heard her say: “congratulations, you have a successful pregnancy” I started crying. I looked at the little bean in the screen and heard a strong heartbeat.
To be totally honest, these past weeks have been horrible. I couldn’t imagine such nausea 24/7. And wanting to throw up all the time. Or being so tired your sisters start to call you a ghost. Or losing 5 kilos, just because food suddenly has become the most disgusting thing ever.
I haven’t been able to work out in months. I’ve had maybe one day where I felt good enough for doing a little exercise. Other times my workouts have ended with tears and strong urge to throw up. This one time I cleaned our entire house only to end up puking afterwards, for the physical performance it took. Needless to say I’m not gonna run the half marathon in August.
Right now, at week 12, I feel like I’m over the very worst times. But I still have nausea and feel like throwing up every time my stomach is empty. The good moments where I feel tolerable have increased. And I’m getting closer to the end of first trimester, and our first official ultrasound, which makes me excited.
And even through the most horrible days, I’ve felt happy for the little miracle inside me. Just wanting everything to be okay for it. Ready to take the nausea. Ready for anything.
I know I have doubted myself during the years, more than I should have. But somehow, now I feel calm. I trust my ability at this and I can’t wait to be a mom. And my heart melts when I see how excited Risto is. I know he will be the best dad in the world for our baby.
Weeks 13 -14
The first official ultrasound was unforgettable. Suddenly the little bean had transformed into a little baby. The baby moved around a lot and everything was okay. I cried my concealer off.
I looked at the screen and realized that the most important thing in the world was in my belly now. It’s hard to say which one of us was smiling more that day, Risto or me.
It’s still hard to believe I get to be the one with the baby bump now. That I get to experience this and share the news with you.
We’re expecting a baby in February and we are beyond happy.