GUYS! I cannot believe I am finally sharing that we are pregnant with you.
I have known since we were just 3 weeks pregnant, so it is safe to assume that I have been freaking out keeping this to close friends and family for so long. It is so weird keeping a secret from you guys when I share oh so much about what is going on in our lives.
The #1 question that I have been getting asked is “did you get pregnant naturally? how did it happen?”
(Before we dive in – it my also be helpful to read about part 1 and part 2 on getting pregnant with Ez!)
We did not get pregnant naturally. I transitioned off of breastfeeding by Ezra’s 1st birthday and didn’t see a period for a couple months. My fertility doctor (Dr. Forman who I love oh so much) suggested coming to see him around that 3-4 month mark post nursing to see what was going on. We made an appointment for early April to go check in and see what the process would be like this time.
But then we all know – COVID really hit us bad. Everything was shut down in our area, including the Columbia Fertility Center where we go in NYC. I was bummed at first but my heart really just broke for the couples and anyone anywhere who were mid-cycle and all of sudden couldn’t see their doctor anyone. That really really hit home for me when we found this out and I was emotional about it for awhile. I couldn’t imagine being in the middle of injections and ultrasounds and having to stop that cycle mid-way or even when you are almost done. Sending all of the love to anyone who experienced this. Totally understand why the centers had to close but still – so heart wrenching to hear.
During this time, I took synthetic progesterone from my OBGYN to see if it would bring on a period. It didn’t do much besides a little spotting. But then a few weeks later, I did indeed get a period! Likely brought on by taking this along with a few other lifestyle changes I am convinced helped (eating more cow’s milk dairy, eating handfuls of pumpkin and sunflower seeds every single day and only gentle walking for workouts).
When things started to open up again by us, we had an appointment in mid-May to see Dr. Forman again. I felt like I was going back to school. All giddy and excited to see him and all of the nurses again. The only weird thing was that Jordan couldn’t come in to any appointments with me. So bummed but get that the office has to minimize visitors in there.
We picked up where we left off when TTC with Ez..
We started off with the routine bloodwork, ultrasound and sperm sample for Jord to see what was going on. Everything looked “normal”. The only thing that scared me was my AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) level was lower than 3 years ago but Dr. Forman kindly reminded me it is still within a great range and this happens overtime. This level ultimately gives you an idea on your ovarian reserve. It doesn’t tell you if you will ever have babies – I know a handful of women who actually had very low AMH levels and have beautiful babies!
We also saw with the doctor that based off my bloodwork and how my ovaries looked, it didn’t seem promising that I would ovulate on my own. Kind of a buzzkill. My 26 year old self would have been very stubborn about this and likely waited to try to ovulate on my own and tried to get pregnant naturally. Which there is no issue at all doing. I just knew I had tried that already before Ezra with no success. And we really hoped to have our babies close in age if we can. So I decided to get started immediately with Dr. Forman.
Next up I did a saline sonogram. I fought my doctor on this for days, but he of course knows what is best and I sucked it up and went on in. It was similar to the HSG I did before Ezra. TG I didn’t have to do both this time. The saline felt like a pap smear but with more cramping during it and afterwards I was very very crampy for a few hours. Plus a little spotting too, but nothing crazy.
Thankfully everything checked out okay and the results are immediate – so that was great!
When we first started to see Dr. Forman for Ez a few years ago, we started off with Clomid (more on our first pregnancy journey here and here). Since we knew that didn’t work for us in the end, we went with Menopur from the start. That is how we were able to grow follicles to conceive Ezra so we knew that was more promising for us. But I 100% did not think we would get pregnant with IUI again. The success rate of IUI is not very high (15-20% usually). I was preparing myself to do IVF so that way we would freeze eggs and if we decided to have more children after our second, we would have a “head start”.
But Dr. Forman suggested starting with IUI since it is less invasive and insurance covers more of this for me than IVF – so why not. It was so reassuring to have the guidance from Dr. Forman again. He also said that worst case this doesn’t work after a few times (menopur injections + IUI), I am a prime candidate for IVF so there is nothing to be concerned about. Our doctor is so open and honest and really just knows what to say to make me feel better. I also like that he isn’t the type to coddle you a bit. I like knowing what is going on and don’t want false promises or someone overly optimistic. He is so realistic and so incredibly smart – I wish I could just follow him around all day learning everything.
Bring on the nightly injections with Menopur..
We started injections right after MDW when we were with our families for my birthday weekend. Dr. Forman started off with 1 vial each night. You take it at the same time each night. So we did at 8pm since we usually put Ez down a few minutes before.
Dr. McJordo did all. He mixed together the shot for me and injected it into my lower abdomen area. About 3 fingers from your belly button and you alternate sides each night. I bruised a lot and it doesn’t really hurt. It just feels like a pinch and a little sting. But I wasn’t nervous or dreading it again after doing it with Ez too. Pumping my boobs givings me more PTSD ha!
After a week of 1 vial, we weren’t seeing the follicle growth we hoped for. They were growing but not large enough to where we hoped they’d be. In fact it was similar to with Ezra where I’d grow follicles till about 12mm and then they’d die off. We ended up going up to 1.5 vials per night then eventually to 2 vials per night and alternating between 1.5 and 2.
It was almost too similar to our experience with Ezra. Dr. Forman was of course comparing my charts and we ended up doing injections for same amount of nights and same amount of vials of Menopour was used.
Once I had “juicy follicles” we planned our IUI and to take the ovulation trigger shot. The one thing that was different this time around was that I had 2-3 decent sized follicles that we thought may continue to grow and lead us to twins. Dr. Forman asked me numerous times if we were comfortable with the idea of having twins. And while it scares the shit out of me, it wasn’t enough to not move forward. So planned our IUI for a couple days later. Jordan produced his “sample” (ha!) the morning of the IUI. And they inserted it into me after taking an HCG ovulation shot the night before (doesn’t hurt either – feels like Menopur).
Then came to the dreaded 2 week wait..
The hardest part of this whole process is having patience. That 2 week wait from when we had our IUI to when we would take the HCG blood test totally dragged.
We were going in on a Saturday morning for bloodwork and that Tuesday before, the weirdest thing happened. I was going to the bathroom in the morning and Ez was sitting on the floor playing with everything in site in my bathroom. Then he opened the bottom drawer of my vanity and pulled out a pregnancy test.
He sits with me every single morning as I go to the bathroom so I was so confused that he would randomly hand me a pregnancy test out of no where. I took it as a sign and figured “why not!”.
Well me being a total dumbass – I had like no pee left to pee on the stick since it was early in the morning and I hadn’t had water and already did my business. I had like a DRIP of pee go on to the test and I was so mad at myself for wasting one.
I put it down on the counter and was like whatever let’s get breakfast. Turned around and it said “YES!”
HOW NUTS?! I immediately told Jordan when I walked into the kitchen and I swear we were both in shock. We didn’t believe and barely could form words.
I left to go for a walk that morning and came home and peed again and did the test with the 2 lines and saw 1 line and the 1 very faint line. So then sh!t started to get real.
I told the doctor and he was definitely nervous since it was a few days earlier then we were going to test. So our first thought was – twins?!?! I then peed on a stick every single day until Saturday and went in for bloodwork to see what was going on. My HCG level was high. But it also was with Ezra too, so we weren’t too surprised. But then we had the whole “omg is it twins” thought going through our mind for days.
And then the next 2 week wait to see if we were having twins..
We had to wait another 2 weeks to see if we were having twins since the earliest you can do the vaginal ultrasound to see is around 6 weeks. We were at the beach with friends for a week of it so that week didn’t drag too much. But wow did that second week really really go slow.
It was all I could think about until we went in for the ultrasound. I am also a higher risk pregnancy and me carrying twins is a bit frightful for both my health and the babies. Twins come earlier usually and since Ezra already came at 36 weeks, my doctors were really concerned that they would be born even earlier and put us at risk.
I went in for the ultrasound (poor Jord still couldn’t go to visits!) and we saw one healthy sac. We also got to hear their heartbeat and my whole body got chills and I felt so much love and warmth and happiness and everything. I was and still am freaking out and feeling so eternally grateful for this journey.
I never in a million years would have thought that we would have gotten pregnant on the first round of menopur/IUI especially after it taking a few months with Ez. But since we learned so much about what worked and didn’t work for my body with the first time around, it really helped so much this time.
I am more than happy to answer any questions you guys have and share any other details. I still chat with so many of you who read my fertility journey with Ezra. It is so important to me to open up the dialogue about this and normalize fertility journeys. They can be scary, isolating, hormonal and so so hard to go through and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I am here for you and I feel for you. If there is anything I can do to help or be there for anyone trying to conceive, please let me know. I love you all and I am so thankful to be able to share our journey to growing our family with each of you.
*We do know the gender and we will be announcing soon! And all things 1st trimester coming soon!!!
**For more on infertility – please head on over to episode 4 on Just the Good Stuff and stay tuned for an episode with Dr. Forman soon!
I wanted to ask who your OBGYN was. I do not love my current doctor and am looking for a recommendation. Thank you!
Hi Rach! Thanks so much for sharing everything about your pregnancies and the challenges you and your family faced. I am currently going through the same thing and would love your input:
Did you ever find out if you had PCOS or HA?
Did you get your period back after pregnancy? Are you doing anything to regulate / support your period now?
I haven’t had a period since 1 year after birth control and my period was super irregular before too. therefore My dr thinks PCOS. In any case: my dr wants me to start synthetic hormones to get a period and only then can I start with ovulation meds to try to start for pregnancy. Did you have to induce your period somehow each time you tried with ovulation meds or how was it with you? Thanks for your sharing 🙂