Jump to content

Unpregnant
My sub-fertility journey so far


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#1 EBeditor

Posted 11 May 2010 - 11:38 PM

Please welcome our new blogger Prue who has kindly offered to share her conception journey. - Ed.

Hello and welcome to the intimate details of my life. I am Essential Baby's blogger-in-residence for the conception section, but the irony is, I won't be giving any advice on getting pregnant the old-fashioned way.

The problem is, my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for more than three years now, all to no avail save a positive pregnancy test last December that lasted all of three days before fading to nothing. The blood test at the end of the week showed I "did not achieve clinical pregnancy", according to my doctor's notes.

We are infertile. Actually I prefer the term sub-fertile. There is something so permanent about infertile and if I get to menopause without having a child then I will accept the infertile tag, but until then, I insist on sub-fertile.

Where to begin? In early 2006 I was editing a parenting magazine and knew absolutely bugger-all about kids, pregnancy, birth and babies. Despite having a midwife for a sister, I had no idea how to get pregnant, other than the basic logistics. I thought that all it took was a bottle of shiraz, a Dolce & Gabanna balconette bra and matching knickers and hey presto, nine months later, a bouncing baby boy or girl would emerge from my nether regions.

If only it was that easy. I started researching all things birth and baby related for my job and came upon Essential Baby, which provided me with many lightbulb moments. I was 29 and thought that I had loads of time to get knocked up. I was all about career, travel and good times. But the more I read, the more alarmed I became.

I decided to stop taking the pill and made an appointment with my GP who discovered I had a condition called polycystic ovaries (PCO) which can cause issues with ovulation and is one of the leading, but easily rectified causes of sub-fertility. I started to use a chart to plot the stages of my menstrual cycle by taking my temperature each day and marking it on a graph. It's a pretty accurate way of tracking ovulation and the good news was that the charts combined with blood tests ordered by my doctor showed I was ovulating normally. A perfect specimen and a great prospect for achieving a pregnancy.

About 8 months after stopping the pill, my partner and I took a long trip to Europe and having so far successfully avoided pregnancy by using the chart method, decided to go for gold. I invested in a bunch of little sticks that measure lutenising hormone in urine. If you get two strong lines on the sticks, ovulation is imminent, and the deed should be done.

So we threw caution to the wind, and I imagined telling our first-born they were conceived in a Munich backpacker hostel. But it didn't happen. No worries, we weren't in any rush. But the months dragged on and finally my GP referred me to a specialist who ordered a bunch of tests to check me out. Loads of blood was taken, I endured a form of torture called a HysteroSalpingoContrastSonography (HyCoSy) in which a contrast medium is pumped into the the fallopian tubes to test they are clear, and my partner was instructed to have his semen analysed more than once, but everything came back normal.

It was then the specialist decided to try me on what many women trying to conceive (or TTC as we call it in the community) believe to be a miracle drug. It was discovered when the contraceptive pill was being developed, but has the opposite effect. Rather than stopping ovulation, it encourages it, so in women with PCOS it can regulate ovulation and help them to conceive. I have a friend who has two gorgeous kids after successful Clomid cycles.

But four months on Clomid resulted in nothing but a couple of extra kilos. My specialist said there was nothing more he could do for us and referred us to a major IVF clinic in Sydney. By this stage it was almost two years since we had really started trying.

The first thing my new doctor did was order a complete workup on me, including a bunch of tests to check whether I had any auto-immune issues. This is a possible cause of recurrent miscarriage or failure for the embryo to implant in the uterine wall and as I have Crohn's Disease - an auto-immune condition - he thought it could be the cause for our lack of conception. More blood was taken - I counted 17 vials before passing out - and my partner was instructed to have another semen analysis, despite his previous good results, but I was convinced I was the one with the issues.

One month before we were due to get married we got the news. I had no problems. I was perfect. Ovulating regularly, a lovely looking uterus, clear fallopian tubes, no apparent auto-immune problems. I heard the same thing my GP originally said - I was a perfect specimen to achieve a pregnancy.

The news for my partner wasn't so good. His sperm count was fine, if a little sluggish, but the bad news was that he only had three percent normally shaped swimmers. 14 percent is considered normal, and with only three percent, the odds of us becoming pregnant naturally were exceptionally slim. And compounding the shape issue, he had something called anti-sperm antibodies, meaning the sperm were clumping together and couldn't move. It was like a rugby scrum in there. They were more interested in sticking together than swimming up to my lovely, fresh and fertile eggs. The good news was that the good sperm he had were of "high fertility potential" according to the Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA) which is used to measure DNA fragmentation. This meant that all wasn't completely lost.

Hopefully we can get there, we just need a bit of help. And hopefully, this will be the shortest lasting blog on Essential Baby!

- Prue

#2 GeraniumQueen

Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:22 AM

Hi Prue and welcome to the EB family original.gif

I have linked your blog in the AC section!

Good Luck with it all, hope your blog is a short one (I mean this in the nicest kind of ways wink.gif )

GQ

#3 Mariamsmum

Posted 12 May 2010 - 06:41 PM

Good luck on your AC journey...it's one hell of an emotional rollercoaster so strap yourself in tightly for the ride.

One thing I've noticed in my journey, is that the "blame" can't be put on one partner, you are both in it together. Also be prepared for the fact that IVF might not work first go. I was told that because I was young, had good lining, had been pregnant before that I was an "easy". Who guessed it would take 5 cycles and a lot of experimentation with drug protocol before we were successful?

All the best in your AC efforts.

Edited by Mariamsmum, 12 May 2010 - 06:42 PM.


#4 Lifesgood

Posted 12 May 2010 - 06:47 PM

It's such a creeping, insidious kind of shock when you slowly begin to realise you are failing to get pregnant month after month, year after year. Especially when the rest of the world seems to do it so easily. And even more so if you are a mega-organised control freak and career person who is used to putting in an effort and getting a result.

Take heart Prue - you are what is known in the AC world as a very young woman, and your odds are quite good original.gif I wish you all the best in your journey.

Edited by LifesGood, 12 May 2010 - 06:47 PM.


#5 ToddlerWrangler

Posted 12 May 2010 - 06:50 PM

Hi Prue,
Welcome to EB, I wish you well on your adventure and hope to see some good news soon!
p.s. Isnt Prue a great name  wink.gif

#6 *LG*

Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:53 PM

hi Prue,
thanks for sharing your journey. When you look at it, you wonder how you don't become pregnant (especially with monitored cycles). I guess at the end of the day, when we eventually get there they will be the most wanted bubs in the planet ;-)

Good luck, I hope that the rest of your journey is short and sweet!

#7 Wut??

Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:56 PM

QUOTE
p.s. Isnt Prue a great name
A great name for a great chick.

#8 LynnyP

Posted 12 May 2010 - 09:05 PM

How well do you write!  I am looking forward to a few brief and elegant entries and then a renamed blog for your next journey.

#9 Chill-Pill

Posted 12 May 2010 - 09:18 PM

Thanks for sharing your blog, its great to hear someone elses journey of trying to conceive written with such honesty but with such a light hearted humour to it as well. We are also sub-fertile and not ready for the infertility label just yet! All the best with your fertility treatment and I look forward to reading your next post.

#10 dadphil

Posted 12 May 2010 - 09:30 PM

GeraniumQueen welcomed all to the new blog by greeting us all with Hi Ladies (and token guy).  Well I'm the token guy.

My wife and I are starting down this whole process (it will have to be embryo adoption for us) and wea are really keen to find out as much as we can, from wherever we can.

Phil

#11 Guest_~Sal_*

Posted 12 May 2010 - 09:38 PM

Great blog.  Thanks for sharing Prue.  I wish you all the luck in the world.

#12 BlancheNeige

Posted 13 May 2010 - 01:06 AM

Yay, finally an EB blog worth reading! Great writing Prue.

#13 Seanj

Posted 13 May 2010 - 03:58 AM

Hello Prue,

Well done on the blog, it can't be easy keeping a good-humored tone to a piece about sub-fertility. Your writing is clean and succinct, as I'd expect from an Editor, and a pleasure to read.

Thank you for sharing. Sometimes I think even the medicos forget there can be more than one fertility issue with a couple - it seems your PCOS was focused on to the exclusion of other issues. It's valuable to get such stories out there.

#14 kelseyanne

Posted 13 May 2010 - 12:17 PM

Hi Prue,

thanks for sharing with us in your journey. It is so nice to see a blog that is not whinging about all the difficulties of being a mum!

I too am unpregnant and about to embark on IUI/IVF.

Good luck!

#15 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 13 May 2010 - 07:24 PM

Welcome Prue!

#16 paris-stella

Posted 14 May 2010 - 01:39 PM

Welcome and hopefully your AC journey will not be too much longer.

I too had an AC journey to get PG with my DD.  I was 28 at the time and Dr's were not keen to help me as I had not hit the magic 30. I did not fit the profile of someone having PCOS, and they did not want to test for that, but reluctantly did after much instance from me.  

We spend so much time trying not to get pregnant and like you, I did not know the first thing about getting pregnant and thought that once I wanted to, I simply would. When it does not happen, there are tears and tantrums and feelings of failure.  I was constantly told by my mum (who only had to have thoughts of getting PG and she would) that I would have no trouble. She did not know we were trying, and didnt know that every word was a crushing blow.

Friends would offer suggestions of ways to increase chances of pregnancy. Once I was told to eat more icecream - if it was only that simple - All of the IVF clinics would be out of business if women ate more ice cream.

Lucky for us, our last cycle of Clomid gave us a BFP. Like you, we were told that there was nothing more that could be done for us, apart from IVF.  

Good luck on your journey and i look forward to reading about your sticky BFP.

#17 prue~c

Posted 14 May 2010 - 03:09 PM


Thanks for the welcome everyone. I must admit, it is a bit daunting coming out of the closet, so to speak. Most of our friends and colleagues know about our AC journey, and if they don't, I'm sure they will now *waves at colleagues*.  original.gif

After a couple of Friday vinos, the eyes of my friends inevitably start rolling as I tell them not to wait, and start giving detailed descriptions of exactly how to self-administer an injection, or what an IUI or embryo transfer entails.

But all they want to know about is the, ahem, "deposit' room. Umm, how the hell would I know? rolleyes.gif

So thanks again, and I'm just warning everyone, I am a pretty prolific writer and I have a lot of back-story to tell, so stay tuned.

Prue

#18 pundelina

Posted 14 May 2010 - 09:24 PM

Hey Prue wub.gif you're out!

#19 hernette

Posted 15 May 2010 - 09:09 PM

Hi Prue!

While we haven't had to start IVF (yet) I could relate when you wrote about the blood tests.  After I saw the phlebotomist take out the 9th vial I was just hoping she'd leave some in there laughing2.gif

#20 Prizzy

Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:14 PM

Welcome Prue. I hope your stay is short and sweet darling.

#21 j-babe

Posted 17 May 2010 - 07:49 PM

Welcome Prue,

Your blog really resonnated with me.  I've been trying to concieve for just over 2 years and am about to start my second IVF cycle.  It is such a sad and frustrating journey (especially as you say, people all around seem to fall pregnant so easily). I think it is very brave of you to share your story.

Whilst it is sad to ever hear about someone else suffering in/sub-fertility I am looking forward to reading your blog and hearing more from a woman like me ie struggling to get pregnant.  

Hopefully your AC journey will be a short one!

#22 bubba-licious

Posted 17 May 2010 - 07:57 PM

Hi Prue,

We too are staring down the 'assisted' conception path. I look forward to reading your blog & following your journey.

Aimee

#23 monty fatcat

Posted 19 May 2010 - 04:43 PM

Hi Prue,

Welcome and thanks for the great blog!!!  I wanted to add some info to help others out there on the AC path - I work in an IVF clinic.  The quality of semen analysis reports varies between laboratories and we would advise that at least one if performed in a specialised laboratory that has scientists specifically trained to recognise factors that impact upon fertility.  Your example of the sperm morphology was a good one!

Another note on sperm DNA fragmentation testing, including SCSA - there is much hype around this but little clinical outcome data to say that the testing will actually help you achieve a pregnancy.  For this to occur, labs would have to isolate specific sperm that showed good results but this kind of technology is not yet available.

Best of luck in your journey and to anyone else out there on the AC path.

#24 Rusky99

Posted 20 May 2010 - 12:04 PM

I would like to thank you for sharing your journey with all of us.  I have been TTC for a while now, had a miscarriage early on and am now trying to figure out where to go next.

When I had my miscarriage, I was very grateful to a few friends and workmates who had previously been open about their difficulties in TTC.  It made me feel normal!  I didn't necessarily need to talk to anyone in depth, just knowing that I wasn't alone made me feel better.

So to everyone above, thank you for being so open about your struggle.

#25 jellywombat

Posted 26 May 2010 - 01:03 PM

Hi Prue.

Just thought I'd comment on your post. I really can't complain at all about fertility issues as I fell pregnant on the first cycle after coming off the pill for about 15yrs. Pregnancy and birth were text book and my DD is now 6yrs old. A couple of years ago I decided that I really wanted another child but as I ended up getting retrenched after 14yrs then 6 months later my DH got retrenched after 18yrs the thought of another child was put on the backburner. About 6 months later I managed to get a full-time job and ended up being the breadwinner for 2 1/2yrs before DH was able to get himself a job. DD started prep last year so I left work to be a stay at home mum. Thats when I decided that it was now or never. I came off the pill and nothing happened. For 6 months I tried and was unsuccessful so I ended up going back on the pill. I managed to then lose some weight, almost 40kg actually and about a month ago I came off the pill again. I have my fingers crossed something happens this time as I'm almost 40. As I said previously, I really have nothing to complain about and feel very fortunate. My sister on the other hand is in the same category as yourself. She turned 40 last year and I believe has been trying for about 5yrs to fall pregnant, She has been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries as well as endometriosis. Her DH injured himself at work so is now on a disability pension so therefore they cant afford IVF. I feel for her not being able to fall pregnant as I know myself what a joy it is. My only hope is that one day she will be lucky enough to experience it for herself. I have my fingers crossed for myself but it will happen, and I know I am very lucky. I really do hope you are able to fall pregnant and experience the joys of motherhood.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Wondersuit heaven: Bonds & Disney launch exclusive collection

Bonds and Disney fans with babies to buy for will be celebrating this news. Bonds and Disney have just released collaboration Wondersuits.

Perth hospital mistakes cancerous tumour for "behavioural issues"

When Naomi Holly, a mother of three, noticed her eight-month-old daughter Nora, was having difficulty crawling and standing up as normal, she knew there was something wrong.

Piano playing dad soothes son to sleep in moments

There's nothing more frustrating, or distressing to a parent than a sick child who can't  - or won't got to sleep. 

Lucky escape for mum and bub after snake found in couch

Perth mother Laurie Rushton Dyble was sitting on a recliner chair in her home holding her six-month-old son when her husband suddenly told her to get up and leave the room.

When your partner misses the birth

While no one wants their partner to miss their baby’s birth, it can happen. Here’s what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

Motherhood challenge: smug or just a bit of fun?

The #motherhoodchallenge sounds harmless, doesn't it? Some women disagree.

Who's the mum? Family photo goes viral

Last year, it was "The Dress". This year, it is a family photo that is breaking the internet.

5 easy meditation practices for beginners

So who's with me? You know meditating is one of the best things you can possibly do for yourself.

Woman to go on trial for being a bad housewife

An Italian woman could face up to six years in jail after her husband accused her of not doing enough cooking and cleaning at home.

Is the latest advice on women and drinking over the top?

While most expectant mums know to stop drinking when they’re pregnant, experts now warn women should stop drinking earlier than that. Is this necessary?

How household chores can double as a workout

If there's less than a slim chance you'll find time to get out for a jog or to hit the gym today, take heart in knowing that household chores contribute to the calorie equation.

I have no idea what I'm doing - and that's okay

Why don't we talk about the fact that when everything goes right, we may still feel completely lost, and certain that we have failed?

Dad warns of hair tourniquet danger after baby almost loses toe

A shocked father has shared his family's experience in a bid to warn other parents about the dangers of hair becoming entangled around a baby's toe.

Town welcomes first baby in 28 years

Since the 1980s, the Italian town of Ostana had not seen the birth of a single baby.

How to start teaching your kids road safety

It's something that can be taught as early as possible and reinforced as they get older and more mobile - even from toddlerhood.

Just announced: Bugaboo Cameleon³ Classic+ Collection update

Meet the brand new understated chic model from Bugaboo.

The emotional moment a mum hears her late son's heartbeat

It's been two and a half years since Heather Clark's seven-month-old son Lukas passed away.

Nine reasons why you have 'brain fog'

One minute your productivity is skyrocketing and the next you're sitting there trying to focus – just like that you draw blank, your brain, mush.

I had a caesarean and it was beautiful

Guess what? Despite not pushing him out, I cried, and my heart skipped, and I felt the rush of love and pride when I saw him for the first time.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Penny Wong

'The most hurtful argument in the marriage equality debate'

Labor frontbencher Penny Wong is used to to hearing arguments against same-sex marriage. But for Australia's most prominent gay politician, one hurts more than others.

Does exercise have to be fun to work?

Some things in life are inherently served with a big scoop of fun: balloons, bubbles, cupcakes to name but a few, but exercise?

Hair dye gives woman second-degree burns

She wanted a fresh colour for 2016, but instead she got chemical burns.

Kelly Slater saves mum and toddler from 'freak wave'

A Perth family has thanked US surfing "legend" Kelly Slater after the star saved a mother and a young toddler from "a freak wave" in Hawaii.

Apple recalls millions of power adapters

Tech giant instigates massive international recall of power point adapters due to risk of electric shock.

Toddler's adorable alphabet goes viral

It's impossible not to share this little boy's excitement  about the alphabet.

Tot's nighttime waking saves family's life

Like all tired parents, Monique and Kyle Ruppel were looking forward to the day their 15-month-old daughter Celia would start sleeping through the night. 

Australian mum gives birth to quintuplets

An Australian mum who has shared the ups and downs of carrying quintuplets has welcomed her five babies into the world.

Dad of four girls faints at gender reveal for fifth baby

It was all too much excitement for this dad.

The simple way you can help your baby's language development

The way parents respond to their child's babbling can shape how their infants communicate.

Zika virus is 'spreading explosively': WHO

The World Health Organization announced that it will convene an emergency meeting about Zika.

National database recommended for child protection cases

Baby Ebony was repeatedly failed by the agencies tasked with her protection before her horrific death at the hands of her father, South Australia's deputy coroner says.

Hospitals put babies at risk by ignoring policy on elective caesareans

Thirty-eight weeks or 39? Non-medical factors are pushing women to have elective caesareans earlier than official guidelines - and hospitals are playing along.

Police help deliver baby on busy roadside

Two police officers delivered more than a traffic fine by the side of a busy Melbourne road yesterday.

1D's Louis Tomlinson shares first photo of baby

One Direction's Louis Tomlinson has posted the first picture of his baby boy, Freddie, on social media.

 

FREE TICKET

See Hi-5 LIVE in Melbourne!

Get your ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show - register online now!

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.