February 15, 2013

PCOS to Pregnancy: My Journey

Welcome to a new series here on the Cloth Diaper Outlet blog. Each week I will be writing about my journey dealing with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), trying to conceive (TTC), and hopefully, eventually pregnancy! I hope this series helps others struggling to conceive either your first or even your fifth child! It can be a very lonely, dark, and frustrating place to be when you are yearning for a child and things don't go according to plan.

A little background
My name is Jenny and I'm the author behind the Cloth Diaper Revival blog. My husband, Charlie, and I were married in 2009 after a brief 9 months of dating. We decided to "not-not try" or in other words "see what happens" when it came to having children right away. So we stayed away from all forms of birth control. While Charlie was thinking we were going with the flow, I was hoping every month that I would get pregnant. I knew this was unlikely.

As a teenager, at 15, I was put on birth control to induce my first menstrual cycle. I wasn't sexually active, but my body was having a hard time producing periods. I was showing other signs of having periods, cramps, hormonal changes, etc, but never actually menstruating. Once I was on the birth control I had a regular monthly cycle with no problems.

At 22, I came off of the birth control. I wasn't sexually active and saw no need to stay on the pill. Shortly after, my periods stopped. I had no cramps, no blood, nothing. I called my gynecologist and he brushed my concerns to the side. I felt that it wasn't normal at 22 to just stop having periods.

A short while later, I found a new doctor that specialized in gynecology and reproductive endocrinology. He took my concerns seriously. After a series of blood tests and an ultrasound I was diagnosed with PCOS. My ovaries were full of polyps and my blood tests showed high testosterone levels.  On the outside you would never know this. Classic symptoms of PCOS include lack of menstruation, being overweight, and many times facial hair. The only symptom I was outwardly showing was the lack of periods. I feel lucky because according to my doctor my testosterone levels were much higher than many of his patients that do show the symptoms of facial hair.

I was put on a medication to lower my testosterone levels and birth control to attempt to regulate my periods. After a few months, my testosterone levels were in a normal range, but my periods never returned regularly. I began menstruating sporadically, once a year if I was lucky.

So when Charlie and I got married when I was 26, I knew without the menstrual cycles, there wasn't really a good chance that I would ovulate either. By the time I was married, I had moved to a new town which meant finding a new doctor. I choose one that was close to our apartment and lucked out! Dr. T took my concerns about fertility and PCOS seriously. She said when we were ready to seek fertility assistance to let her know. So we spent the first year of our marriage "seeing what would happen."

Meanwhile, it seemed that everyone around me was pregnant. Friends, coworkers, family members. As newly weds, we were constantly asked when we planned to start a family. I was a mess. I kept it to myself mostly, with the exception of my husband. My poor, sweet husband. Boy did he have a lot to deal with! Every time someone announced they were pregnant, I would cry. Many nights I would just sob because I feared we would never have a baby. After over a year of "letting it happen" without success we turned to my gynecologist.

Dr. T induced a period with progesterone followed by a round of Clomid. The first month was unsuccessful. We followed with two more rounds and third time was the charm! We successfully conceived our son Noah. My pregnancy was a dream. No morning sickness, no real concerns. There was a slight bump in the road with a diagnosis of gestational diabetes, but it was manageable. My son Noah was born on his due date and was an easy baby.

Eighteen months later, he's still super easy. He sleeps 14 hours every night and still takes two naps a day. He cries if you tell him "no" and doesn't like being in trouble. Sometimes I think God blessed with such a great kid because the path to getting him was not easy.

So here we are again, eighteen months after our son was born, hoping to conceive another child. I plan to be really honest in all of these posts and share from the heart what we're going through. I hope you'll follow along and share with me! It's not always easy putting your story out there, but I think it will help me to process things and hopefully help someone in a similar situation.

I'm Jenny, the mama behind the blog Cloth Diaper Revival.   I'm a stay at home mom to Noah and a wife to Chas, the cloth diapering dad.  I used to be a 3rd grade teacher until I was blessed with the birth of my first child, Noah.


Thanks for sharing this Jenny. My best friend has had so much trouble this third time. She wants a third baby so much and keeps having miscarriages. It was so hard to see her pain while my pregnancy went so well. I was never sure if I should talk about it because I knew she was hurting. Luckily, she's my bestest friend and always has been, but it hurt me to see ehr pain and struggles. I'm so glad you were able to have a beautiful baby boy, and I just love his name!

Thanks for sharing your story!!! I look forward to following your journey through the birth of your second child and will be praying for you and your husband!

If you are open to suggestions - acupuncture and Chinese herbs! I was diagnosed with PCOS before my hubby and I even thought about trying to get pregnant and started acupuncture right away. Within about 8 months, my cycles went from roughly 90 days or longer to 33 days. I got pregnant on the first try! I can only hope to be so lucky if we try for a second kiddo.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so transparent with us and sharing your PCOS/TTC journey. I also have PCOS and our first born was also a Clomid baby (along with Metformin, CD14 ultrasounds and a trigger shot). It took 8 months to conceive her, 5 of which were tries on Clomid. I completely understand how you feel. I wasn't ovulating at all on my own before her. Now, I ovulate and it's pretty violent. My ovaries often feel like I am taking Clomid when I'm not and it almost makes me not even want to BD because they hurt so bad! We're in our 6th round of naturally TTC since I am ovulating again, but it's been no picnic. My ovaries are killing me and I probably need to be back on the metformin, but I am attempting to use nutrition to control everything. My ovulation is kind of random... sometimes it's picture perfect on CD 14 and sometimes it's not until CD 22. We're hoping to conceive this year but we haven't really told anyone. We get a lot of "It's time to have another one, why are you still waiting?" from people who so easily forget our journey to conceive our daughter... she is about to turn 3. Good luck to you, I look forward to following this journey as I am embarking on my own!!

Thanks for sharing Jenny!! I'll be praying for you.

I am newly diagnosed with pcos and am a newlywed. I have been on provera and no period yet. Had an internal ultrasound today and we have been ttc for a year. Your blog is amazing and I appreciate you giving us all this hope. God bless you with tons of baby dust for your second baby.