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Two days after I gave birth, Dr. Ass Clown came to my room in the hospital to take a look at my incision and check on me. He reminded me that breastfeeding is not a surefire method of birth control and he asked if we’d thought about what kind of birth control we were going to use. I politely told him that we wouldn’t be using birth control and if we miraculously got pregnant, we’d be more than happy with that outcome. As he is want to do, he told me one of those anecdotal stories of a woman who, after much struggle with infertility, got pregnant via IVF and then magically turned up pregnant less than three months after giving birth to her first child. “Fabulous,” I replied. “I so want to be that woman.”

At my ten day checkup one of the other doctors asked us again about birth control. I replied that we’d be over the moon if we got pregnant naturally and didn’t have to spend over $30,000 and two and a half years to have a baby. He reminded me that it can, and does, happen. He questioned why we needed IVF in the first place, and without warning, the waterworks came on. I tearfully told him that I have crappy eggs and that of 53 eggs retrieved during our three IVF cycles, only seven of them even made it to day five and of those, only three were blasts. He reiterated that without birth control unplanned pregnancies can occur, and I once again stated that that would be the ideal scenario and I’d really look forward to that. He gave me a look, and dropped it at that. It was as though my comments were the absolutely strangest thing he’d ever heard.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I noticed that I was all of the sudden getting less output from my pumping sessions at work. I replaced the membranes on my pump, but was still getting significantly less milk than normal. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, so a quick Google search suggested that maybe I was getting ready to ovulate, or get my period. Hmm. This got me thinking, as I had recently noticed the return of some obvious fertility signs. Some blood streaked EWCM along with the decrease in milk supply was a no brainer: I was going to ovulate. About a week later, I had some light pink CF and started getting cramps. Sigh. It was the writing on the wall…my period was coming. I remember complaining to my husband about my cramps and that it was a sure sign that I was going to get my period on vacation. In fact, I was so sure that I was going to get my period that I packed a box of tampons and a package of pads in my suitcase so that I wouldn’t have to buy them while on vacation.

All vacation long I waited for my period to come. And waited and waited. Those cramps that I’d been feeling disappeared and there was no more spotting to be seen. I felt great. Weird. I started thinking. Blood streaked EWCF is supposed to be a sign of high fertility and pink CF about a week later, along with cramps. Hmmm. It couldn’t be. I couldn’t be pregnant, could I? There’s no way I could be “that woman” and end up pregnant before I got my first post partum period, could I? I decided that if I still hadn’t gotten my period when I got home, I’d take a pregnancy test. Meanwhile, my mind was spinning. I was lost in a daydream about how absolutely fantastic and miraculous it would be if I were able to get pregnant on our own. How great it would be to have two children so close in age (challenging though, I’m sure). How much fun it would be to share my pregnancy news with my support group members and how painful it would be to have to break the news to my friend who continues to struggle with infertility.

My daydreams were bolstered by a rash of what I like to call “much easier than the first time” second pregnancies. Two of the women in my online support group have already given birth to their second kids and two more are currently pregnant. One woman from my real life support group got pregnant on her first IUI whereas her first baby took 11 IUI’s to conceive (her husband is sterile, so they use donor sperm/IUI). It just seems like the second time around is going a lot easier for many of the women that I know, so why shouldn’t it be that way for me too?

We returned home and despite my resolution to test, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The thought of it was too scary. Of course while a positive result would make me ecstatic, a negative result would signal the return of infertility, and all of the insanity that comes with it. I didn’t have any pregnancy tests on hand and wasn’t feeling brave enough to actually go out and buy any, so I compromised and took the only OPK that I had left over. It wasn’t even close to positive so I figured that I wasn’t pregnant and that I’d be getting my period any second. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting. Still no period. By this time it was two and a half weeks after that blood streaked EWCF and I knew that if I was pregnant, it would definitely show up on a test.

I bought some tests.


As the dye ran across the test, a faint second line came up immediately. My heart started racing and I was in shock. It can’t be. There’s just no way. I held the stick in my shaking hands and continued to stare at it.

Slowly but surely, the second line faded away and all that remained was the control line. The test was negative.

Despite knowing that the test was negative, I couldn’t stop myself from returning to check on it every few minutes, just to make sure the line hadn’t somehow magically reappeared. I knew that chances of me being pregnant were virtually zero, but I had managed to let myself believe that it could actually have happened. As great as it would have been if the test had been positive, I was surprisingly OK with a negative. It was a bit of a reality check, I suppose. A reminder that I shouldn’t let myself get caught up in trying to get pregnant again. The fact is that we probably are never going to get pregnant on our own. In fact, I’d be surprised if we’re ever able to get pregnant with a biological child even using ART.

As it turns out, I never even ovulated. I’m guessing that my body was gearing up to ovulate and just never quite got all the way there. Anyway, it’s now three weeks after that fake-out ovulation and my body is trying to ovulate again, and this time I think it’s for real.

Despite knowing that we’ll likely never get pregnant the old fashioned way, I find myself falling into the same trying-to-conceive-insanity that was my life not so long ago. Sigh. How does one let the return of fertility, or in my case, infertility, not rule their every waking moment?

Our History

Dec 2006 - Started trying to conceive
Summer 2007 - Semen analysis (great), progesterone test (normal)
Dec 2007 - SHG normal
Jan 2008 - 1st RE appointment
Feb - Mar 2008 - Diagnosed with elevated FSH levels, 2 rounds of IUI with 5mg of Femara
Apr - Jun 2008 - Seeing a new RE. 3 rounds of IUI with 12.5mg of Femara, all busts. HSG normal
July 2008 - Moving on to IVF at a new clinic
Aug/Sep 2008 - 1st IVF cycle - cancelled due to poor response
Nov/Dec 2008 - Retry IVF, transferred one blast and one morula, negative beta
Feb/Mar 2009 - 2nd IVF cycle - Antagonist protocol
May 2009 - 3rd and final attempt at IVF - Antagonist protocol
Feb 18th, 2010 - our One Small Wish comes true: Nina Adele is born.

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August 2010