Monthly Archives: April 2011

“Just relax!” What NOT to say to infertile couples!

April 24-April 30, 2011 is National Infertility Awareness Week and I’ll be busting the infertility myth: If you just relax, you will get pregnant!
(Find my submission link here.)

"Just relax" Infertility Myth BUSTED

You’re having trouble getting pregnant? That’s any easy one…just relax.


Very few people are setting out to purposely offend or hurt the feelings of people who are having trouble conceiving, yet they don’t understand that this is one of the absolute most insensitive things that they can say. Whether a couple has been trying 3 months or 3 years…don’t tell them to relax! Even if they handle it with grace I can tell you with certainty that it hurt them, or at the very least, annoyed them.

Before we got pregnant the first time we had been “trying” for 4 ½ years. Although I was aware of the fact that we weren’t getting pregnant it wasn’t something that I continuously thought about or worried about. It wasn’t until about 2 years in that I really started to become concerned…and sad. When we conceived our first child and later that same year, our daughter, I can guarantee you that we were not anymore relaxed at the time than we had been previously. In fact we were certainly much more stressed out then we were at the beginning of the journey 4 ½ years prior. If all that I needed to do was to relax and not think about it…then we would’ve gotten pregnant right away. Everyone would, right? Because most people don’t start trying thinking, “This isn’t going to work. Something’s wrong.” It usually takes at least a few months of trying before you start to think something is wrong.

Stress certainly doesn’t help infertility and it’s true that it can make things worse. Even if you truly think they need to relax…don’t say it! Think about it. When has there ever been a situation where you told a person to relax or calm down and they said, “Gee, thanks, I never thought of that before. Wow, I feel better.” I would guess never. Infertility aside, whenever my husband tells me to relax or calm down he knows there’ll be a remote control hurling towards his head. It’s something he never says to me anymore. If you really think that relaxing will help…then show them, don’t tell them. Pay for them to have a massage, clean up their house, take them some nice meals, give them some relaxing music to listen to…but please, don’t ever tell them to “just relax”!

It’s hard to relax when you’re alone in the bathroom staring at the blood on your panties for yet another month. It’s hard to relax when you only see one line…again. It’s hard to relax when your feet are in stirrups for yet another test. It’s hard to relax when another Mother’s Day comes and goes. It’s hard to relax when you get another invitation to a baby shower. It’s hard to relax when everywhere you turn you’re met by a rounded belly or table of tiny onesies. It’s hard to relax when people younger than you and older than you and fatter than you and thinner than you and sicker than you and healthier than you are all getting pregnant and you’re not.

Do you know what else makes it difficult to relax? People that don’t understand what you’re going through. People that have the best intentions but say insensitive things in their ignorance. People that don’t know what to say, so they say the wrong thing. People that would rather hear themselves giving you unsolicited advice rather than listen to you try to explain your pain. People who don’t stop and think before they speak.

“Just relax” has a twin…“You’re trying too hard.”
What does that even mean? Exactly what is the definition of “trying too hard”?
Is it having ridiculous amounts of s-x? Because I guarantee you that there are many people out there (who aren’t even trying to get pregnant) that are having way more s-x than me! Is it charting basal body temperatures? I’ve never charted my temps. Not even once. Is it obsessively taking ovulation tests? In the 5 years of my life that I’ve spent trying to get pregnant I’ve probably only taken about 5 ovulation tests. That’s only one a year…hardly excessive. Is it tracking your cycle on a calendar? Many women track their periods…some for pregnancy prevention as much as the opposite. Even without it, it only takes a little math to figure out when you’re supposed to ovulate…so as long as you’re aware that you started your period (and come on…who isn’t?), then you can still track your ovulation.
So what exactly is it that we’re doing that is “trying to hard”?! Nothing. Yet it doesn’t stop people from telling me that.

So what can you say to someone who’s having trouble conceiving?
“I’m sorry that you’re going through this. I’ll be praying for you. I’ll be here for you if you need anything.”
That’s it. Simple, honest, to the point. No unsolicited advice, no “it’ll happen” promises, no insensitive remarks. Just let them know that you can see that they are hurting and that you are hurting with them.

If someone close to you is struggling to conceive, I urge you to educate yourself on infertility, the tests, the problems, the treatments (What is infertility?) . This will make it easier to understand what your loved one is talking about and hopefully help you to relate to their situation a little better.

If you are struggling to conceive and are being met with insensitive comments…just relax and take a deep breath and think twice before you haul off and hit them ;).



Read The Short Version of our infertility story, or for the whole story read:
*Part 1: Trying to Conceive: Take 1
*Part 2: My First Pregnancy
*Part 3: My Miscarriage
*Part 4: Trying to Conceive: Take 2
*Part 5: Trying to Conceive: Take 3 Secondary Infertility
*National Infertility Awareness Week
*Childless Mother: Infertility Poem
*Spring Ahead: Reflections on Miscarriage
*Celebrate Your Name Week: Jordan: Why we named the baby we miscarried

Our Infertility Story: The Short Version

My Infertility Story: The Short Version
Here’s the short version of the story:
*January 2004:
I stopped taking the birth control pill after a year and three months of use.

*December 2007:
After 3 years 5 months of ttc, an endometrial biopsy, hysterosalpingogram, numerous blood tests, ultrasounds, and home ovulation tests for me and two semen analysis for my husband we’re diagnosed with “unexplained infertility”.

*June 2008:
Start using Crinone progesterone gel for a potential Luteal Phase Defect.

*June 2008:
Got pregnant.

*August 2008:
Miscarried the baby at 11 weeks 5 days.
(Blighted ovum)
*November 2008:
Got pregnant again two months later.

*August 2009:
Gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Adaline, via c-section.

The length of time from stopping birth control to the birth of our daughter:
5 years 8 months
*September 2009:
Adaline weaned at 13 months old and we begin trying to conceive again using the Crinone.
*April 2011:
We’re 8 months into trying for another child.

*May 2011:
A blood test reveals that I’m not ovulating.
Started 50mg of Clomid on cycle days 3-7.
Start Crinone 8% on cycle day 15.

*May 27, 2011:
Postive Pregnancy Test! Baby due February 5, 2012!
*February 08, 2012:
Gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Jonathan, via unmedicated vbac.
We are done adding to our family unless God sees fit to bless us with a child that we aren’t *trying* to have. Our “trying” days are over now. We currently have no plans to adopt because I find motherhood to be very challenging, but we’re open to adopting in the future if we feel God leading us down that path.

*But if you want the whole story read…
+Part 1: The first 4 ½ years of our infertility struggle
+Part 2: My first Pregnancy
+Part 3: My Miscarriage
+Part 4: Conceiving after miscarriage
+Part 5: Secondary infertility after the birth of our daughter
+Part 6: TTC and Treatment for Secondary Infertility
+Part 7: Pregnant after Secondary Infertility

Related Posts:
*National Infertility Awareness Week
*Infertility Myth Busted: Just Relax
*Childless Mother: Infertility Poem
*Spring Ahead: Reflections on Miscarriage
*Celebrate Your Name Week: Jordan: Why we named the baby I miscarried

My Infertility Story (Part 5): Trying to Conceive and Secondary Infertility

April 24-April 30, 2011 is National Infertility Awareness Week and I’ll be sharing my infertility story with you.

Read The Short Version, or for the whole story read:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5

Trying to Conceive: Secondary Infertility

Trying to Conceive: Take 3
Secondary Infertility

On August 04, 2008, 5 years and 8 months after stopping the birth control pill, after over 4 years of unexplained infertility, a miscarriage, and 2 hours of pushing, I gave birth via caesarean section to a beautiful, healthy 8lb 6oz baby girl…Adaline Rose.

Even after all of the years of not being able to get pregnant after getting pregnant back to back, we thought maybe we were done struggling. Maybe we’ll be able to get pregnant again when we want to. I never started taking the pill again. It had made me sick before and after all of the struggles that I had I didn’t feel comfortable ever taking the pill again. We used alternative methods of birth control including tracking my cycles online.

I was breastfeeding and continued to breastfeed until Adaline was 13 months old. My period started to come back when she was 4 months old and was back to normal by the time she was 6 months old. Aside from my periods being a little lighter everything appeared “back to normal”. In fact, because I had been tracking my cycles online for years, when I went to add in my first period after the birth I saw that my period came exactly when it would’ve come had I never gotten pregnant. My cycles were always very regular.

I wanted to wait until after Adaline’s first birthday to attempt conceiving again. I wanted to be certain to give my caesarean scars time to heal and I wanted to be done breastfeeding first (I completely support longer breastfeeding and tandem nursing, but considering our history with infertility, I thought weaning would be best). Sometime in August we stopped preventing pregnancy and by October we were using the ovulation calendar to make sure we had our days right 😉 The end of September I went to the OBGYN for a Pap smear and told her that we were ready to start trying again. She gave us a prescription for the Crinone and said that if we weren’t pregnant in 6 months to come back to see her.

Ouch 😦

In September I used a home ovulation predictor kit because I wanted to check and make sure I had started ovulating again. When using a OPK/OPT you pee on the stick every day until it detects your LH surge which then means you should be ovulating in the next 24 hours. Once you detect the surge you can stop peeing on the stick. My LH surge was detected exactly when the ovulation calendar said that it should be, but I decided to keep peeing on all of the sticks until they were gone…just in case. The tests detected a surge for 7 straight days! I’m not sure what that meant, but it didn’t make any difference because I didn’t get pregnant anyway.

Shortly after stopping breastfeeding, I noticed that my periods were off. They started coming 5 days to a week early and one month it was a day or two late. I’ve never been one to obsessively take pregnancy tests, because it can be a waste of money and emotionally draining. I usually wait to see if my period comes unless I’m experiencing a lot of symptoms. Because my periods were so weird I took pregnancy tests now and then just to be sure. They were always negative.

After 8 months of trying we had an appointment to see the OBGYN at the beginning of April 2011. She asked some questions and we answered them. I told her about my weird periods and that I’d taken ovulation tests two different months (September and March) and detected my LH surge. She didn’t see any reason to repeat any of the more invasive tests (endometrial biopsy, hysterosalpingogram) (yippy!), but she ordered up more blood work to make sure that I was ovulating and to check my thyroid (again) and she ordered another semen analysis for my husband.

Guess what is going in here!

A few days later my husband took his sample to the hospital and on Good Friday I went and had my blood work done. Once she has the test results the doctor is fairly certain that she’ll be starting me on Clomid. We have an appointment on May 3 and then, well, we’ll see…

To be continuedsomeday.

*National Infertility Awareness Week
*Infertility Myth Busted: Just Relax
*Childless Mother: Infertility Poem
*Trying to Conceive: Take 1
*My First Pregnancy
*My Miscarriage
*Trying to Conceive: Take 2
*Trying to Conceive: Take 3 Secondary Infertility You are here!
*Spring Ahead: Reflections on Miscarriage
*Celebrate Your Name Week: Jordan: Why we named the baby we miscarried

My Infertility Story (Part 4): Trying to Conceive After Miscarriage

April 24-April 30, 2011 is National Infertility Awareness Week
and I’ll be sharing my infertility story with you.

Read The Short Version, or for the whole story read:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5

Trying to Conceive after Miscarriage: My infertility story


On 09/25/2008 I had an ultrasound that confirmed the complete miscarriage of our first child. A week later I got a call from the doctor and she said that she also noticed what looked like a cyst near my ovary on the ultrasound. She said that it could be one of several things.
1. It could be a normal cyst that would come and go with ovulation
2. It could be a benign growth or tumor
3. It could be endometriosis.
She said that what they usually do is wait 6 weeks and then do another ultrasound to see if the cyst goes away on its own and if it doesn’t they do a laparoscopy. The way that they check for endometriosis is through laparoscopy and it’s one of the few tests I hadn’t had done yet. The doctor said that since endometriosis can be an infertility problem and we were already having trouble then we can just have the laparoscopy done right away instead of 6 weeks later. We decided to wait because we were going to be switching practices where the staff included an infertility specialist.

Less than 2 weeks after talking to my first OB about the laparoscopy I had an appointment with a new OB (not the specialist) at a new practice. She had me get blood work done to check my ovulation and thyroid and recommended we have another ultrasound done to look at the cyst. She said that there’s much debate about the existence of Luteal Phase Defect and that the small lag that I was showing is not enough of a diagnosis. Our infertility remained unexplained. The doctor said that we could start trying to conceive again and use the Crinone.

Three weeks later we had begun ttc again and I had another transvaginal ultrasound done. The ultrasound showed a very small (less than an inch) cyst near my left ovary. The doctor said that it appeared to be normal and that she didn’t see any problems with it, but that she’d like to see it on another ultrasound in 6 weeks to make sure it hadn’t grown or changed. If the cyst still appeared to be normal then she would put me on Clomid. If I didn’t get pregnant after 6 months on the Clomid she would refer me to the infertility specialist. She said that all of my other tests looked fine.

Eleven days later on November 16, 2008 I was at church and I just felt weird. I was light headed, dizzy, and woozy, I didn’t know what was going on. My period was due that Thursday and I thought maybe I was having some period symptoms, although I’d never experienced anything like it before. When we got home from church my husband left for work and I was going to head over to my mom’s house. The weird feeling was still there and I just had to take a pregnancy test so that I could prepare myself if my period was coming. I took the pregnancy test and it looked like it was negative. Then I looked again, really close, and I could see a very faint second line! I called my husband, who was excited, but because the line was so faint he thought it might be a false positive. We tested again on Tuesday and on Thursday, both positive, and my period never came. We were pregnant! We never went on Clomid or had the laparoscopy done.

We called the doctor and told them that we were pregnant and that we had an ultrasound scheduled for December 16 and could we still keep the appointment to check the progress of the pregnancy. They said yes! Another transvaginal (ug!) ultrasound. On December 16 I was 7 weeks and 5 days along when we got to see our precious baby for the first time. We were so relieved to see the little heart beating. It was such a different feeling from seeing the empty sac during our first pregnancy.

On August 04, 2008, 5 years and 8 months after stopping the birth control pill, after over 4 years of unexplained infertility, a miscarriage, and 2 hours of pushing, I gave birth via caesarean section to a beautiful, healthy 8lb 6oz baby girl…Adaline Rose.

To be continued


*National Infertility Awareness Week
*Childless Mother: Infertility Poem
*Trying to Conceive: Take 1
*My First Pregnancy
*My Miscarriage
*Trying to Conceive: Take 2 You are here!
*Trying to Conceive: Take 3 Secondary Infertility
*Spring Ahead: Reflections on Miscarriage
*Celebrate Your Name Week: Jordan: Why we named the baby we miscarried

My Miscarriage

April 24-April 30, 2011 is National Infertility Awareness Week and I’ll be sharing my infertility story with you.

Read The Short Version, or for the whole story read:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5

My blighted ovum miscarriage

My Miscarriage
*Warning: There is A LOT of talk about blood in this post. I tried to keep it mild, but it is what it is.

My second appointment was scheduled for September 08 when we would get to hear the heartbeat :). On Monday August 25 I woke up with a queasy feeling that you usually get with the onset of a period, so I called off from work that day. I decided to call the dr. to ask about the Crinone since I would be reaching my 12 week mark that Saturday. For the past few days small “chunks” of the Crinone mixed with dark brownish blood would be present when wiping in the morning. When I called and left a voice mail with the dr. office I asked about the Crinone and told them about the tiny bit of blood and asked if we could do an ultrasound (usually they only do one at 20 weeks). A receptionist called me back telling me that the OB said I should take my last Crinone application on my 12 week mark and they scheduled an ultrasound for Thursday 8/28.

Later Monday evening around 6pm I felt a small trickle. I pulled down my pants right there in the kitchen to find a dime size drop of bright red blood on my panties. I went to the toilet and was wiping more of the same kind of blood. My mom called the OB’s emergency line and I got to talk to another OB in the practice. He said that unless I’m bleeding very heavy that the ER would likely not even do an ultrasound and send me back home to wait it out. He asked me many questions and then told me not to worry yet, that sometimes this kind of bleeding happens and nothing is wrong. He said to think positive and he scheduled an ultrasound for the next day. After the initial scare I began to feel much more positive and was looking forward to getting to see my baby on the ultrasound the next day. Within a half hour the bright red blood was gone and by the time I went to bed my pad only had a very small amount of blood on it.

The next day by the time I was at the drs at 11:30am the bleeding had stopped entirely and my pad was completely clean. We went in for the ultrasound on Tuesday August 26 when I should have been 11 weeks 3 days along according to my LMP. I could barely move because I had to pee so bad so the tech told me she’d take a quick look and then have me empty. She did the abdominal ultrasound and said that I did a great job filling up my bladder (yippy, do I get a gold star?!), she pointed out the sac and said that we’d have to go internally to see the baby because it’s still so small.

She had me go to the bathroom to empty completely. Woohoo! I was thrilled because I was so uncomfortable. I peed as much as I could but when she started to do the transvaginal ultrasound she said that my bladder was still too full and sent me to empty again. Okay. She tried the transvaginal ultrasound again, and she again mentioned that my bladder wasn’t empty, but it must’ve been ok because she continued the exam. I found the transvaginal ultrasound painful but I kept quiet through it. She was moving and twisting the wand in all sorts of directions. She didn’t say anything through the whole exam until towards the end when she said that she was coming back out, she mentioned that she took a look at the ovaries and she pointed out the sac again.

(To read the story of how I got copies of these ultrasounds click here)

I went to the bathroom again and there was a small amount of blood mixed with Crinone which I assumed was because she’d been poking around in there. We were told to go to the waiting room.

After a short while we were brought into a room with the same NP that I had for my first prenatal visit. First she asked about the bleeding which I explained to her. Then she told me “It looks like you’re having a miscarriage.” She said that the pregnancy hadn’t progressed since the last time that they saw me, that I was measuring at 6 weeks (when I should be almost 12), that the sac was misshapen and should be round (when the tech pointed out the sac we saw an oval shape), and this is called a blighted ovum when the sac grows, but the baby doesn’t. Then she said something about a “rod”, but my husband and I heard two different things. I thought I heard her say that “All we’re seeing is a rod when we should be seeing a baby by this point.” And my husband thought he heard her say that, “We’re not even seeing a rod when we should be seeing a baby by this point.”

Then she went on to explain what we were to do next. She said that they would send me for an HCG (Quant) test and that I would have one every Monday until the numbers show that the pregnancy hormone has gone down and I’ve completely miscarried. At that point I can make an appointment to speak with the OB and then start trying again after a few cycles. She said to stop taking the Crinone until my cycles were normal again. She said that my upcoming appointment on 9/8 would be canceled but that I could call her with any questions. She said to call if I get a fever, severe abdominal pains, or bleeding worse than a period. She said that it looks as though my body is trying to miscarry and that it was giving us signals with the bleeding. She explained a D&C and said that some women prefer this because they can’t bare the pain of going through the miscarriage naturally. I told her that I didn’t want a D&C and that if this was going to happen I prefer it to happen naturally. She said, “We believe that it is best if your body is able to do it naturally.” Then we left to get the blood test done.

After the ultrasound on 8/26 I continued to bleed. I didn’t experience any pain or cramping although the later in the day that it got the more period symptoms I felt. The pregnancy nausea that I had been having went away about a week prior, but I had assumed it was because I was approaching my second trimester when many symptoms leave anyway. I was still experiencing fatigue and tailbone pain.

On Thursday August 28 at 4am I woke up bleeding heavy. I was having cramps like intense menstrual cramps, although they weren’t unbearable and I’ve felt them before during a period but not often since I’m not usually much of a cramper. Blood was coming out in big clots (almost ping-pong ball size). This bleeding was definitely heavier than a period, I’d never seen or experienced anything like it before. I probably flushed more than 20 times with the toilet full of blood each time and went through a jumbo roll of toilet paper in a few hours. An hour later I woke up my husband and had him call my mom to come over. My mom sat with me on a kitchen chair in the bathroom while I continued to cramp and bleed and cry. By 6:30am it felt like it had slowed down enough to be able to lie back in bed again. I continued to bleed for another week and spot for another week after that. I never saw the sac come out and, yes, I looked for it.

I had an appointment to talk with the OBGYN on September 23. She said that according to the first ultrasound on 8/26 and my low HCG level, she can say with 100% certainty that there is no baby. She did an internal exam and said that my uterus felt like it was almost back to normal size. I requested to have an ultrasound done. I asked her about my weight since I’d gained 8lbs since the beginning of the pregnancy. She pretty much said that it’s just regular weight and has nothing to do with the pregnancy.
(So yay, I have no baby AND I’m getting fat…yippy! 😦 )

Getting fat for no reason

Two days later I had an ultrasound to confirm the miscarriage. There was no baby and the sac was gone. The u/s tech said that it looks like everything is back to normal in there and that all of the “products of conception” were gone. I was obviously upset, but I felt a little better and relieved to know that it was almost over.

I had to go once a week to have blood drawn so that they could monitor my HCG levels. It took a little over a month for the HCG hormone to completely leave my body.
HCG Levels
08/26: 6460.0
09/01: 506.9
09/08: 86
09/15: 28
09/22: 12
09/29: 7.7
10/06: 0

On October 02 I got a call from the doctor. She said that according to the ultrasound the miscarriage looked complete and everything was back to normal. She said that on the ultrasound she also noticed what looks like a cyst near my ovary.

To be continued

Related Posts:
*National Infertility Awareness Week
*Childless Mother: Infertility Poem
*Trying to Conceive: Take 1
*My First Pregnancy
*My Miscarriage You are here!
*Trying to Conceive: Take 2
*Trying to Conceive: Take 3 Secondary Infertility
*Spring Ahead: Reflections on Miscarriage
*Celebrate Your Name Week: Jordan: Why we named the baby I miscarried

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Easter

Happy Easter from The Cool Family 🙂

Adaline and her cousin Dominic

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