The Road to Pregnancy….

I suppose this is where the story begins… but does it though? Does it go back to the first few conversations Billy & I had where I painfully disclosed what I thought may be my infertility issues. Does it layer back into the struggles of my 20’s with my ex-husband where my pain of failing at the most important thing to him, was a constant divide in our relationship.

Maybe those are layers I will dive into, at some point, but I suppose I’ll start with a more traditional route to the beginning of a story. . . Billy and I’s story… We met and knew almost instantly we wanted a marriage and a family with each other… This was in spite of my very recent IUD insertion that had come with a “never having kids and surely NEVER getting married again” confidence, that can only accompany an incorrect statement. And as surely as the universe laughed, we moved in together after only a few days in person and a month of talking via distance. I went to the hospital with IUD issues probably less than a month after we met, to find out it was incorrectly placed, was referred to a lovely gynecologist, who promptly removed it and we began to “try but not like seriously try”.

I wonder sometimes the free spirited “if it happens it happens” attitude towards pregnancy, is indeed a thinly veiled coverup of insecurities…. “What if it doesn’t happen? ” “What if it can’t happen?” “What if something is wrong with me?”

For me the “trying but not seriously trying period of the latter end of 2019 was simply that location of insecurity. I wanted so badly to be able to have a child, with Billy. But the idea of years of infertility struggles, and the pains associated with them wasn’t any burden I wanted to bring to this relationship. But despite my doubts and fears and occasional sensitivity to the discussion of it all we decided, like so many did that 2020 would be our year. The irony that could be unpacked from that optimism is surely an entire blog post in itself, maybe for a later day.

I decided based on an article I read with a study done more recently, that I would back off exercising significantly. I followed MAF heart rate zones more religiously in my running than ever before, and I bit the bullet and gained weight. Normally, I like to be about 125 – 128 lbs on my 5’6 fairly muscular frame, that lends me occasional morning abs, at about 16 – 18% body fat, a consistent menstrual cycle, and good energy for ultra running. I decided based on the YEARS of struggles I had had with infertility, that despite EVERY SINGLE OBGYN & FERTILITY SPECIALIST I had seen telling me exercise was amazing… Maybe it wasn’t on the level I was doing as my normal. So I backed off, not to nothing but lower ( all of my workouts are here ) I stopped having any goals about fitness, morning abs, races, and just did what felt healthy and easy, and to be honest just enough to always feel a little lazy.

Based off of my history my gynecologist was willing to allow me to start Clomid or Femara immediately despite “not seriously trying” for over a year… The normal wait time for someone to be considered for any fertility drugs. I had take both prior, and knew that Clomid made me uncomfortable for a variety of reasons tied to long term female health and breast cancer. Of the two, the off label use of Femara seemed to be a safer option so that was the prescription I requested and tried.

I don’t know if my near decade of pressure on the topic was too much, I delayed started the prescriptions for nearly two months, took them for two months, and even with a six month supply purchased ( not cheap) …. Billy and I decided taking the summer off would be good for my mental health. Ever single menstrual cycle felt like a massive failure, and while I consider myself a fairly non emotional, sometimes borderline cold individual living with what I felt was a resounding failure of my body and a complete betrayal of my hopes every 24 – 26 days was a lot to cope with… The Covid era of 2020 was just kicking off, my business took a massive self chosen financial hit refunding people who had made commitments they couldn’t keep. . . And Billy and I just wanted to do a summer trip, free of me vomiting from hormones, delaying all long runs or workouts in the “2 week wait” just in case, and free of the stresses of the “baby making process”.

As there is no science out whether consecutive months on Femara or staggered has a higher success rate, Billy and I took off for a summer of travel, camping, biking, and trail running across America prescription drug and stress free. I ran more, albeit at lower intensity, and biked more than I had allowed myself to do in 6 months. We drank good beers almost daily, enjoyed edible marijuana in the legal states, and had a great stress free time. I promised myself in August we would, “start the process again”, and I would go back to lower miles, prescription drugs not recreational, and be a better future mother.

Except, we got home and Sunday July 19th I went to have an evening beer of one of the favorites I had left in the fridge for a returning welcome, and it was appallingly gross. No worries, I passed it off to Billy concern free, and had a hard seltzer instead. Don’t judge me, I was waiting until August to act like a proper adult! Thinking it was odd of me to deny an IPA, I decided to take pregnancy test Monday morning July 20th even though it was too early to get a positive…..

But it wasn’t….

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