I’ve been relatively mum about this topic though I’ve been eager to share our story because it’s unique and weird; the kind of story you always hear happens to people just like you but somewhere along the way you scratch it off the realm of possibility because it could never be that simple, right?
Let me go back (way back) to the beginning. Bryan and I met in October 2011 in a steakhouse in Hoboken. We dated casually for a few years before moving in together (first Hoboken, then to the ‘burbs of Montclair, and last year we purchased our home in Rockaway). Maybe that’s too much of an overview but some things might help with the chronology of events. Anyway, about five (maybe even six!?) years ago, we started to discuss having a baby. We were at that age where all of our friends were getting married, and even though I think we’re STILL babies, the fact remained that we weren’t getting any younger. In my heart I knew that if Bryan said he didn’t want to be a father, I would have had to make like a tree and leaf.
But thankfully, he was fully onboard and so we started to try. We putzed around for the next few years with over-the-counter drugstore solutions, lifestyle changes, and everything you could think of. We even tried energy healing once, because I was certain one of us had a blocked chakra. Bryan considered this to be a huge waste of money after a session where a woman waved incense and crystals above our heads and I coughed for 20 minutes straight.
I started seeing a fertility specialist in 2017, after we had turned down every holistic avenue. That winter, I had two rounds of IUI, or Intrauterine Insemination which (in case you aren’t aware) is also unofficially known on the streets as the turkey baster method. Behind the scenes, this consisted of very early ultrasound appointments and bloodwork as well as nightly shots in the abdomen and a trigger shot just before ovulation (which hilariously took place once in the bathroom of the Beacon Theater at a Tori Amos concert). On the day of both of these procedures, Bryan would go in early morning so the clinic could collect his sample and I would show up an hour later (after it had been treated). We’d high five each other in the hallway, and specialists would shoot it up my hoo-ha.
I hope you aren’t here for a scientific retelling because if you are, wow. You have totally taken a wrong turn ?
Anyway, the two rounds we did were unsuccessful (with only an 11% success rate, the odds were not in our favor). A year later, July 2018, we purchased our home and I got pregnant within a month, no assistance necessary. Eight weeks into my pregnancy I miscarried and that October I had fibroid surgery to remove 9 fibroids (the biggest weighed a full pound). Did the fibroids appear as a result of the intense medications I had taken a year prior? I’ll never know, but I do know that one year I had zero fibroids and the next I was riddled with them (one even came out of my stomach like some kind of weird alien baby).
Recovery from surgery was a bitch. I was in a lot of pain but much worse than that—I felt completely broken. The highs of buying a house and getting pregnant were dashed by that miscarriage. I don’t like to talk about that time in my life, but I fell into a deep depression that I really struggled to climb out of. It also took me a really long time (and a lot of therapy) to feel human again.
Fast forward to the beginning of this summer. Bryan and I drove to Livingston, NJ, where we met with the wonderful staff at St. Barnabas to weigh our options and see just how much IVF would set us back. The doctor we had been assigned repeatedly told me I was young and healthy, and listen lady, if you’re trying to get in my wallet, you are totally singing in my ear—I hadn’t felt that hopeful in ages and I felt really great about things changing for the better. Before we left, the financial adviser told us to get married stat—Bryan’s insurance covered 100%, including things like embryo storage and medications that other insurance companies didn’t.
And so, we did. Very unromantically and without ceremony. We had until September when the lab would be ready to take us in so I had time to stay away from Zika countries and make all of my doctor-ordered appointments. I was scheduling an appointment to get a mammogram when the woman asked me the date of my last period and I realized I was late. That night, I took a pregnancy test and (lo and behold) it came back positive. I thought Bryan was playing a joke on me when he read the results so I raced into the bathroom to see for myself.
I tell you this because all of those experiences shaped the young (yes, I said it!) woman I am. But they’ve also made me reluctant to say the words “I’m pregnant” out loud. I am still freaking out and I plan on writing a post about having anxiety while pregnant as well as some things that (truly) helped me get here but in the meantime I’d love to hear from you if any of this sounds familiar or you just want to know that things will turn around. Let’s be each other’s support system. You know I love your comments ❤️