Baby Update–And a Little Backstory! Actually quite a backstory!

A long and wordy post from Kelli–

If you happened to miss it, I’m pregnant!!! Wahoo!!!

For a long time though, I didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to say those words.

I’ve always wanted to have kids and be a mom since I can even imagine, but unbeknownst to me I was not in the category that needed to be told how easy it was to get pregnant in high school.

For quite some time, I’ve thought maybe I had a disease called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).  Here’s some more info–https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/symptoms-causes/syc-20353439

When I first found out about what PCOS was, I just thought it was a fertility thing and didn’t really think much more of it because at the time I wasn’t wanting to be pregnant, so I just burried my head in the sand and carried on with life (Please note, that this is not a good way to deal with things!).

I’ve been on birth control for quite some time also, so I wasn’t really too worried when I didn’t get a period because it was a known side effect of the medication I was on.  For a while I was taking the pill and was always regular on that, so I really didn’t think too much of it.

Looking back, I’ve had lots of side effects and symptoms of the disease for quite some time though, but just explained everything away.  Carrying weight around your middle?  Runs in the family.  Sleep apnea?  Again, runs in the family.  Blood pressure and cholesterol problems, iffy blood sugars?  I’ve really hit the jackpot with my genes!  Anxiety and depression?  I thought everyone had that.

My biggest breaking point?  I had gone off the birth control pill that I was taking in May of 2015.  I was still in nursing school and super stressed with it on top of working every single day that I didn’t have class through the summer.  Some of my funding didn’t carry over during the summer and I didn’t want to take loans, so I managed to get through it, but barely.

That Fall, I started nursing school back up.  Unbeknownst to many people, I was an absolute wreck.  I had gotten to the point where I would get a test and if I didn’t absolutely know the answer to the questions on the first page, I would have myself convinced within the first 5 minutes of the test that I was going to fail the test, fail out of the program, and fail at life in general.  And the worst part was that there was not convincing myself otherwise–Because my mind always questioned me and asked “What if it is actually true?”  all while knowing that if that would happen I’d get my stuff figured out eventually, but I just couldn’t get past it.  And when I wasn’t in class or working, all I did was study and sleep….and study some more.  I had this completely irrational fear that if I didn’t study for just 30 more minutes or review something one more time, I would fail the nursing program.

For some reason, I ended up in the doctor’s office for some reason completely unrelated and ended up pretty much having a panic attack/breakdown.  Before that, I had always lied my way through every depression and anxiety screening test they had made me do becasue I was embarrased.  That day, I let it all out and I’m so glad that I did.

As it turns out, that was the first day that I realized that the way I had been feeling for a long time was not okay or normal….and finally faced up to the fact that it wasn’t just a one off day.  I ended up getting some medication to help me because at the time, I was at a crisis point.  And just like magic, I got a period about 2 days later.  I had stressed myself out so much that I wasn’t getting my period.  Or that’s what I thought.

After a recheck and adding another medication in, I ended up having to go back on birth control because the medication I needed wasn’t safe to be on when trying to get pregnant.  And looking back on it, I needed to get myself together before I worked on that part of things!

So I managed to get my act together, graduate, and got a full time job at our local hospital.  Once I was through with orientation, I made another appointment with my new provider to try and transition off of meds.  She was absolutely wonderful!  We made a plan to change some medications while switching off of others.  Once I was off of the medications that required birth control, I was able to work on the fun part of things.  We had made a plan that if I didn’t get a period, I would come back in 3 months and we would make a new plan and start talking about referrals to a gynecologist fro some more in depth testing.  Then I waited….and waited….And finally got a period!  I was psyched!  But for the next three months?  Nothing…except lots of tears.  And lots of hard talks….and lots of thinking about how hard I’d want to pursue things…and then lots more tears…

So my three months was up…and then some….and finally mom put her foot down and said that unless I made an appointment, I wasn’t allowed to wallow in my sadness and continue my perpetual pity party.  I know it’s a surprise, but she happens to know that I excel at dragging my feel and always has a way of kicking my butt into gear.

So I made my appointment with my amazing nurse practitioner.  I shed a few tears…actually quite a few.  I told her I was pretty sure that this was going to be hard on me and that with my history, I thought that an anti-depressant might be helpful.  She sent me on my way with a prescription and a referral to our local gynecologist.

I was kind of bummed that it took a while to get an appointment that worked with my work schedule, but in the mean time, I was able to connect with a few girls at work and got a bit more comfortable telling my story, so by the time that I had my appointment, I would tell it without becoming a blubbering mess.  This is the appointment where I realized that PCOS was about more than infertility and awkward facial hair.  You end up with a higher risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes.  Sleep apnea, anxiety, and depression also happen to occur at a higher rate with PCOS.  In that appointment, lots of things fell into place and I realized that a lot of the things that I had been worrying about and fretting over really weren’t my fault as I thought they had been.  I ended up leaving with a prescription for fertility meds, lots of information, and hope.  Lots of hope!  That was one of the first times that the tears I was shedding were good and happy tears.

I took my meds as I was supposed to, religiously took my basal body temp every morning, did lots of blood work, and some more akward testing to make sure everything was as is should be anatomically.  Google hysterosalpingogram if you want more details!

I had a follow up appointment and was bummed to find out that my fertility meds hadn’t resulted in ovulation.  When I had the appointment, we also discussed my blood pressure that had been borderline high, but I had been watching with my nurse practitioner.  My gynecologist wanted it better controlled, so I ended up starting meds.  He told me that he’d like me to work on healthier eating, exercising and getting my blood pressure under control for a few months and see him again in July.  Tears flowed after that appointment…and they weren’t of the happy kind….

I happened to have a foot appointment after that and they recommended surgery–So I figured that’d fit in just fine since I wasn’t going to have to worry about getting pregnant….

And then guess what!?  It happened.  No meds, no planning, nothing!  My body did it!  I was so proud of something that I don’t really have any control over, as silly as it sounds.  I had decided that even if it didn’t end as I had so hoped that it would, I accomplished more and was farther than I was before…and I was gonna celebrate that!

You can imagine how excited I was when I took a test!  I seriously wasn’t able to hold in my excitement.  There are good things about knowing you are pregnant pretty much immediately after and things that make it hard….Because I knew….but again with PCOS, I am at an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, pregnancy complications….So if you know me at all, you know that I can’t keep my mouth shut for anything…so this was hard!!!

I called my gynecologist right away as I knew that I needed to have an HCG test done.  It was low, but I knew that as long as it doubled within the next two days, it would be a good sign.  So I had my second draw done….and it definitely didn’t double.  I called back to discuss the results and he recommended that I have another double draw done.  So I went back in…and you guessed it–No doubling.  I cried and cried….it was a sign that I’d likely miscarry.

I finally went in to get the last draw done.  I had it done and decided to kill some time at the thrift store.  I had seen these velcro hair rollers that mom’s childcare kids like to build with and was going to get them, but then decided not to….and then went back to get them.  I turned around and there was a statue of a pregnant lady…And at that point I knew it was going to be fine.  It was just an odd peace, but I knew things would be fine.  I went back to get my results and guess what?!?!  IT DOUBLED!!!

From then on out, it’s been a whirlwind of lots of appointments, an ultrasound, lots of extra blood work (PCOS has an increase risk of lots of things…pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure, etc.).  So far, things are going well though.  I’ve been sick from exactly 6 weeks….but I’m getting good at telling when I’m going to puke, snuggling Puppycat and getting rested up for the days of no sleep.  The constant headaches and tiredness is getting normal.  And for the first time in my life, I haven’t had an appetite (I’ve actually lost 15 pounds, which is less than ideal) and have to force myself to eat, but I’m finding out what works better and what to avoid.  And I never thought I’d say it, but I’ve never been so happy to puke in my life!  It was always my nemesis before, but I guess with motherhood, I better get used to it!

So this is my advice to everyone–Watch what you say to people you know might be trying to start a family.  I’ve told some people parts of my story, but I’ve really never told many people all of it.  There’s lots of it that’s embarrassing and awkward, but the thing is that none of it is my fault and once I’ve been able to realize and accept that, I’ve been able to move on.  And it’s not something that I generally want to just talk about and discuss.  Lots of days, I would prefer to talk about anything but that!

Here are some of the comments I’ve heard while trying to get pregnant–“Oh so and so had that and you know they never were able to have kids.”  “My daughter in law has that.  What are the chances that I’ll actually get grandchildren out of her?”  “What are you waiting for?” “Isn’t that the point of getting married?” “Do things just not work for you or what?”  “Why would you want to go broke just to have a kid that’s gonna make you end up even more broke?”  “I’m sure that things will work out eventually.”  “Maybe you aren’t trying hard enough.” “Oh they never did have kids.  Wouldn’t that just be horrible to never have kids?”

Some of those probably have you shaking your head.  But I’ve heard each and every one of them and I can tell you exactly where I was and who said each of them.  And some of them knew we were trying and were having trouble and many of them were from people that I know and see most days.  I’m not angry and I know that they didn’t mean things to hurt, but the sting was still there.

So here’s a takeaway–Just be careful of what you say.  If someone wants to talk, listen.  Blanket statements like “I’m sorry you are going through that.”  “If you need to talk, let me know, I’m here to listen.”  “I’m here if you want to talk or just need to have a good cry.” Those are good, but please, please, never squash hope!  Because between many prayers and lots of hope, my story can keep on going!

30 thoughts on “Baby Update–And a Little Backstory! Actually quite a backstory!

  1. Janet B

    Great information, Kelli. I had no idea PCOS had so many side effects. Best wishes and many prayers for a successful pregnancy.

  2. Bobi

    Congrats to you and your hubby! I’m childless by choice and I’ve heard every nasty comment and put down in the book. You’re right that people should watch what they say. Hurtful words can never be unsaid.

  3. Joy

    So happy for you! I was told in my early 20s that I’d never have children and am far too familiar with the sting of well intentioned statements. Fast forward several years and much to my surprise (and my husband’s) I discovered I was pregnant!

  4. Joy

    Congratulations! So happy for you! My daughter had trouble with preeclampsia with her first and her last. I worried a lot!! Finally figured out after years that she has hashimoto and after testing so do I and her daughter (my granddaughter). Which I Am pretty sure my mother had also. So, you never know what’s in that gene mix we have. Wish you the best during your pregnancy and hope all goes well!

  5. Linda in NE

    My son & daughter-in-law had a hard time starting a family too. Her problem was endometriosis. Birth control pills kept it under control, but that was no help for getting a baby. So she went off them (more than once) took fertility meds, had surgery. Meanwhile her parents kept after them about wanting grandchildren. ( I know!!!) I did my best to just keep my mouth shut. In the end they opted for in vitro & had twins. Being a nurse you know what all that involves and how expensive it is, but they have two beautiful kids now. We just celebrated their 5th birthdays last week. Praying for a beautiful, healthy baby for you and Jason too.

  6. Jill Klop

    This was such a great post to share. I had PCOS. I’ve had 3 pregnancies with one birth. I also had preeclampsia resulting in delivery at 36 weeks. I felt so blessed to have that baby. He’s now serving in the Navy. I will keep you guys in my prayers. Thanks for sharing your story!

  7. Robin

    CONGRATULATIONS and thank you for sharing your story. There are many grannies here in blog land that are over the moon excited for you.

  8. Carolyn

    Thank you for your honesty about all that you have been through. I’m so sorry about all the hurtful comments you have had to hear. I think sometimes people don’t know what to say and end up saying the most awkward things. Congratulations to you and your hubby on your pregnancy!

  9. JoAnna

    Congratulations! I wish you well! My daughter has PCOS so I know how hard it can be. Take care of yourself.

  10. Ellie

    Congratulations to you and Jason! Thank you for writing that informative post. I know it must have been difficult to share such intimate details but it is very helpful to those of us who don’t have experience with this problem. We’re all praying for an uneventful pregnancy from now on and a happy healthy baby to make three of you!

  11. Pat

    I am so happy for you and your husband! I believe that every baby is a miracle and, after all you’ve gone through, yours will be a special miracle indeed!

  12. Sandra Davidson

    Dear Kelli, I don’t often comment but I have been following you,your mom and family. I am a quilter but because I have Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue I don’t do as much but I just love your Mom and her blog and all she does for everyone. I am very thrilled for you and hubby and I know your Mom must be ecstatic we love our grand babies. I will pray that all goes well in your pregnancy and you will have a healthy baby. Hugs from Canada and another R.N.

  13. Elle

    VERY gracious of you to share your story to educate people.

    We’re childless by choice. “Then why did you get married?” Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that. Like the commitment of 2 people is meaningless without children. We were married 28y the last time I was asked when we’re going to have children. We’re 38 years now.

    People’s comments come from their own values and beliefs without respect for what you/me may be going through or have decided.

    You are very gracious in accepting the comments the hurt.

    I wish you a healthy child and a wonderful life of motherhood Kelli. :-)

  14. Jody

    Oh Kelli…with the exception of the diagnosis of PCOS there are SO many similarities, right down to the awful things people say without thinking. I am so happy for you guys!

  15. Jeri

    I’m a Gammy myself so I know how excited your Mom is and I’m a Mom (of course lol) so I know how very excited you are! I just want to add Thank You for talking about and explaining PCOS, I’m a little worried about my youngest daughter in law, and your words ring true for a few things that sorry me. I think I’ll have a chat with her Mom about this to see what she thinks about talking with my daughter in law. Again Congratulations to you both!
    Jeri a once removed Iowanian

  16. Lisa

    Wow, what an education for something I’ve never heard of before. Thank you for bearing your soul in this blog. By the time you said you fell apart in the doctor’s office I was crying. I’m adding you to my prayer list, to stay healthy yourself and deliver a healthy baby. Once again, thank you so much for sharing this.

  17. Colleen

    So happy for you and your husband

    Thank you for telling your story you did a great job without getting into the yucky so to speak

    I am old and I did have one child in 1974 I realize now that I did have PCOS
    I have never been officially diagnosed

    I finally had had enough of pain and difficult ill-regular heavy periods at forty something and had all my female bits removed

    I am so glad I was able to have my son and I do wish I could have had more children.
    I am also glad I had the surgery and if I had known how much better I felt after surgery I would have had it sooner

    It is so enlightening to hear you say what was happening to you I had all the same plus period issues

    I

  18. Nell

    Oh you dear, dear girl! I am hoping and praying for you (and have been for awhile!) And Jason. I know the pain of miscarriage and the thoughtless things that people say. However, I know that I put my foot in my mouth without intending to hurt other people’s feelings. Thank you for sharing your story. Hugs from Nebraska!

  19. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Isn’t a hysterosalpingogram so much fun??! Been there, done that when trying to get pregnant with my 2nd daughter. So many things affect our fertility that weren’t even on the radar when my mom was trying to have kids…my parents were just told that it wasn’t going to happen, so they adopted me! The number of couples affected by infertility is way more than I was ever aware of. I am so thrilled to hear you are pregnant and will keep you in my prayers for an uneventful pregnancy and delivery. What a great blessing!!

  20. Kim LeMere

    Congrtulations to you both and I hope the pregnancy gets easier for you. I appreciate you sharing your personnel health issues and educate us all. I know that some things that I have said were unkind and now I will try and be more careful how I respond to those who struggle with such personal issue. Wishing you all the best, enjoy each day of being pregnant.

  21. Kathryn

    I’m so excited for you and your husband. My daughter also has PCOS and her daughter was born just over a year ago. #2 is due in March. PCOS is very complicated with many things to deal with. Take care of you during this time. So happy that God has blessed you!!

  22. Janine Baker

    Thanks for all the info, you are a very brave girl. I will add you to my prayer list. I feel as if I know your Mom because of this blog and the things we have in common, so it’s as if you are my friend’s daughter. I am sure I have said things to others that were hurtful, but not intended that way, just trying to express something so they would know we care. Congratulations to you, your husband and the rest of your wonderful family!

  23. Conny Brusselers

    I also have PCOS. I have a lovely daughter who is now 31. There is also a correlation between gluten and infertility. Several years ago I had laser treatment for my facial hair. I wish I had done it decades ago. Don’t wait to do it. I think it worked out to about $400 over six months. Best $400 I ever spent. Congratulations. ❤️

  24. SusanfromKentucky

    I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this, but happy it’s having a happy ending. i can’t believe people say hurtful things like that. I didn’t go through tests or anything, but we were married almost 8 years before we had our son. People would make remarks to me, too, but I just considered it none of their business.
    Hoping all goes well for you during this!

  25. Jen

    Biggest congratulations Kelli, I’m happy for you guys. It’s about the same with deaths though, people can say the stupidest things not realizing how hurtful their words are. My youngest daughter, the one that really wanted a big family, had the same problems + bigger ones with genetic heart problems. We didn’t find out the why of the heart problems of her dad dying at 36 & brother at 24 until in between her two pregnancies. She now has an internal ICD/pacemaker in her chest & will probably need a new heart eventually, but she’s doing pretty good for right now. That’s right, she was only pregnant twice, once with twins and the other with triplets 2 yrs apart, she paid a high price to have them with her own health, but it was what she chose. She went into heart failure, the ICD went off a couple of yrs later, etc.They were all born very healthy, TG. Now they are ages 12tw & 10trips. I hope your pregnancy goes very well the rest of the way & you deliver a very healthy mini.

  26. Lace Faerie

    Congratulations! Wishing you and your husband all the best!

    Sharing your story is a brave and wonderful thing to do! Talking about your own experiences helps educate people and lessen the stigma or perceived stigma (it’s my fault, it’s my failure, etc)
    Both with infertility and depression.

    Our eldest daughter had fertility problems and heard all the same remarks and invasive questions. Blessing of blessings, she delivered a healthy baby girl in September.

    Your will be in my prayers!

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