I suppose, that's kind of an understatement.
If you know me or my husband through Facebook, then you already know the biggest part of the story.
We're pregnant. I'm pregnant. We're having a baby. Baby Hall, hence forth to be known as "The Doodle". And we just announced it to the world. You'll pardon me if this is the only way I can sum up this moment, but....Holy Shit.
So now you all know. It's been a secret, from everyone but our doctors, for quite some time. Specifically, the day I took that pregnancy test was December 17th. As of this moment, I am 12 weeks and four days pregnant. But we've been keeping this secret for a lot longer than a few months. More like two years...
Back a jillion years ago (or, well, 2008) after a blissful first year of marriage, Matt and I began discussing having a family. At my annual visit, my OBGYN and I discussed it, and she offered to run some basic bloodwork for me, so we could assess where we were starting from. Unfortunately, what we found was high blood sugar. You all remember that. And when I started seeing an endocrinologist, I mentioned testing for several diseases. I mentioned the ones that came back negative. What I did not mention was the one that came back positive. My OBGYN and my endocrinologist jointly diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). The insulin resistance is merely a side effect of this larger disease. 10% of ALL women suffer from PCOS, and it is the number one cause of infertility among women. And, quite frankly, it's a bitch. Anyway, what I've been conveniently not mentioning since fall of 2008 is that every doctor visit, every outrageous prescription, and every exasperating lifestyle change I've implemented has been in treatment of PCOS, and been in the pursuit of getting pregnant. We didn't tell, not because we were ashamed in any way, if anything it has been frustrating for me not to be able to speak out about PCOS and be an advocate for those suffering from infertility. We didn't tell, frankly, because we're private. We didn't tell, because fighting what felt like such a futile battle was pressure enough, without having to involve everyone else. We didn't tell, because it was the right thing for us. But, oh, you guys, you have no idea the feeling of relief I get from finally being able to talk about it. This is that journey, in a nutshell....
In 2009, I was cleared by my endocrinologist to begin trying to conceive. I started with a fabulous new OB, who put me on the mildest fertility drug at our disposal, starting at the lowest dose. As winter turned into spring and spring into summer, we upped the dosage each month, and each time, were disappointed to find my ovaries hadn't responded at all. My OB referred me to an Reproductive Endocrinologist, who ran tests on both Matt and I, and began treating me with drugs again, this time a much stronger drug at a much higher dosage. For several more months, that failed as well. Finally, in December, we decided upon surgery on my ovaries as the next step, and January 5, 2010, I had laproscopic ovarian diathermy (a fancy term for what basically amounts to cauterizing spots on my ovaries). Later that month, I began ovulating on my own. We began timing the cycles with an hCG injection to pinpoint ovulation, and finally, in May, we thought we'd finally hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, we lost the pregnancy in it's earliest stages. After a short break, we began again, this time with another drug added to boost ovulation. Eventually, we added intrauterine insemination (IUI) to the mix (basically a "turkey baster" procedure). We did an IUI cycle in November, and again in December. December 3rd, 2010, I laid in an exam room, Matt holding my hand, wearing my lucky Santa Lobster socks, and the elf hat I was wearing the night Matt proposed to me. That was the day my husband, a nurse, an RE, and a PA got me pregnant. Granted, it doesn't sound romantic. But, after two years of being poked, prodded, and drugged on a constant two-week rotation, I became a fan of anything that works. This worked.
Two weeks later, at 14 Days Past Ovulation, I took a pregnancy test, and later that day had a beta at my RE's office. On January 3rd, at 6weeks2days, my RE confirmed the pregnancy was doing well via ultrasound, and we saw The Doodle's beating heart. The RE continued to monitor my progesterone levels weekly, and at 9 weeks I had my first visit back with my regular OB, whom I promptly fell in love with again. She described The Doodle with one word. "Perfect." Matt and I agreed that, now that we were sure the pregnancy was progressing exactly as it should, we would pick a date to "come out". This past Friday, my dad got a package from me, ostensibly for his birthday. It was a frame, a "baby" frame, and inside was a picture from our 9 week ultrasound. My mom cried. Then Matt and I drove to his parents' house, where we brought them Valentine's cookies, and a card. The card was addressed to Grandma and Grandpa, and it too contained the ultrasound picture. Matt's mom sent us home with two huge bags of Matt's old baby clothes. Both sets of Grandparents-to-be are thrilled. My relatives all received Valentine's Day cards from us, all with their own pictures of The Doodle. Later that night we told all our Facebook pals. And now, I've told you.
The Doodle is due August 27th. Saturday marks the start of my second trimester. Matt and I have been buying gender neutral baby clothes at Goodwill at an alarming rate. Currently, my unborn child has more clothes than I do. Which isn't hard to believe, since none of my clothes fit right anymore anyway. Other than being exhausted all the time, I feel great. No morning sickness, but I did go through a 3 week period of being grossed out by all food except fruit. That has passed, and now I will push you down in public for a hamburger and fries.