Tag Archives: PCOS

“Miracle of Miracles” – Fiddler on the Roof

1 Mar

I have decided to resume by blog and take a break from writing my book to share some extremely surprising news…

I’M PREGNANT!

This news came as a complete shock to me and my husband since I have been told by numerous doctors that it is medically impossible for me to get pregnant naturally without the use of heavy duty fertility drugs and treatments. I spent two years and thousands of dollars to get pregnant the first time with Ella & Ethan due to having PCOS and a defective pituitary gland. Because of my medical condition, I don’t get my period at all because it was determined that my pituitary gland does not produce the hormones necessary to ovulate. Regardless of these factors, by some miracle a single egg happened to make it’s way out and prove all of the doctors wrong.

What’s even crazier is the fact that I had no clue what was going on in my body until 13 weeks into the pregnancy and a psychic was the one to break the news! Let me take you back to the last Friday the 13th we had in December. I woke up that morning bright and early to take a home pregnancy test to prove a psychic wrong…HA! Two days earlier on the 11th, I went to my psychic reading which was an early birthday present from my husband. I had given Brett the same birthday present a couple of months earlier and she seemed legit so I wanted to go for myself to hopefully speak to my deceased parents. I sit down at the reading and the first thing she asks me is “are you pregnant?” and I say no. She keeps pressing me and I finally give up the information of my medical condition and how me getting pregnant without a barrage of drugs would be impossible. She then switched gears and said that I must have a close friend or relative that was pregnant because this vibe was too strong to not be right. I said it could be possible that someone close to me was pregnant and I didn’t know it yet. The reading continued but throughout the time we spent together, she kept bringing up the fact that there was a pregnancy. I left the reading with what she said ringing in my ears. At first I was trying to figure out who could possibly be pregnant in my circle of friends and family and then I started to wonder if by some miracle, it was in fact me.

The home pregnancy test I took two days later comes out positive but I did not fully trust the results due to my prior fertility struggles. Could my hormonal imbalance from the PCOS be skewing the test? I went to see my fertility doctor later that morning to get an official blood test and she was very surprised to see me in her office for this reason after all of the history we have together. A few hours later I got the highly anticipated phone call from her that there is no doubt that I am pregnant and I that I need to come in for an ultrasound immediately. I am in complete shock as I jump into my car to go back to her office. While I was driving there I couldn’t stop thinking about the lack of pregnancy symptoms I had and thought that it must be really early on. No morning sickness at all…but then again, I luckily never had that symptom the first time around. The ultrasound starts and my doctor could not believe how far along I am. She took a bunch of measurements and estimated that I was 13 weeks pregnant! I completely went through the entire 1st trimester without even knowing it and feel like I can now be featured on the show “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.” I am in disbelief as I see this fully formed fetus on the screen with a strong heartbeat yelling “SURPRISE!” from my uterus. How did this happen? My stomach was completely flat, I had no symptoms at all, and now in 6 months I was going to become a mother of 3?!?!

The next plan of action was to call my miracle worker OBGYN, Dr. Tabsh who got me through my first pregnancy. Since I was already in my 2nd trimester, the worry started to set in about having to be on bed rest again and if my cervix would start to shorten prematurely. Of course, this was all happening when I was about to get on a plane to vacation in Hawaii with my family. Last time I planned a big trip during my pregnancy, I ended up getting admitted into the hospital for 4 months so my track record was not the best. I was able to get an appointment that night at 11pm so that he could check my cervix and hopefully give me some good news. He was very surprised to see me and husband back in his office after all we had gone through the first time. He did an extensive ultrasound and found everything to be perfectly normal! He even said “have fun on your trip” which was like music to my ears. Dr. Tabsh explained that I will be closely monitored but every pregnancy is different and maybe now that I am only carrying one baby, my cervix won’t be as temperamental as it was before. I never thought that my body would be able to have a normal pregnancy that didn’t involve bed rest. I am not getting my hopes up since anything could happen from now until June. Plus, once you go though a high risk pregnancy that leaves to hospitalized, you are bound to have some post traumatic stress which causes you to keep your expectations in check.

Regardless of what may happen with this pregnancy, this baby is another miracle that we were meant to have in our lives. Brett and I were not sure if we were going to have anymore kids because of the fertility and pregnancy issues I experienced the first time. Now that decision has been made by a higher power and we are slowly getting used to the fact that Ella and Ethan are going to be a big sister and big brother by June 2014. L’Chaim!

*The song “Miracle of Miracles” is from the 1964 Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof which ran on Broadway for almost 10 years. This joyous song comes at a part of the show where Motel has found out that he has Tevye’s blessing to marry Tzeitel. This is considered a miracle to Motel since Tzeitel would have otherwise had a traditional arranged marriage with a man she did not love. This new pregnancy is truly a miracle because I never in my wildest dreams thought that my body was able to have a baby naturally since my “tradition” has been the exact opposite. I felt like I got my fill of miracles the first time around when Ella and Ethan were born full term and healthy after the tremendous journey we were on. We are extremely grateful that we have been blessed with another angel in our lives and cannot wait to meet he or she very soon!

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Here we go again

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Had no clue this cute baby was living inside me!

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Finally starting to show

“I Dreamed a Dream” – Les Miserables

27 Dec

Let’s take a journey to the past for a moment. Before I ended up pregnant and on bed rest, I spent 2009-2011 being taught a huge lesson in patience. Having no knowledge that my body was flawed when it came to getting pregnant, I got off of birth control and the “trying” began. After nine months with no period and numerous negative pregnancy tests, I saw a fertility specialist and was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). Basically, it was discovered that I had numerous cysts inside of my ovaries that were not harmful but caused a hormonal imbalance making it very difficult to ovulate on my own. The treatment for this syndrome is actually birth control pills because they regulate your hormones and provide regular periods. I was on birth control for a while and never noticed before that I had irregularity or any issues so this diagnosis was a little shocking, especially since my mom and sister did not have any issues getting pregnant. The big problem for women with PCOS is when they want to get pregnant, the treatment of birth control pills is not an option obviously. I was quickly started on an oral medication called Clomid which helps trigger ovulation. After many months of trying this medication in different doses, it was realized that my body was not responding at all. The most that Clomid ever did for me was give me a bunch of hot flashes and a false sense of hope that was quickly killed once an ultrasound was performed that revealed no action inside of my hot little body. After more research, it was clear that I didn’t fit the PCOS mold and did not have a lot of the common side effects associated with the syndrome. I still had it, but a rare form which did not respond to the typical treatment. My pituitary gland was also showing signs of defects as well so my doctor had to start bringing out the big guns (aka big needles).

The first time I injected myself with fertility drugs into my stomach, I screamed so loud and could not believe that this was my new reality. If this treatment did not work, IVF was the next step which costs about $15K each try and it is not guaranteed. The injectable drugs alone were about $1K per try so this was going to be an expensive endeavor if miracles didn’t start happening. Can you believe that insurance refuses to pay for this?!?!? Apparently, getting pregnant is not considered a necessary act so any cost to try to make this happen is not recognized as a valid insurance claim. Yet when you get pregnant, everything is covered. Plus infertility continues to be such a taboo subject and many women with the issue keep it a secret because of the emotional feelings that they are a failure. How can numerous women get pregnant at the drop of hat on the first try and others have to empty their savings accounts and see a therapist for depression because they are the unlucky ones? To top it off, if you mention to people that you are having trouble getting pregnant, their initial reaction is “oh, you just have to relax and stop thinking about it” or ” the minute to stop trying, you will get pregnant.” Would you tell a cancer patient that their cancer would be cured if they just relaxed? Infertility is a medical issue…not a mental one and I wanted to punch people ‘s faces when they would tell me to get a little drunk and relax. So if I just relax, my defective pituitary gland will magically start working properly to create the hormones FSH and hCG and ovulation will occur? Oy Vey!!! The bottom line is that after a few tries and experiments with dosage levels, the injectable drugs ended up working for me. It wasn’t magic…it was hormone replacement therapy since my body did not naturally make the hormones necessary to get pregnant.

Finding out that all of our blood, sweat, and tears actually paid off was very exciting and I was grateful that we did not have to go to more extremes than what we had already done. I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for the women who are not as lucky and end up not getting pregnant at all. Now that I am not in the most ideal situation for pregnancy, being on bed rest and requiring surgery to fix yet another failing body part, I am still so blessed that I was able to get pregnant regardless of the complications I am now facing. Everyday I say a prayer to all of the women who are still on this journey and in a way I am glad that I travelled on that difficult road to gain such an important perspective. So please, if you meet someone who says they are in the trying phase of getting pregnant, never tell them to relax. Just simply say that you hope their dream comes true and you are sending positive thoughts their way.

* The song “I Dreamed a Dream” is from the 1987 Broadway musical Les Miserables and it is incredibly emotional. I think everyone has experienced the sad reality of a dream dying. The lyrics in this song talk about the moment when you realize that a dream has been killed and all hope is lost. Pretty depressing I know, but hey…this is coming from a show in which the title translates to ” the miserable ones.” This song was constantly playing in my head throughout the two years of infertility issues I dealt with. Luckily, this was not my fate and my dream did come true but I do have to acknowledge where I was beforehand in order to make sure this new challenge is appreciated and not looked at as a burden, but a tremendous blessing.

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The twins at 10 weeks