Kristin’s Story

AT LAST…
As I handed my first husband the divorce papers, he said to me, “The one thing I feel kind of bad about, leaving you, is that I know you wanted to have kids, and you’re already… 33.”

I know I know I know, I was thinking in my head as I calmly said, “I’ll be fine.”  Despite my bravado, that comment set off a mini panic inside.  Tick… tick… tick…  As Marisa Tomei famously said in My  Cousin Vinnie: “My clock!  It’s ticking – it’s ticking –  it’s ticking!”

I met the man who would become my second husband later that summer, and married him two years later.  Swept away by romance and love, I silenced the clock and focused on our marriage for the first two years.   My husband started commuting to Texas for three weeks a month, and we knew we couldn’t start a family with that kind of schedule, so we made plans to move to Austin.   In November of 2008, we left behind my house and my life of ten years in Atlanta to drive halfway across the country to our new home.

A month later, we were pregnant.  When I tell the story, I like to say that all it took was for us to be in the same city at the same time.

It was New Year’s Eve on the day we found out we were expecting, two weeks after my 38th birthday.  I had purchased a pregnancy test the day before, and for some reason was holding onto it.  I decided to go ahead and give it a whirl that morning, and as I sat and waited for the verdict, the little “plus” sign appeared in the tiny window.  I goggled at it for a few seconds, and then a smile split my face and I tried to conceal it as I walked toward my husband in our new one-bedroom apartment.    I handed him the stick.

Hey, we’re having a baby!” he said, and hugged me.   And then, “Why am I holding a pee stick?”

The months went by, and when our son was born in September of 2009, I was nearly 39.   After months of gestational diabetes, my doctor sent me to a specialist for regular ultrasounds to monitor the baby’s size and health, considering my “advanced maternal age”.   I eschewed coffee.  I watched my carbs like a fanatic.  I exercised twice a day – gently, of course.  I took my folic acid and slept on my left side.  I dutifully read every baby book in sight and succeeded in driving myself crazy.

One week before my due date, I was feeling extremely anxious about my baby, wiggling and moving around every time I didn’t think he was kicking and moving enough.  My eyes begged my OB to tell me that we were ready to go.  She said, “Look, I think it’s time.  We can either induce you and you’re likely to be in labor all day and have a c-section anyway because he’s going to be a big baby… or we can go ahead and schedule the c-section now.”

I said, “Sign me up.  Whatever is best for the baby is fine for me.”

I was incredibly relieved to get to the hospital the next morning, and ignored the kvetching from my husband about the early hour.  Just wait, buster.  This is cake, I thought.

As soon as our son was born, I sang a lullaby to him and he stopped crying.  At that moment, I didn’t notice my age.  I didn’t notice anything but the fact that I had a sweet baby in my arms, just like any new mother.

It was the most beautiful day of my life.  For an old woman.

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Kristin is a mother of a sweet 2-year-old boy and wife to a fantastic 6th-generation Texan, living in Austin, Texas.  Loves: her baby boy, airplanes, airports, classic cars, sports, Italy, and dessert; not necessarily in that order. You can reach her via Twitter @AustinKVS or via her blog http://www.twocannoli.com

Kim’s Story

Like most girls, I wanted to have children.  In my twenties, I thought that someday I would have four.   Something got in the way-no husband.  I knew that I didn’t want to parent alone, so I held out for Mr. Right.  Well, it took me a while to find him.  At one point in my early 30’s, my mother had actually mentioned that I just go get pregnant (MOM!!!) without getting married because I was getting up there in age. I started dating my husband (Jason) when I was 34 and we married when I was 36.  Because of “my age” we started officially trying soon after we returned from our honeymoon.  I’m pretty sure my mother expected me to come home from our honeymoon pregnant.  She had actually expressed this thought out loud to some of my co-workers shortly after the wedding!

And so it began. In Novemeber 2006 I went off the pill, saw my OB/GYN for a checkup, and started on prenatal vitamins.  I really didn’t expect to have any problems conceiving.  In fact, a few friends had told me that they had conceived within months of going off the pill.  Needless to say, I was disappointed when this didn’t happen to me.  After six months of trying, I went back to my doctor.  She suggested we do some tests because of my age.  My age? I thought I was young! I felt young, I was healthy, no major health issues.

So the tests began.  Not just for me but for Jason, too.  Lucky for me he didn’t object to it and he was supportive of all I would need to go through.  His sperm counts were “perfect”………..whew!  Then I went into surgery for a D&C just to check things out. All good there, too!  My doctor thought for sure I’d get pregnant, but I didn’t.  Next, I had a Fallopian tube study– again all good.

We were now almost to September 2007. Why wasn’t I pregnant??? We had been trying for almost a year.

Did I mention that during this time period we had sold a house, built and moved into a new one, and I had lost my mother to cancer?  Stressed? YES! YES! YES!

In early October, I found out I was pregnant!!!  We were beyond ecstatic.  But it was early, and my levels were not very high.  Back to the doctor for more lab work the following week. My levels still low, but they put me on progesterone.  Another recheck in a few days.  By then I had started to bleed a little.  I miscarried.  I was upset of course, but it was early, and we hadn’t told anyone-so luckily I didn’t have to do go back and tell everyone that I wasn’t pregnant anymore.  We decided that in a couple of weeks we would take a little weekend trip to celebrate our first anniversary and get our minds off of it.  The next  month I went on Clomid to stimulate my ovaries.  It worked!!!  I became pregnant after one month!   But again the disappointment.  I miscarried at about six weeks.

So now I was worried.  The self doubt really came out.  It was all my fault, something was wrong with me.  Maybe God didn’t think I’d be a good mother.  I missed my mother.  Next, it was suggested that I see a fertility specialist.  It had been over a year of trying.

So I made an appointment.  I tried to relax but it was really consuming me.  Lucky for me I have a husband that was very supportive of me during all of this (and some really good girlfriends too!).  We went to our first appointment with a new Dr. in January 2008.  It was very overwhelming to say the least, even for people in the medical profession (my husband and I are both registered nurses).  We met with a nurse, nurse practitioner, someone from billing, and finally the doctor.  After talking with the billing/insurance lady we realized how money driven this practice was.  She suggested that we change our insurance because our current would cover IUI,  but if we needed IVF-the other insurance we could get through our employer would cover it.  We went through our health and pregnancy histories and treatment options were given to us.  More blood work for me to start off with.  They started off talking about ovulation stimulating drugs and quickly moved on to intrauterine insemination.  Within a few minutes they were talking about invitro and egg donors!  After all, are you ready for this ?……… I was over 35!  WAIT A MINUTE……..this was too fast for us.  We had been able to conceive, didn’t want someone else’s egg  (at least not yet) and we were nervous about the possibility of multiples.  Yes, I had wanted four children, but not at once–and that was years ago.  I had smartened up.

It was decided at that appointment that we would start off by trying some stimulating drugs.  Honestly, now it all seems like a blur.  We spent the next few months back and forth to the dr’s, giving me injections and having sex.  UGGHHH………it all became so tedious.  My husband and I had always had a great sex life, but now we were being told WHEN to have it.  Definitely a downer.  We would do a series of injections to stimulate my ovaries, have ultrasounds to confirm that an egg was there, then have sex on such and such a day–whether or not either of us were in the “mood”.  I’m pretty sure that there were a few times in that period when sex was the furthest thing from our minds.  I guess this went on for 3-4 months–nothing.  The next step was IUI.  But there was a chance of multiples with IUI, probably JUST twins though.  JUST TWINS!!!  I think Jason fell off his chair.   It was one thing to have twins naturally but …..
I have a few friends with twins, some via IUI or IVF and a couple naturally.  It’s hard.  I wasn’t so sure I could handle it.

It was now that we decided to take a break.  Not a break from our marriage but a break from all this craziness.  We felt like we weren’t us anymore.  My 38th birthday was coming up, and I just wanted to relax and celebrate it with Jason and a few friends.  There was an annual festival in our city that we always went to. Not that I consider myself a big drinker, but I did like to have a glass or two with dinner or on a night out.  I rarely drank during my treatments because I didn’t want to mess anything up.  So we celebrated with a few, three or four wine slushies.  I was feeling pretty good.

A few weeks later I was due for my period.  We had some decisions to make.  Would we continue our break?  Was it time to try IUI?  I was late but just a couple days.  But I was always on time, like clockwork.  The morning of day five or six, I decided to take a pregnancy test.  I’m not even sure I told Jason that I was going to.  It was a Thursday morning, June 26th to be exact.  I peed on the stick, got into the shower, and forgot about it.  As I was drying off, I glanced over at the stick.  THE LINE WAS REALLY BLUE!!!!!!!!!  I’m pretty sure I was jumping up and down at this point.  I wanted to scream out to Jason, but he had gotten up early that day to go to the gym before work.  The excitement was overwhelming.  Pretty soon I heard the garage door open.  The minute he saw me, he knew.  I was pregnant!

Later that day I went to the dr’s for an “official” test.  I was indeed pregnant.  At this point they scheduled me to come back in on Monday for repeat blood work. Yup, still pregnant.  Now for weekly blood work and ultrasounds.  I won’t say it was smooth sailing from then on.  I was leery.  I had miscarried twice before and knew it could happen again.  I had tested positive for an anti-platelet antibody, so they put me on Lovenox, a blood thinner.  That meant daily injections.  By week nine (I think) we saw the baby’s heart moving on the ultrasound.  I think it was then that I really started to believe it.

For the most part, I had a pretty routine pregnancy.  I did end up delivering via C-section, something I had really wanted to avoid. But I had a beautiful baby girl at 11:41 pm 2/24/2009, with my husband right there by my side. She amazes me everyday, and I feel so blessed to have her.

If there is one thing I can say it is to just try to relax.  Obviously physical reasons for infertility do need to be ruled out, but being yourself and enjoying your partner goes a long way too.  (and I’m pretty sure those wine slushies helped a little to relax me that night. I’m not exactly sure that’s the night we conceived but it’s pretty close.

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