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Karen's Story

Now, when I hold my daughter, I find it hard to believe how long I waited for this moment.

Five-and-a-half years ago, my husband & I got married. We didn't want children right away, since my husband was still in the army and we wanted to wait until we had enough money to start thinking about an apartment. In retrospect, I don't know what one has to do with the other, but back then we thought it was important.

Our parents (both sets!) started asking us, "so..." just about at our wedding (so as in "so when are you going to have a baby?") For some odd reason they expected me to come back from our honeymoon with me being four months pregnant -- even though we only spent a week there. My mother met us at the airport & was eyeing my stomach as if she expected to see something. We were married all of two weeks at the time...

Anyway, back to the story. I had always been somewhat overweight. I started high school weighing close to 160 and by the time I got married, my weight was nearing 190. My husband reminded me constantly that he loves me just the way I am & I didn't mind lying on the bed to try to slip on skin-tight jeans. True, I had always wanted to lose weight, but I guess I never had enough willpower.

After my husband got out of the army & found a job, we felt more financially secure. I went off the pill & we used condoms for another three months... or at least we decided to... after about twice we gave up & decided that we didn't really care what happened. My doctor said it wasn't important to take a break before getting pregnant anyway.

I wasn't thinking about it much and then I suddenly realized that I'd gone off the pill before Christmas & it was almost Valentine's day & I still hadn't gotten my period. I I realized I must be pregnant, so I got a home pregnancy test just to be sure. I waited a loooooooooooong minute & there was a line... one line... Huh? I wasn't pregnant? I waited another week and my period finally came. I figured my period must be irregular because I'd gone off the pill. The next cycle, I paid more attention & my period came after 62 days. How was I going to get pregnant like that?!? I made an appointment.

My doctor said we hadn't been trying for a whole year & that he couldn't help us. He didn't even send me for any tests.

So we waited a tear and nothing happened. I switched doctors and the doctor sent me for tests. It turned out that I had PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). My hormones were out-of-whack and that was what was causing my irregular periods. The doctor gave me a prescription for clomid and said that should help get my cycle on track. My period did come more regularly but I didn't get pregnant. After a few months, the doctor said we should try IUI (intra-uterine insemination).

When we went to do our first (and only) actual infertility treatment - IUI, we discovered that my husband's sperm count was low. I thought it strange that they hadn't done a sperm analysis earlier, but I guess they never considered we might both have fertility problems. They told us that it wasn't critical, but that with our combined problems we should realize that it was really unlikely that we'd get pregnant naturally. The IUI failed.

Surprisingly, what ended up helping us was something totally unexpected. I was really depressed because of the failed treatment. My best friend, Annie, took me out for a cup of coffee and somehow, really tactfully, told me that she thought that my being overweight could be affecting my fertility.

Coming from anyone else, I would have taken that really badly, but she's all heart and I knew she only wanted what was best for me. I started to read up on it & realized she could be right. I made an appointment with a dietician and I started to diet seriously for the first time in my life. I asked her how much weight I needed to lose & she said, "about 30 pounds, for a start". In the first month, I lost 4 pounds & realized it was going to take forever. I stopped hoping something would happen and put all my efforts into my diet. After 4 months I had lost 20 pounds and I noticed that even without medication my cycles were getting shorter - 35 days, 37 days... After 6 months, I had lost 26 pounds. I made an appointment & the doctor sent me for tests to see if there had been any change in my hormone balance.

Three days later I got a call from the doctor's office saying that I need to do one more test. I was scared something was really wrong, so I sent my husband to get the slip I needed for the lab. It said bHCG on it, which I immediately knew was a pregnancy test. Could my doctor think I was pregnant??? The following afternoon, I had my answer. I was pregnant. I didn't have any symptoms or anything. It was a complete surprise.

And now my little baby is here with me :-).



 

 


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