We’re adding s’more love to our family! Baby B is due May 2021 😍 The way God has woven our journey together is incredible and we are so thankful for this miracle!
My hormone journey starts 2 years before we started trying for a baby. I got off birth control to give my body time to adjust, but my hormones never normalized. I struggled with irregular periods and serve cystic acne. During this time I tried everything to help my acne. Special acne treatments, moisturizers, no dairy, no make up, etc.. in fact my acne just kept getting worse. It was extremely difficult.
I started seeing an endocrinologist after 10 months of no improvement in my cycle.
I had lots of blood tests and met with my doctor several times. I was diagnosed with PCOS in the spring of 2019. PCOS is a diagnosis by exclusion, meaning you need to rule out other causes first. I don’t have the classic type of PCOS, so even though we had an answer, there wasn’t much we could do.
We continued to monitor various blood levels and in November of 2019, we noticed that my prolactin jumped quite a bit. Elevated prolactin is a sign of PCOS, but significantly high prolactin can be caused by a tumor on your pituitary gland, so December 2019 I had an MRI of my brain and we discovered that I did have a small tumor on my pituitary gland, a condition called prolactinoma. If you have elevated prolactin, your body thinks it’s pregnant so you won’t be able to get pregnant. My doctor seemed confident that treating my prolactinoma with medicine would normalize my levels and we would be able to get pregnant. The medicine helped normalize my cycles and my acne improved, but still no positive pregnancy test.
6 months went by and we had a meeting with my OB to discuss our next steps. We were presented with a lot of options. Semen analysis for Ryan, check blood levels to see if I am ovulating, then either an HSG or ovulation medication for me. My blood tests came back indicating that I was ovulating on my own and Ryan’s test came back okay, but they felt confident that we would be able to get pregnant with Ryan’s semen. So our next step was to have an HSG to see if I had any obstructions in my fallopian tubes.
I had the HSG August 2020. I was nervous for the test but also curious to see what it said and I honestly felt like it was just the next step in this long process, and I knew that I would have to have an HSG before we moved towards IUI or IVF anyway. It was painful at times, but overall it was quick. They didn’t see any blockages in my tubes! We had heard from my doctor that some women get pregnant after an HSG. They aren’t quite sure why this happens, but the dye can help to clear everything out and “prime” the uterine lining. I mentally put zero eggs in that basket because I didn’t want to get my hopes up of being one of those women who got pregnant and then it didn’t happen.
Since my periods started being regular with the help of the medication for my prolactinoma, it was pretty typical for me to have a lot of spotting before actually getting my period each cycle. I didn’t have any pre-period spotting during my cycle right after the HSG. But honestly I thought, maybe the HSG helped clear that up. 3-4 days before my missed period, Ryan and I decided that I would take a pregnancy test. Ryan thought that I might be pregnant because I wasn’t having that normal spotting and I was like “I’ll prove to you that I’m not pregnant”.
I actually took 2 tests at the same time, you know, for good measure. I set the timer for 5 minutes, and walked away. 5 minutes was up, I walked back into the bathroom, and I saw a very faint positive pregnancy line.
“RYAN, oh my gosh. I think there’s a faint line!!”
I was shocked. I didn’t believe it. It was pretty faint. But Ryan was like “you’re pregnant!”
We went on a walk that night, talking about our excitement and baby stuff. But we planned that I would take a “good” aka expensive pregnancy test in the morning. Sure enough, it showed 2 faint lines.
I was still shocked!
I think some women who experience infertility can feel more nervous right after they find out – will baby grow? Am I really pregnant? There’s so much unknown those first few weeks until your first appointment.
Our first appointment ended up getting pushed back because our doctor wasn’t going to be in the office, waiting until I was 10 weeks to be seen seemed like forever!
Week by Week
Week 4: I felt normal still, excited, nervous, in shock. I still tested recipes that week and did 2 photoshoots.
Week 5: The anxiety set in. I experience anxiety with big life changes and traveling, so I should have been prepared to feel anxiety, but it took me by surprise. This week was emotional, terrifying at times. I didn’t sleep great. I started having food aversions and worked on trying some anti-nausea options. We also told our families this week!
Week 6: The shock of being pregnant started to wear off and the excitement set in! I started bringing oatmeal to bed with me, so when I wake up in the middle of the night, I have something easy to eat.
Cravings: meat and potatoes, or any real food (no snack-y type things)
Week 7: Taking it pretty easy, my brain is distracted and it’s hard to get work done.
Cravings: tacos / nachos and spaghetti
Week 8: The couch became my new “office” 😂 I also started researching baby items for the registry and that is overwhelming! There are so many options. But looking at baby items made everything seem more real.
Cravings: breakfast burritos, BLTS
Aversions: burgers, sweets
Week 9: Nausea got much worse this week, especially in the afternoons and evenings. I only threw up once, but the gagging is bad at times.
Cravings: breakfast burritos, Cheetos, muffins.
Week 10: Lots of nausea and bloating in the afternoons and evenings. We had our first OB appt this week! We got to see baby wiggling it’s arm and heard a strong heartbeat! This brought me so much relief. I was really pregnant and baby was growing right on track – thank you God! We announced on social media after my first appt. Since it was around Halloween we wanted to announce with costumes and the s’more idea turned out so cute! I also bought baby it’s first item – a cute pumpkin onesie!
Week 11: Feeling like I’m in the fluffy phase where nothing fits and anything tight around my waist is terrible. Sweets started sounding more appealing, but only occasionally. Experienced some intense pregnancy headaches.
Cravings: hash browns, cheese & crackers
Week 12: Starting to feel better! Not as much nausea, but still lots of gas and bloating. I had more energy too!
Cravings: Still hash browns, pasta and oranges.
Ryan has been serving me so well. He’s been making dinner and getting me food when I don’t feel well. He’s been so compassionate in listening to me talk about the changes I’m experiencing and reassures me that everything I’m feeling is normal. He has been my rock.
Unfortunately I am experiencing a lot of acne again. I experienced cystic acne for a long time before we discovered my prolactinoma and started treating that. I’m not able to take that medication while pregnant, so my acne is getting bad again.
As I reflect on the first trimester, so I’m thankful. God, thank you for blessing Ryan and I with this baby. I am so grateful I can bring my worries and fear to You and that I find rest and peace in Your word. Grow us and continue to prepare and equip us to care for and love this child!
First Trimester Must Haves
- Lululemon align leggings: these are pretty much the only pants that are comfortable.
- Comfy maternity bras: Oh my gosh, my chest has grown so much. These are essential.
- Ginger chews: I had them all over the house, my purse and car. I also carried one in my pocket pretty much every day until week 11.
- Sugar free gum: Helped with nausea and gagging too.