We’re expecting again! We are so thrilled. I know that everyone’s road to pregnancy is unique so I wanted to share a little backstory since our experience this time was so different than with our first.
Before we got pregnant with Trey, I had never even experienced a negative pregnancy test. He was as planned and as textbook as possible. At the same time, we knew of a few stories of infertility. We were about to turn 30, and about half our friends had kids and half didn’t. It seemed like that year, for whatever reason, it quickly became baby season for nearly everyone we knew. We also quickly learned that not everyone who seeks a pregnancy is guaranteed to get it.
As the months and years went on and more of our friends started trying, we started to hear more stories, and we became familiar with an entirely new territory. We knew of all kinds of things that were once foreign to us: the differences between IUI and IVF, the side effects of Clomid, and what the sequence and timing of seeking medical help looks like. Even further, we walked through baby loss for friends of all kinds, from early to late losses, miscarriages and stillbirths, scary news and diagnoses, all of it earth shattering, all of it devastating. In the span of two years, we were invited to three infant funerals. Just yesterday I got another text, “we lost the baby.” It’s heartbreaking, every single time.
I held all this, and knew what I was signing up for, and yet, since our first round was so textbook, I think I assumed it would be easy for us again. When we decided we were ready for our second baby, all I knew was my first experience, which was a recipe for very high and unrealistic expectations. I experienced my first negative pregnancy test, which was a shock. Then a couple more. A few months in I was texting my friends who I knew had walked this road, asking “When should I be concerned?” meanwhile googling “secondary infertility.”
As the summer went on, so did life in our thirties. As many friends as there were experiencing long waits and losses, just as many were getting pregnant easily and naturally. Friends revealed all kinds of announcements: long awaited pregnancies, perfectly planned pregnancies, and most annoyingly so, their “oops” pregnancies. I rejoiced with them, and deep down I was happy for them, but I really had to work at it, because when you're in the middle of your own unknown territory, it's difficult to share joy with someone else when they get their (even surprise) good news.
Trey turned two, and well-meaning friends and family would ask, "So, when will you guys have your second baby?" My go-to response became, "Not today!" as I clinked my wine glass. I liked that it was vague, funny, and truthful, without revealing all that was going on beneath the surface, the anxiety of, "Will this ever happen again for us?" brewing just under my words.
I'm writing this blog post draft in the messy middle, right in the center of the waiting. We are a few months in, and I haven't gotten a positive pregnancy test yet. By the time this post is published, I certainly hope so. But we so rarely have all the answers in life and this is one of those times. I think that's a good place to write from, we're you're in it, not beyond it.
We are all waiting for something, none of us have arrived. And I think when we're so focused on the end game we miss what's here for us in the messy middle. I know there’s good here too: patience, perspective, growth, a sense that it really is all out of our control anyways. I'm learning things here, and I don't want to miss it. If this post is published, I am assuming we will have gotten pregnant and announced publicly, and what a happy day that will be. Until then, I'll chart, and I'll wait, and I'll continue to watch and and pause and look for the good here too.
Update: We got our positive pregnancy test, and in the big picture, we didn’t have to wait that long, especially compared to some of our friends. I learned that the average couple in their 30s only has about a 20% change of conceiving on any given cycle, so it really does seem like such a miracle when it does happen.
When I decided I needed a little more help, I reached out to Fairhaven Health to try their Fertility Monitor. I tracked all my ovulation signs like a little scientist, and they have a helpful team online that can help you interpret your charting. For me, I found that knowledge was power, and when everything felt out of my control, this was the one thing I could control. This device also turned out to be more accurate for me than temping or OPKs. I know that for some people, maybe tracking ovulation wouldn’t be helpful and might instead be stressful. For me, it helped, but I want to be mindful that no device or prescription is “one size fits all” when seeking a pregnancy. Everyone is different. We are so glad we found something that worked for us, and I am so thankful to be pregnant again, even among the sickness and all the pregnancy symptoms. I’m not taking any of it for granted this time.
Shared in partnership with Fairhaven Health, who makes a variety of products to help with fertility, pregnancy achievement, and nursing. Their BFP Early Pregnancy Test Strips were the first to let me know I was pregnant, and their Milk Saver was an early nursing favorite.