When Landon was born, he was incredibly difficult to handle. He never slept…ever. He was colicky, had a dairy allergy so he needed the most expensive formula available (of course!) and he was just all around “rough”. Being our first child, I’m sure that we handled things a lot differently than we had planned to handle them with K. I know for a fact we did.
Landon stressed me out beyond belief. It was so bad at a point around 4-6 months that Shane and I seriously considered never having more children. If all my children were going to be this hard, nope. Not going to happen. I went from working since I was 14, to being a stay at home mom. One of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but the hands down most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I would never trade my choice to stay home for ANYTHING. Eventually things eased up as we become more stable in our life. We lived in our house longer, Shane got settled in his job, etc.
When Landon was two, we decided that we were ready to try again. I had my IUD removed, and we were both a little intimidated by the possibility of getting pregnant immediately like we had with Landon. So, we decided to just “see what happens” from February 2013-August 2013. It seemed like our timing was always perfect. What was happening? Why was I not pregnant yet? At the 6-7 month mark, I had my annual exam with a new OBGYN here in Columbus.
I met with her and told her we had been trying, and I just had a feeling that something was wrong. It had been nearly 7 months of perfect timing and nothing was happening. She told me that until it had been a year, she refused to run any testing on either of us. That didn’t sit well with me, so I went looking for someone else who would take me seriously. I found a woman who agreed to test me. She ran the normal work up, and also ran a test called “Anti-Mullerian Hormone”. When I went in to discuss the results I expected to hear everything was fine; I was wrong.
My AMH level was .58- Normal ranges for a 27 year old woman are 3.20 for the 50% percentile. I was SO far below that. I felt like someone punched me in the gut. I cried and asked what the hell it meant for my fertility. My doctor explained to me that low AMH levels are related to the amount of eggs left in your body. Some doctors say that you need to examine the other pieces of the puzzle to come up with a real conclusion. My other labs came back within normal range, so that was a plus. My doctor said we could try Clomid for a month and see how my body responded. As I had never heard of this infertility DX, or Clomid, I agreed. Ahead we went.
I became pregnant, and miscarried at 5w6d. The pregnancy was ectopic. I ended up in the ER with nurses dressed in full “radioactive” suits (for lack of better words) giving me two shots to kill all living things in my uterus/fallopian tubes. I was terrified. Shane was terrified. This was one of the most painful things I had experienced. This is the time that I found out about my TCF friends. People who had been through what I had, and were continuing to try for a child after a loss/multiple losses. I was given INCREDIBLE information in my early days after our first loss. I will forever be thankful for the women who helped me through the darkness.
We tried again and again…and again and again…Clomid failed me. Letrozole failed me. I was sent to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). It was so intimidating. I was now educated on what the RE would do for us. When we had our first appointment, the RE told me he suggested that we go straight to IVF because my AMH levels were so low. Punch to the Gut. Thousands of dollars to have another child? How is this happening to us? He told us that he would be willing to try one more cycle of Clomid (6 cycles lifetime max due to increased risk of Cancer after that time frame) with an IUI (Intrauterine Insemination). I decided that we needed a mental break, and we benched ourselves until January 2015.
This was my last cycle on Clomid. My body responded too well. I went in to be monitored and I had a 26mm follicle (they want them 18-20mm). My doctor told me that it would be useless to do the IUI because the follicle was too big, and probably bad. We canceled the IUI. We were instructed to try on our own, and just see what happened. I ended up pregnant again. My pregnancy tests were very light; They never got darker. I went in for an ultrasound and blood work. A chemical pregnancy was confirmed- another miscarriage. We were heartbroken. Again? How is this happening to us AGAIN. I once again leaned on the women from my board for support and help.
In March I returned to the RE to discuss our plan. He pushed for IVF; I pushed for an injectable medicine cycle with IUI. He told me that he would do 3 for me. He warned me they were expensive (meds+$500 for a cycle). Somehow my insurance covered my Follistim @ $60 copay, instead of the full price. It was an error somewhere; my insurance does not cover fertility medication to be used in any Assisted reproductive technology procedures. My body responded very well to this protocol. I had a 23mm follicle. We triggered my body, and the IUI was set for 36 hrs after the shot. IUI’s are supposed to be “simple”. The catheter is inserted, and the sperm is deposited at the top of your uterus near the fallopian tubes. Piece of cake. Nope.
My cervix was angry, I guess. It took my doctor, and 3 nurses to get the procedure done. 5 minutes turned into 20, and a lot of pain. But finally we were done. Shew. I went home, and had to wait for 2 weeks to take a pregnancy test. The dreaded two week wait. The time where your body and mind play tricks on you and you feel completely insane dissecting every single twinge and pain hoping for a “sign” that you’re pregnant finally. I took a pregnancy test every day after my procedure to test and make sure my trigger shot left my system in a timely manner. It was gone at 7 days past IUI. 8 days past IUI was negative, or so I thought.
My test sat on the counter all day. I came home after like 8 hours and noticed there was a line. Evap line I thought (but hoped I was wrong). I threw it away, and waited for the next morning. I tested. There it was. A real line. Not a squinter, it was there. I was pregnant! That was the first day I knew about my beautiful little girl. That was April 26th, 2015. Things from there were perfect; the entire pregnancy was uneventful. We watched my hcg levels rise appropriately. We heard her heartbeat. We watched as she turned from a blob, to a shrimp, to a gummy bear, to a little human with arms and legs. At 10 weeks we had blood work to test for genetic abnormalities and gender.
When I got the call, the nurse asked “ok, I have the results, are you ready?”. I was so freakin ready. “It’s a girl. Congratulations!”
The most beautiful words I had ever heard. The most beautiful words I will ever hear.
I was having a daughter. I knew at that moment her name would be Kenley. I knew that I would love her forever. I knew I would be her best friend until the day I died. I knew I would do everything and anything for her. Even though she’s the one who died, that will never change.