This is part 3 of Andi’s infertility journey from the standard approach to infertility diagnosis and treatment to finding NaPro Technology’s approach.
You can read part 1, where she describes her first attempt at achieving pregnancy with a typical infertility clinic here.
You can read part 2, describing her journey to finding NaPro Technology here.
It had been 18 months since my exploratory surgery to remove pelvic adhesions caused by my previous ectopic pregnancy and I was starting to lose hope again. We’d been doing everything that our NaPro TECHNOLOGY physician had told us to do. I felt I was getting old-maybe too old to have another baby. I began to make peace with God that this was our family, and even if we didn’t have another child, I was grateful to have found care that at least helped me feel immensely better and correct some underlying hormonal issues that wouldn’t be good for me, long term.
I scheduled one more appointment with Dr. Kalamarides., wanting to see if there was anything else that we hadn’t yet tried. If our prognosis was to keep waiting, I was ready to graciously say goodbye to Dr. K. and to the idea of having another natural child. Emotionally, I was spent. I could no longer wait without end.
I was on day 5 of my cycle when we made our trip to Austin.
Dr. K. explained, “I see that you’re ovulating, and we haven’t yet tried low-dose Clomid, so I’d be interested to see how you do if we just tried it. You’re on the perfect day to start, so I’ll just call it in to the pharmacy down the street.”
Additionally, he recommended we have another ultrasound series done. My heart sank. I had grown weary of blood draws and ultrasounds. I debated not doing them. But I trusted the process, and I trusted Dr. K., who had given me more hope than anyone ever had, so I decided I would do it.
I took the Clomid and begrudgingly drove to each ultrasound appointment. On the third appointment, I asked the technician to tell me on which ovary was the largest follicle. When she responded, “The left,” I choked up and my eyes filled with tears. That was it. I was done. My left side had no fallopian tube due to my ruptured ectopic pregnancy years before. Another wasted cycle.
I told my husband, “That’s it. We’re done.”
“But didn’t Dr. K. say it is possible for the egg to go from one side to the other?” he recalled.
“I’m not that lucky,” I responded, hopelessly. “The odds are definitely not in our favor.”
After a good cry, I asked God to take this burden from me and allow me to surrender my heart into acceptance, into my family, and my son, and to give me the grace to accept the blessings that I did have. I traveled to visit my good friend in Arizona, and to meet her twin boys, born 10 months earlier. I found it refreshing that helping care for her babies didn’t make me upset or jealous. I loved them, and after helping out with mealtime, bath time, and nap time, I was reminded of how much work this was! I thought to myself, “I’m really ok if I don’t have another one.”
Based on my Creighton Model chart, I was set to start a new cycle on the day I would fly home, which was 15 days after my estimated ovulation day (Peak + 15 in Creighton lingo). I had never gone past Peak + 16 before starting a period, but my new cycle did not start that day. Nor did it start on Peak + 16. Four years before, I had tossed my stash of pregnancy tests, and I truly did not think pregnancy was a possibility due to the circumstances of ovulation being on the “wrong” side, but that day I found myself standing in the self-check out line with tampons in one hand, and a home pregnancy test in the other.
Related post: Your Cycle is Not Your Period.
“Why I am doing this?” I asked myself, dreading the disappointment I knew was to come.
Saturday morning, the day before Father’s Day, I tested, completely expecting the empty white window that I had seen dozens of times before. To my complete and utter disbelief, two very strong pink lines appeared in the test window. I sat, dumbfounded, starting at it, not sure what to feel. A blank, numb feeling, was all I seemed capable of. I was too nervous to be happy, but there was nothing to be sad about.
“How was this possible?” But I had seen with my own eyes on that ultrasound and on my chart where I had ovulated. My mind turned to prayer, asking God to please not let this be another ectopic.
At 8am on Monday morning I was on the phone with Dr. K.’s office to ask for blood work to confirm the home pregnancy test and an ultrasound to confirm that the baby had implanted in my uterus.
Knowing a bit about my history, I tentatively asked the ultrasound technician, “I know you can’t give me a diagnosis, but can you tell me…..is it in the right place?”
She smiled and said, “I can definitely tell you that it is not in your tube. It’s in your uterus.” I cried tears of joy, on the same table where I’d cried hopeless tears only a few weeks before.
The miracle that had happened was not lost on me. I was a flurry of conflicting emotions: from excitement, to anxiety, to sadness for the many friends and acquaintances who were still fighting their battle with infertility. Now I would be that friend making yet another pregnancy announcement that would cause unwanted pain and sadness. I decided we would wait to make any announcement until my growing belly required it. As a couple, we also wanted to wait as long as possible to make sure the pregnancy was viable. Both of us still felt the fear of getting our hopes up too high only to experience another loss.
I continued my prenatal care with Dr. K. until 12 weeks, when the distance became impractical. Each ultrasound, that tiny heartbeat flickering on the screen eased our fears and made our baby more real. At 12 weeks, our 8 year old son traveled to Austin with us, to see and hear the heart beat of his brother or sister.
Here, we had come, full circle. What do you say in a moment like that? My heart was so full of gratitude for the gift that this doctor had given us. “Thank you,” seemed so small. Our family was forever changed, and for the first time in so long, the heavy weight of infertility was lifted from my shoulders and I felt joy again.
In an effort to prevent miscarriage or pre-term birth, I was prescribed progesterone support through 23 weeks of pregnancy. Everything was progressing well and each day I enjoyed the little bump that was foretelling the arrival of our next child.
Our miracle rainbow blessing was born in February of 2018 in the most healing way. I had hoped and prayed for a baby girl to take the name of my grandmothers, who I felt were watching over this baby from the beginning. God answered our prayers, and our baby daughter completed our family of four. I know that she is a miracle orchestrated by our loving Heavenly Father many years ago, when he put specific people directly in my path to lead me to this place.
To say that I am grateful for NaPro TECHNOLOGY would be a understatement. I am so thankful that Dr. K. kindly persuaded me to not give up, even for one more month. NaPro TECHNOLOGY forever changed our lives. This miracle baby will grow up knowing how to she came to be, and when the time is right, she will also be taught about the beauty of her own body and the gift of her own fertility.