Problems Getting Pregnant

What has been harder for me lately than giving birth to a full-term stillborn baby? Finally feeling ready to try being pregnant again and then facing nearly a year’s worth of infertility.

Talk about feeling lonely, helpless and discouraged.

Most people who know about Luca probably wouldn’t dare ask if we were ever going to have another baby. Some probably assume we’re done. But we’re trying not to be done.

I’ve even signed up for a research study on fertility/pregnancy loss to try to better understand my body and what I can do to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Each morning for the study I go through what I have nicknamed my “lab rat” routine – testing my urine and popping a mouthful of vitamins.

But despite my countless visits to the hospital as part of the research study as well as consultations with my doctor, I have yet to become pregnant.

Now I know some people have tried for much longer than a year to conceive with no results. I know I should sit back and let nature run its course. But a year is a really long time when you desperately want a baby. It seems even longer after your last baby was stillborn.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m not meant to raise more than two kids on earth. Other times I feel bitter and angry and don’t understand what is going wrong.

One of my church’s leaders, Dieter F. Uctdorf – second counselor in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first presidency, gave an incredible talk last month that completely touched my heart. In his talk he referenced “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by one of my favorite authors, Roald Dahl.

He talked about the quest in that book to find a “golden ticket” that was sure to bring happiness. The tickets were wrapped in Willy Wonka chocolate bars and shipped throughout the world. People went crazy looking for the tickets. Some became so obsessed with finding the ticket that they no longer took satisfaction in the chocolate candy bar that they used to love. If it wasn’t wrapped in golden lining, they had no use for it. All they could focus on was that golden ticket and how their lives would be infinitely happier finding it.

I think getting pregnant and delivering a healthy baby has become my golden ticket. I have become bitter, angry and ornery in my quest to get pregnant.

I have stayed far away from pregnant friends and even farther away from their newborn babies because unlike them my quest for another child has not come as easily.

At times I have been so preoccupied with my golden-ticket search that I have been unable to enjoy the “chocolate.” I’ve forgotten to enjoy the two beautiful boys I do have here on earth.

One morning after my dreaded cycle started again, I looked at my little guys while they were eating breakfast and thought, “These guys are pretty special. If that’s all I get, so be it.”

Don’t get me wrong, I still long for another baby to have, hold and cuddle. And I still feel anxious and uneasy near pregnant women and little babies – for a number of reasons. But I’m trying not to wait for my golden ticket to be happy. I’m trying to enjoy the chocolate now.

I don’t know how much longer it will take for me to conceive, or why it’s taken this long so far, but I do know I can’t keep driving myself crazy waiting for a positive pregnancy test. Heaven knows another pregnancy will probably stress me out to the max anyway.

Last week I went and got a second opinion from a new doctor who is very proactive in helping me. I am optimistic that I will get pregnant soon. Meanwhile, when my infertility is getting me down, I’m going to try to take a step back, take a deep breath and live in the now.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jackie h
    Oct 27, 2011 @ 08:44:52

    You know I’m right there with you—18 cycles of trying with 2 miscarriages this year. It is killing me—or making me stronger, but I can’t really tell which one right now.

    I felt exactly like you did during President Uchtdorf’s talk. In fact, we were 12 rows from the front of the conference center, and I may have had a racing heart and flushed face at that moment because I felt like he was saying it directly to me. I’m trying to do better to just appreciate what I have, but it is so hard. I have my first appointment with a doctor on tuesday. I’m terrified that it will bring really bad news.


    • Natalie
      Oct 27, 2011 @ 09:12:07

      I know Jackie! My heart aches for you. I mentioned this in my blog post, but I finally switched doctors last week. I felt like my doctor wasn’t being very supportive. My new doctor was very reassuring and confident that any problem we find with my hormones or body can be treated so that I can get pregnant. I am sure your doctor will find the same. It’s amazing what they can do these days.

      Stay strong and know that I am here for you any time. I honestly hope and pray that both of us will get pregnant soon and then deliver healthy, happy babies 9 months later!


  2. Elise
    Oct 27, 2011 @ 09:49:14

    Just a suggestion, since I had kinda similar (though not nearly so big) problems. I had a miscarriage in between Hadley and Davis (I was only 9 weeks, so it was no where near a stillborn) and since I wanted to get pregnant again immediately, I got on the EAGeR Study, and it sounds you might be on that one too. After that I proceeded to get pregnant and miscarry 6 more times in a row (although they were each REALLY early – between 4 & 6 weeks along). I got so sick of those ups and downs that I got off the study. After that I then proceeded to get pregnant and miscarry 3 more times, but each time lasted a week or so longer than the last, and finally I kept one – Davis. This is what my ob determined had happened: the initial miscarriage was a fluke. The EAGeR Study is built around the notion that women who are taking hormonal birth control before they get pregnant are at an increased risk of miscarriage because those hormones make their blood thicker and it doesn’t cross the placenta very well – resulting in an undernourished and aborted baby. So they put you on a low-dose aspirin to “fix” it. I don’t use hormonal birth controls (because they make me constantly morning-sick), so that wasn’t my problem. I had likely gotten the actual aspirin pills, not the placebos, and they had thinned my blood just enough that it was too thin to carry a baby, so I kept miscarrying. After I got off the study it took time for my blood to thicken back up, but once it did, I kept the baby.

    The reason I tell you all of that is really just to suggest that you reevaluate whether or not the study you’re on will really help you. I wish you the very best. And when you do get pregnant again, I will pray for you to not be paranoid about losing it the whole time like I was with Davis.

    Until then, I’ll pray for it to be easier for you to enjoy what you have now. 🙂 You deserve the very best.


    • Natalie
      Oct 27, 2011 @ 11:03:46

      Thanks for the suggestion Elise! Yes. I am on the Eager Study and will be for about another month until I time out. I too do not use hormonal birth control because it totally messes up my body. I don’t think I am having problems with my blood being too thin, because I haven’t lost any pregnancies, I haven’t been able to get pregnant at all. I will be able to find out at the end if I am on Asprin or the Placebo.

      Right now I think my problem has more to do with ovulation issues. My monitor has only peaked once during the six months I have been on the study. I think it’s because my body doesn’t fit in the parameters that have programed into the monitor. Luckily, as I mentioned in my blog post, I went to a new doctor who ran a bunch of tests and is helping me figure all of this out. Keep your fingers crossed for me!


  3. Lana
    Oct 28, 2011 @ 09:58:11

    Thanks for sharing this! I can’t imagine what you must be going through! I would switch places with you if I could! Sometimes I feel so guilty being a pregnant woman knowing how many women out there are struggling with getting pregnant or losing a baby. Sometimes I just want to hide my belly or move far away so I don’t have to be reminded of it all. But I also constantly worry (even though I try not to) about what could happen. I know I am not immune to anything. And I know just because I have one healthy baby doesn’t mean it will be like that with all pregnancies. I think that’s why I try and support you and anyone else who has gone through this by learning about Utah Share and doing that walk (which was so neat to see all the balloons and families remembering their babies) and trying to help out where I can. Someday that could be me there mourning the loss of a child. Everyone has their own struggles that test them in their own way. That’s what I’ve been learning a lot lately.

    I’m so glad you feel good about this new doctor and hopefully he/she will help you figure things out! I think of you and pray for you often! Love you Natalie!


    • Natalie
      Oct 31, 2011 @ 22:24:38

      You are right Lana. None of us are immune to sorrow and grief. That has been one of the hardest things in losing Luca…losing my innocent view of the world that bad things don’t happen to me. We never know what’s around the corner.

      Thank you for all of your love and support. It means a lot to me.


  4. Jenn (Utah Share)
    Oct 28, 2011 @ 10:02:40

    Thanks for this post Natalie! I really needed the reminder about the “Golden Ticket”. I’m in a different situation than you in many ways….my loss was 8 years ago and I’ve had 2 subsequent pregnancies. Both of those were the result of using Clomid, but they both happened quickly. We would love to have one more–like you, I long to deliver a healthy baby (even my subsequent pregnancies resulted in pre-term delivery)–but it’s been almost a year of trying and I’ve only ovulated once, in spite of fertility treatments. At times, I’ve found myself so caught up in the testing, and the charting, and the OPK’s, and the ultrasounds, and whatever the next treatment will be that I forget to truly appreciate the blessing of the three beautiful kids I have here with me in my home and the sweet angel I have waiting for the day we are reunited.

    I also recently switched to a new doctor who has been very supportive, proactive, and optimistic, so I’m not giving up hope yet….but I’m going to go back and read Elder Uchtdorf’s talk in an effort to increase my faith in whatever Heavenly Father has in store for me and to not put happiness in the blessings I have now on the back-burner.


    • Natalie
      Oct 31, 2011 @ 22:28:17

      Thanks for commenting Jenn. I hear people say all of the time that sometimes if women would sit back and relax about their cycle/getting pregnant then it would just “happen.” But how can we do that? I am glad I am not the only one who becomes preoccupied at times with my body and what is going on. It’s only natural for me to become a little obsessed at times.

      I am so glad your new doctor is being supportive. I hope you are able to find a solution soon and that we both can become pregnant soon!


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