This Runner's Trials
19Aug/1119

What went right

For the past few months, the most common blog email I receive is "how did you finally get pregnant?"

pregnancytest

I have a hard time answering these emails because:

  • I've been there. I know what it's like to feel so desperate and hope that there's some clear missing link that's stopping you from getting pregnant. I was set to try a low-carb, PCOS-friendly diet in my next cycle even though my doctor said not to bother. But I was willing to do anything.
  • I'm not sure what went right. I wish I could tell you that doing x and y will lead to a + pregnancy test. But it's not so simple. Unfortunately, life is not a controlled science experiment and I'll never know why it finally worked. Even if I did, there's no guarantee that the same formula will work for you.

That being said, I'm more than happy to share why I think I got finally pregnant. (I basically did everything I planned to when I said I'd do whatever it takes):

12.5wks

  • I cut back on exercise drastically. In mid-December, I stopped running more than 6 miles at a time. I limited my weekly mileage to 20 miles, plus swimming 2-3 days a week, and yoga 2-3 days a week. This was still too much. I gave up swimming in February, limited my running mileage to 10-15 mpw, slowed my pace a lot, and kept up the yoga. I got pregnant at the end of March.
  • I didn't exercise the two days after I ovulatedbut I was pretty active the rest of the 2 week wait. The time off exercise was not planned since I was told there was no way I could be pregnant; I was just busy. At 3 days past ovulation, I kicked up the running intensity a lot. I knew I was out for the cycle, so I ran hard and often. I logged 30+ miles in the next 10 days.
  • I gained 4-5 lbs… even though I really didn't need to. For years I hovered at 135 lbs, which put my BMI at a healthy 21.1. Then I read a study that a BMI 21 and under could cause ovulatory dysfunction (source). I gained weight quickly (thanks to over-eating constantly) and was up 4-5 lbs the month before I got pregnant.

Probably most importantly, I took a new drug. My doctor finally let me switch from clomid to anastrozole. I'm not saying my little lifestyle tweaks had nothing to do with getting pregnant (I definitely plan on making those same changes next time), but I knew my body liked the new meds. A few days after my last dose of anastrozole, I had fertile cervical mucus for the first time ever… and we'll leave it at that ;)

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The best advice I can give anyone going through infertility is find a good reproductive endocrinologist (RE). If your RE has you take the same drug month after month without results, it's time to see someone new. And please don't see an Ob/gyn for your fertility. Ob/gyns are not fertility specialists, so it's best to see a doctor who is. So many people- myself included- waste precious time and money working with an Ob/gyn before moving on an RE. Go directly to an RE if you have or suspect you have a fertility issue.

Some other friendly advice: if your husband has a good sperm count, have regular sex. Couples who have sex every one to two days get pregnant most quickly (source). Of course, abstain when your doctor tells you to if you're having a fertility procedure done. If we had waited until when my doctor said I should ovulate to get busy, I would not be pregnant.

pregtests

Hang in there, friends. Unfortunately, some of us have to fight this very unfair battle. It'll be one of the hardest things you'll ever go through, and most people in your life won't understand (nor will they try to understand) your pain. Keep fighting. I promise you'll come out on the other side with the family you always dreamed of having :)

 

Comments (19) Trackbacks (2)
  1. WE ARE FERTILITY TWINS! it was a little more drawn out for me but so interesting that i paralleled you on the running, the weight (had to get to 21 BMI to make it happen!), and the medicine (letrozole in my case instead of anastrozole, but same thing really). maybe if this post had come out a year earlier it wouldn’t have taken me so long :)

  2. Thank you so so much for this post. I’ve been reading your blog since you got pregnant and this is my first time commenting, so hi! :) I just had to comment on this because we’re currently trying and it just gets so confusing and frustrating on why it’s not happening for us. I went off the pill 6 months ago, still haven’t gotten a period, not pregnant, and diagnosed with athletic amenorrhea. Did you ever have a problem getting a period. So being the fitness enthusiast that I am, it’s hard to know how much to cut back on exercise, should I gain weight, etc. I know every body is different, but thank you for sharing what you think worked for you, it’s hard to not feel alone in this so knowing what other women had to do to get that miracle is so helpful to me. Thank you :)

    • I never got my period after the pill. It had to be induced with provera, then I had 3 clomid cycles. After surgery for endometriosis, my period came back but my cycles were anovulatory. If it wasn’t for fertility meds, I would have never gotten pregnant. Good luck!

      • I’m actually on my first round of provera right now, tomorrow’s my 10th day so I hope to get a period soon…never thought I’d be saying that?! Ha!

        I really appreciate your response and thank you so much! Btw, you look so beautiful and glowing, congrats again and I’m very happy for you :)

  3. I feel like cutting back on exercise and gaining a couple pounds makes a big difference. You can never isolate exactly what worked, but I feel like that’s in most people’s equations, mine included.

  4. Thank you for this post! Even though I don’t struggle with infertility, I did have a miscarriage earlier this year. After, the doctor and I chatted about getting pregnant again and what to change. I also decreased my running miles and slowed down the pace. He said not to go over 20-25 miles a week so I tend to hover around 18-20 miles a week now. I incorporated swimming and actually, have never felt better :). I also love how you are open in discussing this. It’s not a pretty topic but as women, we need to be open about our struggles, hopes and desires. It only makes us stronger in the end :)

  5. While I would imagine it’s been hard at times, it’s really great that you’ve been so open and honest about your struggles, and joys. There’s no way for women to know what’s right or wrong, or whatever, without hearing it from other women you have been through the same thing or are going through it. I’m not looking to get pregnant, but I think it’s great that you’re so open about it. Glad to hear you’re feeling well and all is going smoothly! Take care!!

  6. Actually not everyone gets the fairybook ending and the family they always dreamed of… Some people have to alter their dreams/plans because they truly are infertile and cannot conceive. Super happy for you but that last sentence is extremely untrue.

  7. I stumbled across your post about wanting some health educator job ideas. I am health educator living in the mid-atlantic area. I teach childbirth education, baby care, breastfeeding, and natural childbirth classes in a large teaching hospital. I work per diem, decide my own hours, and make $39/hour. I typically teach about 10 hours a week. It’s a perfect fit for myself and my family. If women’s and children’s health is something you are interested in you could put yourself through through the training (Lamaze, ICEA, IBCLC, etc..) and then look for a job at a hospital. You would be paid the current nurses per diem rate. My old job, doing the same thing in the Pac NW, paid $29/hour. The women who work in these departments are very diverse. Right now we have women teaching who have public health, social work, lactation, and nursing backgrounds. Plus, if you ever decide to pursue anything in the nursing field (RN, ARNP, etc..) you would have great clinical experience. Anyways…just a thought. Congrats on your pregnancy—your blog was fun to stumble across :)

  8. I somehow found your blog and wanted to say a few things. I had a hard time getting pregnant, it took us about 15 months and after 1 year we went to an RE. They told me to cut back on my working out, which I had been working out a lot (half ironman training) then I had tapered down for 5 months, but kept my runs at about 10 miles and did the stairmaster for about 90 minutes. That was tapering down! When we saw the RE, I had a normal BMI (if that means anything) but they suggested I cut back on working out. I did only 30 minute workouts (4 mile runs, or stairmaster) and lifted weights. The first cycle of meds/IUI did not work. The second cycle did work (and I am 19 weeks pregnant), but the only change was that I didn’t workout for the two days after the IUI and on the 3rd day I kept it short and easy…then I went ahead and ran anything up to about 6 miles. I don’t know if the cut back in workouts or the two days off after the IUI worked, but it something did!

  9. Question for you: After going to see your RE + getting pregnant, did you go to your same OBGYN that you were seeing before? I know my SIL has been seeing our OBGYN (we have the same one) and would like to get referred to an infertility specialist. She has been VERY unhappy with our doctor b/c she’s been trying for over a year (taking clomid to ovulate) and is getting frustrated that she is still not pregnant. I love my OB but I also haven’t had the same issues she’s had, so I can understand how she is frustrated.

    • She doesn’t need a referral to see an RE, she can make an appointment herself. Of course this may depend on insurance but her RE may be able to help with that too. I got a new Ob/gyn after getting pregnant :)

  10. I’m never showing Isaac this post. If we ever want to get pregnant, I fear for my vagina. He already wants to have sex everyday. The pursuit of having a baby will just give him justification! ;)

  11. I have read this post before but now I get it. My heart breaks for you. I am so happy you were so brave and strong and won! You give me so much hope and courage

  12. I know this is an old post, but any recommendations on how to find a good RE?


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