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Lisa Smith's PCOS and Endometriosis Story

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Read Lisa's Story here:

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A month before our wedding, I got off birth control ready to start trying for a baby right away. I was on the pill for about 12 years, and never had reasons to believe I would struggle getting pregnant. I figured, like so many friends and family around me, it'd happen pretty quickly. 

My husband Jeff and I were married in June 2017, and I started using ovulation sticks to try to figure out my cycle. After about 5 months, I noticed in November the sticks never said I had ovulated, and I never got a period that month. Turns out, to my disappointment, that I wasn't pregnant. After a few more months of still not getting a period yet only getting negative pregnancy tests, I made an appointment with my OB; I knew something wasn't right. I had initial blood work, which seemed fine, but was referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist.  

I had more blood work and an HSG procedure to check my fallopian tubes, which luckily were not blocked. We met with the doctor who said my annovulation was due to PCOS. I wasn't sure I really believed it, but began eating clean, limited processed food, dairy, and gluten in hopes that would help. I started on Clomid figuring I just needed to ovulate and then it would work, but the first try didn't result in pregnancy. We tried this a second time, but again it did not work. At this time, I was also told I had a cyst on my left ovary. They suggested birth control for one month to try to shrink it, but this meant having to take a month off and I felt like it was a big setback.  

Once we were able to try again, we did Clomid + IUI to kick things up a notch. A 

few days before my birthday, I took a pregnancy test at home and it was negative. I was pretty devastated, especially because I still had to go in for blood work the next day to confirm. At this point, I dreaded that phone call from the nurse always with bad news. But this time, she said I was pregnant! But the numbers were low. "Let's remain cautiously optimistic," she said. We were so excited!! Best birthday ever! Fast forward a few weeks later and I started spotting (at a friend's baby shower, no less). Unfortunately, I had a miscarriage. We were devastated, and I went into a dark place mentally. The holidays were really tough that year.

A few months later, we wanted to try again. Since IUI worked once, we were pretty hopeful it would work again. When it did not, we took a trip to Nashville before having to meet with the doctor to start again. We needed to do something fun. When we got back, our doctor said he wanted us to come in for a meeting. He strongly urged us to move to IVF. The cyst was actually an Endometrioma, which likely meant I had stage 3 or 4 Endometriosis. WHAT?! Why was this just coming up now?! The only way to confirm Endo is with surgery. Our doctor said having the surgery wouldn't necessarily improve chances of IVF success, so I decided not to have it because I really couldn't handle more waiting.


We were moving forward with IVF. We were terrified. What if it didn't work and this was the end of the road? How was I going to do shots? I hated needles. But the medication came and we got started. Every night, Jeff got all the medication ready for me and I wanted to give the shots myself. I would say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" and it turned out not to be so bad. We had the egg retrieval, and are so grateful to have frozen embryos for when we are ready to try for more children. We did a frozen embryo transfer (ugh more waiting!) in May 2019. The day before the blood test to confirm if pregnancy occurred, I had a dream that I should take a test. I used the last pregnancy test we had. I told Jeff not to look for at least 5 minutes, and I walked out of the bathroom. Well, Jeff didn't wait, and he shouted, "there's two lines!" I couldn't believe it. That was our first time ever seeing a positive pregnancy test at home. After 2 years of struggling, we felt hopeful we were finally getting our rainbow baby.



Nathan Christopher Smith was born February 11, 2020. I honestly still can't believe we have an angel boy.

To anyone going through infertility, I'd want to say you are not alone and you CAN do it. I know it can be scary to open up, but I regretted not talking about things sooner, especially when we lost our first baby. I felt so alone because hardly anyone knew! I was blown away at the love, kindness, and support we were shown by close friends, family, and others in this community, once we started sharing what we were going through. You don't have to tell the world, but it really helps having a support system. Infertility is the most difficult thing to have to go through, but you are so much stronger than you know.

IG: @lisa_bernadette

☀️ CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BEST SOCKS ON THE PLANET TO HELP WOMEN WITH INFERTILITY! A portion of every single sale will go to an incredible woman experiencing infertility. They make the BEST gifts for women experiencing infertility to remind them they are loved OR to wear to your own appointments while working hard to grow your family to remind you that you have this community of women linking arms with you. You are incredible, sister!

CLICK HERE to join our safe, private Facebook group to meet other incredible women who are walking your path. ☀️

To read Stacy Steven's secondary infertility story, click HERE

 

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