A Controlling Personality, a Patient Husband, Some Infertility, and a Microscope

As soon as Craig and I were married, I scheduled an OB appointment and made an action plan for getting pregnant. I didn’t want to waste a single month and just going with the flow is SO not the way I handle things.

I bought a book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler and read it through a million times.  (I can’t recommend this book strongly enough.) I took my temperature every morning for months and charted it religiously with Fertility Friend.  I knew exactly when I ovulated.  I told myself that like anything else I had done in my life, if I wanted it badly enough, if I worked at it diligently, I could make it happen.

After all of those years of thinking that getting pregnant would be relatively simple, I was amazed at just how difficult it actually was.  Though I could work at it, the outcome was completely out of my control.

After a few months of negative pregnancy tests, I stepped it up a notch.  I put us both on a vitamin regime that had us each taking fistfuls of vitamins morning and night.

I also bought a microscope. Yep, I sure did.  I will never forget the look on Craig’s face when I told him that I would need samples. Every month, I prepared my slides and got down to business.  (You know how they say if you are camping and a bear enters your campsite, upturning everything, you should totally lay low?  I’m pretty sure that was what it looked like from Craig’s perspective.  He looked at me like he was reminding himself not to engage with the bear.)

In the process of all of this,  I completely lost my mind.

When we hadn’t gotten pregnant after six months of trying, we were referred to an infertility specialist who was kind and patient with us.  She tried not to laugh at me when I walked into that first appointment with a binder full of printouts of my months of charting.  I went into full presentation mode, pointing out where I had ovulated and when we had had sex.  When I look back on this time, I can see that I had lost touch with sanity a bit.  I was completely consumed with getting pregnant and lived life in two-week chunks—waiting to ovulate and waiting to see if we were pregnant.  In hindsight, I can also see that I wasn’t the best wife to Craig during those months.  We were newlyweds, but I couldn’t relax enough to enjoy those precious months.  I was singleminded and consumed.  He is a patient man and I will never forget the way he stood by me and helped me to hold onto what little bit of sanity I had left.

Our infertility specialist put me on Clomid and I went in once a month for a shot that would release my eggs so that Craig could go in and give them his … ummm … contribution for the IUI.  For every month that we did this, I got a cyst, which meant that we had to take the following month off so that my body could regroup.  The IUIs weren’t successful for us.  We never could figure out why, as every month I had numerous eggs and they were placing the sperm exactly where it needed to be.  In August of 2006, we got the news that I had yet another cyst, so I wouldn’t ovulate yet again.  We were advised to go home and try to relax so that the next month might be more successful.

And relax we did.  For the first time in a year, I lived each day for the beauty of that day.  We truly enjoyed just being together that month.

Then?  Yeah, you know where this is going…my period was late and we got this…

We were absolutely shocked.  I can’t tell you how many times we had been encouraged to try not to worry so much.  I had reached a point where I knew that if one more person told me to relax, there would be bloodshed.

It took us eleven months to get pregnant with Katie.  Eleven months of anxiety, tears, anger, and confusion.

But, we are a statistic.

Looking back, I realize that those months of trying made the joy of having this amazing baby girl even sweeter.

She was worth every single moment of effort and I will be ever grateful for her.  I learned so much about myself, about Craig, and about patience.

Anyone need a slightly-used microscope?

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30 comments

  1. kris prettyalltrue.com

    You bought a microscope and checked his samples? Oh my god, I cannot even breathe, I am laughing so hard.

    But then, I got pregnant about 10 minutes after we decided to have a baby. Both times.

    But still? A microscope?

    Snort!

  2. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    You can't, in any way, be shocked that I would go to such lengths. ;) Type A, much?

  3. Tia christopherandtia.blogspot.com

    hahahah "anybody need a slightly used microscope?", too funny.

    I'll have to pass on the microscope, but, I sure did enjoy reading this :)

    Your baby is BEAUTIFUL.

  4. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    You put me to SHAME. I'm dying over here. I was out of my mind with trying to get pregnant, but I never once did any lab tests in my own home!

    Did I mention that I actually worked as a lab tech in my college days? Yes. And still, no microscope in my house.

    My copy of TCOYF, however? I couldn't give that damn thing away because it was so tattered and sad when I was done with it about. And I own a lifetime membership at FF, though it's pretty useless now, me without a uterus and Brian with all his pipes unplugged now.

    Oh, oh! I almost forgot! I had that machine, the one that tells you when you're ovulating. Stupid thing was always telling me when to have sex, bossy little purple computer. I sold that on eBay and when the woman I sold it to had a baby, she sent me pictures.

    Sigh. The memories get funnier and funnier the further away from them I get.

  5. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Trust me, the little ovulation machine was SO on my Christmas list–that and a lab coat wih my name on it. Bossy little computer was probably programmed by a man, telling you to have constant sex!

    Isn't it interesting how the memories are funny now, but the experience was anything but?

    Thank goodness we're done.

  6. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you so much! We sure think she is. :)
    You've been in my thoughts all day…I'm hoping you are well.

  7. jaseza

    You are hilarious – OMG!!! Hahaha…Craig has more patience than Sean…can't even imagine the look of horror on his (Sean) face if even I attempted such a thing…hahahaha…I should "pretend" to want to get pregnant again and buy a microscope just to see the look. :)

  8. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I could always pop mine in the mail. ;)
    Double horror!

  9. jaseza

    Keepin' it all in the family…hahaha…ok, tears…oh gosh, sigh.

  10. Emmie Bee emmiebee.com

    That is hilarious. I was dying over the microscope. My husband might have ran. You've got a keeper! -Although- if I get pregnant again anytime soon I think my hubs is gonna run anyways!

  11. THAT is an awesome story! and Katie is perfect. too cute, in fact, if that's possible.

    now do you have advice like that for a single girl who would like to just magically wake up pregnant? no? oh well.

  12. liz bellebeanchicagodog.com

    Honestly, there are soooo many people I know with a similar story! Well, sans microscope, but still! :)

  13. Nancy

    What a story.. the microscope is the funniest of all! Good thing we can laugh at ourselves in life. And I'm sure you've learned the lesson once and for all to relax and enjoy life…right???? Go with the flow and all that? Ha ha… we are our own worst enemy :-)

  14. Alex lateenough.com

    I'll be honest. I'm a little shocked. And kind of impressed.

    Nichole Labs, Inc. :D

  15. I love this post!

    I fought infertility for two years. I was fine until, right when my husband and I decided "time for family" I had my appendix out.

    Turns out that abdominal surgery can REALLY whack your cycles out.

    Of course, no one told me this until I ran into my surgeon completely by accident and told him of my woes. He said, "Oh sure…that can happen. Didn't you tell them you'd had surgery? They just need to stimulate ovulation."

    Well, in fact, I HAD told them that, and they thought I was an idiot.

    Fortunately, the surgeon intervened at that point and then I got put on…Chlomid!

    Three months to get the dose right. Three months of ovulating but not catching. Then a rest. Then one month of Chlomid + IUI…and voila!

    Instant baby.

    And of course by "instant" I mean, two years of treatment plus nine months of pregnancy. ;)

    Worth every second.

    But….I never brought a microscope.

    Hence the you winning instead of me.

  16. My god, woman!

    That is one cute little baby you got out of the crazy, though!

  17. Lyndsey Bustos

    Nichole…a microscope!!!!! WOW! You are one determined woman! It was all worth it! I guess the best egg and sperm matched up after 11 months!

  18. meredith insockmonkeyslippers.com

    OMG! AHHAAHAA! Gotta love you!
    I have been invaded by bears on a campsite and I have to say I think Craig was probably more terrified than I.

    In all seriousness, she is beautiful! I never had trouble getting pregnant just trying to stay pregnant was my problem. It's not really the same but in away I understand pregnancy frustration. This story is great and makes you realize how precious every baby is!

  19. Ok, I have been intending to read this post for days now, after all the "microscope! teehee!" traffic on Twitter. OMG. LoL I am imagining what my Hub would've done/said/etc if I had actually asked him for samples. LMAO

    Honestly tho? I would have fun looking at the little guys under the microscope. Perhaps I'm a bit of a life-science voyeur…

  20. Marian runawaysentence.com

    Aw! You keep that microscope, sister…. your precious daughter obviously has a science career ahead of her!
    I love your story and thank you for sharing it. Wonderful.
    I feel very lucky that I was able to get pregnant with no hassle, right away, at an "advanced maternal age" when I thought it might not be at all easy. I'm very much go-with-the-flow in all respects, including this one. The only crazy thing I did was insist that my husband take a pregnancy test so we could compare. (No, he wasn't pregnant.)

  21. Coma Girl comagirl.net

    I love this post! My sister has been trying to conceive for 7 months (and recently miscarried), but she just realized that if she relaxes, it will happen. And she's learning to enjoy the process (no, not just the sex) and the anticipation.

    I hope she'll have a happy ending (again, not sex!) like you.

  22. Jennifer mommanerd.wordpress.com

    Wow! What an inspiring post! It took us eight months to get pregnant with Lily, but we didn't really try. I was only 26 at the time, so we had plenty of time. It was still tough though! I really wanted a baby. Now, I try not to take it for granted that I have her. Every day is a precious gift!

  23. Brooke solitaryinsanity.com

    Whew! I don't feel so badly about being all Plan-y Polly right off the bat. People think I was crazy. "Why don't you just relax and do it. It will happen." No thank you! Only took us 4 months, but then I lost the baby. Now we're back to square one…

    Precious baby girl!

  24. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I am so sorry for the loss of your baby…the pain from a miscarriage is tremendous.

    When Katie was just over a year old, we decided we were ready to have another baby. It took us five months to get pregnant and we lost the baby at 8 weeks. I was devasted. Then, by some miracle, I got pregnant again right away. I wrote a bit about it here:

    I wish the same good fortune for you.
    Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

  25. Alli_n_Son

    I'm going back in time and reading this post for the first time. Our stories are similar. I was very obsessive when we were trying for our son. Charts, analyzing, even acupuncture. Something along the way worked.

    We're in the middle of trying for baby #2 and having an even harder time (I was finally diagnosed with PCOS). I'm trying SO hard not to be obsessive, but it's nearly impossible.

    Anyway, that's the short version of my story. I've blogged about it too.

  26. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    When we were going through infertility treatments, the doctor said that stress closes the fallopian tubes, making it nearly impossible to get pregnant. The more I thought about not stressing, the more I stressed. Fertility struggles are so all consuming.

    It took us five months to get pregnant with our second baby, which I miscarried at 8 weeks. Then, Matthew was conceived just two months later.

    I'll be sending you positive thoughts and I hope that you'll have wonderful news to share soon.

  27. Lindsay newbreedofmom.blogspot.com

    Ok girl, is it silly that I have tears streaming down my face??? Me and hubs have been TTC for a year. Sunday is our 1 year anniversary. I've spent a year dying to get married so we could have a baby together. He has a 7 yo son and my son is 8 so it's secondary infertility. It has drove me up a wall, and it is partially why I started blogging this last May. After 3 failed rounds of Clomid I am taking follistim shots this month and praying that this is our month!! Every month is an emotional rollercoaster. Thank you so much for sharing your story and I am so glad you two got your happy ending!

  28. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Not silly at all!

    When it was happening to us, I cried over everything. The drugs made me completely crazy. The Clomid made me so hot and mad at the world.

    I remember that rollercoaster all too well. I wished so much of my life away during those months.

    I hope that the rest of your journey is full of happiness. I pray that the shots are the answer for you and that you'll be back to share your good news with me soon!

    You will be in my thoughts, Lindsay.

  29. Rebecca flatheadmama.blogspot.com

    Holy cow, that is unbelievable…you bought a microscope???

    I'm glad your story turned out so happy…your daughter is beautiful…

  30. Gina

    Oh sweet Nichole! I wish I could say I was suprised by the microscope… Nevertheless the visual of you hounding Craig for samples and stooped over a microscope in deep cocentration made me laugh! Craig is such a dear sweet tolerant man!

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