I recently found out I was pregnant with my third child, and it’s a miracle. To understand why this is so amazing, you have to know a little about my story—I thought I was infertile until now.
I’ve never had a normal menstrual cycle.
I started taking the pill when I was 15 because my periods were so irregular. I never liked how ill it made me feel, though, so I tried to stop taking it a couple of times. After more than a year of stopping, I still hadn’t had a period. My doctor told me I had no choice but to go back on the pill because there wasn’t much they could do until I actually wanted children. It was frustrating because I didn’t know what was wrong with me and terrifying because I thought I wouldn’t be able to have kids.
I finally got a proper diagnosis after seeing a specialist.
In my mid-twenties, I knew I wanted to have kids soon—in fact, ASAP in case I had issues (especially since the younger you are, the better your chances are of getting pregnant). I started seeing a fertility specialist and she eventually diagnosed me with hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA), which is a hormonal imbalance that results in halted ovulation and therefore no period. I was happy to have an answer.
I needed fertility treatments to have any hope of conceiving.
Without ovulation, there’s no egg for the sperm to fertilize, so I needed fertility treatments. First, we tried intrauterine insemination, wherein you take drugs to force your body to produce eggs and then the doctor manually injects sperm into your uterus. My ovaries ended up producing too many eggs and they couldn’t inseminate me since I’d be at risk of becoming the next mom of octuplets if too many eggs got fertilized. It was extremely disappointing.
Our last option was to do in vitro fertilization (IVF) and it worked!
In our first round of IVF, I got pregnant and had my first daughter as a result. I felt extremely lucky because for a lot of women, it takes multiple rounds. A couple of years later, we wanted to try for a second child. I hadn’t had a period since I gave birth and I still had HA, so we had to do IVF again. In our second IVF round, I got pregnant with our second daughter. We were very happy. However, going through fertility treatments was extremely difficult mentally and was financially crippling as well. We were almost $20,000 in debt for treatments since insurance didn’t cover most of it.
We knew we wanted a third child but needed to recover first.
We needed to heal emotionally and financially. My partner and I both wanted more kids but figured it might not happen because of the cost. We definitely needed to wait at least a few years before we could try for a third, and I wasn’t getting any younger.
A year after I had my second child, I got a period on my own.
I was in shock but so excited that my body was finally doing something on its own. I didn’t think I was ovulating because I thought there was no way my body was getting back to normal after struggling for so long, but then I got another period before they stopped completely again. I was sad but not surprised; I just figured that my HA had returned.
I took a pregnancy test just to make sure and was shocked when I saw the results.
It was positive and I was in total disbelief. My husband and I were cautiously excited but I was sure I was going to lose the baby. I thought there was no way this could end well after all of the problems I had. It was an unbelievable miracle.
Getting pregnant naturally after IVF is surprisingly common.
It’s called secondary fertility, and there are many cases of it happening. It hasn’t been scientifically investigated a whole lot, but some studies have shown a high rate of natural conception after infertility. For example, one study found that 17% of couples who previously had a baby through IVF got pregnant again on their own within 8-10 years after, and 24% of couples who were unsuccessful with IVF went on to conceive on their own. In another study, three in 10 couples got pregnant naturally within six years after fertility treatments whether they were successful with IVF or not.
The reason natural conception occurs after infertility isn’t known for certain.
It’s probably a combination of many different factors. However, it shows that it’s possible to conceive naturally even if you’ve struggled in the past. And also, if you don’t want more children, it means you should use birth control even if you think you don’t need to. For us, another baby was exactly what we wanted.
I’m now three months pregnant with my third miracle daughter and I feel like the luckiest person in the world.
I never thought we’d get here. At one point, I thought maybe we’d never have children at all, but our dreams came true and I know how lucky we are because some couples are never successful. My wish is that my story will give hope to others struggling with infertility.
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