This is a pretty emotional post for me because the struggle to become pregnant when you have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Infertility is real and heartbreaking. If you’re going through infertility as a result of PCOS, I know how you feel. I know the tears you shed because I have shed countless tears myself. I know the guilt you feel, and I know the prayers you pray every night for a little one because I was on my knees too praying for a baby. I’m crying just thinking about your heartache, but I can tell you that you CAN GET PREGNANT with PCOS and beat it!
- 1 What is PCOS?
- 2 Genetic Link
- 3 Diagnosis
- 4 2010 – The Year of the Baby
- 5 Why? Because it is our bodies ultimate goal to get pregnant!
- 6 Finding Out I was Pregnant with Ellie – LOSS & JOY!
- 7 HEARTACHE
- 8 Ultrasound
- 9 Baby Ean
- 10 Don’t Give Up!
What is PCOS?
One of the biggest struggles, besides getting pregnant, with PCOS is understanding and educating family members about PCOS. According to Wikipedia, (PCOS) is a set of symptoms due to elevated androgens (male hormones) in females. Signs and symptoms of PCOS include irregular or no menstrual periods, heavy periods, excess body and facial hair, acne, pelvic pain, difficulty getting pregnant and patches of thick, darker, velvety skin. Associated conditions include metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, heart disease, mood disorders, metabolic disorder, and endometrial cancer.
A woman may not know she has PCOS until she is trying to get pregnant. I had irregular heavy periods which I thought was the norm due to stress from college. My weight fluctuated, and it still does. I have patches of darker skin under my armpits and skin folds. But I did not know I had PCOS until I wanted to have a baby.
Various studies have confirmed genetic links to PCOS. The disorder can be passed down from both maternal and paternal lines in regards to insulin resistance. In my case, my mother has cysts on her ovaries, and my Aunt in the Philippines could not have children due to cysts on her ovaries. My mother had 3 children, and my grandmother had 8. They were able to beat their infertility, as I did.
I met my husband in 2005, and we got married in October of 2008. At the time, my sister-in-law on my husband’s side was also having a hard time getting pregnant. She had undergone in-vitro fertilization without positive results (she has 2 kids now naturally). My husband did not want me to have a hard time getting pregnant, so he asked me to stop taking birth control. But I didn’t get off the pill until January of 2009. Everyone told me that once I got off the pill, I would get pregnant within 6 months. Six months came and went with no baby announcement.
On our one year anniversary, my husband and I spoke about what could be the problem. He blamed the birth control. I blamed his smoking, bad eating habits all the way down to the type of underwear he wore. There was no way the problem was me.
To validate my point, I went to see my gynecologists. She confirmed I had PCOS. I had cysts on my right ovaries and high androgen levels. I was placed on metformin and told to diet and exercise. She also scheduled me for more tests on my fallopian tubes.
Heartbroken, I returned home and told my husband. He kept asking if that meant we weren’t going to have kids. I told him I didn’t know. The guilt kicked in when he said he just wanted one.
2010 – The Year of the Baby
I decided 2010 was going to be the year I made changes to my health. I believe the changes I made and my prayer answered by the Lord helped me become a Mommy.
Mindset and Positivity
The first and most important change I made was to change my mind about getting pregnant. Instead of being sad and depressed about my condition. I decided to remain positive. For example, as I walked on the treadmill, I repeatedly gave myself a pep talk. “I will get pregnant, I will get pregnant.”
Most importantly, I truly believed I would get pregnant.
Why? Because it is our bodies ultimate goal to get pregnant!
This is very true! Our bodies were made to reproduce. Becoming pregnant is what our bodies and nature want us to accomplish more than anything.
Change your thoughts, and you’ll change your world!
2. Exercise & Weight loss
With both of my children, I became pregnant by exercising and losing some weight. The benefits of physical activity to help boost positivity is well studied. Physical activity helps boost physical and mental energy. Exercise releases endorphins which are a chemical in our brain that helps us feel great and energizes our spirits.
3. Green Tea
PCOS causes insulin resistance and prediabetes in most patients. I was also diagnosed as prediabetic and placed on metformin. I began researching the best natural remedies for prediabetes, and green tea was the answer. Green Tea helps sensitize cells, so they are better able to metabolize sugar. Green Tea also aids in maximizing your metabolism
Recommendation: I drink organic Gyokuro Green Tea from Arbor Teas. Gyokuro is grown differently from other green tea, and the result is higher levels of L-Theanine. L-Theanine is responsible for increased mental clarity and focus as well as other numerous benefits.
Trust in the Lord for good things to come. God knows your heart and your desire to have a baby. Keep your love for him in your heart and trust that he will give you your heart’s desire.
Finding Out I was Pregnant with Ellie – LOSS & JOY!
Still unable to conceive a baby in 2010, my husband and I planned to visit the Philippines in April. Our trip was part visiting family and inquiring about adoption. In March, I scheduled an appointment with my primary physician to get the designated shots, malaria, etc., for the trip. At the office, I told the Dr. I wasn’t feeling myself. She smiled and said she wanted me to take a pregnancy test. I did.
A couple of minutes later, she came back into the room with a sad look on her face. She knew I wanted a baby and hugged me with the news. A second later we both hear a woman scream from outside the room. She went out to look at what the commotion was about. As I waited alone, I kept saying to myself, Lord, I know that I’m pregnant, I know I’m pregnant.
The Dr. came back into the room with tears in her eyes. She said they looked at the results too early. I WAS PREGNANT!!!!!
The scream was from lab tech who saw the test turn positive. She also knew I wanted a baby and she was filled with joy and screamed for happiness. Everyone hugged me as I wept in JOY!
A couple of days later, I went to my Obstetrician to confirm the pregnancy. My Dr. wanted me to get an ultrasound to make sure everything looked good. My husband and I were both excited to see our baby.
But when the ultrasound tech pulled up the monitor, she couldn’t find the baby. I was in shock. I kept saying over and over again, I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant. The Dr. said it could be a false positive or too early to see the baby on the ultrasound. Because of my PCOS, the Dr. could not pinpoint the possible conception timeframe.
From that point on until we left for the Philippines, I took a pregnancy test every day. Every time I saw a positive result, I felt relief because I knew the baby was still with me.
Until we left for the Philippines, I had no pregnancy symptoms except for fatigue. On the way to the airport to catch the plane, I had my first bout of morning sickness. My brother was driving, and I remember yelling at my husband for a plastic bag. Oh, the memories:)
The trip to the Philippines was wonderful. I was so happy to see family and also to have morning sickness. It meant my baby was there and growing.
We had an ultrasound a week after returning to the states. I could tell the tech was nervous about the screening from what happened the first time. But she need not fear, Ellie was there and waving at us.
Yes, my baby looked like she was doing the robot shuffle with her hands. My husband and I were crying together because we knew our baby was waving at us. Baby Ellie officially joined our lives November 2011.
After the birth of Ellie, I remained off of birth control. I had such a hard time getting pregnant that I again left it up to the Lord to give me another child. Like Ellie, I began dieting and eating healthier before I became pregnant again. It was 5 years before I got pregnant again at 37. My husband and I are truly blessed to have both a girl and a boy.
Don’t Give Up!
My journey to overcoming PCOS Infertility was a rocky road. I wanted to give up many times. But I stayed positive and kept telling myself that I will become a mother. If I had given up, I would never have my Ellie or Ean. Remember, God knows your heart. Turn to him to give you strength and the grace to stay positive and don’t give up!