Getting Pregnant

When my husband and I began to think about having a baby, I stopped taking birth control pills and began charting my cycle.  Soon into charting, I recognized a problem: I wasn't ovulating or having a period.  We went through about six months of testing different hormone levels in my body, using progesterone to induce a period, and ultrasounds to finally determine I have the endocrine disorder PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).  I thankfully don't have many symptoms of PCOS; in fact, the only symptoms I have are cysts on the ovaries and an abnormal ratio of lutenizing hormone (LH) to follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).  (In some European countries if a woman doesn't have these two symptoms plus insulin resistance, PCOS is not officially diagnosed.  But in the US, the diagnosis is given when one has 2 of the 3.)

With this diagnosis, the doctor gave me the option to take Clomid, which would cause my body to ovulate (and thus allow me to get pregnant).  But instead, I decided to take a holistic approach.

Starting February 1, 2011 I: stopped drinking alcohol, stopped consuming caffeine, gave up refined sugar, gave up dairy, and ate gluten on a limited basis.  I also began seeing an acupuncturist once a week and took herbs prescribed by her.  Within a month, my body was cycling normally.  We went through a couple cycles to make sure everything was working fine before we tried to get pregnant.  We got pregnant our second month of trying.

In no way do I claim to be an expert on PCOS.  All I know is what worked for me.  And even though it was hard work, I encourage anyone struggling with this to read everything you can get your hands on about the disorder and maybe, if it's the right choice for you, try a natural approach.

My Pregnancy

I had a wonderful pregnancy with little-to-no complications.  I had about a month of debilitating tailbone pain that I believe, in retrospect, was related to the deep hip openings we did in my prenatal yoga class.  But once I stopped yoga, my back was back to normal.  Other than that, I experienced normal aches and pains of pregnancy, but nothing major.

I documented my whole pregnancy on the blog:
First announcement
The day we found out
Weeks 1-10
13 Weeks
Weeks 16-17
Week 18
Week 19
Week 20
Week 21
Week 22
Week 23
Week 24
Week 25
Week 26
Week 27
Week 28
Week 29
Week 31
Week 32
Week 33
Week 34
Week 35
Week 36
Week 37
Week 38
Week 39

Bates was born on his due date, February 26, 2012.  We didn't know the sex, so our baby boy was a wonderful surprise.

Natural Childbirth

I decided early into my pregnancy to have a natural childbirth if possible.

Decision to go natural
My wonderful birth story

Other Pregnancy Posts

What I'll Miss About Being Pregnant
Baby Shower #1
Baby Shower #2
Baby Shower #3
Eating While Pregnant