A funny thing happened on the way to Colorado…

But first, I want to apologize for the radio silence. It started because I was so busy with the start of the school year…

  • We traveled to Chicago Labor Day weekend (8/31-9/2) for a good friend’s wedding. (I got my positive OPK there, so, once again, our plans for natural cycle IUI were foiled…)
  • Fall classes started that Wednesday (9/4).
  • My promotion portfolio was due Friday (9/6).
  • Then on Saturday (9/7), I flew to Indianapolis for a whirlwind trip the American Chemical Society meeting.
  • Then back Monday (9/9) to teach the second week of classes…

And then on Friday (9/13), I found myself…

a little bit.




As most of you know, I’ve been diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve (AMH 0.19, FSH 13). I was a poor responder in both menopur + IUI and low-stim + IVF cycles. We were told by three different doctors that our chances of success with my eggs were slim.

We spent the last couple months doing (well, intending to do…) natural cycle IUI and taking a laundry list of supplements in the hope that they might improve egg quality, in preparation for a ‘last ditch’ high-stim IVF cycle at CCRM.

We had our CCRM phone consult a couple weeks ago, and scheduled our one day workup for this coming Tuesday (9/24).

As most of you also know, I’m a religious BBT charter. As a result, I know that I have a short luteal phase (usually only 10 days or so). When I got to 11, 12, 13dpo without a temperature drop (and noticed that my boobs were almost filling the cups of my bra…), I started to hope. Then a week ago Friday, I caved and used an old home pregnancy test I had lying around.

It was positive.

I called Dr. Y’s office and the advice nurse ordered a blood test.

  • Beta #1 (at 13dpo) was 110.

Then on Saturday, the spotting started. Red at first, then brown. On Sunday my BBT dropped half a degree and we just knew that we were miscarrying again. That morning I also realized that I had somehow FORGOTTEN to use the progesterone suppositories that the nurse told me to use when I called on Friday!! (You have no idea how completely out of character it is for me to ‘forget’ instructions from my healthcare provider…especially about something this important!!!) So I cried in bed for over an hour on Sunday, reading and rereading supportive comments on the online forum for my local Resolve support group, sure that I had killed our miracle baby with my thoughtlessness.


But I went in on Monday for Beta#2.

  • Beta #2 (at 16dpo) was 380.

I continued spotting for six days, but I kept going in for blood tests.

  • Beta #3 (at 18dpo) was 980.
  • Beta #4 (at 21dpo) was 3512.

Thankfully, the spotting seems to have stopped for now.



So now I’m feeling a bunch of things:

1) Elated. This is what we’ve been praying for the past 19 months. What we paid about $12K for so far, with nothing to show for it. What we were prepared to shell out another $25-30K more for at CCRM… And somehow we hit the jackpot ‘the old-fashioned way’?!

2) Terrified. Last time we got a BFP (nearly a year and a half ago), we miscarried at 9 weeks after seeing no heartbeat at our 8 week ultrasound. We were sad, but that was just the start of our infertility journey. At the time we were so sure that we would be pregnant again in a month or two. We’ve had a roller coaster year of infertility, a DOR diagnosis, a life-threatening injury, and two failed ART cycles since then. I can only imagine what a miscarriage would be like now that we know what is at stake… We are so far from out of the woods, and I’m really scared.

3) Embarrassed. I know it sounds really stupid, but I feel like a big fat infertility fraud. Like all the wonderful people I’ve met through this journey will resent me. (I could hardly blame them, as I’ve resented my share of pregnant women.) I feel bad for even saying that I feel this way. I’m sure you’re all like “Boo hoo for the poor pregnant girl.” But it’s weird. Infertility has become a part of my identity somehow. If this pregnancy sticks, does that part of me just die?



So we canceled the trip to Colorado. (Well, for fear of jinxing it, I waited until Beta #2, and used the word “postpone” rather than “cancel” when I called CCRM…)

Our first ultrasound is on Friday.

We are cautiously hopeful…


To our friends IRL, I’m sorry that you’re hearing our news for the first time like this. Given our history and how early it is in the pregnancy (just 5 weeks today), we’re not ready to share far and wide yet… But I didn’t want to leave you hanging! C & I would appreciate your discretion for now.

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  1. Hurray!!! Will be thinking of you on Friday!!!

  2. Holy shit! I can’t believe it! I’m so absolutely excited, thrilled, elated for you and C. My fingers are crossed that everything turns out ok on Friday. You guys are in my thoughts.

  3. Yayayayayayayay! Insanely excited for you and so glad the news is good so far!!! Fraud? Are you effing kidding? Us DOR/POFfers need all the encouragement and good news we can get!! (Goodness knows it’s usually CRAPPY!!). Hang in there!!

  4. Yay!!!! This made me so happy. I have been lurking on your blog for months, and I’m so excited for you. Congratulations.

  5. WHAAAT?!?!!!! holy shit, woman! CONGRATULATIONS!!! wow. this is crazy!

    perhaps those supplements were already starting to work their magic? either way, amazing. i’ll be thinking about you big time this week..

  6. !!!!!!!!! I am SO HAPPY about this. You have given me so much hope. DOR is such a gut wrenching diagnosis, it’s so lonely. It’s do hard hearing other people’s IVF journeys when they say they “only got 10 eggs, and ONLY 8 fertilised” and your head spins. 8 fertilised eggs would be a bounty of riches! And now, gorgeous you, you’re pregnant naturally. It’s so fantastic. Do you think the DHEA helped? How long have you bee taking it? Are you still taking it? Can you send me some of your good luck? Love to you xxxxx

    • Thank you IVFfervescent!

      It certainly has occurred to me that the supplements may have helped. Of course, since I took them all at once (plus acupuncture, and a ‘superfood’ powder drink called Nanogreens), I have no idea which thing actually made the difference…or if we just lucked out and hit the ‘one good egg’. I was taking all that stuff since early July, so almost 3 months.

      I stopped most of it (including the DHEA) as soon as I learned that I was pregnant. Didn’t want to take anything that might harm the baby… Right now I’m just taking the prenatal, CoQ10 (down to 1 pill per day instead of 3), baby aspirin, fish oil, and calcium chewables.

      And of course I’m sending my prayers and good vibes Down Under to you!

    • Also, I totally get how you feel about the number of eggs retrieved, etc. One thing that helped me have hope for a natural conception was reading Jean Twenge’s book ‘The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant’. Yes, she is annoyingly smug at times, and goes overboard in trying to reassure women that they can have babies later than they think… But she makes a good point about how with most of these tests, all we know is the effect on IVF success rates. DOR success rates with IVF suck. They really suck. (That’s not to say we DOR women shouldn’t try IVF; I still think IVF gives us the best short term chances of success…) But we don’t have good data to know how DOR affects our odds of natural conception over an extended time period, when you only need to drop one egg at a time, and maybe a few of which are still of decent quality…

      That thought was enough to keep me charting and timing sex every month, no matter how unlikely I thought it was that we would get pregnant…

  7. This is so awesome, crossing my fingers tightly for you as you proceed through the next steps!

  8. OMG! I totally didn’t expect this! I was just telling my hubs that you know… we will continue trying on our own in between IVF cycles, coz you really would never know! I totally understand how you’d be elated and terrified at the same time. I would be too. Here is to a very sticky bean or two! This is totally crazy but wonderful! Great betas. 😀

  9. wooo hooo!! I am so happy for you, I wonder if it had anything to do with the supplements? I bet you are over the moon 🙂

    I hope you continue to blog as your pregnancy progresses because I would like to keep reading.

    • Thanks Mama. I do wonder if the supplements helped, or if we just finally got the one ‘good egg’!

      And thank you so much for your comment. I’ve often wondered what I would do with the blog if I got pregnant. 🙂

  10. Holy crap, the spontaneous natural last-minute BFP! I’m both jealous and super excited for you. Congratulations!

    • Thanks Aramis. Yes, the other feeling I failed to mention is GUILT. There are so many who have been trying longer and harder, who deserve it more. I pray that your little frosty embryo will be the one for you!

      • Don’t even say that. There is no “deserve”. Like the other girls have said, this gives all us DOR types cause for celebration and hope! I really hope you’ve had the last of your scares and the next nine months being nothing but joy. And a little morning sickness, but only enough to make you feel reassured! 🙂

      • Haha! Yes, I have to admit to hoping for some morning sickness this time.

  11. Resent. No. Jealous. Yes. Congrats.

    I read an infertility book about someone’s journey and it in the author stated that couples who experience infertility can take 2 years to get pregnant but modern medical guidelines are 1 year. So, I’m never that surpised when someone gets pregnant between ART cycles.

    I’m looking forward to good news on Friday.

  12. May the little bitty bean stick around and grow into a big bean and eventually, you know, on through orange, cantaloupe, watermelon, and onto BABY.

  13. Miralen

     /  September 23, 2013

    This is just the absolute BEST news to wake up to! Congratulations. Sending the stickiest of sticky vibes to your little bubba and hoping that you have a boringly normal eight more months ahead of you so you can just revel in your growing child and belly without any other pregnancy stress. You aren’t fraud (but I have felt the same myself) you are one of us who have stared infertility in the face and beaten it! I do hope that this is your take home baby.
    I know I’ve not been around long but I have read all of your blog now and I am truely incredibly happy for you and C.

  14. Wonderful news!!!

  15. This is fantastic news!!! So happy for you! Don’t feel guilty, enjoy it!!!

  16. this is wonderful news, and great to see another low AMHer can do it!! It give me hope!
    And I’m afraid, once IF, always IF…it will always be part of you and you will be a better person because of it x wishing you so much luck for the scan xx

    • I feel the same way. I’m proud to be a member of this club, and grateful that you guys are willing to keep me. 😉

  17. This is so amazing! I’m SOOO happy for you! As I was reading it, I even thought “SEE! Maybe I don’t need IUIs to get pregnant with a healthy egg.” So, I’d say your pregnancy will give people hope. Sending lots of luck for a perfect scan 🙂

  18. Oh Sweetie! I’m so happy for you that I’m crying! You are certainly not a fraud. You give me hope. If your bum ovaries can get you pregnant, maybe mine can too. I know we have different ovary issues but I’m still excited reading this. I am so very very happy for you!

  19. Such wonderful amazing news. You are NOT an infertility fraud. 19 months? Yeah, you earned your stripes. I don’t think the IF badge fades once you’re pregnant, even if you somehow manage to get knocked up by sex (??!! that works?). You’ve paid your dues, as you said you know what’s at stake, and you sadly don’t get to go back and get to be that smiley blissfully unaware pregnant woman. BUT you get to feel incredibly grateful and aware of what a miracle making a human being really is. It’s a mixed bag but you, dear, get a baby out of it. Congratulations!!!
    I’m 11 weeks now (amazing, never thought 🙂 and IF and MC fears still loom large, though less terrifying that they were a few weeks ago. I highly recommend checking out a “pregnant & parenting after infertility” group through RESOLVE if there’s one in your area. I’ll be checking up on your blog religiously! So happy for you!

  20. What fantastic news. I love, love, love DOR success stories! This is fantastic. Congratulations!

  21. So very happy for you!

    • Thank you! I’m hoping CCRM does the trick for you. (I’m betting the embryologists are less clueless than the receptionists & nurses that you and I have dealt with lately!)

  22. OMG!!! How awesome is that! Congratulations to you!!! Can’t wait to hear about the ultrasound.

  23. I just wanted to follow up and say that I appreciated your comment about keeping up with my blog! You are in no way a fraud. I’ve written that infertility is like the Hotel California…you can check out any time you want, but you can never leave…

  24. Belle2013

     /  September 24, 2013

    I’m so happy for you! Ive been (silently) following your blog for months. I have very similar numbers to you (afc 7, fsh 11.5) and am about to start my fourth ivf cycle with the same clomid-menopur-hgh protocol. I’m banking because of my age (39) and am too afraid to change protocols. I have two precious frozen embryos and am hoping to run into a third this cycle before I transfer. Your blog is so informative. And very inspiring. Fingers crossed for your ultrasound!

    • Thank you. I’m so glad you commented. Best of luck to you with your upcoming cycle, and your two frosty embabies!

  25. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME NEWS! I wish you a healthy and stress-free 9 months!

  26. AAR

     /  September 24, 2013

    yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! 🙂 🙂 😀 HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!!!!! (that’s all i have to say for now)

  27. Hi, my name is Debbie and I stumbled upon your blog last night while researching “normal bbt charts”. I have no idea where I fit into the infertility realm as no doctor in my area will take me as a patient ‘until’ I get pregnant on my own! Bizarre, I know! I’m on a whole lot of supplements for balancing hormones (all natural, considering I can’t get a prescription for anything). Could you please list ‘all’ of your supplements that you take daily. Thanks and congrats (and I understand about keeping this news low-key, I’ve been where you are)

    • Welcome! If you click the word “supplements” it should link to the blog post where I listed them all. Let me know if that doesn’t work and I’ll reply with the URL.

  28. I’m just catching up!!!! YOU ROCKSTAR!! I’ve been wondering how things were going. I’ve got everything crossed for you and my hopes are high!! Congratulations and lots of deep breaths.

  29. Good luck today! What an amazing, amazing surprise! I’m 6 weeks 3 days… so not too far ahead of you. Also have a history of miscarriages and was told my eggs aren’t so great, so I totally get where you are coming from, but have faith. This experience alone should truly show you that 1) anything is possible and 2) miracles can and do happen. How exciting! I’ll be checking back to see how you’re doing!

  30. Finally online properly – I’m sorry this congratulations is late but yay!!!! Congratulations 😀

  31. Elated for you! I am on my 18th month of TTC right now too- we started at the same time, unexplained infertility. I have done Clomid for 3 cycles now- no babies and am seeing an RE next month. It’s probably the crazy infertile hope talking but you getting pregnant “the old fashioned way” gives me hope it could still work out that way for us!

  32. HOLY SHITBALLS! Just seeing this now… wow, this is amazing news. It’s always such a shock to me when DOR girls get knocked up the ol’ fashioned way, but I absolutely LOVE hearing stories like this — on the one hand, reinforces how little control we have over the situation, but on the other hand really gives great hope for others. I know these early stages are such a mind-fuck and crazy emotional, so will be thinking of you as you go through each hurdle. Cautious optimism here, I think… 🙂 YAYYYYY!

  1. Tired | the infertile chemist
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