Last week, we finally spilled the beans on the biggest secret we’ve ever kept. We’re going to be parents!! Yes, Baby Sitton will be joining us in August. I have been undecided about how much I want to share our journey. Yes, I love being an open book with so many aspects of our life but this was something so personal and secret for so long. Even as I’m typing this now, I still don’t know where it’s going to go.
So where to begin? I guess at the beginning. A little over two years ago, I decided it was time to take charge of my health and see exactly what was going on. I knew my cycles weren’t regular and I couldn’t ignore the scary truth any longer, I needed to find out why. I visited with a few OBGYNs in the past, but most wanted me to just take birth control. I am not a doctor but I have done A LOT of research in the past two years. Yes, not having a period can be harmful but there are other ways to induce your cycle besides birth control. I don’t want to get too far into my PCOS diagnosis, but I think I will eventually share a post just about my PCOS journey, what I learned and what finally helped me. Long story short, I finally found an incredible doctor who listened to all my concerns, anxieties, etc. and found a plan that both RJ and I felt comfortable with. We decided that I would take progesterone and metformin for one year to see if this would adjust my cycle without having to take fertility medications to induce ovulation. During this year, I also drastically changed my diet, fitness habits and supplements.
All of 2018, I felt great. I learned so much about what my body needed and what I thought was healthy but actually wasn’t. I lost almost 30 pounds, found a fitness routine I loved and just felt happier. Everything was great, except my cycles still weren’t balancing out. While I was getting a period from the medicine, I still wasn’t ovulating. When we were close to the year mark, we decided it was time to take the next steps. We made another appointment with my OBGYN and discussed the options. We could immediately transfer to a fertility clinic or try three rounds of Letrozole, a medicine that induces ovulation. Since I felt that RJ and I were both healthy and ultimately just not ovulating, we agreed to try the letrozole. I didn’t realize how hard it would be on my body. Over the next year, we ended up taking it for 6 rounds. 3 at my OBGYN, 3 at a fertility specialist. RJ had to undergo testing and I had to have extensive tests and ultrasounds done to see what was happening and why it wasn’t working. At this point, it was scary. I was ovulating each month (confirmed by both LH test strips and OvuSense thermometer, which I highly recommend if you are TTC), yet nothing was happening. It also was mentally draining. As our doctor reminded us, it takes some completely healthy couples up to 7 months to conceive, and I had technically only tried for 6 months (6 rounds of ovulation). Still, it felt like we were doing EVERYTHING, trying everything and people all around us were just getting pregnant on a whim. Mentally and physically, it was hard. I gained a ton of weight, felt very unlike myself and was sick from the medicine constantly. I also didn’t really share the journey with my family. I didn’t want them to worry and I felt if they knew it would be added pressure and stress to something that I already felt so helpless to, even though I was doing everything possible.
On December 2nd, I was working at home. We had already counted our previous round as a failure. I was only two days away from my period and it felt like it was coming at any minute. RJ and I had already discussed skipping the medicine in December so we can enjoy the holidays without feeling awful and then meeting with our fertility doctor to discuss the next steps. We were ready to move on to IUI or IVF if they felt that was necessary. I was actually at peace with our decision and felt good. I was supposed to meet RJ at the vet that afternoon and was getting ready for the appointment when I decided to take one more test. I went to look at it and there was the faintest line ever. In fact, I was sure the test was just messed up. I took another (I learned to stock up on Amazon cheapies over the past year) to reveal another faint line. I took a digital test but already told myself it would be negative. When I saw the ‘YES+’ pop up, I honestly don’t know how to even describe it.
I called RJ and told him to cancel the vet and meet me at home. I always imagined all these cute ways I’d tell him but I was honestly so shocked that I had to just tell him on the phone. He stopped and got some more tests. All faint, but positive. I called our doctor and they made an appointment for me to be seen the next day for a blood test. The next day I went in and my numbers were very low – 26. They said usually we see numbers in the hundreds or thousands but to come back in two days to ensure they were doubling. The next two days were so hard. A lot of praying and disbelief, I figured it was all too good to be true. Waiting for that phone call with our results was SO awful. My friend Natalie planned a full day for us so that I would be busy but it still couldn’t take my mind of off it. When the nurse called to say my numbers had almost tripled – I immediately started crying and couldn’t really process anything else she was saying. From that point, it was more waiting and praying and lots of anxiety. We were VERY early. I found out I was pregnant at just 4 weeks, we would wait two and a half weeks to go back for an ultrasound. Luckily, it was Christmas time so we did stay pretty busy. We had our trip to NYC and I was busy with work. I didn’t feel that bad at all, so we just waited, keeping this little secret. Finally, we went back for our ultrasound. The doctor warned us again that low numbers meant we may not see anything but immediately we saw a tiny flicker on the screen. Our baby and a strong heartbeat were there! Both RJ and I cried as we saw our child for the very first time.
We had two more ultrasounds with our fertility specialists before they ‘graduated’ me back to our normal OBGYN. It was the most bittersweet feeling. I was scared to leave their care but excited that our journey with them was possibly over! Since then, we’ve had two ultrasounds with our OB and seen our sweet angel each time, the last visit we even saw it moving!
I’m trying to relax more, we’re out of the first trimester and thankfully had good reports every step of the way. I’m currently 14 weeks and according to my app baby is the size of a peach! I still am really struggling with anxiety. I have always suffered from anxiety but now to have something so important and feel like I can’t do much to protect it really scares me. I know moms will say ‘you think it’s bad now, it never gets better’ but at least when the baby is here I can watch it and see it and actively make choices to keep it safe. Right now, I just have to try to stay healthy and trust God’s plan.
So, that is how we got here! It still feels surreal. To answer a few of your common first-trimester questions I received. I’ve been feeling pretty good. Very tired, I feel like I was asleep all of Christmas. All I’ve been wanting to eat is carbs and sweets but I basically always want carbs and sweets so I’m not sure if it counts as a craving, just a good excuse to indulge. I did have trouble eating meat in the first trimester, but I am eating more now so I’m trying to eat more balanced. RJ and I know the gender and we are doing a reveal with our immediate family and close friends this weekend. I can’t wait to share the news with everyone! We also know the name and plan on sharing it soon after as well.
Throughout these two years of struggle, I did learn so much. I saw how incredible of a husband and partner RJ truly is. He never once blamed me or made me feel guilty for the issues at hand. He told me we would do whatever steps necessary, at my pace, to have a family. I know it was hard on him, but he never showed it. He was always there for me no matter what. I learned so much about myself too. I know I am so incredibly lucky. I have an amazing life, and honestly, to many it may even seem perfect but for almost two years it felt purposeless. I felt so incomplete and would have traded everything just to give us a child. I learned what it was like to be very happy and very sad at the exact same time. I dealt with new anxieties as an already extremely anxious person. I felt anger towards my body and a heartache, that was so hard and painful that I could physically feel it somedays. And I know we are one of the lucky ones. Even though it was a hard, expensive and toll-taking journey, it could have been much worse. And now, seeing our baby on the ultrasounds, it was all so worth it. I still am struggling with anxiety. I think because it took so long and for so long my body didn’t do the right things, now I’m petrified of something happening. But no matter what, this is our child and deserves to be celebrated.
If you have any other questions or are currently struggling and want to chat more specifics, please feel free to DM me on Instagram (@RileySitton). XO