I’ve always known I wanted children. I’ve known my husband was the man I wanted them with for several years. For several years we talked about our future kids – two girls and a boy – we discussed names, travel plans, lessons and activities, our perfect little house with a yard and some cats, where our family would grow. As a PhD candidate, finding the right time to have a baby was difficult. With the nature of my research I couldn’t be pregnant and continue my work, so holding off until the end of my degree made sense. We would time it so the baby was born when I started writing my thesis, giving me six months home with the baby while still receiving my scholarship, before starting a post-doc and continuing on my way.
Since I had all this time waiting before we could try for a baby, I spent my time researching TTC (trying to conceive). I went for a pre-conception appointment with my doctor to make sure everything was good for pregnancy. This is when things started to derail. I was severely iron deficient and needed to start supplements to raise my iron levels before TTC. That took 6 months, putting the TTC plans on hold for 2 months. Finally, we could start trying. I had great hopes for a pregnancy that first month. My grandma, mom and aunt all had amazing fertility, so I saw no reason why I should be any different.
That first month I was optimistic but nervous. I started tracking my basal body temperature, I monitored my cervical mucus, and I made sure we hit the fertile window as much as possible. That first cycle my luteal phase was too short for implantation to happen, so I moved on to my second cycle. Second cycle my luteal phase length was good, but this is when the problems started. I noticed that after I ovulated I had spotting. Not too heavy, just enough to be annoying. I figured it would go away.
By the fifth cycle it was clear the spotting wasn’t going away. In fact, it had gotten worse.
I went to my family doctor. She thought my thyroid or one of my sex hormones was abnormal, so I had my blood taken. Everything was well within normal ranges. Next she sent me for an ultrasound. It took almost a month to get in. Everything looked normal. My family doctor referred me to an obgyn. It would be another 6 weeks before I could get an appointment. My obgyn ran a few more tests and sent me for an HSG. The HSG was uncomfortable and painful, and I had heavy bleeding afterwards. The obgyn tests were normal. The HSG was normal. My obgyn can find no reason for the luteal phase bleeding and referred me to a fertility specialist.
I’m now on cycle 10. The bleeding started 3 days ago. I’ll bleed for another 7 days before my period arrives and I’ve given up hope of ever having a baby. Month after month I do everything right to increase the chances of conception, and month after month I watch my uterine lining slowly leak out of me way too soon. Month after month I imagine my little embryo looking for a spot to implant, but having nowhere to go. I don’t know how many more months of this I can take. I just want a baby. I just want this bleeding to stop.