January 4, 2008

An Overachiever Gets Pregnant

We had technically had little more than a few months of TTC (Trying To Conceive) but being the overachieving, type-A, hyperanxious person that I am I had to GET PREGNANT NOW:
The Overachiever's Guide To Getting Pregnant Fast

MYTH: There's something wrong with you if you don't conceive within the first three months of trying.
This is a particularly nasty bit of misinformation because it causes a lot of couples a tremendous amount of anxiety and grief for no good reason. Although some couples do manage to conceive within the first three months of trying, a large number of other highly fertile couples take considerably longer than that. Consider the numbers for yourself:

Your odds of conceiving in any given cycle are approximately one in four.

Approximately 60% of couples who are actively trying to conceive (having intercourse two to three times a week) will conceive within the first 6 months of trying, 75% within 9 months, 80% within a year, and 90% within 18 months.

Despite such gentle reassurances, I was panicking within 3 months. We hadn't got to the buying-ovulation-kits stage yet though we'd got the calendar method going (also see previous post's note about, um, frequency). So, after a very determined holiday period, with no result and when our laidback NHS couldn't come up with any answers, I decided to consult a specialist back home during our annual visit to the ancestral home.

To begin with I listed everything that had changed or was different about me since I went off the pill. First, there was this embarassing amount of weight I'd piled on, I felt literally inflated. Even my face. My cheekbones had disappeared. Second, my bra size was climbing alarmingly and my favourite Victoria's Secret bras didn't fit anymore. Boy, that sucked. The third sign was only discovered when I actually saw the Ob-Gyn in Delhi. She showed me I was leaking colostrum! She immediately sent me off for blood work, a serum levels test. And bingo! they caught the pesky Prolactinemia. The doc prescribed a mystifying dose of delayed-release aspirin, cabergoline and folic acid. Within 4 weeks I was pregnant!

The Prolactin level in my blood was only off by a tiny bit. But that was enough to yield potentially devastating consequences. I came that close to being stamped "infertile", had I waited a whole year. See, there are advantages to being a hyperanxious overachiever!

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