Disclaimer: Ok, so this post is going to get a little … personal. Like, “let’s talk about sex, baby” personal. So if you know me in real life and don’t want to know my sex life (or the lack thereof), then just skip this one! Or be nosy and keep reading!
When I shared our infertility story, I was really open about everything and the process of how we finally got pregnant with the twins, so I figured it was only fair to share Baby #3’s fertility story. The short story is that Baby #3 was a complete surprise. The long story, which I’m telling below in TMI detail, is about “fertility after infertility,” also known as a spontaneous pregnancy after experiencing infertility. But the shocker? After going through all the infertility stress, all the infertility tests, all the infertility medical procedures in order to get pregnant with the twins, we had sex for the first time in 2 years (yeah, 2 years!)… and I got pregnant. One time! Not even trying. No charting, no drugs, I didn’t even know I was ovulating. Bam! I’m still shocked.
If you’re new to the blog or interested, you can read our entire infertility story in full detail here (Part 1) and here (Part 2). I go into full details on all the testing we did, all the medications we took, and my thoughts and feelings about everything at the time. Or, keep reading below for the super quick and consolidated backstory.
Fertility After Infertility
Back in 2016, my husband and I began trying to get pregnant. It didn’t happen. I started using an ovulation app and I was charting my temperature and my cycles. Nothing happened. I started using ovulation testing kits and scheduling sex on certain days. Still, we were not getting pregnant. I talked to my doctor when it had been about a year of trying and she asked me to give her a few more months. (Hindsight: I shouldn’t have.) Nope, nothing. Not pregnant.
So we were referred to a fertility endocrinologist and we started all the infertility testing. Everything came back as no issues for me, but my husband’s sperm had low sperm counts with poor motility, meaning, not a lot of sperm but, whatever was there, they weren’t moving anywhere very fast on their own.
Our doctor said it would be a miracle if we got pregnant through an IUI with my husband’s sperm counts and that we were looking at the possibility of IVF. However, I spoke to a friend of mine who had successfully had a baby through IVF and her one piece of advice was to try an IUI first just because it’s a much less expensive method and it would ease my mind later if we had to shell out $20k for IVF to know that at least we tried everything else first. Plus, my additional reasoning was that I would get an understanding of how my body would react to the hormone drugs while not spending a ton of money so that should we have to do IVF, I could then tell the IVF doctor about my experience with those drugs and follow/revise our plans accordingly.
My husband was also referred to a urologist and he was prescribed a quarter dose of the drug Clomid in order to try to raise his sperm count and boost his sperms’ mobility. The first IUI we did failed. We took the next month (cycle) off and waited for the Clomid to really kick in since it takes 3 months for a man to produce new sperm. Overall, throughout the process, his sperm count increased from 1 million, to 2 million, to 7 million, to finally 12 million. (For reference, anything less than 15 is considered low.)
Our second IUI resulted in the twins.
Now, let’s talk about sex and how infertility, a twin pregnancy, and having twin babies can affect your sex life. First of all, infertility treatments can ruin a sex life. Sex becomes scheduled, routine, chore-like, and medical. It feels like you have to do it even if you don’t want to do it. It’s no longer spontaneous, romantic, or fun.
And then you (hopefully) get pregnant. And whoa was my twin pregnancy rough! Right away, I was put on “pelvic bed rest” by my doctor which means no sex allowed for 6 weeks after getting pregnant thanks to cysts in my ovaries because of the IUI hormone medications. (Trying to avoid a medical condition called ovarian torsion.)
Then morning sickness hits. Who wants to have sex when you’re exhausted and feel like you’re going to throw up all day? By the time the morning sickness wears off, you’re the size of an elephant and your body aches from all the new weight. So you think, ok, sex after giving birth, but then you have to wait 6 weeks for a medical okay. But then really, you’re still breastfeeding, leaking, and exhausted. It took me months and months and months before I started feeling like myself again.
Eventually, my husband and I started going out with the twins more and having a regular life again. We’re workaholics and as freelancers, we probably work too late at night. But we recognized that we just weren’t connecting like before the infertility treatments and decided to work on it. We planned a little home date night with takeout and dinner on the couch and, basically, we had sex for the first time in 2 years and it resulted in a spontaneous pregnancy.
I mean, it’s not like my OBGYN doctor didn’t warn me. At my 6-week follow-up appointment after having the twins, she asked me about my contraception method and I laughed and said “infertility!” She laughed and gave me her warning! My OBGYN is also a twin mama. She also used infertility treatments to get pregnant with her twins and then 7 months later had a surprise spontaneous pregnancy after having sex, you guessed it, one time! But I told her that we would like one more baby, so if it happens, it happens. I just didn’t know it was going to happen the first time!
I mean, it makes absolutely no sense. My husband and I are now two years older. We weren’t tracking my ovulation schedule. We weren’t even trying to get pregnant. We were simply trying to ease back into a normal, marital sex life. One that was killed after infertility treatments and having twins. We didn’t even say we were for sure going to even have sex that night. We didn’t want to put any pressure on it! It was more like a plan of “let’s both get naked beneath the sheets for once.” We didn’t even use any “safe” non-sperm-killing-lube (aka Preseed), but instead used some good ol’ sperm-killing KY!
But here’s the deal, we just simply had a really good, relaxing day. It was our “Family Day Saturday” and we killed it! We made great decisions all day long with taking the twins out to an event and to the park. We were able to immediately shower after putting the twins to bed, we ate takeout for dinner and shared a bottle of wine while watching a movie! We felt like adults! Surprisingly, neither of us felt drunk off the bottle of wine, just perfectly relaxed. And between the showers, the food, the wine, and the movie, we somehow managed to get me pregnant!
Three weeks later, I was preparing to leave for a mom vacation in Marfa, Texas. My period was 4-5 days late which didn’t really concern me, but my period was usually pretty regular and the more I thought about it the more I realized that pregnancy was entirely possible. I mean, we did have unprotected sex. Even if it was just one time! Plus, I wanted to know for sure if I needed to pack tampons (because I was doing carry-on for the first time ever in my life and I need alllllllllllll the space I can get in a tiny suitcase!) And, I was going on vacation and I needed to know for sure if I could drink or not. So, between my nail and hair appointments, I stopped and bought a pregnancy test.
It was a really weird day. I swear that everyone at my nail appointment was pregnant. The woman in the chair next to me, the woman getting her nails done across from me, the woman doing my pedicure – all pregnant! As I was leaving, another pregnant lady walked in. Then, as I was picking up the pregnancy test at the store, the song “Baby, Baby” by Amy Grant came on. It’s the song that we heard on the radio in the car on our way to our scheduled C-Section to have the twins two years prior and we joked about how it was the perfect song for the car ride because we were on our way to give birth to two babies (baby, baby). So many signs! I texted my husband a video of the pregnancy test box dancing to the music in the store and he texted back saying “well, we’ll either have a little Amy or a little Grant.”
Now, I’m not one of those women who takes a pregnancy test in a public restroom as they do in the movies, but instead, I waited until I got home from my hair appointment. I really had to pee the second I got home, so I snuck upstairs and nearly peed my pants trying to get the damn package open and the instructions read. I peed on the stick and bam – pregnant!
I was shocked.
I didn’t tell my husband right away and he had forgotten about it because we still had to get the twins fed their dinner and ready for bed. After they were down, he asked me how I was getting to the airport the next day and I just started to cry because I was so overwhelmed and said, “I don’t know, but do you want a little Amy or a little Grant?” He was so happy!
I honestly cannot tell you how we got pregnant this last time. I’m still in disbelief about it. Was it just less stress? Maybe we didn’t have as much going on with work and home construction? Did the Clomid medication from two years prior kickstart a permanent change in my husband’s sperm-making abilities? Or was it all just fate and this baby is simply just meant to be?
I’m going with fate! That this little one is just meant to be! But, I’m also getting my tubes tied and my husband will be getting a vasectomy because we definitely don’t want to tempt fate with Baby #4!
Here are some links about similar spontaneous pregnancies after infertility stories: