Congratulations! It’s a girl…. As soon as we heard these magical words, my husband and I thanked God, holding each other’s hands. It was a cesarean so I couldn’t hold my baby instantly until the surgery got over. They quickly wrapped ‘her’ and brought her very close to my face. My husband and I saw her for the first time and said “thank you” to God once again. At 39, I delivered my healthy baby. I finally made it to conceive naturally after a long fight with infertility issues.
Let’s go back a few years from that happiest moment. We too had our own share of fertility struggles, confusion, age factor (I was over 33), PCOS, delay, desperation mixed waiting time, judgmental comments, heartbreaks etc. What made us get through our fertility challenge was our faith in God, my dedication to maintaining a healthy lifestyle even if I could not always keep my mind stress-free.
Let me begin with details about my journey…I did my MBA in International Business and Marketing and was waiting to explore the corporate world when I met my husband. We had a beautiful beginning to a happy married life when I was just 24 and my husband, 26. We moved to Africa for our jobs. Both of us had great management roles. Of course, the usual ups and downs were there like in everyone’s life but overall, we were happy and professionally quite successful. We never really felt the need to start a family for about 5-6 years. We consulted Dr. Puneet Bedi (who happened to have delivered 2 babies of my sister- in-laws and we knew him). Upon meeting, we instantly felt that he was not just a doctor but a great human being to be acquainted with. He put me on contraceptive pills explaining that when I want to conceive, I should stop, get myself medically checked and be patient.
I used to meet him for check- ups once a year when came to India for holidays. He diagnosed me with very minor impression of PCOS after 5 years of my marriage. We had way too many problems at that point in time to even try to have a baby. 2 more years went by and 7 years after marriage, we came back to India thinking of not running after money, taking a break/sabbatical, be close to family etc. The next 2 years were even more difficult for us emotionally because of which we put the baby project on a back seat. Though we wanted to have a baby and loved babies but our circumstances were making us more and more depressed. We knew all the facts but were not able to keep our problems behind and focus on fertility treatment or TTC.
Years Pass but No Signs of Conceive Naturally:
After 9 years into marriage, having a baby was only in our dreams and since we didn’t see any major problem in our reports (except the minor PCOS), we thought we might be able to conceive within a few months of TTC. We moved to UK with that positive mindset.
We kept our faith strong on almighty and hoped to conceive soon. We went through another round of basic check-ups in UK too and reports were fine. I was 34 and was getting worried but still hopeful to conceive. To tell you the truth, people judged us at every phase of life but we knew how we were coping each day, keeping all our pain within and going to work with a smile on the face. But God always knows and makes sure that even in the deepest and most painful phase of life, you will get strength from some source. We took all our faith and prayed to God to bless us with a healthy baby….forgive us for wasting so many years and taking health for granted. But it wasn’t happening. 3 more years passed– I was 37 and deeply depressed; we came back to India.
That was the lowest point in my life. I met my doctor immediately and hoped to get some miracle procedure to conceive within 2 months. I remember his words, ‘You didn’t try for 10 years, and it isn’t going to happen in 10 days.’ You have to relax your mind, follow the simple treatment of PCOS. He suggested laparoscopy but I was desperate to the core, trying to relax my mind but it wasn’t easy. We prayed a lot but one final test was still ahead. My husband got a better job offer in a different country in Africa this time. This place had lesser modern medical facilities. I just broke down, couldn’t take it anymore. Earlier when I lived in one of the African countries, I used to watch all the women who would conceive and go to India to deliver. But they were much younger than me. I lost 13 years of marriage living in different countries, dealing with too much stress than I deserved and now my last hope was to stay in Delhi close to my trusted doctor and all possible medical facilities.
Back to Africa: Still Thinking About How To Conceive Naturally…
I was desperate so I went for an IUI. It failed and I was devastated. I was so emotional that I was ready to do anything. Probably if I had stayed on in India, I would have even opted for IVF. But God was kinder than I imagined. We had to take a call, so I took up the job but had to shift after 2 months hoping against hope that I would conceive within the 2 months that were left for me to travel. Of course, it didn’t happen. At this juncture, I was 37 years, trying to conceive for 3 years and was shifting again to Africa with fear in mind of not getting best medical options.
Sometimes God’s blessings come in disguise which we can’t see immediately. Once back in Africa, I was on the verge of taking any pill, going through any procedure to conceive naturally. Thanks to my doctor who made me believe that I still had the possibility to conceive naturally and my husband who knew my fear of IVF. Amongst all this, many people suggested us to take a different doctor’s opinion but we both agreed to everything that Dr. Bedi said. He made sense when he talked about health, fertility, women’s wellness (people who consult him will know what I mean). We didn’t want to go to any other doctor as most of them would have suggested IVF, especially to anyone who plans to conceive after 33.
So, at 37 plus age, I gathered all my faith in God all over again I left for Africa with my husband. When I say Africa, please do not assume that African countries are underdeveloped. Life in Africa is rather luxurious for expats; people are nice and warm, there are good doctors/hospitals available, but to be honest, not all countries are well equipped to handle serious medical situations. Since we expats have the choice of going to our respective countries for treatment, most of them prefer to send the women back home for delivery. I love Africa and I admire everything this continent has to offer, but my fear was the same as others.
Coming back to my story, we settled down in a new country and were trying to conceive naturally but nothing happened in the first 4 months. You can imagine my increasing fear related to my age, but after coming here I had a lot of free time to think, reflect, stay healthier, meditate and relax. I will be lying if I say that I didn’t worry along with all the positivity, reading, Google for Information, talking to very few people. I was constantly thinking, visualizing about how life will be with the baby and then killed that vibe by crying because another month had gone without any result.
I had 3 rough months as my husband lost his mother and my own mother was very sick. The only ray of hope was offered by the 2 friends I made in this place who said that now since I was away from all big medical facilities, I have no choice and will conceive! This is how the entire year passed without any positive result. I again got strength and decided to go through Laparoscopy when we came to India for our annual leave. I officially touched 38 and was at the peak of my desperation to be a mom.
Dr. Puneet Bedi referred me to Dr. Vivek Marwah in Max, Saket (New Delhi) for Laparoscopy. It was New Year’s Eve of 2015 when I had my surgery and Dr. Bedi was kind enough to be in OT. The moment I was back to senses, my first question obviously was ….”hope my tubes are NOT blocked’. Thank god, nothing was wrong; the surgery probably helped the PCOS impressions to clear and we ruled the last doubt out. We both were thanking God at every stage and by now possibly could see our future baby coming.
Guess what! Our doctor suggested that we wait for at least one cycle before trying to conceive naturally. Had to follow but two months more went without conceiving when I lost it, broke down and just could not sit and wait anymore. I decided to get back in business as only shifting focus can help when we start to obsess over something. I got some interviews and was interested in a bank job. After few rounds, they told me to wait for a few days. At the same time, all my prayers were to conceive and not to get a job.
This is when my husband and I had a real talk….about how we were approaching this issue. He said….”Enough, you will not have to go through IVF procedure as I know how much you dread that. You already went through every ups and downs of life with me, got IUI, Laparoscopy done. Now we are at an age when we must decide. If we don’t conceive naturally till our next trip to India, we will start the adoption process.” We agreed on that but my sixth sense was sending me vibes. I truly believe that nothing is a coincidence in life. It’s all part of the plan.
The Magic Unfolds, Finally…
2 days after that, I got a call from the bank for a meeting. I went and was offered a great profile. They wanted me to start from the next day itself (it was a Wednesday) but I requested an extension of 4 days more days. I had a feeling, was scared to even do an HPT. My husband wanted to celebrate my new job but I told him to wait….Thursday, Friday went by. Saturday I was anxious to check….finally, around 2 am in the morning, I did the HPT and waited for the longest few minutes of my life. I saw the second line emerging…not very clear but certainly two lines!
“After 14 years of marriage and at 38, I was pregnant!”
I managed my emotions and woke my husband….he jumped and we did some more HPTs. It was surely positive and we were overjoyed and scared at the same time. Suddenly all kinds of worries crept in related to a healthy pregnancy. But we gathered ourselves and gave the news to our doctor and my parents only. Needless to say, I didn’t take the job as I could not be careful enough and didn’t want any work stress. I tried to continue to stay as healthy as possible but had complications just a few days before the third month. We kept our faith in God and prayed for our baby’s safety. The most difficult 12 hours of our lives were when we got the ultrasound done and heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
I had a slightly complicated pregnancy with extremely low haemoglobin but I kept doing the right things related to diet, mental peace and came to India in the 5th month, close to our doctor and better medical care. My husband stayed for 2 days; we got my NIPT test and detailed scanning done by our doctors and after that, he left. I stayed until delivery with my sister and her family. We both struggled for so long to conceive but could not enjoy the most important phase of our lives together. The baby started kicking, moving and I used to miss him even more. I took 100s of pictures of my baby bump growing to send him. I followed my doctor’s advice completely and finally, the happiest day of our lives arrived with the arrival of our baby girl. My husband came 3 days before she was born. Due to my complications, I had a C-section but I enjoyed that too. I told my doctor at the table that I want to go through this whole thing again.
My message to all the couples who want a baby is this– please maintain a healthy lifestyle in your own capacity keeping today’s stressful life in mind. For women, actually, age becomes less of a challenge if they have a good lifestyle. But above all, surrender yourself completely to the almighty and believe in yourself. Your miracle might be just around the corner. Just hang in there, be patient and stay happy…..be it natural conception, IUI, IVF, Surrogacy, Adoption…….You will have your baby for sure!Tags: conceive naturally conceiving couples fighting infertility fight against infertility natural conception true stories