It’s Baby Time
It feels so good to say this: We’re officially pregnant!
It has been one year since going off Tamoxifen and Zoladex and beginning the process of joining the Baby Time study to try and get pregnant. After my second IUI and the subsequent paranoia that kicked in (are those period cramps or implantation cramps? Are implantation cramps even a real thing?) two weeks passed and I had started bleeding the day I was supposed to get my pregnancy test. Feeling deflated and exhausted, I chose not to go down to the fertility clinic and accepted my faith. That night, I went to my friend’s place and had a glass of wine but rushed home due to my recurring infection pushing through. Could things get any worse?
But then the bleeding stopped. Maybe I was just spotting? I waited one more day as my fever/infection subsided and I decided to go to the clinic for either the start of my “day 3” cycle monitoring testing or perhaps to do my overdue pregnancy test if there’s still no bleeding. I did the regular blood test and prepared for the ultrasound but when I realized there was no more bleeding, I asked to speak with the nurse who said she would change the blood test to a pregnancy test. I was told to just go home and that she would contact me later.
It was Family Day and my husband and I were at my parents’ place for lunch. Hours later I got the call that said, “You are pregnant”. I cried tears of pure disbelief, exhaustion and happiness. My husband hugged me as I was in shock. I remember hearing my 2-year-old nephew in the other room say “why is Dory sad?” and my sister in law, who just knew, told him “those are happy tears…”
Then began the blood tests every few days to ensure that my HCG was rising as it should. During my last pregnancy, this was the time where we knew something was wrong almost right away – as my HCG was doing wonky things rising one day and lowering the next. I tracked my blood each time and was so thrilled whenever the nurse called with positive news.
The ultrasounds started as well. Leading up to and passing the seven-week mark was a huge accomplishment of getting one step ahead of where my pregnancy ended last time. The ultrasounds were surreal—each time we got to see a little growing ball within my belly. One side note: If you are a woman who is lucky enough to get pregnant through the fertility process, please consider tucking your precious photo away upon leaving the ultrasound room. Being on both sides, I know how hard it can be as a woman sitting in the waiting room and watching the happy faces come and go while you are dreading the news you are about to hear or simply just feeling hopeless and exhausted.
Announcing the pregnancy to friends and family was filled with mixed emotions. Feeling anxious not to get too excited for what may happen and also sensitive to the fact this news could be triggering to some, as it was for me months before.
So, it turns out that you can get pregnant after cancer—although it may be a gruelling process. Although I still don’t know if choosing to have a baby will put me in higher risk for my cancer returning, I am still certain I made the right decision. Sharing my story has been cathartic and I hope I’ve reached some people out there going through a similar situation. I lost hope upon my first visit to the fertility clinic back in July and was filled with lots of negativity. What helped me was constantly reminding myself that pregnancy isn’t a fine-tuned science. It’s a lot of luck and timing and knowing that really, anything can happen at any time. Thanks for following my story. Dory Kashin