TLDR; I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and can’t get pregnant for months until my thyroid hormones are a safe level to start infertility treatments.
Here’s the whole story:
This story starts all the way back in 2015 when Shane and I got married. It was a beautiful spring day on May 15 at our wedding when we said our vows and we celebrated with our families and friends. We decided that we wanted to wait to get pregnant until a year after the wedding so we could just enjoy being married together and get to know married life before we added a child into the mix.
In 2016, the housing market was looking great and we wanted to get out of our rented duplex. We decided that it would be smart to wait a little longer to try to have a child until we got into a house and paid off our student loans. This was a hard decision, but it seemed like the most logical and that we were being “smart”. It took much longer to get into a house than we expected so the anticipation to actually start “trying” was hard to handle!
We finally had an offer on a home accepted in July 2017 and I stopped taking birth control that same month. I thought it would take a couple of months to get the hormones out of my system and we’d be all set to get pregnant ASAP! I had a regular cycle for 3 months and then… nothing. Normally you only stop having a period if you’re not eating enough or exercising too much which I… was not. I was so hopeful that maybe it meant I was pregnant and took so many pregnancy tests but that was not what was going on.
I finally went to the doctor in January 2018 and the only thing that was wrong with my hormone levels was my TSH Reflex was off-the-charts high which indicates hypothyroidism. I started taking synthetic T4 hormone the next day and was hopeful this would be a small blip but I’d still get pregnant in the spring as I’d hoped. This did not turn out to be my story, and my thyroid actually got worse over the course of the past year so doing infertility treatments was no longer an option.
I’ve been getting my blood tested every 6 weeks since January (that’s as often as they’ll let me go). I’ve had a thyroid ultrasound and my antibodies tested which confirmed that it’s not just hypothyroidism, but Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which is an autoimmune disease and means my body is attacking my thyroid and nothing will cure this. My doctors all agree that the only course of treatment is to continue taking synthetic T4 and we’ll eventually get the right dosage so it’ll be safe to get pregnant. I am waiting on a referral for a specialist, and maybe I’ll get more information from them.
I can’t get pregnant until my thyroid levels are normalized because it’s literally impossible to get pregnant without a normal cycle and when I don’t ovulate and it would be actually dangerous to the baby if I was hypothyroid and pregnant.
Getting my blood tested is easy; it’s a small inconvenience in my day to get blood drawn and get the result within a couple of hours. It’s the rest of the time that has been difficult. I can’t plan any future vacations because I don’t know if I’ll be pregnant, or if I’ll be doing infertility treatments that would disrupt a vacation, or if we’d be able to afford a vacation with the costs of infertility treatments. I feel like I’m constantly waiting for the next blood test hoping that it’ll be normal levels so I can finally continue with the next steps to become a mother.
People are generally nice when they ask “when are you having kids?” but it’s still hard when I want to answer “you have no idea how badly I want to be a mother”. I talked to another family member who had gone through infertility and she mentioned that it might be helpful to tell people what I’m going through. It’s hard for me to remember who I’ve told what and continually update friends and family on new developments so I thought writing it all out would be beneficial.
Some people have been well-intentioned but have given me bad medical advice or have dismissed this as a reason at all. I am doing everything I can to manage this and get my body in the best condition it can be to have a child. It is disappointing that my body won’t cooperate and get pregnant on my timeline, but I trust that this is all in God’s hands and He has control over the timeline instead.
For now, we are just putting one foot in front of the other and doing everything in faith that it will work out.