The Fertility Diaries: When a Friend Is Pregnant -- and You're Not
From Joy to Heartbreak
First, it was Jody and Jenny. The two brides-to-be began talking to each other on a wedding-planning Web site in 2002, and got along so well that they went shopping together for Jenny's wedding dress, with Jody playing photographer. A post-shopping lunch turned into several hours of talking -- as most of their get-togethers have ever since then. "When the two of us go out for lunch, our husbands have learned not to expect us for dinner!" says Jody, a 33-year-old teacher of the hearing impaired.
The two new friends' wedding dates, it turned out, were just a month apart: Jody's in August 2003 and Jenny's in September. Jenny confided to Jody that even before the wedding, she'd decided to stop taking her birth control pills and start charting her ovulatory cycle, hoping to officially start trying to get pregnant soon after becoming Mrs. Taylor.
"I had a normal length of time between periods until October," Jenny, 27, recalls. "But then I had what felt like the longest cycle in history. By the time December rolled around, I had made myself an appointment with an ob/gyn, where they told me it was perfectly normal to not get a period for months on end." Skeptical of that glib dismissal, Jenny began to do more research, and changed doctors.
In February, after having fertility testing, Jenny was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common hormonal disorder (between 6 percent and 10 percent of childbearing-age women have PCOS) in which the ovary doesn't make all of the hormones needed for eggs to fully mature. Jenny's new ob/gyn advised her to lose some weight, take a drug called Metformin -- primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes, it can also restore normal menstrual periods in women with PCOS -- and return for a follow-up appointment in August.
"But by June, I decided that enough was enough. I was done waiting to get pregnant!" Jenny says. She went to a reproductive endocrinologist (an ob/gyn who specializes in fertility treatments), and began taking her first round of the fertility drug Clomid, which boosts hormone levels and can kick-start ovulation, in August. "On September 9, I got a very faint positive on a pregnancy test," Jenny recalls. "A few days later, it was confirmed: I was pregnant!"