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Anna Levin

How I Turned A Scary Diagnosis Into A Positive Pregnancy Test

PUBLISHED ON 10/04/2012

Hello there!  My name is Anna and I am The Bump's newest blogger!

I'm currently 27 years old and married to the love of my life, Ken, who is 28 years old. We're currently expecting our first child, a girl, due October 23rd 2012 (doing the math, that means I'm currently 35 weeks pregnant!). I thought for my introductory post I would tell you a little bit about myself and our conception journey.  So here we go...

Who am I?

I was born and raised in San Francisco and I went to college in Baltimore. Ken (who is from Connecticut) and I met during my freshman orientation and we've been together ever since. We moved to New Orleans during the summer of 2008 for graduate school, and got married July 2009.  In June 2013 we'll be moving back to Baltimore for at least three next the years and after that, who knows where life will take us!

Here's a photo of us from our wedding day:

My scary diagnosis

From very early in our relationship, we talked about wanting to have children. Ken grew up as the middle of three boys, and I never had any siblings and always wanted them. We'd talked about wanting to have at least two children some day.

During the summer of 2010, I had abdominal surgery that was performed laparascopically. The surgery was completely unrelated to my reproductive capabilities, but during the surgery the surgeon decided to check things out since he was in there with a camera anyway. He noticed that my uterus looked a little funny, and he suggested that I take the photos he took to an OB/GYN to have them checked out. My OB took one look at the photos and said "Looks like you have a unicornuate uterus."

Of course, the first thing I do after I hear big words like that from a doctor is to Google them — bad idea!  The statistics I read painted a horrible picture, and I became very discouraged. Would I ever be able to get pregnant? If I did get pregnant, would I ever be able to carry a pregnancy to term? There were all kinds of scary statistics about  miscarriage, preterm labor, ruptured uteruses and premature birth.

I was scared, and Ken and I went through many emotions just processing this information. We started talking about "what if" situations — Would we adopt? Would we try IVF? Surrogacy? How far were we willing to go to have biological children of our own? I had several tests to see if my uterus was, in fact, a unicornuate uterus, and every test confirmed the same thing.

Deciding to try to conceive

Luckily, we're young, so we had time. We decided we should probably start trying to conceive as soon as we thought we could handle it income-wise. In a perfect world, we probably would have waited a few more years after getting married, so that we could enjoy being a young married couple, but getting the news about my uterus made us feel as though we were in somewhat of a rush. We had no idea what types of difficulties and complications we'd face.

We figured that based on our jobs and income, the earliest possible time it would make sense to have a baby would be in October 2012, so we counted backwards and figured we could start trying in January 2012 at the very earliest. I had been on birth control since the time I turned 18 years old, so I decided to stop taking it in October 2011 to give my body a few months to regulate my menstrual cycle.

I started reading the Trying to Get Pregnant discussion board on The Bump, and from October through December, I also started charting my basal body temperature, so I'd have a better sense of what was going on with my body month-to-month. I started taking prenatal vitamins, and we met with my OB and a maternal and fetal medicine specialist in November 2011 to talk about how I could best prepare my body for getting pregnant, and to find out how pregnancy would be different for me than it would for someone with a "normal" uterus. Their advice was basically to try to relax, eat healthily, drink lots of water, continue to exercise, try not to stress about it, do a lot of "baby dancing" (yes, sex) and call them as soon as I had a positive pregnancy test.

The baby dance

My first menstrual cycle of the new year started on January 17th. I charted my temperature closely. I took my prenatal vitamin religiously and I even tried drinking raspberry leaf tea (which I'd heard could help!). We did the baby dance six days in a row during my "fertile window" (it helped that this was right around the same time as Mardi Gras in New Orleans — there were lots of parties going on!). I was expecting my period on Valentine's day.

On February 11th, when I hadn't felt PMS symptoms, I started to become hopeful. I wasn't moody. I didn't have any cramps. I hadn't had any spotting. I hadn't had any headaches. I didn't feel like I was about to get my period. Despite all that I'd heard that said you shouldn't take any pregnancy tests until several days after a missed period, I woke up on February 12th and decided to take a test.

Getting the good news

I peed on a stick and waited for what felt like six hours before I saw two lines on the test. I thought for sure it was a false positive, so I peed on another stick (this one was a digital test) and waited for six more hours before "pregnant" popped up on the screen.

I had a great plan in my mind to tell Ken that I was pregnant by wrapping up the pregnancy test inside of a onesie that said something like, "I love Daddy!" but at that moment, all plans evaporated into thin air. I ran into the other room and said (okay, I screamed), "I'M PREGNANT!"  Ken looked at me in disbelief for a few moments, and then said, "Okay. Now what?"

We immediately called our parents to tell them the news. Then we called Ken's grandmother, all of our aunts and uncles, and some of our best friends. Initially, we thought we'd want to keep a pregnancy a secret but in that moment, we were too excited not to tell everybody. We rationalized our decision by saying that if anything were to happen, we would rather have the love and support of our family and friends than to have kept it a secret.

How long did it take you to get pregnant? How did you tell your friends and family members?