about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    A Look Back.



The Road to Baby-Making.

Wow, guys – all I can say is THANKS!  Over six hundred comments and climbing, and I spent my afternoon doing nothing but reading each and every one of them with a ridiculous grin plastered to my face.  Even though I’m still riding the high, I’ll come down long enough to resume my regularly scheduled programming.

First things first, I assure you there will still be plenty of food and fitness discussion here – especially once I am feeling a bit better and my appetite returns.  Having a healthy, active, vegetarian pregnancy is something I am so passionate about and excited to share!  I will do my best to find a good balance of baby talk, and down the road I might even consider starting a separate blog – we’ll see.  For this week, it might be a bit baby heavy since there is so much I have been DYING to tell you guys!

When we told our families the good news last weekend, after tears and hugs, the first thing everyone wanted was THE STORY.  Was it expected?  Were we trying?  How did we find out?  I figured it would be just as appropriate to share the same info with you guys, since it sounds like so many of you are moms (or want to be moms eventually!) too.  Here goes…  (Warning: period talk ahead.)

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The Story

As a teenager, I was always ridiculously private and embarrassed about all things female.  While I know we girls all have our mortifying period stories, I took this to the extreme.  True story – when I was 18 and in college my freshman year, I didn’t have a car to take myself to the store and always had to go with friends.  I was SO humiliated that I needed to buy super plus tampons (when all my friends were buying normal regulars) that I called my mom crying and convinced her to mail them to me all year long.  You read that correctly – my mom mailed me tampons in college.  Oh, and she took them out of the box for me too, just to ensure no one knew what size they were.  Because that’s normal, right?  Thanks mom!  :)

Fast forward to life as an adult.  I did finally get over my fear of the dreaded tampon purchase, and (ironically) became a total over-sharer. 

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Casey and I got married in May 2009, and not long after we had the serious “when do we want kids” talk.  I had heard stories and rumors that it could take a long time to come off of birth control, especially for those that had been on it a long time.  Having taken the pill every month since I was newly 19, at 28 I was now staring 10 years of artificial hormones in the face.  I knew I didn’t feel ready for kids right then, but I decided to transition off of my birth control anyways, just to get my body ready in case it took a while to readjust.

Thank god I did.

I finished up my last birth control pack in November 2009.  Months came and went with no period.  I bought about 25 different pregnancy tests, convinced that I was pregnant on a weekly basis.  Finally in March 2010, five months later, I went to see a doctor who prescribed me a drug that would help induce my period.  But for some reason I didn’t take it.  I was already so upset that the BC had affected me so negatively, and taking the prescription had me wondering if I was headed down the path of infertility treatment too early.  I held onto the prescription for a week while I thought about what to do, but I never ended up taking it.

One week later, I got my period.  And I literally cried tears of joy.

I thought my worrying was over, knowing that my body was finally naturally producing a cycle.  And then April came and my period didn’t.  I felt like I was back to square one.  Somewhere in Mid-may, the cycle returned.  This pattern continued well through the summer and into August.  My periods were finally coming, but they were over 60 days apart, which (according to my internet research) meant I wasn’t actually ovulating.

Through it all, I never talked about it.  Casey knew I was having female issues, but for some reason I felt too humiliated to confront my problem.  For some reason I found myself completely embarrassed about what I was going through.  Here I was, claiming to be a role model for health and nutrition, and yet I felt like the basic function of my female body was not working.  I looked healthy on the outside, but felt broken and ashamed on the inside.

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Every month, I told myself I would give it one more month.  Every month I bought a pregnancy test, and every month it was negative.  I started keeping track of my period in my calendar, so that I would have accurate information once I was ready to re-face my doctor. 

And then suddenly, somewhere around last October, my cycles started coming more regularly.  Sixty days dropped to 40 days, and eventually became a steady 29 days.  I had three regular periods in a row and felt on top of the world.

But over the course of a year, I had been completely off of my birth control, doing what married people do, and still no pregnancy.  I knew after the one year mark I would need to face the truth.  I wasn’t emotionally ready to make the leap to charting, temperatures, and all of the other methods for trying to conceive.  I wanted to believe for some reason that I didn’t need that (which in hindsight makes NO sense).

We rung in 2011 excited for a new year, but I was also feeling a little hopeless about our future as parents.  On top of my personal embarrassment about (what I felt was) my failing body, I felt a strong sense of guilt that I might not be able to give Casey the babies that he so deserved.  Of course he told me that was absurd and he loved me regardless, but my own emotional baggage was heavily weighing me down.

In a last ditch effort – one month before I would turn 30 – I downloaded an ovulation tracker app for my phone (so high tech, I know!) and entered all of my recent cycle info.  The program (called My Days if anyone cares) used all my information to predict my ovulation dates, and when those dates rolled around – we did what we were supposed to do.  That was January.

February came and I anxiously awaited the day that my app told me I should get my period.  A few days prior, I had what I thought was the beginning of it, accompanied by sadness and tears.  But it only lasted a day, and then the signs were all gone.  Saturday came and I could just tell that my period was not coming.  In an already needed grocery trip, I threw a pregnancy test into the cart.  Due to the hundreds of dollars I had invested in tests all year long, this was not news or even eyebrow-raising to Casey.

Sunday came – still no period.  I wanted to do the test right then and there, but I knew mornings were best for accurate results.  I woke up Monday morning, crawled out of bed at 6am, and took the test.

The rest, as they say, is history

There is more to the story of telling Casey and the first few days that I plan to share later!  But in the interest of space, and your attention span, I thought for now I would just share my long journey down the road to getting pregnant.

Part of the reason I was so excited to spread the news so early is that for me, just knowing that I could GET pregnant was a huge blessing I wasn’t sure I would ever experience.  So as I said before, for better or for worse, this little raspberry-sized baby is a gift that we will never take for granted.

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If you are anxiously awaiting some food or fitness talk, check out my latest two guest and freelance posts:

Washingtonian’s Well+Being:  How to Eat: Millet

dailySpark:  Bouncing Back from an Injury

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234 Comments so far
Leave a comment

christina cadden     at 6:24 pm

I am so excited for you guys! Love your story thanks for sharing it!

[Reply]

Alex     at 6:26 pm

Hi Emily,
First of all, congratulation on your pregnancy! I can’t wait to follow it on your blog.
I’ve been reading your blog for the last couple of months but this is my very first time commenting.
All the comments about birth control, and struggles with infertility drew me into commenting today. I started taking the pill when I was 17, this was purely for birth control. I didn’t question it for the first few years but in my early twenties I started feeling uncomfortable with the fact that I was taking hormones daily. So one day I decided to come off the pill. I thought I’d just use condom and that that would be that. Unfortunately before I even had my first “real period” I was pregnant (condoms are definitely not 100% reliable). I was 24 at the time and while the guy was a really sweet person our story had no future so I ended up doing what was the most sensible thing to do then. I don’t regret my decision but I really wish I hadn’t put myself in such a situation.
I went back on the pill straight after that, not that I changed my mind about the hormones but I didn’t trust condoms anymore and couldn’t see any other way to avoid getting pregnant again.
Ever since this happened I can’t help but feel that somewhere along the line I will have to pay for what I did and maybe infertility will be my sentence.
I am now married to a wonderful guy. Nearly 2 years ago (before we got married) I shared with him my concerns about the pill and, with his full support, I came off of it.
We are not trying for a baby. In fact our current situation is not ideal for starting a family (we are in the UK waiting for our immigration papers to arrive so that we can move and settle in Canada). Even though we know that an “accident” could happen I know my husband is not fully comfortable with the idea of a baby yet and I would rather this to be something that we both want.
I, however feel quite ready. In fact I have felt ready for quite a while but sadly it never seems to be the right time so I just tell myself that there are million other things I want to do before I have babies. And yes, most of my friends have kids now, some are even having their second babies each pregnancy announcement makes me feel totally left behind.
That’s why it’s so comforting to hear other people’s stories. Thank you for sharing yours and for creating a space where other people can share their experience :)

[Reply]

rrv     at 6:33 pm

Wow, that is a crazy journey for sure! I can identify…I lost my period for 3 years (and never told anyone because I didn’t want to talk about it) and then spent months on different pills trying to get my cycle back. When it finally came, it was so exciting! I ran out of pills after a year of being on them, and within a few months, it was again so exciting to have a period come back on its own!

I wish you a happy, healthy pregnancy. This is a special baby, for sure, considering the road it took to get you here! Congrats!

[Reply]

Katie     at 8:20 pm

Thank you for posting that, My Husband and I have been TTC for 2 years with no success. I was also not able to get a period on my own. We just finished our first round of injectible hormones and are hoping that in a few weeks we will be able to feel that same joy. I am so very happy for you guys!!

[Reply]

Heidi - Apples Under My Bed     at 8:48 pm

Thanks for sharing! You’re so honest in your struggles and happiness :) I have been with my man for 9.5 years (getting married next Feb, I’m 25). I’ve been on the pill for nearly 9 years, so I’m sure this will all be relevant when we start trying for kids in 3-4 years!
Heidi xo

[Reply]

Pearl (Crunch and Chew)     at 6:35 am

I haven’t had the chance to congratulate you; I’m so excited for you and Casey – best of luck!

[Reply]

www.theevolvinghomemaker.com     at 5:05 pm

YEAH! Congrats!

:)
Jen

[Reply]

Lisa     at 7:23 pm

Congratulations on your big news! I’ve never been consistent with the Pill. I take it in relationships (it took forever to find one that worked without making me crazy or acne-prone) but whenever relationships ended I preferred to be au-natural.

I’ve been with my boyfriend now for 3 years. We live together. We plan on getting married. Someday we want kids. I have no idea WHEN. I just hope I don’t have fertility issues because of the Pill.

[Reply]

marsha     at 5:42 pm

First of all – congratulations!!! And thank you for your honesty in this post! I’m getting married next spring and at that point I’ll have been on bc for at least a dozen years. I talked about your story with my fiance who knows what we may face down the road when it becomes time to ttc. I wish you guys the best and can’t wait to hear about your journey!

[Reply]

Kelli H     at 5:34 pm

Congratulations to you and your husband! Thank you for sharing your story. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be 10 years of being on BC to experience irregular periods. I was on it for about 2 years and when I got off I had irregular cycles for about 6 months. It can be really scary!

[Reply]

Amy @ThenThereWere     at 4:53 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have PCOS and a ~56 days cycle. Managed to get pregnant slightly accidentally at the beginning of December but miscarried. Positive stories help, it’s more learning and hope.

Amy x

ps think you can’t see me because my twitter has to be protected due to work, ttc blah blah I am here is you’d like to follow :o) http://www.twitter.com/ThenThereWere

[Reply]

marcy     at 12:15 pm

I’m so glad I found your blog and just read this post… I am going through alot of the same things.. i stopped taking BC in Aug and my periods are hit or miss.. I keep spending the $$ on test and they are always negative. I finally got the courage to go to the doctor last week and had blood taken to determine if I am even ovulating. I haven’t gotten the results back yet but hopefully today or tomorrow. Your story made me feel so much better that other people react the same was as me… Congrats!

[Reply]

Namaste Gurl     at 5:05 pm

This pregnancy journey testimony of yours makes my heart happy and flourish. Well written and documented, Emily! So genuine and heart- felt, and I can totally sense it. Can’t wait to read further about your continuing pregnancy journey…

[Reply]

Week 14: My Pregnancy Journey. | Daily Garnish     at 2:53 pm

[…] The Road to Baby Making […]

Sarah @ See Sarah Eat     at 1:00 pm

I was always embarrassed about female stuff too and my family never talked about it, so for the longest time I just swept it under a rug and accepted it. Now that I want to have children, I have had to learn to speak up about things and to take action. It’s been quite an adjustment for me! So glad your road to baby happened the way it did :)

[Reply]

Sarah     at 11:36 pm

Wow, thanks for sharing your story Emily! I’m really glad I decided not to get on BC. My body just hates taking any kinds of meds anyway- it pretty much rejects everything and I get every singe side effect. I don’t think Doctors do a very good job of informing women of other options.

[Reply]

New Blogger Introduction for Being Pregnant Blog | Being Pregnant     at 11:06 am

[…] you, while learning valuable and useful tips from the experienced moms and Babble veterans.  After a little over a year of trying, my husband, Casey, and I found out in late January that we were finally expecting a baby this […]

Sarah     at 3:54 pm

I am so glad that I found your amazing blog. My story is very similar and I’m hoping for a similar ending..
I came off BC in November 2010, had a period for 2 days in December 2010 then nothing.. months of nothing. I had all the signs except breast tenderness. After a week of excruciating cramps and no menses, I took a test.. negative BUT the next week, breast tenderness then my period. What a relief.
This is where your blog has put my mind at ease – I’m over a week late (if I had a 28 day cycle). Knowing that you had a 60 day then a 40 really helps. None of my friends have gone through this so it’s been difficult to explain. I was worried that my BF % was too low (17) or that my vegetarian diet was harming me.
Thank you for sharing!

[Reply]

The Third Trimester Pity Party | Being Pregnant     at 2:56 pm

[…] 33 weeks I have felt blessed, lucky, and so grateful for being pregnant.  Getting here didn’t come easy for me, and I can’t imagine ever taking that for granted.  But with that said, it has also been […]

Amateur Mommy     at 11:59 am

Your story is SO MUCH like mine! I was on depo for 10 years or so and it took over a year to get out of my system. I really thought we were going to be childless. Alas, I was wrong, and we have a beautiful little girl, 17 months old! Now I’m as regular as can be and never planning on going on BC again due to my difficult experience getting off of it.

Cullen is a handsome little fella, BTW :)

[Reply]

Derek     at 6:17 pm

An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment.
I believe that you need to publish more about
this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people
don’t discuss such issues. To the next! Many
thanks!!

[Reply]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Thoughts On Three.     at 12:27 pm

[…] Backing up to when I we tried to get pregnant with Cullen – it took 14 months!  I wrote a long post all about it years ago, but the short version goes like this:  I took hormonal birth control […]

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