John Paul’s birth was a pretty traumatic experience for us. (His birth story could be its own post.) I suffered with PTSD after his birth and we made some major life changes (moved to a new state, new job, purchased our first home etc). For those reasons and many more we decided to use the Creighton Model to avoid pregnancy.
I am not going to sugarcoat it, charting postpartum is difficult! Even as a Practitioner myself, I needed another set of eyes on my chart just to make sure. When you’re not back into cycles and hormones are going crazy plus a lack of sleep, it makes charting very challenging. (This is why I always recommend seeing your Practitioner again during the postpartum phase!)
As time went on and life settled down we discerned to begin using the method to achieve pregnancy. I began some of the supplements that I took prior to conceiving John Paul and we honestly had no idea what to expect. We knew we potentially could have issues with trying to conceive because of my polycystic ovarian syndrome and some signs in my chart but we also knew that it could happen the first cycle like it did with John Paul.
Month after month came and went and all we saw were negative pregnancy tests. My chart indicated low progesterone (and my mood did too 😉 ) After a few cycles of trying and not conceiving I went to our local NaProTechnology doctor and was prescribed bioidentical progesterone. I also did a full hormone profile and was pretty discouraged with the results. I had been having double peaks consistently and the blood work showed that I was potentially ovulating in-between the peaks. Which did not make any sense and I was left feeling pretty defeated. After three months of being on progesterone and still not seeing a positive pregnancy test we upped the dosage of my progesterone.
Then out of nowhere my mucus just completely dried up. (For those that don’t chart or aren’t aware, mucus is absolutely essential to conceive. You must have 1. good sperm 2. good egg and 3. good mucus in order for conception to occur.) I was trying many different mucus enhancers and nothing was working. I kept having dry cycle after dry cycle.
I was getting incredibly discouraged because we needed to do more blood work to figure out if my new dosage of progesterone was right but you can’t have accurate blood work when you don’t have any mucus!
I was on my third completely dry cycle in a row, absolutely frustrated with my body and fed up. At that point my husband and I started the St. Anne (Mary’s Mother) novena, asking her to intercede for us and to heal our infertility. I figured it wouldn’t work since I was already really late in my cycle and should be starting a new one soon but also felt it didn’t hurt to try. John Paul and I went to Mass on St. Anne’s Feast Day and prayed in thanksgiving for her intercession.
To be honest I had never had any sort of relationship with St. Anne prior to this novena. In the past I’ve become pretty close to her daughter Mary and I imagined how great her parents must have been but never really thought much more about them.
Then you will never believe what happened!!! The very next day (Cycle Day was in the late 20’s!) I saw mucus! For those that chart, you understand how incredibly crazy that is. Typically a woman is well into her post-ovulatory phase at that point or even starting a new cycle. Plus as a Practitioner, I see a lot of cycles and can only think of 1 where the woman had mucus that late in her cycle and conceived.
At that point I said, “Okay St. Anne, keep interceding for us! We need it and so appreciate it!”
The next day I saw mucus again and then “poof” completely gone. If you’re counting, that’s only two days. An optimal healthy mucus build-up is 5-7 days in length. In fact a common pattern among women struggling with infertility is a short mucus build-up because there’s not enough of that good cervical mucus for sperm to survive. For fun, I decided to see when the due date would be if we did conceive and it was April 21st, Easter!
With this knowledge I figured we wouldn’t conceive again and that our chances were pretty low but was also so thankful to St. Anne for interceding for us and giving us hope again in our journey of trying to conceive. I also held onto a bit of hope because I didn’t see the due date as a coincidence!
On Peak +11 (yes very early in the post-ovulatory phase) I knew that I was going to our NaProTechnology doctor’s office to go to work so I wanted to see if my uber sensitive pregnancy test would pick up a positive. (I wanted to be able to get blood work done while I was at his office, if there was a positive.) I tested at 6:00am and saw the faintest line. I had to literally hold it a certain angle to even see anything and even then I thought maybe I was just seeing things. (I was even using different picture filters on my phone to see if there was actually a second line.) I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but I just had a gut feeling that St. Anne was really pulling for us.
An hour later I took another test and there was definitely another line this time but it was pretty faint. I was going to keep it a secret from Brian until I knew for sure. I figured I’d ask our NaProTechnology doctor to run tests and then tell Brian. Well it turns out I cannot keep anything from him. I told him not even a few minutes after taking the second test but added, “Don’t get your hopes up, I want to get blood work done.”
Brian went to work and John Paul and I went to Mass to give thanks for the new human life that He created (still hoping and praying there was indeed a baby).
I got my HCG and progesterone levels tested and we were pregnant! I had pretty low progesterone so I began supplementation right away.
My second pregnancy was a lot harder than my first and I ended up needing progesterone support the whole time. However, we are so incredibly thankful for our little miracle through the intercession of St. Anne.
Teresa Frances came into the world at 9 pounds even, almost a week overdue! We are blessed!
Thank you everyone for all of your prayers. It was a very difficult labor/delivery and recovery. Your prayers have been felt and very much appreciated.
Author: Kristin Dvorsky is the Certified FertilityCare Practitioner and founder of Faustina FertiltyCare Center. She is incredibly passionate about helping women receive the level of healthcare they deserve! You can reach Kristin at Kristin@FaustinaCare.com