The Little Story of Sprout

Several people have asked me to share my story, and although I always agreed to at the time, I have deliberated over writing this post for ages now (18 weeks to be exact) for fear of undermining, insulting or upsetting anyone going through fertility issues. This is my story, a happy and positive one, and I wrote it from my heart. I hope that it in some small way will help whoever may read it.

You see, babies – despite what they say in the movies – seldom come from a drunken one night stand or even a stork. Babies (often) come from heartbreak, tears and a whole lot of planning.

In June this year I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – a fairly common condition that affects every 1 in 20 woman. I went to get checked out because a good friend had recently been diagnosed, and as she told me I just knew, in my heart, that I had it too. Turns out, I did, and seeing my ovaries on the ultrasound resemble a bunch of grapes, was devastating. Ladies, I’m sure we can all agree that grapes, unless being fed to you by an Adonis or crushed in a wine bottle, have no place in a woman’s reproductive system.

My gynae, a crazy Croatian with a fondness for the word Fuck (to be referred to as ‘Dr D’ going forward) was brilliantly blasé and calm when he told me – and the only advise he handed out was to “Not Dr Google it, drink lots and have plenty of sex”.

Copious blood tests, medicine and a small fortune later, my diagnosis had been confirmed and we knew what the exact problem was, for me it was my Prolactin levels. (PCOS symptoms vary from woman to woman, and no case is ever the same). PCOS, like anything to do with making a human, is a messy revolting affair – some days I wished for a baby delivery by stork, much more charming than the weekly crotch invasions I was experiencing.

Dr D also advised that if we were serious about having children (we were) then we shouldn’t delay and get trying right away. In the back of my mind I was anticipating 2 to 3 years of trying (based on research and people who had the same condition) and was quite happy to go with his advice, thinking I would be pregnant in 2016 if I was lucky.

10 weeks into the new medication, and obsessively recording my cycles, basal body temperature and more I went back to the doctor for another batch of tests. I remember sitting in his office complaining that Aunt Flow hadn’t arrived in 2 months and that the meds weren’t working – he told me that based on the blood test results he would put me on fertility drugs to try help my system reboot and resume.

New blood work done I went out that week and drank my body weight in wine – as I had been doing for the weeks before then, You see, some people react to a PCOS diagnosis by cutting out sugar, wheat and alcohol. I embraced all the bad stuff and decided to try and not let my diagnosis bother me as much as I could. I found comfort at the bottom of a Boschendal bottle.

Around the same time, to try and distract myself even more from the barren womb, I took up an intense 12 week bikini body gym program. I was only 3 or 4 weeks into it, but battling – I couldn’t finish each 28 minute set without almost passing out, wanting to vomit or feeling dizzy – on top of that my heart rate was a staggeringly high at about 210 BPM during every session. Part of the program entailed taking daily pics to track ones progress – I still remember the frustration I felt at feeling so weak and looking at my pics wondering why my tummy wasn’t getting flatter, only more and more bloated.

All of this, combined with emotional outbursts at work (I cried when I was told an email was too nice for gods sake) should really have been a sign that there was something going on, but you believe a professional when they tell you that IT.WILL.TAKE.TIME so you blame the tears on the meds and you blame the bloat on the wine.

Little did I know that I had been merrily with child for 5 weeks already.

My darling husband, eventually convinced me to take a pregnancy test. I was beautifully hung-over on the day I did, and decided to stock up on all the necessities at Clicks when I bought my pee stick that would forever change my life. Necessities included a bulk purchase of tampons, ovulation kits and energy drinks (for the hangover, you see). Ha! How the fertility gods must have been LOL’ing.

So, kids, I won’t go into the shock I felt at seeing that big bold double line, or the silent treatment I gave Barry for 2 days afterwards, or event the heart-stopping bubbling over joy when I think about this little boy growing inside of me. I also won’t go into the OhMyGodWhatTheActualFuck moments I had for several weeks after finding out.

What I will tell you, is that when a Doctor tells you something is impossible, even they can be wrong. I will also tell you, that to keep a positive outlook is sometimes the best medicine, and that things happen when you least expect it.

Also, wine solves pretty much everything.

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  1. Congrats to you on your “surprise” PCOS baby. I am one of those PCOS ladies who took a long time to fall pregnant – 7 years and 7 IVF’s later in fact… What a wonderful blessing for you that you managed to conceive so quickly.


  2. This is so deeply personal but such an awesome post. Im so happy for you and Barry! May the little sprout bring you endless happiness. PS: I hope you’ve cut down on the wine lol.

  3. I love this story… it IS from the heart. My mom was told she could not have kids… tried the hormone thing… the body temp graphs and considered adopting… then along came I!!! And then 2 brothers followed. And as far as the wine drinking is concerned… glad it helped!! hihi… and no worries to anyone wondering about the effect on the growing bean… your blood flow only becomes 1 when its little heart starts to beat around 6 weeks or so. Sheeew!! Thank goodness… I had a hectic bachelorettes party of a friends and found out later I was 4 weeks pregnant at the time. Kayden is a very happy little boy!! hihi! I remember you emotional about you turning down an offer work wise as you were not comfi in your bikini and all that. I remember asking you… are you pregnant? were you then… or were you busy trying? Just wondering… I could just feel the emotion and it seemed to fit. Im so happy for you kate! What a gift from heaven… as you guys are parents to your little one! All the best! xxx

    1. Aah, such a cool story Dom! Thanks for sharing. Yes, I was pregnant at that time, although only realised a few days later thank goodness I turned that job down ) 🙂

      Thanks for the lovely comment and the kind words xx

  4. Wow such am amazing story thank-you for sharing such a personal life experience you have made it a light hearted and shown like you said not all doctors are right and I think your story gives many women hope. good on you Kate.

  5. So beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your story, I guess there is hope for all ladies with ‘bunch of grape’ ovaries! If you ever have the time could you please email me the tests your doctor performed so I can try and inform the NHS doctors here. Unfortunately unless you are actually dying there isn’t too much support for infertility. Thank you!

  6. It brings tears to my eyes, what a story! I am so glad for you, becoming a mother is the greatest! I wish you all the best! Love from Sara from Sweden (your former roommate on the east cost trip):-D

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