My partner James and I have been together for two years, and since close to the beginning of our relationship, we discussed the possibility of having a child if things worked out well with us. I don’t have any children, but he has a 6 year-old son from a previous relationship and relishes the role of involved father. At our one-year anniversary in January 2012, we decided to officially start “trying” and I stopped taking birth control.
I was 37 at the time, and knew that I was already of advanced maternal age (over 35), but I was hopeful that I’d get pregnant quickly. My OB-GYN said if I wasn’t pregnant in a year, to come back. It took my younger sister 6 months to conceive, so I kept that in the back of my mind.
At first, we simply had unprotected sex and ramped up the frequency. But 6 months in and not pregnant, I got some ovulation test sticks and impatiently waited for the smiley face to appear, indicating it was GO time. For the next few months, we made sure to be active when the smiley face appeared, and even when it didn’t. A couple of times, I felt waves of nausea and had sore breasts, but each pregnancy test I took was negative and my period faithfully showed up.
In December 2012, close to a year after we started trying, I wasn’t pregnant, and the one-year deadline my doctor had given loomed. I had all but given up, even though everyone said it was too soon. To me, it seemed like it just wasn’t going to happen. I felt deflated, but resigned that if it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t want to consider fertility options, nor could we truly afford it. In short, I simply stopped thinking about trying to get pregnant.
Fast forward to February 2013: The flu that was ravaging the country reached our household. A Friday in early February, I woke up with the worse body aches I could remember, with a headache and sore throat as companions. I was miserable. For the next four days, no food was appealing and I could hardly move. Finally, the body aches and headache abated, but the sore throat lingered and was accompanied by a new nausea so severe I was dry heaving a couple of times a day (although I never vomited). Out of nowhere, my smell sensitivity kicked into overdrive.