Friday, October 5, 2018

My Pregnancies and Health Tracking

Do you track your health using an app?  I do, using the app (Period Tracker Plus) that my husband created for me while we were trying to conceive.  Here is how it all started....

My two younger sisters both got married about 10 years before I did.  One of them got pregnant and shortly after finding out they got married. She and her husband continued to have four more over the years, totaling five kids.  My other sister got married not long after my other sister got married.  She finished school and worked for a couple of years and then started their family, having four kids.  Once they decided to have kids, they did the deed and bam, they were pregnant.  That's how easy it was for my Mom too.  Me?  Not so much.

For some reason, I didn't want kids.  That's right, Know It Mom did not want kids.  I mean I really did not want them. I didn't feel the desire and I didn't have that maternal instinct.  I had even once spoke my OBGYN about getting my tubes tied, but something told me to hold off.  Even as a kid, I played with Barbie dolls, but didn't play with baby dolls.

When my husband and I were dating, he'd often tell me how much he wanted to have kids someday.  I was very honest and told him that I really did not want them, and I was sorry that I felt that way but it was the way I felt.  People would tell me 'One day your biological clock will start ticking and you'll want them', but I was very confident that I would not.

We had several conversations about how we felt about having kids, but lucky for me, he asked me to marry him anyway.  A couple of years into our marriage, to my surprise, I suddenly really, REALLY, wanted kids.  I was shocked that I felt this way, I truly thought I'd never see the day.

My Mom and I would often go shopping together and she would always stop and comment on the cute baby clothes we'd pass by.  I'd always say 'Yeah, yeah, cute.  Let's go shop for us'.  Until one day I was the one commenting on the cute baby clothes and going ga-ga over the cute baby in the stroller at the mall.  What was happening to me?  I guess my biological clock really was starting to tick.

So, the decision was made, we were so excited to finally start a family of our own.  Let me just say, now that I am am Mom, I am very maternal and love my kids immensely.  I feel bad saying that there was ever a time where I didn't want kids, but that's how it was.  I am SO glad that changed.

Once we started trying, I was surprised that it didn't just happen right away, like it had for both of my sisters, and my Mom.  I wondered what was wrong with me?  Was something wrong with my husband?We had some tests done and everything looked fine.  We continued trying for a year and finally got pregnant.  We were ecstatic!!  My husband's 40th high school reunion was that weekend, and we were telling all of his former classmates that we were expecting.  I told my Mom, and not any others yet, as I wanted to be further along, just to be safe.  I went to see my doctor and he calculated that I was about 6 weeks along.  Wow!

Just a couple of days after the reunion, I woke up one morning and was bleeding.  I was so worried! I called my doctor immediately and they had me come in for some tests.  Sadly, I was miscarrying.  I was heartbroken.  I was so excited to have my first baby.  From the moment I had found out that I was pregnant, I saw a whole new future ahead of us, and we both pictured what it would be like having this child in our lives.  Suddenly, that all went away.  It was SO hard.

But after a little while, we decided to try again.  My doctor had instructed me to keep track of several different things, on a calendar.  I was tracking my basal body temperature each morning to see if I was ovulating, I was tracking our intimacy, cycle days, periods, etc.  During this time, Apple announced that developers could start making these things called "Apps".

My husband was a computer programmer and knew that he wanted to try making an app, but wasn't sure what kind of app to make.  One night, as I hopped into bed, I got frustrated because I had forgotten to write down all of the things I was tracking for that day.  My husband then asked me if I'd like to have an app to track these things with.  "Yes!" I exclaimed.  And that is when Period Tracker Plus was conceived - haha.

He started learning how to develop apps, and began working on the app.  Meanwhile, we continued trying to conceive, with no luck.  My doctor told me that I was AMA.  I was like 'What is AMA', well it means Advanced Maternal Age, and because of that, he started me on a fertility drug called Femara.  After using that for 9 months with no luck he prescribed me one round of Clomid (another fertility drug) and told me to give it a try for the next month, and if it didn't work, he wanted us to go to a fertility clinic.

I was taking the Clomid but wanted to be ready to start IVF as soon as possible (when my next cycle started).  So we went to the fertility clinic. I had tests done, my husband had tests done and we were all ready to start.  However, my period never started.  I took a pregnancy test and was relieved to find that the Clomid had worked - we were pregnant!!!

 Not long after I found out I was pregnant, I was at work one day and went to use the bathroom and found that I was bleeding again.  My stomach just dropped.  I was so worried.  I called my doctor and went in right away.  He put me on prometrium (progesterone) to help thicken the uterine walls and hopefully keep the pregnancy.  For the next 2 months I continued to bleed, and I was terrified every day.  It was so hard to feel excited about my pregnancy because I was worried that could lose this child any second.  My doctor kept a close eye on me, and luckily after the 8 week mark, the bleeding stopped.  Then I got excited.

I continued on to have a healthy pregnancy and gave birth to a heathy baby boy, at the age of 36. During this time, my husband continued to work on the app.  A few months after my son was born, the app was finished and released into the app store.  The app has an ovulation tracker and predicts when you are most fertile, based on the period information you enter, along with a lot of other things you can track.  Once our son turned one year old, we decided to try for a second child.  I felt it might be a little soon, but based on our past, and our age, who knew how long it would take to get pregnant again.

I used the predictions in the app and after only four months of trying, we got pregnant with our second child, and didn't need to use any fertility drugs this time.  Only a little while after finding out I was pregnant, I began bleeding, just like the previous pregnancy with my son.  My stomach dropped, again, and I immediately went to my doctor.  He put me on prometrium again and we hoped for the best.  Again, it was hard to get really excited about this baby while I was bleeding, but, right on the 8 week mark the bleeding stopped, and I got excited again. I continued on to deliver a healthy baby girl at age 38.

Besides my miscarriage, both of my other pregnancies were identical.  Bleeding for the first 8 weeks, to the exact day, and delivering both babies on right on the 39th week mark.  It's almost like I had twins, but two years apart.  Because it took so long, and I had to use fertility drugs to try and conceive my son, I was surprised how quickly we conceived our daughter.  They say that once you have a child, it's easier for your body to conceive, but I also really believe the app helped us get the timing just right.

The app helps track everything you need to track for conceiving a baby, but it also tracks weight, exercise, sleep, moods, and so much more.  It also has custom items so that you can track what ever you desire.  The app is free, but you can up-grade (for only a one-time price of $3.99) to track even more things.

I love this app, and it's predictions are spot-on.  Now that I'm a little older, I am in perimenopause and have super heavy periods. I NEED to know when to expect my period because I usually can't go anywhere the first day of my cycle.  It also really helped me track my weight while I was pregnant and when I was trying to lose the baby weight too.  The app also has daily affirmations, which I collect, and write.

I love how the idea for this app came about and that it helped me conceive my little girl so quickly.  It's an amazing app that you can use in any stage of life, and it's free. What do you have to lose? It's on the app store under Period Tracker Plus.  You can also visit us here.

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