Since a young age, Lana from Goodland, Kansas, believed she knew how she wanted to start her family: through adoption. She had been struggling with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) since she was a teenager, a hormonal disorder that affects a woman’s reproductive system. She and her husband, Andy, were excited about the future and welcomed the prospects of being parents.
In September 2017 at 36, Lana was shocked and excited to discover she was pregnant - something which seemed a very low probability during her 20s and early 30s. Because of her PCOS and her age, Lana was put in the high-risk pregnancy category, which meant she would need frequent doctors appointments and ultrasounds to make sure the pregnancy was progressing as it should and monitor for any risk factors.
A Heartbreaking Setback
Thirty-five weeks into her pregnancy, Lana developed a mild case of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys. Doctors began monitoring her more frequently and at 37 weeks in May 2018, it was decided it would be best for her and the baby to perform an emergency c-section at a Denver hospital. While still a bit nervous, Lana trusted her doctors were using their best judgement. After monitoring her and the baby to make sure their vitals were stable enough to perform the surgery, the baby’s vitals dropped. Devastatingly, Lana’s daughter was stillborn at 37 weeks the following morning.
As Lana and her husband took in the news, they considered whether or not having their own biological child was still in the cards for them and if it was something they would be willing to put themselves through again. They both agreed that they wanted to try again and their doctors agreed that after six months they were welcome to do so.
Taking Back Control
Now that she knew she was able to conceive and carry a child, she would not give up hope for her “rainbow” baby, a baby born after a miscarriage, stillborn, or neonatal death. During her recovery period, she worked to get her PCOS under control again through nutrition and supplements. Additionally, she underwent thyroid surgery to treat her hyperthyroidism. Lana also began researching how a woman her age, now 37, with PCOS would best be able to conceive and how to deal with pregnancy loss.
She joined a number of support groups through Facebook and was able to come to terms with the loss of her first child and regained her strength to try again. Lana also realized that the more stories she read about women with PCOS trying to conceive, the more times she came across a fertility monitor called OvuSense. OvuSense is the only fertility monitorwomen can buy at home that has the capabilities to show when women with PCOS are ovulating.
Her mother and grandmother had both gone through early menopause so she understood that time is precious for her – Lana purchased her OvuSense in September, two months before she and her husband were able to start trying again. She used the time to better understand her own cycle so when the time comes, she will be able to use her knowledge to hopefully conceive a bit earlier than if she had waited until November to familiarize herself.
Lana and her husband have recently begun trying to conceive again, using the data gathered by OvuSense and prescription fertility medications to hopefully advance their journey. “We know that we only have so much control over what can happen, but with the data provided by OvuSense, I feel like we are setting ourselves up the best we can with the most knowledge we have available,” shared Lana. Throughout her research and still today, Lana has been engaging with women struggling with fertility around the world. “I’m glad to have these platforms to encourage women the same way that others have encouraged me.”
Mayo Clinic (2017) Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Mayo Clinic (2016) Preeclampsia