Sometimes It's Easy — Maybe Too Easy — To Get Pregnant With PCOS

Parenting blogger Courtney Woods got a huge surprise a few weeks ago in the form of 25 positive pregnancy tests. This is baby number three for the blogger, and she and her fiancé are thrilled. But this baby is such a shock for Woods, who was told that it would be difficult for her to conceive, that she decided to take a very creative pregnancy announcement photo.
The image is actually pretty similar to one recently posted by Jessica Alba. Except, instead of a #3 balloon, Woods is photographed with her two daughters (#1 and #2) and then a bunch of balloons that spell out the words "Oh shit."
“Oh shit. That was the first thing that I said as I stood there looking at 25 pee filled sticks. Oh shit, I’m pregnant. Oh shit, that doctor was SO wrong when he said I would need treatments to conceive,” Woods wrote on her blog.
Woods was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) when she was a teenager, she wrote, and a specialist told her that it would be extremely difficult to conceive a child. "We talked about all of my symptoms and he did an ultrasound and blood work," she tells Refinery29. "From the ultrasound he said there was no sign of ovulation — which he said there should have been going by the one random period I had that month before. He gave me some options — birth control to control symptoms or to read up on fertility treatments." That was just one month before she became pregnant with her first daughter, Madeleine.
Just about a year later, she was pregnant again with baby #2: Eloise. "My doctors called my pregnancies 'spontaneous' and without a monthly period there was no guarantee it would happen again," she wrote. "I have two amazing little girls who I love more than anything in the world (who weren’t “planned” either) and would hate to walk about feeling disappointed that my body couldn’t make another. So instead we just went with it. I was eating healthy, working out and not even thinking about getting pregnant. But, oh shit, my body came through and made me another babe."
Some commenters on her Instagram post have written concern for the new child, who they say will grow up with this as their announcement and think that their parents didn't want them. But Woods is clear that she does want baby #3, even within that post. She wrote that they're "beyond excited" to announce this other pregnancy.
The "oh shit" isn't about not wanting another baby, but the surprise at a third pregnancy when her doctors claimed even one would be nearly impossible.
"I 100% left the appointment with my specialist thinking that we were going to have to start saving every penny if we had ever wanted to start a family," she tells Refinery29. "It was an upsetting and scary thought!"
Her doctors weren't exactly wrong in preparing Woods for fertility struggles. PCOS — which is often characterized by irregular periods and high testosterone levels — is one of the leading causes of infertility, and many women with the syndrome struggle to conceive. Still, as is clear in Woods' case, a diagnosis doesn't eliminate the possibility of getting pregnant.
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
Read these stories next:

More from Trends

R29 Original Series