Sunday, May 20, 2012

breaking the year long silence...

I know its technically been a little over a year since I have posted... But its been exactly a year since we began a new journey in our lives...

Looking through my old email this morning (I was trying to do a little "spring cleaning") I noticed the reminder from 5/5/2011 about our New Patient appointment with the Center for Assisted Reproduction.  Yes, our very first appoitnment with Dr. (man) Doody about the possibility of IVF and our future for trying to concieve. 

I still remember leaving that appointment, Brian and I both giddy with excitement about the positive outlook for our future... There was nothing wrong with my ovaries, nor was there anything wrong with the "oven."  My pipes were just a little messed up... Well, my PIPE was blocked, I lost the other one with the last tubal pregnancy loss.  BUT, that meant we were PERFECT candidates for the IVF (in-vitro fertilization) process.  The price was quite a hit, and the process from beginning to end was long and very enduring.

God not only provided the means for finding the money, but also the perfect timing of setting up my "cycle calendar." 

We began the actual process on May 31st... If you have never been through an IVF process, or known someone who has here is what it is like... You begin with AF arriving, and on CD 1 (cycle day) you begin taking birth control pills so that the doctors have total control over your ovaries, etc.  (No early ovulation, etc.)  IVF Day 1 (usually CD 3-4) you get a sonogram and begin your 1st shot of hormones, these stop and prevent you from ovulating or having any eggs mature.  And they do a mock transfer where they measure via sonogram to know exactly where your ovaries/ "oven" are located.

For a week you take the BC pill, and the 1st hormone shots... Then you get to stop the BC, but continue just the 1st hormone for 2 days, on the 3rd day of the 1st hormone you then have a "baseline sono" to see what your egg makers look like... They do blood work to measure some hormone levels and to know what your dosage will be for the next 2 hormone shots you add...

So, for the next 10-12 days you are taking 3 different hormone shots, one that stops your ovaries from ovulating, the other two are working together to make a bunch of little bitty eggs... Our kitchen table looked like a pharmacy with all these 100 million parts and pieces and medications etc.  I think we might actually still have some in our fridge... Probably need to throw those away!  This whole time you are going every 2 days for blood work, & every 4 for a sono to look at your egg makers.

Day 12... You stop all hormone shots and then take a "trigger shot" that allows your ovaries to finally mature and be ready to ovulate all the little eggs it was making...

Then a few days later they give you the "twilight" sleep (and no there are no vampires or ware wolves involved) and go in and take your eggs (I still picture the doctor with a basket lined with a red and white checkered cloth walking into the hen house to collect the eggs, I am weird)... The lab does the dirty work and you go back about 5 days later for them to implant the embryos.

You get pictures and updates on how many eggs were retrieved, how many fertilized, and how they are growing... We chose to transfer two, and ended up being able to freeze three more. 

After the transfer comes the longest NINE days of your entire life... I swear it was really like 9 YEARS but I know it was only days... No matter what you try to do to keep busy, it doesn't help...  On day 9 you go for the pregnancy test... NOW, I haven't met ANYONE who hasn't bought at least FIVE home pregnancy tests to take before the one from the doctor.  Yes, me included...

I got a faint, faint, like maybe if I hold it this way in the light it might be two lines test the day of my actual doctor visit... I didn't think I was actually pregnant.

We went first thing and then decided to go antiquing to waste some time... I will always remember the exact antique booth I was in, and the stool I decided to sit on when I saw the incoming call... It was POSITIVE, I was PREGNANT!!!! 

OK, so we were so happy, I was shaking and then the reality of our past losses overcame me like a huge shadow. I had to make it another almost 2 weeks for a confirmation sonogram.  The thoughts of, could it still be an ectopic, what if I miscarry, etc were with me night and day... 

Fast forward... I would love to say the worried thoughts went away as the weeks progressed... But, up until he was in my arms for the very first time I worried about the pregnancy and the things that could go wrong, etc.  It's very hard not too when all you know is loss...

I had a fairly uncomplicated pregnancy, ha ha but really it was compared to many... LOTS of ravaging morning sickness through almost 20 weeks (I was on prescription meds for weeks and weeks and weeks, and still would get sick).  Then around 26 weeks began contracting, NON STOP until I was close to 37 weeks when they began to taper off (Ended up in L&D twice for contractions, once having to be observed overnight)... Ended up being the result of POLYHYDRAMNIOS, in lamens terms, too much amniotic fluid, which meant lots of extra weight gain and lots of extra swelling. 

I gained almost 50 pounds because of that and what turned out to be a really big baby.

Many were clueless to the knowledge we were pregnant for most or all of the nine months... We decided early on to keep it within the family and very close friends.  When I started showing it was easy to keep my belly out of pictures that might appear on social media type sites, but word got out none the less...  To be honest I was scared pretty much the entire pregnancy of something happening and not wanting to explain to people I honestly haven't had an in-person conversation with in over 12 years.  After a little while it just became second nature to not mention anything...

March 12, 2012 at 12:02am we welcomed our MIRACLE CHILD into this world via c-section.  He is beautiful, amazing and ultimately the greatest gift God could have ever given us.  The feeling of being a mom to my little guy is an overwhelming sensation... I love him more than life itself! 

I have mixed emotions over sharing stories and pictures and talking about the love I have for my child because I know that quite a few of my friends are struggling to get that positive pregnancy test, or struggling to have a successful pregnancy go full term. Those dear friends are in my heart all of the time, and I pray for them that God knows your deepest hearts desire every day.

I just wanted to share why we have kept so quiet over the last year...

Our journey is not over, as I was kindly reminded when we got the "frozen embryo storage" bill in the mail this last week... Only on pause so we can enjoy this time with our little man and watch the AWEsome work of God each day!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I can't wait to meet my babies...

I have to start by thanking Amanda Webb, without her and the fact that God laid it upon her heart to pass along this book, I would not be writing this post right now...  On Sunday night I was given the book, "Heaven is for Real" written by Todd Burpo.  I don't want to give too much of the story away but I have not been able to stop reading it since Monday.  (If you know my schedule during the week, you know that the time I actually get to read is minimal.)  YOU HAVE TO GET THE BOOK...  If you even acknowledge there is a God, you HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!!!

There is a chapter titled, "Two Sisters" where Colton (the little boy in the story) walks up to his mom and having no prior knowledge proceeds to tell his mom that he has two sisters.  Long story short (and to not give away much of the book) the 2nd sister he is talking about is the baby that was lost due to a miscarriage between his older sister Cassie and himself.  He met his sister in Heaven, and the sister said she could not wait to meet his parents someday.  They ask Colton his sisters name, and he says she didn't have one because the parents didn't name her...


This gave me a peace that I cannot put into words... Now, when I think of the four that I have lost I am happy, I smile and while there might be a tear in my eye, its only there because I am overjoyed. God IS GREAT!

I have to be honest for a minute:  I have never really put a lot of thought into my failed pregnancies (ectopic or miscarriage) as a baby... Well in the sense of holding a baby, rocking a baby, and watching that baby grow.  Yeah, sure they are 50% me, and 50% Brian but they never made it past 8 or 9 weeks, does that really count as a baby?  The answer is YES.  I have four beautiful children waiting for me in Heaven.  God has adopted my earthly children, and will take care of them for me until the day we are reunited.

I am no longer scared of going to Heaven...

The only part of the book that really made me sad was knowing that the baby didn't have a name.  I want Brian and I to give our babies names, they need names in Heaven, and they need names in my heart.  SO, I have complied a list of names, and over the next few weeks I want Brian and I to name the four little ones we have lost... It won't be an easy process but I know it will help bring Brian and I closer, and that is what we need.

The dream I talked about a few posts ago, after reading this book I think might have another meaning... In the dream the little girl is, "special."  The dream took place in a hospital, and the baby girl has some physical abnormalities.  I wonder if this was God and our baby girls way of letting me hold her in my arms, and make her mine before God took her into his heavenly kingdom?

Ok, I am done... GO GET THIS BOOK!!!!  I BEG YOU...  "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo.  YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

Friday, March 18, 2011

ready to cry?

I thought of you and closed my eyes, 
And prayed to God today. 
I asked what makes a Mother, 
And I know I heard him say: 
A mother has a baby, 
This we know is true. 
But, God, can you be a mother, 
When your baby's not with you? 
Yes, you can he replied, 
With confidence in his voice. 
I give many women babies, 
When they leave is not thier choice. 
Some I send for a lifetime, 
And others for a day. 
And some I send to feel your womb, 
But theres no need to stay. 
I just don't understand this God, 
I want my baby here. 
He took a breath and cleared his throat, 
And then I saw a tear. 
I wish that I could show you, 
What your child is doing today, 
If you could see your child smile, 
With other children who say: 
We go to earth and learn our lessons, 
Of love and life and fear. 
My mommy loved me oh so much, 
I got to come straight here. 
I feel so lucky to have a mom, 
Who had so much love for me. 
I learned my lessons very quickly, 
My mommy set me free. 
I miss my mommy oh so much, 
But I visit her each day. 
When she goes to sleep, 
On her pillow's where I lay. 
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek, 
And whisper in her ear. 
"Mommy don't be sad today, I'm your baby and I'm here." 
So you see my dear sweet one, 
Your children are Ok. 
Your babies are here in My home, 
They'll be at heavens gate for you. 
So now you see what makes a mother. 
It's the feeling in your heart. 
It's the love you had so much of, 
Right from the very start. 
Though some on earth may not realize you are a mother, 
until their time is done. 
They'll be up here with Me one day, 
And you'll know that you're the best one! 
-Author Unknown

Monday, March 14, 2011

the 5 worst letters...


I literally at times HATE those letters put together... I mean what does "sorry" really mean?  Its said so often as a fallback, something that fills that awkward space in a conversation when something not so happy is shared.  Well I don't like being told that people feel sorry for me... I don't feel sorry for me so why should someone else.  Yes, this situation sucks, and I wouldn't wish this struggle on my worst of enemies but sorry doesn't play into it anywhere... defines SORRY as: feeling regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.
regrettable or deplorable; unfortunate; tragic
sorrowful, grieved, or sad
associated with sorrow; suggestive of grief or suffering
wretched, poor, useless, or pitiful

Really... Am I wretched, poor (well maybe the week before pay day), USELESS or PITIFUL... Okay, then please don't tell me you are sorry.

I know it is the easiest thing to say, especially when you can't find or know the words to say much else.  Many people cannot fully understand or grasp what this is like, and I know that... I couldn't fully grasp what it was like for my stepmom Shirley to battle breast cancer, I was an outsider, and at times I felt helpless in knowing what to do or say.  I am sure I uttered the 5 letters to her or my dad, as I am sure I will not stop hearing those letters said to me.

I am only asking that you please don't tell me you are sorry... I am not unimportant or insignificant.  I am just me, struggling with something many others before me, and many more after me will struggle with also.  

So, trade those 5 letters I dread to hear, and replace them with 7 I would LOVE to hear... HOPEFUL.  I am hopeful that one day we will have a child to call our own, I am hopeful that Gods plan is closely intertwined with our hearts desires, and I am hopeful that not only can I grow stronger through this battle but the end result will be well worth the wait.

(P.S.  I am catching up on some blogging the week I am off... So, more from me coming soon!)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

2 months is a long time...

Wow... I have to be honest, I have been avoiding this post for a while.  And if it weren't for my Google search for pregnancy loss, I might have continued to avoid posting.

For those who know what happened but don't know details, here it is in as much detail and I can right now...  Ok, first remember Dr. Wonderful and how he was so sure we would get pregnant, and told us to make a Christmas baby, well he was about a month off...

January 8th... Fred comes (thank you Kelsi for that reference), and I begin to think we are doomed. (Yes, its only been a month but when you have been trying for so long that month feels like YEARS!)  So: Fast forward to about 9 DPO, and I am thinking something is up... Take a test, NEGATIVE.  Trash it and go on about my business... I mean, it was WAY early anyway.

Remember, I have been charting my temps and have noticed no dip to indicate Fred coming again... 15 DPO still no Fred (and at this point he is about 3 days late.) NEGATIVE... Ok, stop stressing and Fred will show up anytime...

FINALLY at 18 DPO (which by, "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" is when you should get a positive test if your temps remain high... POSITIVE!!!!  We do the baby dance... Well, for about 5 minutes before the impending tidal wave of fear hits...  WHAT IF???

Call Dr. Awesome, go in for blood work and sure enough, My levels were at 77, wahoo!!!  (This was a Monday).  Go back Thursday, more blood work... levels are at 300. THEY ARE RISING LIKE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TOO!!!!!  Baby dance a little more...  That silly little ripple of fear is GONE.

Next Monday go in... Levels @ 890, still rising like normal (if there IS such a thing as normal in pregnancy, right?!)  Dr. Awesome's nurses schedule a final blood work that Friday (Feb. 18th) and our 1st SONOGRAM on Monday 2/21.  I knew it would be good... It was the 21st, exactly 3 months until my birthday, and if you know anything about me any multiple of "3" is considered LUCK.

Blood work on Friday won't come back until my Monday appointment... Monday morning comes and Brian and I have taken off of work that morning... We are excited to get pictures of our little one, and then enjoy over a lunch together before going back to work and sharing the good news...

Immediately I could tell something was wrong, the sonogram monitor was turned away from me... Wouldn't they let me see the baby?  The nurse says, "Hmm, let me go get the man, you have an awful lot of fluid (blood) in your abdomen."  10 HOURS (felt like) later, Dr. Awesome comes in and confirms our worst fears... It's tubal #3.  With the amount of fluid in my abdomen, and the pain I had been in over the last few days he considers it an Emergency and schedules my surgery for 3pm.  SHIT, SHIT, SHIT... So much for the lunch date, and the cute sonogram pictures, and the thought that we might actually have a BABY.  In the matter of minutes my heart breaks for the 4th time in 18 months...

I carry the burden of barrenness differently than other women... I can get pregnant, I just can't keep a pregnancy.

I now am missing my right tube, and with that went baby #4.  MY left tube remains intact and blocked...  It is not possible for me to get pregnant anymore... Without the help of fertility assistance.

I still think I am in shock... I haven't been mad yet, or sad for that matter.  There hasn't been the great emotional breakdown.  And the worst of it, I don't know if that will happen for a while...

I just feel empty... Lost, confused and empty.  I had a dream the other night, that in reality made no sense but in my dream we got the baby our arms ache to hold.  She was beautiful and perfect and she was ours.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Better Luck Next Time...

Well so much for the Christmas baby making... Turns out we might have a little more trouble than we imagined... I am so over this!

We will try again this month, fingers crossed and hoping it all "works out" haha... I have been trying to keep up with this charting crap and its annoying. I hate taking my temp in the morning, I hate having to do the peepee ovulation tests for like 4 days at a time, its EXPENSIVE and frustrating to keep up with...

I am giving it ONE more month if it doesn't work this month and I am going to go back to Dr. Love for the next step... Patience is a virtue, but not one when it comes to this...

I'm done...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Is it too late to wish for a Christmas miracle??

So, as I sat in church earlier today I wondered to myself, "You don't hear about Christmas miracles much anymore."  We celebrate the one true CHRISTmas Miracle every December 25th, as in Jesus' birth... But, it feels like growing up I was always hearing about someone miraculously making it home for the Holiday's or somehow someone was able to buy Christmas presents after all, and not to mention all the beautiful Christmas babies born... (Speaking of: can my niece Josalyn come on now... We want a Christmas baby!)

So, my thought this Christmas is more of a plead to the BIG MAN upstairs, and no that's not a fat joke about Brian... I am talking about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit... Can I be the recipient of a Christmas miracle??  And, the miracle I am hoping for is the one in the form of a positive pregnancy test FOLLOWED UP by a POSITIVE (as in happy) Doctor visit saying everything is NORMAL and HEALTHY... At this point I don't know if that positive pregnancy test would cause as much joy as it does with so many other women... See I have had a positive pregnancy test before... THREE TIMES!!!  So, my view of getting pregnant is a bit jaded with the immediate negative thoughts... "Is this one another tubal?"  "Will I end up having a miscarriage again, etc"

I HATE THAT... I want the utter jubilation that comes with the two pink lines.

My Christmas miracle wouldn't quite be a miracle at Christmas... Except for the fact that the miracle in itself would be conception at or around the months following Christmas and then a HEALTHY implantation around New Years or the months following...

As you pray over family and friends over the next few months, give the BIG MAN a shout out for me... In the form of OPEN MY DARN TUBES enough to let a little bean get through...

Merry CHRISTmas to you dear friends and family... I love you all!!!  Remember: pray for the Christmas miracle... Even if maybe it doesn't come until a few months down the road, it will still be my miracle...

And lastly... Remember me and the women like me this time of year... We don't like hearing all your complaints about being pregnant... Believe me, we would take and combine ALL our preggo friends complaints just to have the joy of the experience of  being pregnant.  This time of year is especially hard on me... I can't wait for Brian to get to play "Daddy Santa" and for us to have the joy of a little one waking us up early on Christmas morning...

Good night... and Merry Christmas!!! :)