Here comes another long post, be prepared 🙂
After years of being sick and then recovering from surgery I finally felt like my body was healthy enough for us to start a family. I had been waiting for that! But of course things don’t always go as we plan. Even before surgery I knew my body was not functioning the way it should in the reproductive department…big surprise, my body not cooperating. So we never technically even got to “try” before seeking help. While I was still home recovering I set up an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist (fertility specialist). My very first day back at work after surgery was the same day as my first consult with the specialist (God wasn’t wasting any time:). Boy was that a long day! I talked with the doctor, was examined, had bloodwork, the whole deal. Basically I don’t ovulate (without medication) and I found out I have hypothyroidism. So we started down the path of fertility meds. I started with clomid. In addition to taking thyroid meds. And attempting (unsuccessfully) to gain weight (lost a lot after years of being sick and not able to eat much). Each month I was hopeful…but my body didn’t want to cooperate, as usual. After 3 months on clomid (higher doses each month) and one IUI we were still at square one. And then we got more bad news. We found out it wasn’t just my body that wasn’t working…my husband had problems too. We had a consult with the doctor again. Our only option was to go to in-vitro fertilization with ICSI. We had to take a little time off (so tough, but necessary for me both mentally and physically). During that time we took a trip to Spain…yea! And I started taking birth control (sounds odd, but that’s how the process works). After a month of that it was time to start stimulation. I HATE needles, so this was very tough. During stimulation you give yourself (yes, you do it yourself…or have your wonderful husband do it…like mine:) anywhere from 1 to 4 shots a day. Some in the stomach, some in the butt :p I had periodic ultrasounds to see how things were going. I was excited at first as the follicles were growing. But at my last ultrasound before they take the eggs out they saw that I had produced a ton of follicles…over 40 (no wonder I felt so bloated!)! *a normal woman produces 1 each month* As I was waiting anxiously for the egg retrieval we got some news from my brother and SIL (sorry, Sara, had to mention this part:)…they were pregnant…without even trying. I was so upset. It was the day before retrieval…the 4th of July. It just didn’t seem fair. Hadn’t I been through enough already? How come I had to go through this now when it was so easy for most people. The next day they took out all the follicles/eggs. Then we waited again to hear the fertilization report. It was pretty good. We would have some to transfer and some to freeze. But then we had to wait again. Because I produced so many eggs I hyperstimulated. The follicles fill up with fluid and it fills your abdomen. So here I was trying so hard to get pregnant…and looking pregnant because my belly was full of fluid…and I still just had to wait. I was out of work for a week and a half until the fluid started to drain (spent a lot of time in the bathroom:). During that time you pretty much can’t to do anything because you feel sick and too much activity could damage your ovaries. Finally in early August of 2007 we were ready for the transfer. I had been taking estrogen (pills) and progesterone (shots) to prepare. They transferred 2 embryos. Then the LONG wait. The day finally came for the pregnancy test. I went to the doctor in the morning for bloodwork. Then Justin and I spent the rest of the morning shopping (to distract ourselves). Around 1:30 pm the nurse called. I’ll never forget that call. I think my heart stopped for a minute. And then she said, “it’s positive.” I asked her if she was serious :p I just couldn’t believe it. After all we’d gone through, was this really true? It was! God is good! I continued to do the progesterone shots for the first 10 weeks of the pregnancy (yes, 10 weeks). I prayed every day that it would be a healthy pregnancy…that nothing would happen now that we were at this point. And God listened. On April 17, 2008 I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. It was a scheduled c-section (had to do that because of my colon surgery). I have dreamed of being a mother ever since I was little. And now it’s finally happened. And although I don’t wish the pain and difficulty of infertility on anyone, I wouldn’t change a thing. I see God most clearly in my frailty and in my sufferings. And all things happen in his time. God had a lot of work to do on me before I was ready to become a mother…even though I didn’t realize it. Maybe I’m just so hard headed that it takes physical limitations for God to get through to me and show me that He is in charge…not me 🙂 I am such a planner, but I know God’s plans are so much better. So I have to trust in Him when things don’t go according to my plans. We don’t know what God has in store for us on our journey to have more children…will it happen naturally, will we have to do IVF for each one, will there be more, will we adopt? But I know He has it all worked out better than I could. It is not easy, but it is a joy to face trials. Those are the times God draws me close and renews me. Without the things I’ve been through I wouldn’t be the person I am today. God has humbled me time and time again and continues to show me that He is in control. And that He is working on me to make me perfect and complete. And He has brought other women into my life that need support and encouragement to deal with similar situations. God uses our sufferings for good.
I’m sure I could add so much more, but I’ll end there. There is still more to come. Part 3 will explain some more recent parts of my life.