Friday, February 17, 2012

In a Nutshell

When you first make the decision to start a family, you never dream of difficulty getting pregnant. People do it all the time. They just have sex and wind up pregnant. You think, it cant be that hard, can it? I mean, teenagers can do it, drunk or high people can do it... surely a happily married 20-something couple should be able to do it, right? Wrong. Well, wrong in our case, anyway.

About 6 years ago The Husband and I lay in bed talking before we fell asleep. We'd recently had a long discussion with our good friends, about getting pregnant before the guys left on a deployment; whether it was worth it for them to miss a pregnancy or even the first months of a child's life, etc. All the things military families have to take into consideration when they decide to start a family. I'd also just been home a few weeks before and had seen one of my best friends' son, who was about 3 at the time maybe, and had baby fever like you wouldn't believe. We weighed the pro's and con's and finally decided, "What the hell" and decided that April would be my last month on birth control and May 2006 would be the start of us actually trying to have a baby.

I had everything planned out; we'd be pregnant within the first month or two and that would make me far enough along when we went home for Christmas that year that I'd show and maybe even be able to have a baby shower! Except, by the time Christmas rolled around that year, we were almost 8 months into trying to get pregnant and weren't anywhere close to being pregnant.

Finally, on February 13th 2007, I took a test and a second line came up. We were pregnant. Our euphoria was short lived, however, as that first pregnancy ended in a chemical pregnancy. With the love and support of our friends and family, we picked ourselves up, dusted off and kept moving forward. Being pregnant for a few weeks only made us realize how ready we were to be parents.

Eight months went by and Deployment number 2 came and went and we were back on the trying to get pregnant wagon. By this time, it had been over 2 years since that fateful conversation in bed and we knew that it was probably time to get doctors involved. We tried on our own again after deployment for a few months and finally started looking into getting tested in September of 2008. The Husband had 2 semen analysis' (we were told his results were "Excellent" and "Border-line Excellent" and there was no problem with him), I had TONS of blood work drawn, an HSG (Hysterisalpingogram--where they injected dye into my tubes and uterus to make sure there were no blockages) and we were told everything looked great with me so far. I had always had regular periods, which tends to mean that there are no ovulation problems. Before we could finish up testing on me, we moved to England. Still not pregnant.

We got settled in England and I went in to see the military nurse practitioner for my yearly girly appointment and for a follow up on all our Fertility testing in San Diego. The nurse practitioner took one look at my chart and said she thought there was a problem with The Husband's... spunk, so she sent him for 2 more Semen Analysis' and made us an appointment with the Urologist at the Military Hospital, and had them run a diagnostic ultrasound on me (which came back clear). The appointment with the urologist did not go so well. He told us that the results were horrible and that if he had to put a number on it, he'd give us less than a 5% chance to get pregnant on our own and IVF was our only option. Needless to say, we were shocked. We were told everything was great by the Urologist in San Diego and now we were being told everything was horrible and there was basically no chance of us conceiving on our own.

As shocked and upset as we were, I have to be completely honest with you, I was a little relived. We'd spent the last 3 years of our lives trying to get pregnant and with everyone around us telling us to relax, not think about it, that stressing out was our only problem. So, it was nice (as crazy as that sounds) to know that it wasn't all in our heads... that there was actually something of a challenge there.

We spent the next few months trying to wrap our minds around what to do. The Husband did not take the news well and it took him a while to accept it. We did research, talked over our options, and finally made an appointment with the Bourn Clinic to attend one of their open houses in September 2009. We got answers to our questions and made an appointment for a consultation.

We went for our consultation, had more tests done, made the decision to donate eggs, and began our IVF journey. January of 2010 brought us to that journey.  Birth Control pills, nasal sprays, injections, multiple trans-vaginal ultrasounds, mood swings, sore boobs, exhaustion, bloating, an invasive egg collection procedure, a nail biting wait as we waited for the news of whether or not our embryo's divided or not, an embryo transfer, a LONG 2 week wait, positive pregnancy tests, great HCG numbers, and then the news of a blighted ovum and we were back at square one.

A few months after the IVF pregnancy we spontaneously conceived.  I attribute that pregnancy to a bottle of wine and an old Jewish tradition of eating Pomegranate seeds in between Rosh Hoshannah and Yom Kippur.  Seven Weeks into the pregnancy, I started bleeding.  We went to the OB expecting the worst, but were shocked by the fact that there was a heartbeat and a normally growing pregnancy in my uterus.  Two and a half weeks later I was being prepped for a D&C to remove yet another failed pregnancy when a third ultrasound showed no heartbeat and no further development. 

Countless blood tests and two rounds of high dose clomid (hoping that 2 spontaneous pregnancies in our history meant something good) found us with no pregnancy and no answers... only heart ache and the new found knowledge that it wasn't just male factor infertility, I myself had unexplained infertility.  One month shy of 5 years of dealing with infertility and recurrent miscarriage, we finally threw in the towel.  Frustrated, angry, hurt, and emotionally tapped out, we decided that a childless life would be okay.  That we could be happy traveling the world and not having children.  Oh, but God had other plans. 

On May 19th, 2011 we received a phone call that changed our lives!  A girl I had worked with in the past was pregnant with a baby she knew she couldn't keep.  She asked The Husband and I if we would adopt her baby.  Completely blindsided, terrified out of our minds, but ecstatic just the same, we of course said yes and started the adoption paperwork. 

On June 22nd, The Husband and I stood in a delivery room ready to welcome our  very long awaited daughter into the world.  I was actually able to deliver the baby... once her head was out and the midwife had her suctioned out, my hands were placed on her and I brought our miracle into the world.  In that moment, the world stopped spinning for a moment and it was just the three of us in the room... we finally became a family in that moment.  It was truly the defining moment in my life.  Suddenly everything made sense.  And suddenly, I saw the big picture that God had planned the whole time.  

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