Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Baby Rollercoaster

The last few years have been undeniably hard and if I honestly look back, it's hard to recognize the life that I lived back then. Brian and I have struggled with whether to share our journey or keep it private. Part vulnerability, part not knowing how to put our journey into words, and part not sure if anyone would care. What i do know is that others telling their story has helped make the journey easier. With September being PCOS Awareness Month I thought it was time to tell my story...

Our Story 

Slightly after Drew turned one, Brian and I decided that we should try for baby # 2. Naively, we assumed that baby #2 would be conceived as easily as Drew had been and soon we would move from a family of 3 to a family of 4. Our children would be close in age and be playmates. Grow up to be the best of friends and life with our family would be perfect. 

So when life heard about this plan, he laughed and said "I've got a plan for you!"

Three years into this "plan",  God has shown me that His plan is not my plan. A journey that has brought me to my breaking point (sometimes over my breaking point), has tested my faith, my sanity and my health. I'm not sure where I am in this valley of infertility or what other tests God may have in store for me. I do know that whatever journey God has me In the palm of his hand and he can make beautiful things out of the dust. 
Look at us all ready for baby # 2

Our first sign of trouble 
A few months into "trying", (which may I just say is incredibly awkward to state that you are trying to have a baby. It is unnatural and private but that's for another day). We were becoming impatient, because patience is not something that comes naturally to me. In fact I am the opposite of patient. We did some research and found that on average it can take up to a year to become pregnant, so we just continued on our "trying" path. After all, we were successful in having a child before so obviously we work. 

Each month into this trying journey I would be 100% believe this was the month and would have all the tell tale signs of being pregnant. I would plan out how to tell my husband, How to prepare Drew for becoming a big brother and preparing a nursery. Then, a trip to the bathroom would crush those dreams in an instance, destroying the hope. Most of the time resulting in me sobbing on the bathroom floor and Brian lovingly telling me our baby was coming and it's just going to be another month, just one more time. 

About six months into this roller coaster, I had stopped taking pregnancy tests each month, after all my day dreaming could last a little longer and as long as I wasn't not pregnant on that little stick it could be happening. I was feeling like I had the flu, had completely lost my voice, felt completely awful and my period was about 3 weeks late. So I headed to the doctor, 100% feeling awful and convinced that this awful feeling would soon lead to the pitter patter of a new addition. 

So when the doctor went over the routine questions I moused out the first day of my last cycle and knew my answer would force me to take the test. When the nurse came back she said the words that I had feared each month, you're not pregnant. But this time it wasn't just that I was not pregnant, the doctor would be in shortly to discuss some concerns. I melted into my usual puddle of devastation but this time the weight of despair was a little heavier. The doctor came in and explained that while I was currently not pregnant, they believed that I had miscarried. He went over that 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and continued to explain a lot of technical stuff that i have become familiar with. The words, kind and professional slipped off his tongue and ripped out my heart. In all honestly, Most of the conversation was lost as my mind raced with so many thoughts. This baby that was so wanted, so immensely loved was gone before we even knew he/she existed. The doctor left me in the cold sterile room, hyperventilating and devastated. Looking back I was glad I had lost my voice because my wails only meekly came out. After which was probably too long, I exited the room, put my sunglasses on (because while I'm certainly not cool enough to wear sunglasses inside, I couldn't let the world see the pain in my eyes and I still had to wait for some medication. 

Seeking Help
After another 6 months of the pregnancy roller coaster ride and another similar loss, Brian and were finally approved by our insurance to seek fertility treatment. Apparently you have to wait a year before insurance thinks there is an issue. While the year long wait was treacherous ... nothing can possibly prepare you or your spouse for the fertility process....nothing

In a nutshell here's how you get started: The first step was to meet with a doctor ( the doc asks a bunch of questions. And by questions, they are into two groups: medical (history of illness? date of last cycle, do you exercise?) and then personal (sex schedule?, does your husband beat you?, are you sane enough to go through this process?). (Insert I want to crawl in a hole and die face right now)  Talk about getting to know someone real quick, thankfully, our doctor couldn't be more amazing and we laughed our way through the checklist. 

After the initial consultation Brian and I would go through a series of medical tests where we were poked, prodded and had to provide samples of ummm ... Bodily fluid. Mostly I was poked and prodded and Brian supplied the later. 
 Going into surgery! 

I underwent a procedure, to confirm my tubes were not blocked. To test this, you are placed in a MRI tube, they feed a small tube with a balloon at the end, once in place the balloon inflates and the doctor from another room can read the cameras and test for tubes. Only in my case, the doctor tripped over the wire, pulling the inflated balloon out of me. OUCH!!!! But, the tubes were clear so we were good to go! 

The initial diagnosis came back as Stressed-Induced Menopause. A diagnosis that seemed to fit... I'm in a high-stress work environment which requires lots of hours and pressure and in addition to our baby roller coaster life had thrown us some curveballs (to put it mildly) in our family life. We were getting kicked from all angles but the tide seemed to be changing when we started our first round of fertility meds....

Next up ... Our journey of multiple cycles of fertility and losing Josiah. 


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