November 30, 2012

Trust: Our Fertility Story

First of all, thank you SO much for your kind, thoughtful comments that you've left or emailed regarding our pregnancy announcement.   I was so touched by your responses.

As promised, I am going to share our journey.  So if you wanted details - here they are.

My husband and I started trying for our third child almost 2 years ago.  I took almost a year to get pregnant with Rex, but only half a year with Baden.  I kind of thought it would happen faster this time around.  I was wrong.

After a year of trying I asked my doctor about it and he recommended doing some blood work to make sure I was really ovulating, etc.  That turned out fine, so they recommended seeing a fertility doctor from there on out.

For some reason, it took me a few months to make that call.  It was the unknown.  I didn't know about the tests or the costs and I was nervous to head down that road.  

We did finally call and started some tests.  The tests were expensive and not fun, but we really wanted to figure out what was going on.  We did figure out what was wrong, but because it isn't just my personal information I won't be sharing all the details here.  I'm sorry.  

We scheduled a meeting with our new doctor and he explained what was going on.  It was a lot worse than I thought.  He said on a scale of 1-100, our chances of getting pregnant were about a 4.  As he explained everything I was trying so hard not to cry.  Since we already had 2 children I didn't think our chances could be so poor.  I was a bit shocked.  After the consultation I broke down in the parking lot.

The doctor said we could do an IUI (artificial insemination) even though our chances were pretty low.  Since we had conceived before he thought it was worth a shot.  So we did.  The day I went in for it, the nurse gave us more bad news.  There was one more test result that had come back and it wasn't good either.  She explained that the IUI was probably not worth it, but she let me choose.  I was already there and had planned on it so I suggested we still try it.  We had already spent so much money on all the testing that I figured a little more on this try didn't really matter.

Two weeks later I realized I wasn't pregnant again.  The doctor basically told us that  in vitro was our only chance and that we should act quickly if we were going to do it, because our stats weren't getting any better.

We had arrived at decision point.  I felt so frustrated and confused.  Fertility can feel like a dark, strange casino.  You can spend so much with no guarantee of a return.  The stakes just keep getting higher and higher and you don't know if you should fold or stay in another round.

So I asked all of you about in vitro.  Your stories were so helpful.  I was amazed by your strength and by what so many of you had been through.  You gave me a much greater perspective.  Thank you for that.  I wish I had the time to respond to each of those comments and emails.  Please know that that meant a lot to me.

To understand our decision process, you must realize that we are very religious people.  When I have a decision to make, I take it to God.  I believe that He can guide us if we let Him.  After a lot of thought and a whole lot of prayers my husband and I felt like in vitro wasn't our path.  We also felt that adoption wasn't our path.  I was definitely willing to try either one, but I just didn't feel prompted to do either one.

So, we were forced to come to peace with the fact that our family was a family of four and that we were finished.  It was a hard thing to accept.  Realizing that Baden was my last baby and not knowing that at the time broke my heart.  It was all really difficult.  Then I think about some of you and the stories you've shared and my heart breaks even more.  So many of you have gone through so much more than we have.  I admire your strength and your faith and your perseverance.

You see, I am a planner by nature.  I love to know how things will go.  I feel like I can do whatever is asked of me, but I just want to know what that's going to be.  God has given me many opportunities to trust in Him and let go, but I am still learning.  I still try to hold on too tight at times.

Here's an analogy.  A year or two ago we visited a friend we hadn't seen in a while.  They had a playground with a pole you could slide down.  My friend's son slid down it over and over.  Rex wanted to try, but he had never slid down a pole before.  It was funny to watch.  He hung on so tightly.  I tried to explain that he needed to loosen up his grip so he could slide.  He'd loosen it for a half a second and then tighten up again.  He had to make his way down that pole loosening and tightening about 50 times.  It was funny to watch.  I tried to explain there was a better way, but he wanted to do it his way.  And that's me a lot of times.  I'm trying to learn to loosen the grip and trust, but many times I'm hanging on so tightly that I don't let things happen as they should.

We both really started to accept life as it was - which was a great life.  I felt even more grateful for Rex and Baden, knowing that they were truly miracles.  I started thinking about family vacations and things we could do if I knew we were done having kids.  There was the teeniest part of my mind that wondered if by some chance we'd have another, but it's hard to hang onto that when the deck is stacked against you.  It kind of hurts to hang onto that idea.

I finally let go.  A couple of months later I took a pregnancy test on a whim.  I was a little late and I didn't want to let ideas float around my head.  I got a positive.  I was floored, but I also thought it could have been a false positive.  I waited three hours and took another test.  And then I waited another three hours and took another test.  All three were positive.  I wanted to tell my husband in person and unfortunately it was a night he was going to a football game after work.  He got home a little before midnight and I shared the news.  

I wish I had his reaction on video.  He was floored.  He just kept saying, "No way!  Really?" over and over.  I thought I'd wait to tell the boys, but after a day or two I just couldn't wait any longer.  They are excited, even though Rex thinks a dog sounds like more fun :)  They have funny questions and comments and their excitement has helped get through the beast of morning sickness.  The other day my stomach made a loud noise and Baden face lit up.  He asked, "Was that the baby?"  It's so fun to share this with them.

I feel really blessed, but at the same time it doesn't always seem real.  Being sick 24/7 I have to remind myself that I'm not just sick, but actually pregnant.  We will definitely find out if it's a girl or boy, which will be after Christmas.

As I think of our journey I always think about those who are still struggling to conceive or those who have miscarried.  I ache for you.  It doesn't seem fair and that controlling part of me wants to make it all fair.  But, I believe that God has great plans for each of us.  He is concerned about our growth more than our comfort.  He finds ways to make us better than we are.  I know that very deeply.

So, that's our story - our miracle.  I was thinking the other day about my word of 2012.  I chose the word "GIVE."  In my mind I thought of ways to give to charity and promote good.  Now I realize that it was more about giving my will to God....which I am still working on.

Thanks for reading.


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