Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Miracles of Thanks Giving
Most everyone knows that we are expecting a new little one in June 2011. While another little boy would be great to even out the numbers in our house I'm fairly certain this baby is a girl-- call it a hunch, call it mother's intuition, call it a guess, call it whatever you wish. What some don't know is the journey and miracle that have brought us to this place. It's a personal story, but I feel for those struggling with fertility, that it needs to be shared. Following is the story of our journey-
Christina gave birth to our little Gracie and decided their family with three beautiful children was complete. Jason conceded and had a vasectomy.
Christina passes away from Ovarian cancer.
Jason & I are married. We had talked about both wanting more children He confided that though he had had the vasectomy, he had always wanted SEVEN total.. I had always wanted 4- though we didn't agree on a specific number, we did agree that three probably wasn't enough. We looked into our options and found that a vasectomy reversal would give us the best odds of naturally continuing our family and decided we would save for the surgery.
Not quite two years after the initial surgery we had the vasectomy reversed. We were given a very positive prognosis and said the counts would continue to come up for the next 18 months but that there were already sperm present. Our chances of conceiving were 90% or better!
Had our first semen analysis and the results weren't great. While the movement was good, our count was only 1 million while a normal count is anywhere from 20-40 million. While disappointed by the news, we hadn't yet given up hope as it had only been 6 months.
We had discussed my adopting our 3 babies since we got married and as luck would have it I have a friend who is a Paralegal. She works with an attorney who does adoptions. She did all of our paperwork and the attorney charged us minimally. Though they had been my babies from day one, now we were legally, lawfully a family. We still felt like there were more babies to come to us.
15 months out from the reversal we still had not concieved. A healthy couple under the age of 35 unable to conceive after 1 year is counseled to consult a physician. We had waited until after this time as we knew there had been extenuating circumstances in our case. We decided it was, however time to figure out what was going on. The first and easiest determination in fertility issues is with male infertility so Jason went in for another test. We knew by this time, that whatever the numbers were- that was the best they were going to get.
The end of August the test results came back and were rather devastating. Movement was still good but our count had only risen to 3 million. Our first call was to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. From the test results alone he told us our chances of conceiving naturally were less than 1%. Our best chance was going to be Invitro-Fertilization with ICSI. A procedure that had to be done in Los Angeles and cost upwards of $12,000 dollars. Jason was working out of state and I felt so alone when I got the news. I wanted him to be here to share in my grief. I felt that all our dreams of expanding our family had just been crushed. We didn't have that kind of money and saving it would take years.. time we didn't have since I was already in my 30's. The longer we waited, the higher the risk of complications.
It took me several days to pull myself together and press on. I knew I couldn't yet give up. So I called the urologist who did the surgery. He told us what we had feared, the numbers weren't great and re-doing the surgery wasn't going to bring them up. Our best bet was Invitro-Fertilization. Shot down twice.
Jason and I got together and decided we would do whatever it takes-- sell our possessions, the car, have a yard sale.. save every penny to afford the IVF. If we were going to go that drastic it was time for me to make a visit to the doctor myself to make sure there were no issues with my ability to concieve. I set up an appointment with an OB/GYN who specializes in fertility problems. He suggested that we first try a round or two of IUI. A procedure that could be done in office in a matter of minutes and costs only a few hundred dollars. I called Jason when I got home and told him the news. We decided that was probably the best first step to take but coordinating Jason's out of town schedule with my ovulation schedule was going to be a nightmare. He was working out of state for 2-3 weeks at a time and was home 5-7 days a month.
Beginning of September 2010-
The stress of a new school year, running 3 kids to two different schools at 3 different times, Jason working out of state and worrying about try to concieve and the timing and costs involved had finally taken it's toll. I was tired of trying, I was tired of worrying about it and now I was doubting I even wanted another child if Jason was never home. It was hard enough to chase 3 on my own... how in the world was I going to do adding an infant to the mix? So Jason and I had a little heart to heart and decided we were going to lay off the baby talk until at least after the holidays.
End of September 2010-
I spent several weeks very sick and it was just adding to the rest of the stress. I couldn't figure out why I was so exhausted, so nauseated all the time. Then my cycle was late. I attributed it to stress and at 4 days late, I took a test just to prove it was stress. 3 agonizingly long minutes later, the pregnancy test was negative. So I continued on, still sick and now certain it was stress and probably the flu. Jason went to a week long training class in Grand Junction, Colorado on the 26th of September. He was to be gone until the following Friday.
On Tuesday, September 28 I was 10 days late. That had NEVER before happened. I was sure it was again stress and took another test so I could put it out of my mind. In less than 45 seconds the little digital test said PREGNANT. I didn't even know what to do. It was first thing in the morning and I still had kids to get ready for school. I left the test on the bathroom counter. I took the kids to school and ran to the drugstore for two more tests. I was going to need the third one as a tie-breaker in case the 2nd one was negative. I came home and holed myself up in the bathroom and took the second test... less than 30 seconds and it started blinking PREGNANT just like the first one.
I knew that two seperate digital tests- the most accurate on the market- couldn't be wrong. I sent Jason a text and asked him to Skype with me during his lunch break- a highly unusual request from me- so he did. I asked him if he thought his mom would like to come visit this summer so she could see her new grandbaby born... He yelled and said "We did it! They said it wouldn't happen and we did it!"
We're now almost 11 weeks. The end of our first trimester will fittingly be Thanksgiving Day and we have much to be Thankful for. My doctor laughed when I came in for my first appointment remembering that I had just been there a month previous seeking fertility advice. God does work in mysterious ways. While I'm still not sure what I'm getting myself into adding another little one to our already crazy house, I'm excited to finally be able to welcome this new little spirit that I know was meant for us.
We were told that all odds were against us.. medical intervention was our only chance. Cliche says "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans". We were "planning" to wait.. He saw fit to bless us otherwise. It IS possible, Miracles are possible and I'm carrying our miracle now and for that, we are so Thankful.