When Jason and I were married (almost nine years ago!), our initial "perfect world" plan was to wait two years, have 1 kid, then wait two more years and have another kid. Well, two years came and went and...well, there was no kid. We simply decided that we enjoyed our kid-free life - carefree, no worries, come and go as we pleased, travel as we liked....so we put our "plan" on the back burner.
As the years went by, people consistently made comments to me about my biological clock. Yeah yeah...who wants to hear about that? Honestly y'all, if I could have put a stop clock on my 27th year and remained 27 years old forever, I would have. Since life doesn't work that way (darnit), time kept ticking by and before I knew it, I was in my 30's.
Still, that longing to bring another life into this world just wasn't there for me...and Jason felt the same way. As a child and playing with baby dolls, I always dreamed of being a mom one day - I just knew I would...so what was wrong with me? What happened to my childhood dreams? I finally started telling people that we were on the fence about kids...which was partially true.
Those feelings didn't change in a day.....it was over the course of time. Our "perfect world" was shattered when my grandfather grew ill and passed away and that's when the realization hit me - my life as I knew it then would not always "be". My current life situation as I knew it at that moment in time wouldn't always be the same - that's just how life goes. We had to ask ourselves, did we really want to let this phase of our lives pass us by and not experience parenthood? The answer was a definite NO. I remember lying in bed one night in tears, crying on Jason's shoulder. I'm not sure he fully understood the emotions I was experiencing, but he comforted and told me everything would be ok.
Jason and I had been trying to conceive for a couple of months around the time of my grandfather's passing. At his funeral, several family members wrote notes and left them in his casket. In mine, I told my grandfather that him and my grandmother couldn't hold on to my baby for too long...because I wanted to meet him or her eventually. It was a comfort for me to picture my grandparents taking care of my child in heaven while its earthly home was being prepared. Sound silly? Well, it wasn't to me. I loved my grandparents dearly - they were like a second set of parents to me. The fact that they aren't here with me as I'm going through this time absolutely crushes my heart...so to think that they had some part in caring for my child makes the fact that they aren't here on earth with me right now a little more bearable.
Fast forward to a year later. Obviously we knew something was wrong. It's recommended for those under the age of 35 to try to conceive for 1 year prior to becoming pregnant. Well, we had done that and were still coming up short. I used an insane amount of ovulation sticks and read my fair share of fertility books over the course of our journey. We finally decided to contact an infertility specialist and see if we could figure out what was wrong. Only problem - the nearest infertility specialist was in a town an hour away.
Lucky for us, Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend was approaching and our airport travel destination took us right through the town where the infertility specialist was located! So, the day before we flew out to Orlando, we officially met our infertility specialist. I was SO nervous for our appointment with her. As an added kick to my wounded pride, mother nature decided to remind me just why I was in that infertility clinic to begin with....if you catch my drift. I was so sure it was a sign that I would never conceive. (Dramatic, much?)
Our doctor was SO nice and spent a good hour going over everything about infertility with Jason and I. Basically, we came out of her office knowing that the world of infertility is an uncertain world and no answers are promised. We also discovered just how costly the infertility journey can be for a couple...and our insurance wasn't much help, unfortunately. Feeling utterly defeated, we put the thoughts out of the back of our minds as we looked forward to a fun filled week in our happy place.
After returning home refreshed, both Jason and I went through a series of test, exams, and lab work in December. I also had an HSG exam which resulted just fine. (I was seriously worried I had a tumor or something...yeah yeah...the life of an oncology nurse!)
It was determined that we were experiencing something called "Male Infertility Factor" along with low testosterone. We also learned that 30% of infertility cases are related to Male Infertility Factor. As a matter of fact, our levels were so bad (the count, motility, and morphology were all super below normal...like really really bad) that the first step of infertility treatments (IUI or Intrauterine Insemination) wasn't even an option for us. IUI is the much cheaper first step before IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). Unfortunately, if we decided not to pursue any other options, our infertility specialist told us that the only one she could give us was IVF. In the midst of the conversation, the idea of a Urologist who specialized in male infertility was discussed. Willing to try anything, we agreed.
Honestly, agreeing to see the urologist was the best decision we ever made. We LOVED him! From the start, he was very encouraging and even shared his personal infertility struggles with us which made us feel incredibly reassured!
Then, it began again - Jason was placed through a series of testing, lab work, and ultrasounds to determine and pinpoint the problem. It was discovered that he had a varicocele which was more than likely the culprit for the poor numbers on his analysis. Add poor numbers to a low testosterone and we were really up a creek without a paddle. We were given two options from the urologist - a varicocele repair (which required a surgery) and placing Jason on Clomid (yes, you read that correctly).
At the end of April, Jason began taking Clomid and had the varicocele repair on May first. We were given the green light to return to life as normal the following week. We were also told that it takes an entire three months to show any improvement in counts after a change is made. In my head, that translated to August/September. We were also told that if the goal of achieving a pregnancy on our own didn't occur, it was possible that his counts could improve enough that IUI would become an option again. I hoped we wouldn't have to go that route, but I tried to take it one day at a time.
Much to my utter surprise and amazement, I received a positive pregnancy test when we returned from our Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend at the end of JULY! I honestly couldn't believe my sleep-deprived eyes that morning. It had only been two months since his surgery and I had only been through two cycles - no way a pregnancy was already happening!! The above photo is from my work calendar the day after I found out I was pregnant! I shared the remainder of the story here if you'd like to read about it, and the rest as they say...is history!
Throughout our infertility journey, we experienced a lot of pain and sorrow, but I can promise you that it was all worth it in the end! Some of the hardest parts were around holidays - for our church Christmas musical, I was given the part of Eve and the lines reminded of how unsuccessful I was at bearing children; during the Easter production, I was given the part of Mary and one of the lines stated that I was "most blessed of women...for I held a baby in my arms..."; and this year, at least six pregnancy announcements from friends were made. Although I was incredibly happy for my friends for achieving this seemingly impossible feat, it never seemed to end...everywhere I turned, there were always reminders...
To those out there still experiencing this journey, I know there are no words I can say that will make it better. I wish I could reach through this computer and give you a great big giant hug right now. I've been there...I know how much it hurts. It's a hollow ache that no one or thing this side of earth can fill.
However, I CAN promise you this - "I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future" - Jeremiah 29:11 This verse was my solid ground...my rock...throughout our infertility struggles. Every time a reminder of my fertility failures arose, I reminded myself that God had EVERYTHING under control. My life, my circumstances, and my future were all in His hands...I just had to keep trusting that everything would work out as it should. Don't lose heart and don't give up hope. Your rainbow is out there, too!!
Much love to you all! Thanks for all of the support! It means the world to Jason and I!
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- Our Infertility Journey
- Long Run & A Relaxing Weekend
- Fitness Friday - Running While Pregnant
- Pregnancy Update - First Trimester
- Changes Are Coming!
- Fitness Friday - 9/18 & My Exercise/Stretching Rou...
- Not Just A Nurse
- The Trainng Plan - Tips from Jeff Galloway
- Feelin' Like Fall
- Bulu Box Review
- Astros Star Wars Day
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- Rubba Ducks Review and Giveaway
- Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
- Melissa & Everett's Wedding
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