Well, Hello There!

Long time, no see!

I want to take a second to just say THANK YOU.  To all of you that have unconditionally supported – and continue to support – us through all the trials we’ve faced in the last 4-5 years.  It’s certainly been a roller coaster and we could NOT have made it through without the love, prayers, and encouragement that we have received.

I’ve not shared much of what happened on our adoption journey and I guess it was mostly because – for a while – we were just waiting.  While we were waiting, one of my tasks was to create a book that our adoption agent could use to show to prospective birth families.  It was supposed to have pictures of us, stories about us, where we live, grew up, what we like to do for fun, etc.

Folks, let me tell you – that book was HARD.

You know how movies have previews?  And it’s basically the highest/funniest points of the movie shown?  The ones that really sell you on the movie and make you say ” I HAVE to see that!”?  I kinda felt like that’s what we were doing.  I know it sounds a little taboo to say that we were ‘selling’ ourselves, but it felt that way.  I felt like we needed to find the best pictures and the best stories so that we’d really catch someone’s eye.  And the more I worked on the book, the more my emotions started building.

My emotions were already crazy heightened (I’m sure my husband would be happy to vouch for that), but this seemed to tip me right over the edge.  Aside from all of the obvious unfairness about adoption – birthmothers placing their children, adoption agencies making so much dang money, etc. – it did NOT feel fair that someone else got to choose if and when we got to be parents based on whether or not they liked our book.

If you know me, you know that I’ve struggled with deep, dark depression for many years.  I fought that darkness for so long while dealing with treatments and miscarriages, but all of a sudden, the perfect storm converged and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

Being a mother is something that I have longed for as far back as I can remember.  And after getting married, being a parent became a shared dream.  Never would I have thought it would stay a dream.

We fought long and hard to reach our goal.  We gladly gave up a lot of things and cut back on so many more to save everything we could.  We were asked by so many amazing people how they could help, so we reached out to all of you and you stepped up in ways we never could have imagined.  All of your donations got us SO MUCH FURTHER than we ever could have gotten alone.  And we could never fully thank all of you properly.

But as I started looking at our life, I realized that – even though the cost of adoption was high, the price we were paying through health and our marriage was even higher.

J was working two jobs (still is) and I was stretched so thin emotionally, that it started manifesting itself physically.  After talking (A LOT), praying (A LOT), crying (just me but A LOT), and realizing that we’d exhausted our donations and funds towards the adoption, we decided that we were going to just take a step back.

From the day we got married, we were so focused on starting a family that we forgot to recognize that we already WERE one.

So, that’s where we are now.  We’ve put adoption on hold and are spending time learning how to just be who we are instead of stressing over who we could be.

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One Day At A Time

Families are funny things.

We grow up believing that they will always be there.  And sometimes they are.

But sometimes – they’re not.

Being the oldest of four, I was always the ‘little mommy’.  I always had extra responsibility.  (And blame.)

It took me until I was well into my 20’s to realize that I needed to start taking care of myself, because no one else was going to do it for me.

The rest of this blog is somewhat difficult to write, and even harder to share.  I won’t go into great detail of the pain & heartbreak, but it shows my raw underbelly and makes me feel seriously vulnerable.  Part of me worries about the reactions I may get, but it’s something I’ve been rolling around in my head and have to get it out…  So, here goes.

When I had just started my freshman year in high school, my mother and father decided to get a divorce.  My mother moved a couple of hours away up to this little mountain community that was BEAUTIFUL and took my 2 younger sisters and younger brother.  I stayed behind because I had already started a school year.

After they moved, my mother and some of her friends took a trip to the beach for her birthday weekend and as the story goes, she was roller skating and the wheels were loose and she fell and broke both arms – wrist on one arm, elbow on the other.

As you can imagine, trying to do ANYTHING with two broken arms is nearly impossible.  So, I packed up and moved to Big Bear with my mother and siblings to help (High School #2).  Little mommy to the rescue.

Cooking, cleaning, helping with homework.  All things I did.  Showering & bathroom trips were on the Top 5 list of “Things I Did But Did NOT Look Forward To”!  Needless to say, my mother and I got pretty close.

There were a lot of things that happened in the following years that forced me to grow up rather quickly.  All of them left memories I’ll never forget – good and bad.

Big Bear is an AMAZING town.  It’s charming and peaceful and enchanting.  It’s a great place for children to grow up.  But there’s a side to it that a lot of people don’t see.  Because there isn’t really much to do, sadly, a lot of people turn to drug use.  And it seems fairly easy to obtain those drugs.  I’m sure that’s the case in most towns, but only more recognizable there because of the size of the town.

I NEVER found drugs as a temptation.  I think after the first or second time someone asked me if I wanted to try them, word quickly spread that my answer was not one that people would willingly put themselves in a position to hear.

Unfortunately, the situation wasn’t the same for my younger sister.

I moved to Florida for my Junior Year (High School #3) and there is still a part of me that wonders if I hadn’t, how different things might have been.

Long story short: my younger sister became involved in a LOT of detrimental activities.  She went from an honor roll student to a high school dropout.  She got pregnant at a young age and straightened out – for a while.

But addiction is powerful.

She became involved in drugs again after having back surgery.  She had a doctor that prescribed pain pills like candy, until she was red-flagged at many pharmacies.  Apparently, the street price of prescription narcotics is MUCH higher than the more deadly drugs and they spun their web tightly.  I had tried to get the family to do an intervention YEARS before when I saw red flags waving strongly.  But for reasons I have never understood, my sister is quite good at convincing people to believe what she wants them to.  She quickly lost her footing on the slippery slope of serious drug use.

A few months after my miscarriage, I learned that she was pregnant.  The baby was born a few weeks before my husband and I would have been due and faced a rough road to get beyond the withdrawals.

A few months ago, I learned that she was trying to get custody of her daughter and I wrote a letter to the courts asking them to carefully consider all the facts.  When I wrote my blog about it,  I specifically said that I knew that what I’d done wouldn’t be received kindly by some.  And I was right.

My mother is the kind of person that is ALWAYS looking to help people.  To some, it could be perceived as a “fix-it” mentality.  She has a soft spot for those that are in a bad way and sometimes even puts herself in rough situations thinking that it will help that person come around.

I learned that my mother had been helping my sister with many things – including moving in with her and helping her try to get her daughter back.  When she found out that I’d written a letter to the courts, she took it pretty badly and I was accused of being bitter and jealous.  A lot of hurtful things were said.

And we haven’t really talked since.

It is so weird to me to have so many great things going on in my husband’s and my life and not be able to share it with her.  I know my mother loves me, but I feel like she’s chosen my sister over me.  And it hurts.

I know how short life is.  I know that not forgiving someone doesn’t hurt the offender.  In fact, it sets the offended free.  So, I’ve done that.

But I have to protect me and my husband and the family that we are trying so desperately to have.  So, I’ve chosen to let go of relationships that can feel unhealthy at times, regardless of how difficult that may be.

I don’t claim to be perfect.  I know I’ve said some hurtful things before.  And I can only hope that they can forgive me for them.

I firmly stand in my belief that tough love is often not only the right way but the BEST way.

So, while it’s difficult and often painful to not be able to pick up the phone and share my excitement over J’s and my new house with someone I used to be so close to, we are going to move on with our lives and thoroughly enjoy every moment.

One Day At a Time.

Dear Munchkin

Wow!  You would be 1 year old next month!!

1st candle

 

There’s so many first’s that we’ve missed – First smile.  First tooth.  First word.  First roll over.  First time sitting up.  First Christmas.

I still wonder about you every day.  Were you a girl?  A boy?  (There’s a couple of us – including me – that just have a gut feeling that you were a boy!)  Would you have had a lot of hair?  Would you have your daddy’s calm personality or mommy’s rambunctious temperament?  What color would your eyes have been?  Would you have had my nose?  Daddy’s ears?  Would you have been tall?  What would you have wanted to be when you grew up?

baby ideas

I may not have held you long enough when I lost you to really know much about you, but I do know this:  Your daddy and I love you very much.

I wish that we could have met you.  That we could have held you in our arms just once.  But I know that if I’d held you only once, it would have never been long enough.  We will hold you forever in our hearts though!

I have a friend that is going through just what I went through when we lost you.  It brings back so many emotions and memories.  Even ones that I’d pushed way down.  It’s so hard to listen and not want to – or be able to – fix it.  It makes my heart ache.  Mostly because I know that her and her husband will ask all the same questions we ask.  Will you find their child and hug him or her for them?  And squeeze extra tight so that they are also hugging you for us.

I want her to know that – while the hurt never goes away, it does subside.  That while it still aches when I think of you, I can talk about you more without that throat-closing, eye-burning feeling being as bad.  That while my arms ache to hold you, my heart fills with hope for the future instead of sadness for the past.

missing someone

 

It still seems so surreal sometimes…  that I am a mom.

Don’t worry – your dad and I are working very hard to have a brother or sister for you!  While it’s tougher than we thought it would be, we are learning so much!  We are learning how to be strong.  We are learning how to trust.  We are learning how to lean on each other.  We are learning that while we dream about the life we want, that God is preparing us for something bigger than our biggest dreams!

Thank you for giving us hope.  Thank you for letting us love you.  Thank you for being our angel.

All Our Love,

Mommy and Daddy

Aside

MTHFR & Me

Where do I even start?  This last week has been torture.  I despise waiting…  ESPECIALLY when it’s the kind of waiting that is wrought with anticipation.  Remember that insanely LARGE amount of blood that I had drawn a couple of weeks ago?  Well, I finally got the results of that.  I don’t fully understand what it means just yet, but I am digging as deep as I can to learn, so bear with me as I try to explain it…

confused

I was diagnosed with a compound heterozygous MTHFR mutation.  (No, It’s not an abbreviation for a dirty word, although it’s VERY fitting!)  I had some additional blood work done today to find out whether I will need to be referred to a hematologist or simply be treated by Family Care Dr.  There isn’t much information on it yet, as it’s still something that’s being studied.  One of the simplest blogs I’ve read that helps explain it is by Kate Powe, titled “From Infertility to Depression to Cancer.  Why you need to get to know MTHFR”  where she breaks it down into kind of an MTHFR for Dummies!  One way she describes it is – it’s a mutation of a gene who’s “role is to produce an enzyme that converts folate into the body’s bioactive form, methylfolate.”  She says “If you happen to have this genetic hiccup, it results in a defective MTHFR enzyme which leads to a substantial reduction of the enzyme’s function …  The impact that a faulty MTHFR gene can have on the entire body is so far-reaching, it’s considered to be linked to a host of chronic diseases, including: cardiovascular disease, clotting disorders and thromboembolism, congenital defects, recurrent miscarriage, neural tube defects, infertility, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, migraine, anxiety, ADD, autism, cancer, diabetes, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar and addictions.”  (italics by me)

There are a couple of spots on a certain strand of DNA that this gene can mutate/copy.  Position 677 & 1298.  There are a few different ways that it can copy also.  Heterozygous means there is 1 copy of either the 677 or 1298 mutation from one parent plus a normal gene from the other, homozygous means there are 2 copies of the 677 & 1298 mutation, one from each parent.  Compound heterozygous (me) means you have one copy of the 677 mutation from one parent and one copy of the 1298 mutation from the other parent.

As it relates to pregnancy, it can cause blood clots, miscarriage, neural tube defects, pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, Down Syndrome, just to name a few.

frazzled

Ok, enough of the science mumbo-jumbo…  what does it all MEAN?!  From what I can understand, it means that with this mutation  (side note: every time I hear that word I think of X-men)  my body can’t process certain things the way that it’s supposed to which increases my risk of risk of a variety of cancers, heart problems & all kinds of other stuff that makes it sound like the speed talking portion of the side effects on a medicine commercial!

So, as you can see, it’s a LOT to take in.  My head is spinning and my brain is on information overload!  Prayers for answers have not gone unheard, it’s just not what I was expecting – AT ALL!  Since it’s something that’s in my DNA, it can’t be “fixed” (yet) but it seems fairly treatable.  It seems through diet and lifestyle changes, the levels that this mutation throws off can be balanced, and therefore the side effects lessened.  I will be taking a low-dose (81mg) aspirin every day, and while TTC will be needing to take extra folate.  If I can get pregnant again,  it seems I will need to take – either by injection or pill – a blood thinner so as to decrease the chance of clots that may result in another miscarriage.  It really does explain a LOT of the chronic illnesses and such that I’ve dealt with throughout my life!

sick lady

We still have so much more to learn and honestly, it terrifies me.  But we’ve fought so hard to get where we are, that it would make NO SENSE to roll over and give up now!

In other news, with my period being the absolute latest its EVER been (7 days!) and being in some severe pain over the weekend, I had some blood work and an ultrasound done today that confirmed that not only am I NOT pregnant but I have yet another cyst on my left ovary.  After a complete level 4 breakdown in the OB’s office – which I feel bad about cuz they’re so used to helping women that are pregnant, that they don’t quite know what to do with one that can’t get there – I dried my tears long enough to make it home and collapse in a heap.  I started the medication that I am supposed to take for 5 days in order to bring on my period in about two weeks, only to discover that it only took one pill in order to make my aunt arrive.

This last week has been torture…  But answers are slowly coming.  I’ve felt so discouraged and broken.  Just when I feel like my heart might be mending, something comes along and shatters it just a little bit more.  I KNOW that God knows.  I know that He has a plan.  I know that I’m PROBABLY stronger than I feel… but dang it all if I don’t just feel so beat up lately.  I’m gonna pull myself up by the bootstraps and learn about what our options are for conceiving and exactly what the relationship will be for MTHFR & me.

waitingfaith

A Lot of Love + A Little Science

As I sit here, my lovely Aunt has decided to delay her arrival by a few days.  For the last 25 years of my life – well let’s call it 20, since it took some time to get it regulated after I started my cycles at the tender age of 10 – my cycle has been the ONE THING that I could count on.  The ONE THING that was constant.  And then January happened.  I’ve never looked forward to my period…  until after I bled for 11 days last month and was kind of anticipating when I would start again.  Not because I WANTED to.  But because I REALLLY hoped that after all this time that the ONE thing I’ve been able to count on being constant – isn’t changing.

change-same

Of course, it could be a GOOD thing.  I’ve even had some ‘symptoms’ over the last week or so.

Crampy feelings?  Check.

CRAZY tired?  Check.

Cold symptoms?  Check.

BUT, I’ve tested negative on every home test I’ve taken.  All one of them.  Don’t judge.  I can’t take that much bad news.

The irony is NOT lost on me that I just had my 35th birthday in January and now all of THIS crap.  I already know all of the statistics that say that my chances of getting pregnant naturally after 30 years old go WAY down – I didn’t need a reminder!  I’d already been dreading 35, as if it were some magic number.

After all of the issues with the bleeding from last month, in a visit with my OB I asked if there was anything that could be tested to tell if my body would even ACCEPT a pregnancy.  There is a panel of tests that they can do that will support that… but it is VERY costly and normally only done after a woman has 2-3 miscarriages.  Due to that fact that I’ve already had one, we’ve had 3 failed treatments and my age (ugh), my OB decided that they would go ahead and order that test.  It totally WIPED me out!! The first time I went in, they stuck me 4 times and could only get one vial.  The next day I went in and they got all they needed without a hitch, but it kinda sent me into a tailspin.  I’ve recovered from that but got to do the fun runaround on the phone today trying to get the results to my dr’s office so that I can find out just what the answer is!!  I told my sister and best friend earlier that I may just not be bleeding this month because I lost so much last month, my body may not have any to spare!!

blood

Anyway!  Did you know that a woman is born with ALLLL the eggs she’ll ever have?  A baby girl is born with over a million eggs!!  (I can’t help but picture Dr Evil, pinky to mouth, “one milllllllion eggs”)  By puberty, only 300,000 of them are left and only about 300 of THOSE will actually mature and release through ovulation.  According to an article I read on babble.com,  “many studies show that a healthy 30-year-old woman trying for a baby has about a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each month.  At 40, that number shrinks to 5 percent.  Add to it that the rate of miscarriage is higher in our 30s, as is the chance of having a baby with a genetic abnormality.”

So much information.  Some days it’s really hard to not get discouraged.  There has been a lack of blogs from me lately, mainly because I try not to write when I’m down.

I always have people telling me “Don’t lose faith” “Keep your hopes up” “If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen” and other such anecdotes.  I want this to be crystal clear…

I haven’t lost faith.  If anything, my faith has grown.  I have faith that God knows just what is going to happen.  I hope every month that it will be THE month.  But, unfortunately, that doesn’t make having to wait any better.  It doesn’t make negative tests any less painful to see.  It doesn’t make answers – or no answers – any easier to hear.

Many people have issues with women relying on science to get pregnant.  They feel that it goes against God’s will.  (Yes, I’ve actually had someone say that.)  My response is simply this…  Do you feel that way about medicine?  What if someone you knew had cancer?  Do you feel like it’d be going against God’s will for them to participate in chemo or radiation?  I know that cancer and infertility seem to be on the opposite end of the spectrum as far as diseases go.  And I agree that the outcome can be much worse if cancer isn’t treated, but studies show that “women with fertility problems are as stressed, anxious, and depressed as women with cancer, heart disease, or HIV.  Blood tests, pills, injections, ultrasounds, and procedures cause stress and emotional upheaval in women.  Also, society fails to recognize the grief caused by infertility, so people denied parenthood tend to hide their sorrow, which only increases their feelings of shame and isolation.”  My point is – why is it ok to believe that God would give men and women the knowledge to create treatments that can cure diseases, but not include infertility treatments in that knowledge?  I’ve NEVER been more grateful for science IN MY LIFE!

love+science

Can You Just Imagine That?

I’ve been thinking over the last week ” I REALLY need to blog again! It’s been SOOOOOOO long!!” and then I looked when I logged in and really, it’s only been 2 weeks.  That is a long time, but it seriously felt like YEARS!  It’s been an action-packed 14 days!  Birthdays, bad weather, broken teeth (not mine, hubby’s), dr’s visits, diet changes (I FINALLY went completely gluten-free, even of cross-contamination, and I feel great!), heated arguments, counseling sessions…….  SERIOUSLY action-packed.

exhausted woman

Part of the reason it’s felt like it’s lasted so long is because, of the last 14 days, I’ve bled 11 of them.  Yup.  You read that correctly.  Bled.  11 DAYS.  (That may be more than some of you want to know, but TOUGH!)  I’ve gotten to know how my body works pretty well.  I’ve got an app that helps track everything for me, but I’ve gotten so in tune that I can just about narrow it down to a couple hour window of when my period is going to start.  And then I bleed for 3 days and it’s on to waiting for ovulation.  Well, little did I know that not starting when I’d expected to was merely the beginning of the abnormalities for this cycle.

First couple days it was just real light.  Then the third was, let’s say, medium.  I remember thinking “Huh.  This is an easy one.  Lucky me.”  And it kinda stopped for a couple of days…  And then, it was full force.  **Information to follow is not for the queasy**  For 2 days, I passed clumps that were kind of scary.  After already experiencing a miscarriage, my first thought was “here we go again.”  I called my OB’s office and they said that it sounded like an early miscarriage and that I needed to take a home pregnancy test and come in for blood work.

negative test

You’d think I’d get used to the stark-white window glaring back at me.  Not so much.  Not matter how many times I look at that little window, all I see is Mother Nature flipping me the bird.  Just once, I wanna be able to flip it back at her!  My OB’s office called the next day to see how I was doing and when I told them that I’d failed the test again but was still bleeding, they said that I needed to come in for an ultrasound and to see the Dr.  So, I prepared my heart the best I could and went in.

Let me just say – I always HATE going to the OB’s office.  All these oh-so-cute pregnant women around with that glow reminding me that I’m so very NOT pregnant.  Ugh.  But this time, I got the immense pleasure of witnessing this woman in the waiting room – who I was about 1.5 seconds away from putting in her place when they called my name – that was sitting next to her doting husband and rolling her eyes while he talked about little things.  After checking his phone, he told her that he needed to go on a work trip at a certain time, but that they should plan a ‘new family’ vacation/celebration around it.  She then proceeded to tell him how inconSINderate he was to even THINK about going because it was going to force her to go back to work sooner than she wanted to and what a HUGE favor she was doing by carrying his child and how miserable she was.  And then, she went on to tell him that he needed to go get her some wet paper towels so that she could clean her hands before she ate her snack, “but don’t touch any part of the part I will touch because I made you cut all those onions and I do NOT want that smell on my hands,.”  **hair flip**  Honestly 1.5 seconds away from putting Bitchy Barbie in her place when they called my name.  My best friend and I joked in text message that she would have been REALLY sorry to miss it because the woman probably would have gotten REALLY ghetto and I would have had to politely make her look stupid!.

This could just as easily read "Infertile Post"!

This could just as easily read “Infertile Post”!

ANYWAY!  An early miscarriage couldn’t be confirmed, but she said my ultrasound looked GREAT.  With the exception of some leftover blood, my lining was the thinnest they’d seen it and I have a follicle developing in my left ovary.  I asked if there was a test they could do to find out if my body will even ACCEPT a pregnancy and she said that there is a clotting disorder that they can test for.  It’s normally something they do after a woman has 2-3 miscarriages – but due to my age, family history, a previous miscarriage, four failed medicated cycles & treatments and the fact that we’d been trying for 28 months, she could go ahead and order it.  According to her, it’s a very hefty amount of blood and there is QUITE the price tag on it, so she suggested getting the codes from the lab to check with insurance and make sure it would be covered.  She wasn’t kidding!!!  Over $3,200 before insurance!  I called my insurance company and thankfully it’s covered – well, most of it.

Speaking of insurance companies…  Can I just say I am NOT happy with mine right now?  In researching my new policy, I have learned some discouraging, unfair and downright DISGUSTING facts!!!  In exploring the “benefits” I found that they will cover contraceptive supplies and service, voluntary sterilization, elective surgical, non-surgical or drug induced pregnancy termination, health services and associated expenses for elective abortion and fetal reduction surgery.  But for infertility,  NOT A DANG PENNY!!!  Family destroying, covered.  Family building, not so much.  I understand that Lowe’s thinks that they are saving money by doing this, but in the long run, it’s costing them MORE.  According to an article on resolve.org “recent studies indicate that including comprehensive infertility coverage may actually reduce costs and improve outcomes.”  It makes so much sense!!

In reviewing all of this, I decided that I’m not going to be silent about this.  I did something I HATE and posted a fairly cryptic request for prayer on Facebook and without going into great details,  I will say – I am going to challenge my employer and the insurance company regarding our coverage.  I know it’s big, and maybe nothing will come of it, but I feel so strongly about this and think that the reason that so many employers are afraid to cover anything infertility related is because they don’t actually understand what it actually means!!  If nothing actually changes, I’m right back in the sucky place we started.  But if my standing and shouting as loud and as long as I possibly can actually DOES change something…  Can you just imagine that?

inspire

A Little Background & My Not-So-Scarlett Letter

Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted babies.  Not *a* baby… BABIES.  As a little girl, being the oldest child, I was a leader.  I’m sure my siblings would tell you I was bossy, but what do they know?  They were younger than me!  Even as a teenager, my friends and I would talk about the babies we would have someday…  I just never imagined that those babies would stay in my dreams and never fill my arms.

My husband and I were married on November 4th, 2011 in Southern California.  After growing up living there for 28 years, it seemed only right and my soon-to-be hubby was very agreeable!  The weather in Kentucky is undependable at any time of year, let alone late Fall, early Winter…  PLUS, it NEVER rains in Southern California!!

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I guess Mother Nature just never got that memo!! (Photo Taken the morning of the wedding by the nerve-wracked Bride!!)

It was a simple, backyard wedding.  It was in the backyard of the house I spent most of my years as a child, so that was nice!  Family was there from Kentucky & California, as well as friends from both places!!  After that, we headed off to Atlantis where we had an AMAZING time!!!!!!  In December, we had a gorgeous reception where more family was able to make it!

After we got home, we settled into our new life.  It was beautiful, but in no way perfect!  Everyone that is, or ever has been, married knows that marriage has it’s ups and downs!  They didn’t put the words “For Better or Worse, For Richer or Poorer, In Sickness and in Health” in there for no reason!  We just never actually think that it’s going to be worse, or we’re going to be poorer… and we CERTAINLY always expect health!  In January 2012, yes only 2 short months after we’d gotten hitched, my mother got very sick and was hospitalized. Over the next couple months, there were whirlwind, emotional trips to California. Seeing my mom on life support is not something fun to witness.  She was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and had some very aggressive treatment for just about the rest of the year.  She fought bravely and thankfully, she was declared in remission on Christmas Eve (what a priceless gift, huh?!).  She’s also just very recently received another clean bill of health via a clear PET Scan!  Amidst other challenges my hubby and I were facing, which I’ll detail in a minute, my Mother-In-Law was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in January of 2013. She is quite the fighter… chemo made her VERY, VERY ill and she had to discontinue that course of treatment, but the radiation seems to be picking right up where it left off and not making her NEARLY as sick!  THANK GOD!

I had been diagnosed with Arthritis quite a few years before all this, and before getting married, in speaking with my rheumatologist and telling him that we were going to start trying to get pregnant – which wasn’t recommended with the meds I was on – he told me that any pregnancy I had would be considered “high risk” and referred me to an OB-GYN that specialized in those kind of pregnancies.  In April of 2012, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome).  I was put on some medication for it and by August, we were pregnant!

I used to think that women that said they “knew” they were pregnant right away were trying to sell something that I just did NOT buy.  I was wrong.  I knew almost right away.  Same as I did on the day that we lost it.  It’s amazing to me how women’s bodies just… know.  I told my husband in a phone conversation that I was miscarrying, the pain I was having was excrutiating and so terribly unlike anything I’d felt before from a period.  He consoled me and told me I wasn’t, I was just having a rough period because the medicine finally working.  The “special” OB-GYN told me the same thing.  I wanted to scream “LISTEN TO ME!!! I’M NOT ASKING YOU WHAT’S HAPPENING, I’M TELLING YOU!!!!”  He told me to “give it a few more days and if you’re still bleeding, call us back.”  Quack.  Few days later, I was still bleeding.  So, I made the dreaded phone call and they had me come in right away for an ultrasound.  I walked in and gave the obligatory specimen and then was led to the room where they have a jumbo sized HD TV mounted on the wall that shows the deepest, darkest regions of a woman’s insides.  As I waited on the table – feet in stirrups, waiting to be shown what I already knew – the Ultrasound Tech comes in waving a little white test (which I wouldn’t have been waving) and says “Congratulations!!  You’re Pregnant!!  Let’s see what we’ve got going on in there!” Dumbfounded look from me, didn’t you read the chart as to why I’m HERE??  As the ultrasound progressed, her face dropped and dropped and she said “I think I need to go get the dr. Go ahead and get dressed.”  YA THINK?  Worst part?  My Dr didn’t even come in!  He sent his PA!  **insert mad face here**  She used all the right clinical terms – “spontaneous abortion” – that make a woman feel like it’s all her fault, and I left as an absolute mess.

Anyway, that was a rough situation.  But I’ll tell you, after 1 year of trying and seeing “that word” at the bottom of the papers – “INFERTILE” – everything changed in an instant.  I felt like I’d been branded with a Scarlett Letter.  The pain was deeper.  The ache was stronger.  The desire intensified.  It’s funny how the moment you think you can’t have something anymore, the more you want it, isn’t it?