Sunday, February 27, 2011

This baby's story

(Warning: slightly personal information below so if you don't want to know about making a baby, please click away. NO, I don't mean like THAT and it's NOT graphic but I do talk about my "cycles" and "fertility".)

Oh you guys, THANK YOU! Thank you so much for all your kind words and congratulations and general merriment you sent our way. It really means the world to me, really. This pregnancy has been something we've wanted for a long time and something we weren't sure we were going to be able to have. You see, there was a time when my ob-gyn came to the conclusion that I had unexplained secondary infertility. Rather sad and confusing, isn't it?

When Noah had just turned one, I was staying at home with him and beginning to think about expanding our family. That was late summer, early fall of 2009. So we started trying. And I started charting and tracking my cycles and taking my temps regularly. What I discovered was that I was all over the place with my cycles. I think my longest cycle was 80-something days (and no, I was not pregnant). Each cycle that went long and for no obvious reason spiraled me further into the "we will never get pregnant" despair. We tried faithfully until I went back to work this past June.

Prior to deciding to go back to work, I met with my ob-gyn for a battery of tests to help us understand why my cycles were so wonky and why we weren't having any luck. Vial after vial of blood was drawn, ultrasounds were had, and my doctor couldn't come up with any good reason why my body was rebelling against making a baby. She determined that our best course of action would be to start Clomid to get things jump-started.

Clomid scared me. There is a risk of multiples and we already have a family history of twins. Our insurance didn't cover ANY infertility treatment so all the medication and follow-up monitoring was out of pocket. Have you seen the bill for ONE ultrasound? Insane. If we got more than one fertilized egg during a cycle, what would we do? Could I handle a multiple pregnancy? Did I want to? Would we selectively reduce? How would we ever decide which one(s)? The concerns and questions were more than we could handle and Tim made the executive decision to not pursue Clomid treatment. This was in May. I was devastated.

We talked about IUI and IVF and knew that there was no way we could afford it without our health insurance covering a portion of it. It felt like I was standing at the bottom of the steepest and tallest mountain with no way up. I decided at that point to become ok with the idea of one child...that our family was perfect just the way it was. Noah brought us an immeasurable amount of joy and I knew we would be happy forever if we just had him. I know now that my head got the message by my heart was lagging far behind.

Once I was back at work I felt less pressure to MAKE A BABY NOW. Since we had taken Clomid off the table for the time being our options were a) keep trying the old-fashioned way or b) stop trying and get to a peaceful place with our little family. Tim and I talked it through, turned it inside and outside and agreed to stop trying until January 2011. He was under enormous pressure trying to keep his business afloat and couldn't expend more energy on making a baby. I was feeling despondent and broken and knew that forging ahead with trying for a baby, and the subsequent disappointment every cycle that didn't bring me one, would break me. So we took a break and took it off the table.

The Summer and Fall of 2010 were hard. Really hard. Friends all around me were having babies, making babies, thinking about babies and I just kept going back to my crappy diagnosis of "unexplained secondary infertility". Why was it so hard to figure me out? What were the issues my body was having? To top it off, the fall was when my cycles magically straightened themselves out and started working the "normal" way. OUT OF NOWHERE it was like my reproductive parts had a meeting and decided to screw with me. There they were mocking me and saying "you gave up on us so now we're going to na na boo boo." So I kept charting and temping. I wanted to prove my doctor wrong. I wanted to prove myself wrong.

The end of the year came and went. It was finally January. I asked Tim if he was on board as promised. We agreed that we would try until March and then re-visit the Clomid discussion if needed. I felt a little wind in my sails again because we had a plan. A plan that WORKED in January. The first time. Like it was EXPECTED and PLANNED and NORMAL. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. This is not how it happens for us. This is not how our lives have been the past two+ years. We don't get what we want when we want just because we want it. That's how other people live...not us. We get to struggle and get kicked when we're down.

I spent the first few days in a state of awe and denial. There was no way this baby would stick. I was destined to miscarry. That's what would happen to us because life hasn't been so kind as of late. How sad that I thought that way but it's been our constant frame of mind for so long. Even the positive pregnancy test couldn't allay my fears of the bottom dropping out tomorrow. My doctor required a blood test to confirm my hCG levels and see how well the baby was "taking". My first read was low and she wanted me back three days later. If the number dropped, I was miscarrying. If it went up, we were good to go. Funny how three days can turn you into a psycho. By the time the second blood draw came around I was convinced I would start bleeding any minute and this would all come to an end. But my numbers were going up. The baby was sticking. How could we be so lucky?

On February 11th we saw our baby for the first time. We saw it's tiny, microscopic heart beating, beating, beating and it's little tail that would become it's spine. We saw it wiggle around and the tech pointed out where it's arm and leg buds were beginning to form. I spent the entire ultrasound sobbing while Tim kept trying to reassure me that everything looked fine. What he didn't know was that this was months and months of tears that I had shut away and put under lock and key. Tears that I hadn't yet shed for the baby I thought we would never have. Because he or she is here and so very much alive.

I know we're not out of the woods yet and really won't be until I deliver this baby in September. I know adding to your family is never easy and the second baby changes everything. But I also know that this is EXACTLY how things were supposed to work out for us. I know that now. I wish I could go back and tell that broken girl from June to just wait. To be patient and happy and positive and she will get what her heart wanted. A squirmy, wiggly, tiny bean of a baby.

I can't wait for September.


Jessica said...

Sara, I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. The Blathering must have been hard with so many happy pregnant ladies! I'm very happy you're finally on the way to having a new baby and hope the rest of the pregnancy continues smoothly and uncomplicated.

Mary said...

That is one of the most compelling stories I have ever read. Bodies and babies are such an awe inspiring mystery. Congrats on a happy end to your struggles! Keeping my fingers crossed for a healthy happy pregnancy.

bessie.viola said...

This is just beautiful. I'm so glad that it finally worked out for you - what a struggle. That was heartbreaking to read, Sarah. I can't wait for September either! Enjoy your Mexican food and the beginning of this little guy or gal's life. :)

CassJustCurious said...

Have I mentioned that I'm so happy for you - because I am. Beyond happy. Happy baby cooking!

k said...

You are fabulous.

(You also look fabulous too!)

Erica said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

Anonymous said...

As everyone has already said, this is a beautiful story. I am so happy for you and your family!!

Arwen said...

Sara, thank you for sharing this! I love the happy ending - and I can't wait to keep reading until the very happy ending this fall. :-)

Paige said...

Hooray! I am so happy for you and your family. Congratulations again!

little miss mel said...

Wow, What a story. So happy for you and your family!!!!!

Can't wait to follow along your sweet journey! :)

samantha said...

I'm crying here because I know what you went through and I'm just so dang HAPPY for you!

And jesus you look better than I do now with NO baby in my belly! Cutie patootie pregnant lady!


Anonymous said...

Amazing. I am so happy for you!!