Friday, December 30, 2016

Here Goes Nothing

So, I decided to take up a new pass all the spare minutes I have and entertain people as much as possible. It's not just to entertain. I often think about the amount of people who experience the same things I do and could use someone that understands, or I think about the people who could help me. I don't want to do this because I want everyone to know my business, but I don't mind sharing if it helps someone, or even better, makes them laugh.

In the last 5 years a lot has happened. There were times it felt like life was going to kill me, and there were times I wanted to kill others. I have lost a house, lived with my parents, lived with my youngest brother, lost my dad, gained a husband, gained two step-daughters, gained momma duties and privileges, had a student stay with me because his mother got put in jail, moved 6 times, lost 3 dogs, built a house, dealt with infertility issues, had one daughter take dance, gymnastics & play softball (I realize these don't seem traumatic, but oh...they are.), coached softball, and just lived life. Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing (except my dad dying after a battle with brain cancer. I'd have him not have cancer at all.). I have many stories and situations to share, but will just speak on them at random.

The first topic weighing on my mind is fertility- or infertility, as the case may be. I got married late in life, at 38. I had previously decided that I did not have a biological clock and did not want children of my own, having been a teacher for over 15 years. I spoke often to my dad about worrying that one day I would not want children. He said, "When you meet the right person, you will want them." I had no idea how right he would be.

My husband had had a vasectomy about 5 or 6 years prior to us getting together (during the summer). About a year after getting married, my husband had a vasectomy reversal. Where a vasectomy took 30 minutes, the reversal took about 8 hours. All things considered, he was a sport about it. (He was only slightly angry in the recovery room.) At the conclusion of the procedure, the doctor informed me that "swimmers" were detected in the tubes, so everything should be fine.

Fast forward 8 months (spring)... With no success, we went to the fertility clinic. I had an ultrasound that showed I had a a few follicles left to produce eggs, but due to my age, and heredity, my egg reserves were low and the possibility of a healthy egg leading to a healthy baby were very slim. Also add to that a "sample" from my husband coming back with practically no live "swimmers". I was devastated. My husband was not able to go to the appointment where I got the results, so my mom went. You have to understand that one of my mom's dreams is that I have a baby. So, not only did I get to try and pretend it was not crushing, but I also got to go home and try to brush over the fact that our ridiculously expensive procedure for my husband did not work, and despite my fertility health, we would not have a baby with my husband's current count.

I was in a state of mourning. It was a mourning that felt very odd, given I was mourning the loss of something I never had. Before experiencing it, I would never have guessed, or understood, the possibilities of this. (The last 3 years of marriage and parenthood have been FILLED with moments I never could have dreamed of, believed, or fully comprehended.) My husband was wonderful and gave me the space and support to grieve as I needed. My youngest step-daughter was also disappointed, as she was really wanting to be a big sister. The baby race was seemingly over. I had convinced myself it was for the best and that if I couldn't have a baby naturally, I didn't need one. I told myself it was as it was supposed to be, and I believed it for a while.

The next 4 or 5 months I prayed the doctor was wrong and that a miracle would happen. One night, while watching tv, my husband made a comment about us not having a baby due to my infertility. I gently tried to re-explain the results from his sample and how, even if I were ok, we would not be able to conceive due to issues with him as well. A few days later, a new tv show came on...This Is Us. (SPOILER ALERT) In the beginning of the first episode, the main character is giving birth to triplets. My husband says, "I need to go to the doctor." I thought he meant for glasses, as discussed in an earlier conversation. When I turned around to ask him what for, I saw tears in his eyes. He said, "I need to go to the doctor so you can have a baby. I want you to be able to experience that." And that was it....the second round of fertility treatment began.

We have since gone back to the urologist, who put him on prednisone, believing there must be a blockage. The next "sample" came back with enough to freeze for IVF. YAY!!!! FINALLY, GOOD NEWS!!!!!! They told us to comeback about 4 weeks later and freeze another. In the meantime, I went back to my doctor to let her know that we were taking care of my husbands issues. She informed me that with IVF I would only have about a 20 to 25% chance of having a baby. If I use a donor egg, my chances increase to about 65%. I also had tests done to see if I could carry a baby. That test came back great. I am able to carry. Now, our decision in whose egg to use and making sure my husband's count stays up.

I know this is long, and a lot of very personal information, especially for a first post, but this is what is weighing on my heart. I am keeping the faith that all will work out as it should, but it is a struggle. Thank you for taking time to read my story and sharing in my journey.