Our Journey to Parenthood….Part 1

photo 1Once Pat and I were married back in October of 2002, the next question out of everyone’s mouth was “so, when are you going to have kids?”  To avoid the constant harassment, we told everyone that we had a five year plan where we wanted to enjoy each other for the first five years of marriage before we started a family.  We decided we wanted to make the most of the five years so we started doing yearly vacations.

Around our third wedding anniversary, we decided we were ready to take the big step into parenthood.  We thought, now we can “surprise” our family and friends and start our family earlier than five years.  I went off birth control and started taking my prenatal vitamins.

So for the next year, we were not trying to not get pregnant, if that makes sense.  Before we knew it, it was our fourth wedding anniversary and we still weren’t pregnant.  So we moved on to actually trying to get pregnant.  You know, timing, pee tests, etc. etc.  Still no pregnancy.

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In December 2007, my dr. suggested I start taking a drug that stimulates the follicles to produce more than one egg, thereby increasing the chances of an egg being fertilized, resulting in pregnancy.

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June, 2009. My parents with about 1/3 of their grandchildren…..

I’m thinking…..this has got to work.  There is no way we are actually having trouble getting pregnant…..I mean, c’mon…..look at my siblings, you know, the kind of people that just look at their spouse and voila, “we’re pregnant”!!!!  They have babies popping out every 6 months practically.   Side note, every year for the first five years that Pat knew me, someone in my family was pregnant.  “Fertile myrtles” is what I like to call them!

We did Clomid for three months but still nothing.  My dr. then referred us to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (“RE”).  I never, in my life, thought that I would have to see one of those doctors, only because I come from a family of “fertile myrtles”!  We had our first appointment in March of 2008.  They started all the testing, felt like millions of tests – never got poked and prodded so much in my life (which was only the physically painful part of our journey – the mental part was even more painful).

Thank God, everything checked out perfect for both of us.  Our diagnosis…“unexplained infertility”.  What!!!???  You are kidding me, right????  (I think I may have asked my RE that, lol).  We were so in the dark on all of this.  Coming from the background I came from (more on that in a future post), I felt like I knew nothing.

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word-cloud1So, I turned to the internet, started researching and quickly figured out that this was very common.  I found a forum that has a slew of ladies explaining their experiences and answering others questions.  I was constantly asking questions and reading others experiences.  Information overload!  I later learned that by obsessing with the forum and with our fertility issues in general, it was bringing me down.

Our RE suggested we try three more cycles with Clomid but this time do it with the Intrauterine Insemination (“IUI”).  We decided to start this end of May of 2008.  This is what a cycle looked like:

Day 1, call RE’s office and schedule a Day 3 ultrasound and blood work.  The ultrasound would show if there are any cysts leftover from the previous cycle and to measure the uterine lining.  Day 4, start taking meds.  Take meds from Day 4 through Day 9.

Day 10, another ultrasound (and blood work) to monitor the follicle growth and uterine lining.  If follicles are still not mature enough, take meds for a couple more days then another ultrasound (and blood work again) on Day 11 or 12.  Usually, the follicles are mature enough by Day 12, so the nurse would give me a “trigger” shot (gotta love the shots in the butt, lol!).

Within 24-36 hours of getting the shot, I would go in for the IUI procedure.  The procedure itself is fairly quick.  Next, is the dreaded two week wait…ugh.

The two week wait is the time from the procedure until the time to find out if the procedure worked (negative or positive pregnancy test).  This whole process can make one insane because the beginning of the month you start taking the meds which have all kinds of side effects, some worse than others, (i.e. headaches, sweats, cramps, etc…), then once you are done with the meds, you get the procedure, then your mind starts playing tricks on you.

Just think about it, you want to be a mom soooooo bad and you will find out in two weeks whether that is going to happen.  Every little twinge, heart burn or nausea you start thinking they are pregnancy symptoms when in reality they may not be.  Plus the two weeks drag!  One day felt like a month.  It is absolute torture.  We went through this process May, June, and August of 2008.

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At this point, I was mentally drained.  I had reached a low, low point.  Because when you want something so bad and it just isn’t happening, the first thing many people do is question God.  Why God?  Why, me of all people (I would say this because I have ALWAYS been obsessed with babies), why am I not getting pregnant?

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blogger-image-715365074I literally felt like I was cheap cialis canadian pharmacy buy viagra online buy cialis generic viagra canadian pharmacy praying and my prayers were hitting the ceiling.  Especially when you are praying for a positive and it turns out to be a negative.  I truly had reached a point where I was wondering if I was fooled my whole life and there really isn’t a God up there.  Because if He truly exists, why would He allow one of His children to suffer like this.

Thank God, even though I felt like He abandoned me, He was truly with me.  I would just look around and realize how empty one’s life would be without God.  This earth is already a dark place and to not have the hope of one day being taken HOME to spend eternity with our Father – where no hurt or pain exists, my life would be even emptier!

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Sadly though, my obsession of getting pregnant was so great that my relationship with God started slipping away.

In September of 2008, we were between doctors so we did a natural cycle.  During this natural cycle, one Sunday morning, only a few days until I found out if we were pregnant or not, Pat and I went to church like we normally do.

We pulled into the parking lot and parked the truck and straight in front of our truck was a family getting out of the car.  Mind you, I see this family all the time at church and every time I see them, the wife is either pregnant or just had a baby.  I tried to not get upset (because all through this emotional roller coaster, I started to not like to see pregnant people) and we went into church and sat down.

What do you know, a pregnant woman comes in and sits at the end of our row.  I started tearing up but managed to keep my composure.  I saw a few more pregnant people but tried to think of other things to not let the emotions escape me.

We stood and sang the worship songs and I just started to cry.  I was able to get myself together in time for everyone to “greet one another” (something they do at each service), we then sit down and another punch in the gut came, a baby was getting dedicated and it was the lady that I saw in the parking lot……

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The tears just started coming.  I was tempted to leave and go home but I stayed and thank God, I did.  Pastor Mike was speaking that morning and one of the first things that came out of his mouth was “be thankful – even if you are suffering.”

imagesHe was reading out of Luke 17, the parable about the ten lepers being healed and only one came back to give thanks to God for being healed.  The others went on their merry way and failed to thank God for their healing.

Pastor Mike was saying how we are all happy go lucky when things are going well for us but as soon as we have difficulties in life or we don’t get what we want, we start questioning God and asking why?  Why has He abandoned us?

When in reality, God allows us to go through these hard times, not to punish us for something “bad” we did (which is what I was taught growing up), but to bring us closer to Him.  To teach us to seek Him and draw closer to Him and have faith that, in His time, our prayers will be answered.  In the meantime, just be thankful for all that we are blessed with.

God spoke to me that morning.  I had forgotten to thank God for all that I am blessed with – and I was so blessed!!!  But it was so easy to forget all the blessings because of that one want – to start a family.

Well, I found out I wasn’t pregnant that Wednesday.  I was at work and literally sat silently crying my eyes out at my desk at work.

I decided that day that I would go to church on Wednesday night – which I rarely do but because I had that experience on Sunday, I just wanted to find more answers and encouragement.  So, I was on my way to church that night and I was sitting at a red light when I heard sirens and saw fire engines come down the side streets and go down the road ahead of me.

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I didn’t think much of it but it turned out that there was a fire a mile up the road but they were still directing cars past the fire, so no big deal….but, of course, they stopped the car in front of me and motioned for us to turn around, no more cars were allowed through.

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I said to myself that I was just going to go home, I was depressed and just wanted to go home and cry anyway.

Instead, I decided to figure out a way to church from there because I really needed to be in God’s house and not in my house – depressed.  The only problem was, was that the back roads weren’t so easy to figure out a way back to the main road.  They twist and turn and take you all over the place.

So I said a little prayer to God, “if you have something for me at church – help me get there – if I should just go home – get me lost.”  Well, He had something for me to hear at church because after going in circles for five minutes, I ended up back on the main road and past the fire.  I have to admit, I was like “darn, I just wanted to go home.”

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Anyways, church started and it was another assistant pastor speaking, Pastor Trevor.  He was in Titus 2 and 3 which is about being saved by God’s grace.  For the first part of the message, honestly, I was saying to myself, why am I here?  I should be in bed.  I already know this.  I am getting nothing out of this message.

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But then, all the sudden, I felt like Pastor Trevor was looking right at me, as if I had said those things out loud, I felt like he was speaking directly to me (I believe God was speaking to me through Pastor Trevor).

He was reading, Titus 3 (3-8) and saying how when we are truly saved, we have this natural desire in our heart to seek God and focus on God.  He was talking about seeking fulfillment with earthly things just isn’t going to satisfy that longing that God put in our hearts.

He quoted C.S. Lewis, “if our focus is on heaven, you get earth thrown in but if you focus on earth it will lead to frustration – every time!”  He then gave a few examples: people say if I could only get that job, I would be fulfilled or if I could only get that car, I would be so happy –

and this is when I thought for sure he was talking to me – if I could only be a mother or a father, my life would be complete.  I was like GULP!  Thank you God!

He went on to say that even if we get those things we want or desire, if we lose focus of God and God isn’t first in our lives, we will still feel that void.  I realized that night that I was losing focus hence my life falling all around me…..

That night, God changed me…..

I felt changed and knew that He hadn’t left me.  He just wants me to be closer to Him.  To truly seek Him and be in His Word every day, we will find answers, they are all in that book we call the Bible.  I have been saved since September of 1998 and I all of the sudden felt like I barely knew what the Bible said.

I started truly seeking Him, talking with Him, telling Him my frustrations.  I actually ditched the forum I was on because there seemed to be more negative people on there than positive people.  I knew that He was going to answer our prayers for a child.  I just didn’t know how or when but knew that He had the perfect time for it to happen.  I would pray for His will be done and accepted the outcome as His will, even if it wasn’t what I wanted.

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You can read Part 2 by clicking here.

To Living on Purpose.

- Donna

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