Saturday, January 19, 2013

Our Rollercoaster Ride:Part 1

Nick and I met in 1998, got engaged in 2000, and married in 2001. We enjoyed a few years together before we (and by "we," I mean "me") decided that it was time to start a family. We began trying-- not telling anyone because we wanted it to be a BIG surprise when we told everyone that we were expecting. 

After 6 months to a year of no success, I talked to my doctor. She suggested doing a progesterone check and an ultrasound of my uterus. I've always had "white coat syndrome," so I was thrilled about extra sticks... but we pressed on. 

My progesterone was fine, but I can remember the ultrasound tech taking a lot of pictures. I asked her if everything looked okay, and she assured me that the doctor would talk to me about it. 


When I met with my doctor, she told me that it looked like my uterus was heart shaped. She assured me that they could sometimes be repaired and to not worry. She referred me to a fertility specialist to investigate it further. 

Once we got in with the specialist and went through mountains of paperwork, we had a consultation.  The specialist suggested that we do an HSG that day, which would tell us if my uterus was septate or bicornuate. 

It was a whirlwind-- those specialists don't play around!

After the HSG, they concurred that my uterus was probably septate-- meaning that it could be fixed, but they would have to do a surgery to make sure and to then fix it.  The doctor told me to use birth control and to absolutely not get pregnant because she didn't think that I could carry a baby. 
My 'heart shape' was very severe-- more like two bunny ears. 

This was at the end of 2006, so we planned the surgery for the beginning of the next year. During the holidays we told our families that we were having the surgery to repair my uterus, that it was not a big deal, so that "when we decided to have children," it would be out of the way. I was still hoping to one day be able to surprise them.

I was a nervous wreck about the surgery, but the day came and I  vaguely remember being in recovery.  My first vivid memory was waking up and asking Nick if they fixed it. I knew from his face that the answer was no. My uterus was bicornuate-- it couldn't be fixed.

It took a few days for that to sink in. We had a follow up a week later and we discussed our options. The doctor suggested adoption or surrogacy. No further fertility treatments.

She did refer me to a high risk OB for a consultation. It took me 3 months just to get in to see her, and even then, we didn't see the doctor.  We saw her fellow. We asked questions and essentially she could only tell us that we had a 50/50 chance of carrying full term. 

I left feeling completely conflicted. I researched online like a crazy woman but there were no answers.
No one could give me an answer, because no one knew how a pregnancy would play out for me.

We talked with the fertility doctor again and she got us an appointment to see the actual high risk doctor. We met with her and she didn't see any problems with moving ahead with fertility.  She had delivered sextuplets, so this was no biggie to her. But the two doctors were giving me completely different opinions which sent me into a tailspin. 

I was so confused. We went back and forth and back and forth... it was excruciating. We actually had an appointment with the fertility specialist to follow up after seeing the high risk OB and we were going to move ahead with an IUI that day, but I couldn't do it. It just didn't feel right. 

I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown-- this is when the soul searching began. We prayed for direction-- all the time seeing friends and family adding to their families daily.  The whole world seemed to be pregnant or holding a newborn. It was a painful stab in my heart every time I saw them because I was reminded of what we didn't have. 

Of course I was glad for them, but I was so sad for us. I felt so insufficient. 

We took a break from everything and prayed, cried, grieved, and healed.  One of my favorite verses that got me through this time was Psalm 139:13-16:

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

This reminded me that God made me exactly how I was supposed to be: I was not broken. I was perfect. We eventually began to have some clarity and began to come together on which road we should take. 

This is where the previous post takes place at Costco. We conceived our daughter there (click that last link so you don't get the wrong idea.) We finally felt that we had direction. We started doing research. 

In the fall of 2008, I sent out emails to let anyone and everyone know that we felt led to adopt just in case anyone knew of a birthmother. We met with the lady from Costco again and she gave us a massive amount of useful information about how to get started. The home study was the first thing to check off of the list.  We also had a consult with an adoption lawyer to learn more about the legal issues. We met with an agency and loved the social worker! 

We decided on the agency that we met with and I started getting excited! I had goals and things to work towards... it was not just hoping each month and then facing disappointment. It was progress that I could see. Then, in March '09, the social worker called and asked if we could have our profile book ready in a week to show a birthmother. We were ecstatic! 

My sister and brother-in-law came and helped us all weekend and we got it finished. There were a few missed appointments after that and that birthmother fell through. We had a few of those instances-- adoption has ups and downs, too. But we tried to remember with each disappointment that we were closer to OUR baby.

We attended a class through our agency the next month to learn about what happened when you were actually chosen. Then, at the end of April, we were heading down to the beach for a quick getaway. On the way down, we got a phone call from Nick's brother-in-law's stepmother (I know. You probably need a diagram!)  Her boss's, brother's common-law wife was pregnant and thinking of giving the baby up.  We set up a meeting for the next Sunday... she wanted to meet us!

Click HERE to read Part 2!

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