Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Our Journey to Conceiving (a bit long, but good!)

When Avery was 2 months short of 1 (May of 2003), PG and I decided that she was the best thing ever and we wanted to try to have another child! We thought that it would be a cinch since Avery was conceived after stopping the pill for one month. Little did we know how much effort would go into having another child.

We tried for months and months and months...no luck. It is such an unbelievably hard thing to go through. Wanting a child so desperately, but month after month being let down...it was just heart wrenching. After 10 long months, it was time for my annual "check up". I talked to my OBGYN about what we were going through, and she recommended we try the drug CLOMID. It is a pill that you take on days 3-7 of your cycle, and it's purpose is to help you ovulate and produce multiple eggs. The down side was that it caused really bad cramps (you ain't kidding)!

When she wrote me the prescription, and when I went and filled it, I was on cloud nine! I thought for sure this would work for us! I was so sure that we would get pregnant the first month!

Didn't happen...That was more discouraging than the 10 months we tried on our own because I thought that with this medicine it would happen for sure. What a let down...

We tried this drug for 3 months with no luck (it was now June '04). At that time I resigned my preschool job, so we were without insurance. We took a break for a couple months to try on our own.

When October rolled around, we moved for PG's new job, and acquired new insurance. He promised me that when we got settled, we would try 3 more months of Clomid...

We did try, for 3 months...and it didn't work. My OBGYN then told me that there was nothing else she could do for us, and that we needed to be referred to a infertility specialist...wow.

PG and I made an appointment to meet with this doctor, just to see what he thought we should do. He told us that the next step would be Artificial Insemination or In Vitro. I never thought I would be in a room with a doctor telling me that those were the options I had.

We thanked him for his time (and paid him a ton of $), and left. Back home, not a lot of hope, and no money for these expensive procedures he recommended. It was very hard knowing that this doctor had a plan for us, and wanted to do what he could, but that we couldn't follow through with his treatment, because of the thousands of dollars it would cost that we didn't have.

Here is where GOD stepped in...

That summer, my friend Natalie called me. I could barely understand her words as she was so excited! She told me that a friend of hers had just called her and told her about an add in the paper for a "Infertility Study" that was going on through the hospital. So, Natalie gave me the number, and I called. Hundreds of women applied for this, and only 10 or so were able to qualify. In June '05 I got the call from "Nurse Tonya" who said that we qualified! YIPPIE! Thank you Jesus! I was the most excited and hopeful I had been in a long time.

I had all the preliminary tests done, and PG did too. We were in the clear! I had my first appointment where it all was explained to me. To make a long story short, I was in a double blinded study to see whether "clomid" or "repronex" worked in women with my condition. I was hooked up to a portable IV for 16 days (lots of fun) and was being given either clomid or repronex. I obviously was hoping for repronex, because we knew clomid didn't work for us.

I had numerous ultrasounds and tests done throughout those 16 days. They were also very detailed about how and when we were to try to conceive, but I won't go there...

Needless to say, at this time I was SURE that this would work! After all, how odd was it that of all the women that applied, I was one of the very few chosen! It had to work...I knew it!

It didn't work...kick in the gut like I'd never experienced before. Life stunk, I was so depressed, and all I wanted was a new baby.

The compensation from this study, was $800, and a free round of medicine if pregnancy was not achieved. So, there was still a glimmer of hope for us. We saved the $800, and PG said we had to wait till January to dive in again. After all, this was going to cost us close to $1400...$1400 that we didn't have.

January of '06 came around, and we made our appointment to the "fertility man" as I call him. I was set up with shots to give myself twice a day (repronex) and had to come back every 3 days for ultrasounds to check on my ovaries.

The shots were not painful, and I didn't get bad cramps this time. I didn't know what that meant, but oh well.

At one of my ultrasounds they had told me that I had 4 mature eggs that would be releasing that cycle, so YIPPIE! 4 eggs...amazing!

So, PG and I did what we were supposed to do, and then came the "2 week wait" as those of us mommies know what that is. I couldn't wait the full 2 weeks to take the test, so on February 20th, 2006, I took a test in the bathroom. PG and Avery were home too, but I didn't tell them. When there was a faint line, I didn't know what to think. After all, close to 3 years and 32 months of getting negative results, when a positive comes up, you just don't believe it.

I had bought a little shirt for Avery that said "I'm the BIG Sister". It was in the back of our closet being saved for that special day. Well, today was that day. I put her in this shirt and gave her the test. I said, "Go give this to daddy". So, I followed her out into the living room and watched her give Daddy the test. He didn't notice her shirt (of course), and when she gave him the test he said "what's this?" (it wasn't a normal looking test) I said "Do you see a faint line?" And he did...a little. Guys are always cautiously optimistic, so he wasn't getting all excited yet.

I called my "fertility man" and talked to his nurse, and she said to go out and buy some more tests. I did, and each one had a faint line. WOW WOW WOW! All of our families knew that this week was when we were going to take the test, so when we called them, they knew what it was about. They all had been waiting these 3 long years with us as well, so needless to say, it was a good day.

The one unknown was how many babies were growing in there. I had 4 eggs that were mature enough to release, so for weeks we were trying to imagine life with 4 new babies, or 3, or even 2. On March 10th 2006 we had our ultrasound that showed us that there was ONE baby growing in there. WHEW

I have to say that this was one of the most challenging events in my life...my short 27 years of life. God blessed us with our healthy baby Liv, and we are grateful for this gift given to us. So when I talk about my children like they are the most special adorable kids in the the whole world, you now know what we went through to get them

Will there be more children in our sweet little family? We'd sure like there to be, but not for a little while. After all, we're still paying for our last little blessing...

8 comments:

Tricia said...

Congrats on all your blessings. Thank god for fertility treatments. It runs in my family, but I was blessed with my kids. I cant imagine being in your shoes. Your kids are adorable, congrats

Jennifer said...

Such a great story. Goosebumps.

Theresa Marie said...

Jennisa - what a wonderful story... brought tears and laughter. I didn't know you went through ALL of that to get Livvie! wow. I admire you!

Lisa said...

What a wonderful story... it brought tears to my eyes! So happy that you were able to finally have your little blessing. I can't imagine going through something like that, but definitly worth the wait for a precious baby girl!

Bolline Family said...

Thanks for sharing your happy ending! We too struggled with IF, it's such a hard thing to go through!

Sue said...

Ok Jennisa - just when I thought we had so many things in common - 2 precious little girls, both our oldests with food allergies...

I too suffered from intefitility. Kayla took us 2.5 years to concieve. We went through all the treatments/test...I was dx'd with Stage 1 Endometriosis, severe luteal phase defect, poor high fsh and poor egg quality (one doc told me I needed donor eggs at the age of 26). We did Clomid, Injections, IUI and 3 IVF's - the 3rd IVF worked and gave us Kayla. Luckily we had partial coverage - all meds were covered (thankfully since I was a poor responder), but not IVF (except the drugs). So we are still paying Kayla off - we took our a home equity line of credit.

After Kayla, I was monitored for 3-4 months at my RE to see if anything changed with me. It didn't - everything was as bad as it was b4. But our insurance coverage got worse and we couldn't go into debt for a 2nd. By some miracle, I conceived Alysa naturally (right b4 I was going to start treatment again). Luckily my doc was great and we were able to stop the m/c that had already started to happen b/c of my LOW progesterone.

So they were both such a struggle, but has given me such an amazing appreciate for them!

I'm so glad you got Liv - infertility is awful, but so worth the struggles!!!

I got chills reading your story!

Amy said...

Wow! Aaaahhhh...loved your blog before, but now you've really got me! Thank you so much for sharing! ~Amy

Hilary said...

thanks for sharing this story, Jennisa. My husband and I too are going through a time where we can't have another child at the moment. As a mother, it is soo hard to want a baby and not be able to have one. But, I know God is faithful and just reading your story, really reminds me of that. Thanks for your honesty and praise God for your two little blessings!!

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