My Infertility Journey

Its no secret that I have suffered from Infertility (IF) since 2009. (probably even before that).  On this page you will learn about my journey.  From November 2010 to September 2013 I have had 4 miscarriages, of those two have been ectopic.  This subject is so personal yet so many suffer from IF that it is nice to know about the "community" and that there are many others that know what you are going through and share many of the same thoughts and despair.  I have found that through sharing my story I have felt healing and I have been introduced to many other IF Moms out there.  Its not a club I would have signed up for but I am so thankful for all of the support.

The majority of this journey will focus on my first pregnancy that was ectopic.  I would have to say that this was the most difficult one that made many impacts on my life.  I also go into the most detail with it since we were seeking treatments to even get pregnant [see Part 1].  Partway through we decided to Adopt so you will see more info regarding that in Parts 2-4.  I hope that my journey will be insightful and maybe even helpful to some.  If you have any questions or want to chat about this personally feel free to comment and I will email you back!

Part 1

Infertility is something that really hasn't been talked about that much.  In a way I feel its almost "Taboo".  It is not something that you openly share with everyone you come into contact with, or even the people you see on a daily basis, like co-workers. Its personal. Its telling people that you have something wrong with you. That you have a defect. It is embarrassing.  However, you are dealing with it every single minute of every single day.  People try to 'relate' or be sympathetic, but its just not that easy.  It seems like most of the time the comforting words of loved ones, while they mean well, just don't come off or seem very comforting.  Even though I have been dealing with this for a number of years, I don't even know if I have the right things to say to someone else who is going through the same thing.

I guess the frustrating thing is how uneducated people are about infertility.  I go on all the boards and read the websites, and hear from people first hand, how they were so devastated when they were trying for a couple months (yes read that TWO months) and had not become pregnant.  But on their THIRD month of trying they were successful, all they did was throw their legs up in the air for 20 minutes afterwards.  Somehow they think that this is comforting, or that it will make me feel better.  Well to put it frankly, IT DOES NOT HELP!  When you have been trying for 2 years with no success then MAYBE just maybe you can talk to me and I MIGHT think that you are helpful.

I have always wanted kids, for as long as I can remember. But, I wanted to have them the right way.  I wanted to be married to my best friend, the love of my life, have our "alone couple" time for about a year, have a house and job and then start our family.  I like even numbers, so I knew for sure that I wanted at least 2 children, but 4 would be the ideal, and twins would be amazing, but I wasn't really going to be THAT picky.  I just wanted healthy babies.  I still do, not sure why I wrote that in past tense.  I want a large family.  I want to have an even number of children.  I still think that twins would be delightful. 

Well, I have found my best friend, the love of my life.  We bought a house in January 2008.  We got married on August 8, 2008.  I had a job.  We were right on track.  In early May of 2009 we decided, that it would be a good time to actually start trying to conceive, since websites said that many couples conceive within about 3 months.[Its not that we hadn't been trying but we were not NOT trying since August].  That would put me pregnant at the latest maybe August - so either a February Baby (ideal) or a May Baby (perfect).  I mean we had a plan, it was fool proof, right? Psych.

May came and left, August came and left.  Sometimes I was ok and in a good place when my period came, but most of the time it was devastating.  It always seemed to happen in the middle of the day at work.  Oh to calm yourself down, wash your face, put on your game face, and teach those little kiddos how great life is and to play games.  Usually they were spot on on those days, must have been a gift from God.  They were able to lighten my spirit and keep my mind off of it until the work day was over.  

In about February 2010, I went to an OBGYN and they began doing some blood testing.  They found that I had a Hyperactive Thyroid, so I went to see a specialist.  They told me that this could be causing my difficulty in conceiving as this can make my ovulation irregular.  Some cycles I would not even ovulate...WHAT?!?!?!? You mean I have to go through these unbearable cramps and bleeding FOR NOTHING?? Because pregnancy was not even an option for this cycle.  You have got to be kidding me.  However, this hyperactive thyroid thing did explain a little about my health the past couple years.  I could eat whatever I wanted and nothing ever happened, well if it did I lost weight.  I thought it was pretty cool, thought that I had figured out the right balance of food and exercise to be so stable in my weight. But no, that is the Hyperactive part of the thyroid, it speeds your metabolism.  If you have a hypoactive thyroid is slows your metabolism.  But, I was at risk of developing Graves Disease since I had a hyperactive thyroid.  I was supposed to undergo some extra testing to determine the cause and depth of my hyperthyroidism.  But when they did a pre-blood test to check the levels, somehow my levels were normal, so the further testing was unnecessary.  It was a gift from God.  So I learned a lot from this diagnosis.  In a way it helped.  For a couple of months I was "ok" when my period came.  I had a reason.  My body was trying to get back to normal, and it was taking it some time.

Once my OBGYN had determined that I was "infertile" I was no longer able to be billed my visits.  I needed to pay these up front, as insurance DOES NOT cover infertility treatments and they will not let me make payments.  WHAT? I do not have the finances to be able to drop $300-$400 every time I come in for visit or update to talk about what my next option is.

In June 2010, I switched doctor's.  One that allowed me to make payments for my visits.  So lets see we are about 1 year from when we actually started trying to conceive.  When I read this I think, wow a year really isn't that long.  But if you break it down, I was living my life one cycle at a time.  So basically from period to period.  It is SO draining I cannot even tell you. And remember that we had been not not trying since we got married.

In August of 2010, my new doctor advised that I have a procedure done, called an HSG (Hysterosalpingogram)scan, as we were having difficulty getting pregnant.  It  is an incredibly uncomfortable procedure, that X-ray's the uterus and fallopian tubes - to check for breakage or blockage, it is done by a thin tube inserted through the cervix into the uterus and then a dye is released.  Then a series of X-rays are taken to monitor how long it takes the dye to get to the ovaries - or if it even gets there.  When the thin tube is inserted through the cervix you will feel the worst cramping of your life that lasts about 10-30 seconds, you feel it again on the way out.

The scan came out well, there was no obstruction in my left fallopian tube and it took just a little while for the dye to wind through my right fallopian tube.  I got to watch the whole procedure on the screen, from the tube insertion to the dye release.  Tears filled my eyes.  While the procedure was painful, I had happy tears.  This showed that it was possible for us to conceive and get pregnant.  The doc thought I was crying from pain, but no it was from the realization that pregnancy could happen.  It wasn't just a figment of my imagination.

After the procedure we discussed what our next steps should be.  So for the next cycle I "got to" get my blood drawn about 4 times.  [Mind you I am not a fan of needles...it once took two male nurses, my mom and a doctor to hold me down to draw blood -- I was only 6] Oh the horror the horror.  What we learned though this blood draw was that I ovulate late in my cycle around day 20-22, that I have a "short luteal phase" or "luteal phase defect".  While this is sad news we were told that it was not the end of the road.  That there is possibility of this being corrected through taking Clomid, it is a commonly used "drug" that encourages ovulation and having it happen earlier in your cycle.  

Game on.  I tried taking Clomid and ovulation predictor sticks.  I ovulated this first cycle of Clomid on day 19.  Not much of an improvement, but who knows.  I also got laryngitis, which was difficult because I am a gym teacher and I NEED my voice in order to teach and keep control of those students.  

So we tried again for a second cycle.  Still hopeful and optimistic we were.  And things turned out maybe a little bit better because I ovulated on day 17...we are making progress people!!  Alas, it still was not early enough in the cycle to produce anything.  Weird thing, I got laryngitis again. (still was unable to make any form of connection - I just thought it had to do with all the "yelling" I had to do all day/all week)

Onto round three.  Third time is the charm, right?  I sure do hope so.  This time though we were going to try something different.  I was going to have an ultrasound called a "Follicle Study" to gauge the size of my ovaries - to see if they were maturing and growing as they needed to.  I went into the lab on day 14 of my cycle.  During this appointment, my husband and I learned, that the ideal size of a follicle is 19-22 and the uterine lining needs to be a certain thickness (they call it "lush") to be able to sustain implantation and thus a pregnancy.  The largest of my follicles was in my right ovary and about a 17.  Not big enough.  So I was scheduled to come back in two days later. 

On day 16 of my cycle, I was back at the lab getting another follicle study. - Oh did I mention that these ultrasounds are NOT covered by insurance, so we have to pay out of pocket for these.  They were $450 each visit. However, if I paid at time of service I got 50% off.  So I guess technically I got 2 for the price of 1, but still it is frustrating that insurance will not cover any of these types of visits -.  My husband was with me. What a gentleman taking days off work to go to the doctors with me.  He surely is supportive.  I know that he would be willing to take some of the night feedings if I asked him, but I would not do that when he has to work the next day - at least, I don't think I would....  Sorry there getting off topic a little bit.  Anyways we are back at the lab for another follicle study, crossing our fingers for a 20.  

Low and behold there it was.  A follicle 20mm and a "lush" enough uterine lining.  Off to the pharmacy to pick up our prescription of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), it is a hormone that stimulates ovulation, then back to the doctors to inject it into my right buttocks. Ouch. I just keep getting stuck with needles don't I? We were told to go home and do the deed, 3 days in a row, but to wait 15 days before taking a pregnancy test.  Deed we did, wait we did.  Did I mention that I lost my voice again during this cycle?  I finally deduced that it was some sort of side effect from the clomid. Of course that is my own diagnosis.  Don't quote me on it.  


The first week of November 2010 on day 26 of my cycle I started to have some spotting. But I was not worried or upset.  It was very light and strange.  Thomas and I had been partaking in the 40 Day Challenge, where you pray out loud together as a couple for 5+ minutes every day for 40 days.  I had prayed a lot that God would deliver us a Miracle and not make all the out of pocket expenses we had just undergone not be in vain.  On November 5th, we got our answer.  I took a test and it was POSITIVE!! What?!?! That was crazy, was something wrong?  Was it a false positive? What an amazing feeling it was to have that darn little plus sign show on a pregnancy test.  Praise the Lord for He is good and delivers us and blesses us beyond belief.  I took two more tests the following day and they too showed a positive.  It was a miracle.  God had answered our prayers.  For the next week we were ecstatic. We were so excited to start our journey to becoming parents.  But being cautious we kept this information to ourselves and my doctor.  I had to go in and have several blood draws to check my levels, these results were going straight to my doctor so I was unaware of what the findings were.  

Two weeks later, I was visiting my parents and had horrible cramping.  It was unbearable pain.  I thought my menstrual cramps were bad, nothing has compared to this.  I spent about 15 minutes in the bathroom throwing up.  I thought to myself, is this what "Morning Sickness" is like?? Thomas and I drove home but had to pull over to the side of the road several times so I could throw up.  It was terrible.  The pain was so bad.  I could NOT get comfortable.  When we got home I tried taking a bath to see if that would help.  But nothing would work.  I finally was able to get some sleep after taking a few Tylenol.  In the morning I was fresh as a daisy.  Like nothing had happened.  

On Monday morning the 22nd of November 2010.  I woke up to bleeding.  "I cannot go to work today" was my first thought. At least I did not have to leave for work until my doctors office opened - the joys of living 8 minutes away from work and working for an elementary school! So I called the doctor's office and LUCKILY my standing appointment that day had NOT been cancelled as planned.  I told them what was going on and they had me come in. So I set up a sub for the day.  I asked Thomas if he would take a 1/2 day off of work to go to the appointment with me.  His first response was no.  So I asked my mom.  She was willing to go with me.  There was NO WAY I was going to do this one alone!  I asked Thomas a second time and he agreed.  So I met him at his work so we could drive together.  Then we picked up my mom and off to the doctor's office we went.  We had to explain to my mom what was going on.  That we had had folicle studies, a shot of HCG, and that I had several positive pregnancy tests, but now I was bleeding and it was scary.  She was excited for the first information.  But tried to ensure me that the bleeding was probably nothing.  I hoped so too.

At the doctor's office we had to wait for my appointment time.  No big deal that is just how these things go.  Finally we found ourselves in the exam room, myself, my mom, Thomas, and the doctor.  She looked at me with these eyes and told me that this pregnancy was NOT VIABLE.  I was losing the baby.  She shared that something was wrong with the embryo as the bloodwork showed an insignificant amount of HCG found in my blood.  It should have been in the Tens of Thousands but it was in the hundreds.  My mom was bawling.  Asking are they sure that was my blood work? Did they misread the findings? I felt like I needed to be strong for her in this situation.  She wanted grandchildren almost as badly as I wanted a child.  It has been her dream to have grandchildren since my siblings and I started getting engaged, well probably even before that. Probably since she had my brother she began thinking about grandbabies!

This was a total blow.  I had a feeling that it wasn't going to work out as planned...we had prayed for a Healthy Baby.  I guess this one was not going to be Healthy so God wanted to spare us early on.  What a devastating blow to find out at 6 weeks that you are going to have a miscarriage.  That your baby is no good.  Your body is no good.  After years of trying you Finally get pregnant and then to find out Just Kidding, you can't keep it!

It started snowing on our way home.  But we were determined to pick up my car and have them both at our house that evening.  On our way up this big hill on the free way, we. got. stuck.  Please add more stress to our horrible day. We were stuck in the snow behind a giant Shipping Truck that had gone really slow up the hill and got stuck thus freezing everyone's cars forward motion.  But big 4 wheel drive trucks were blasting past me on the shoulder, I was so afraid they were going to hit me and then I would go sliding into the Truck.  The chains I had in my trunk did not fit my tires they were too small.  What the heck?    We had been stuck for at least an hour.  Thomas' dad was sent to our house to feed the puppies as we were unsure how long we would be stuck. Finally after much coaxing and coaching Thomas was able to Push me out and driving off I went. (thank goodness for my Tank of a car) I arrived at our house 3 minutes after Thomas' dad had gotten there, all the while trying to drive in the snowy conditions Bawling my eyes out because I was losing the baby inside of me.  Then he went to Thomas' rescue on the freeway to pull him out.  But Thomas had already had a car run into him.  (He still has that dent in his car. 

After 3 hours we were finally safe and sound at home. I don't think that Thomas and I have EVER been that happy to see each other.  Maybe it was a blessing to have that snow storm.  It took our minds off the horrible situation about our baby.  School was also cancelled for the next two days and then it was Thanksgiving. So I had the whole week off.  It was great because then I didn't have to go to school and put up a front like everything was ok, when I felt like I was dying inside.  Thanksgiving was bittersweet. It was hard to find things to be grateful for.  All I wanted was my baby to come back.

Thomas and I took a break from home life and went to Vancouver BC for the weekend.  We left on Friday after Thanksgiving.  Thomas, the strong one, told me that we needed to focus on moving forward and to not let this ruin our time there.  But he also knew that we needed healing time and reflection time and that we needed to acknowledge the loss.  He was incredibly supportive during this time. I can't even explain it.  He is such a strong individual.  We did enjoy our vacation.  I had my moments, but overall we had a great time.  We found a new Indian restaurant we would go back to.  We did some shopping, we went to Barnaby where they have a historical village.  We were able to get some much needed healing before returning to work the next week.

Work that week was a blur.  I was so thankful to have my closet of an office with no windows in the gym.  And that blessed 5 minutes between each class.  It gave me time to compose myself.  Did I mention that I also enjoyed being able to wear sweats to work?  I didn't eve have to pretend to get ready for work.  It is amazing though how God works.  Those children that week were Angels, even the ones who were difficult were well behaved.  They had these wonderful personalities, they said and did funny things.  They lifted my spirits.  It was because of them that I could make it through the day. (It still amazes me as I write this down today).

That next Friday I had an appointment to get an ultrasound and then get a shot to terminate the pregnancy.  It was a half day at work so I got to leave early.  Which was a good thing because about 15 minutes after the kids left the pains started to come back.  I met Thomas at his work and we drove to the doctors office.  But of couse since it was Friday, I had to go to a different doctor.  The pains were SO bad.  I was laying on the floor in the waiting room, puking into the garbage can. FINALLY one of the receptionists noticed and they brought me back into a room. They were going to have me move into a new room for the ultrasound but they decided that in my discomfort they should just leave me there. There was a lot of blood that it was hard to see what was going on in there.  I then got to go in a wheelchair to a different doctor to give me the shot.  Again we waited for what seemed like FOREVER for the doctor to come into the exam room.  Nobody said anything about how bad my pains were or that I was puking. hmmm...we will just leave it at that. Then the doctor finally appeared and I needed to have TWO shots to terminate my pregnancy.  What a terrible thing to say, after all the years of trying to get pregnant.  But alas that is what needed to be done.  Those horrible pains did not go away.  This time I knew that I could take as many Tylenol as I wanted since there was no need to worry about the baby.  I could not get comfortable. I tried a heat pack on my stomach.  I took four showers. 3 baths. Nothing.  I tossed, I turned. I was miserable.  Why oh why did I have to suffer the loss of my child AND have these pains.  Usually I don't think any pain has been more than a 5, on a 1-10 scale. This pain was a 15. I wanted to cut myself off at the neck! Then on Saturday and Sunday there was NO pain.

Then a year ago today, December 5, 2010, I fainted.  I have never fainted before.  I was getting a glass of water to take into the bedroom to go to bed and Thomas had asked me to turn the kitchen light off.  He was walking into the dinning room behind me.  As I turned to go towards the light I got this sharp shooting pain from my uterus to my head.  Then it started to go black.  The next thing I new Thomas was holding me saying my name, Ashley, Ashley ARE YOU OKAY? ASHLEY!!!  The first thing out of my mouth was; "Did I break the water glass?"  No I did not.  I held it straight out in the air as I was falling backwards.  I know it probably isn't, but I thought it was funny.  I started laughing.  I still joke about it. Thomas has seen the humor in it now.  He always tells me not to faint when he has me turn the light off.  I should have gone to the emergency room, but I wanted to wait until the next day so I could try to make an appointment with MY doctor. 

So on Monday (Thomas and my 4 year engagement anniversary), I put in for another Sub - Thomas did too.  We went to get yet another ultrasound. They said it looked like a miscarriage, but probably was not an ectopic and would not need to be operated on.  Then we got to go to MY doctor.  She said no, it was Indeed an Ectopic Pregnancy and it needed to be operated on TODAY.  That is most likely why I fainted and would explain my throwing up and pains.  Because my fallopian tube had ruptured. I would not be able to go into work the next day or for the next two weeks.  I had not had anything to eat or drink since the night before and since I was going in for surgery I still could not consume anything.  It was horrible. AND I had to wait until my doctor's regular day was over with before she could operate.

My parents had left a few days before this to go on their annual trip to Hawaii, so my mom was not able to come to the hospital.  Thomas had to call her and let her know what was going on. He also had to call the rest of my family, his family, and put in for subs for me for the next two weeks. His mom made it to the hospital in record time.  My brother showed up at the hospital, he was SO pale.  I think he was the most worried out of everyone, well maybe not, but I have never seen those expressions on him before.  I had gone about 18 hours without food or drink and FINALLY it was surgery time.  

Thomas was able to go down to the pre-op area with me and wait until they took me away.  If I remember correctly we said a little prayer, then my doctor came in and gave us the low-down on what to expect.  I was going to have a laparoscopic surgery which is a minimally invasive surgery with only 2 small incisions about 1/2 inch long and one in my belly button. It was estimated to be a fairly quick surgery where she was going to try to save/repair my fallopian tube if possible.  Adding insult to injury the surgery took longer than planned because not only did I have a ruptured fallopian tube, I also had endometriosis. My doctor was able to clear most of it up, I had some near my bowel that she was careful around.  Luckily the rupture was a "clean" rupture so she was able to save and repair the tube, hopefully making it possible for us to get pregnant again.  But we were told to be careful of the right side, as we have a higher likelihood of having another ectopic pregnancy.

I was on "bed-rest" for 2 weeks, yeah right there is NO WAY you are getting me to sit around for 2 weeks when I have a Tea Party to host!  So Thomas took that week off and helped me get the house ready.  Maybe I was crazy still trying to have a party, but I wanted to try and have my life as normal as possible to "deal" with the pain of losing my child.  Thomas did a great job cleaning and helping to decorate and running around to get last minute items. He even painted the kitchen cabinets for me, a beautiful white color, and he put on drawer pulls!!!  What a wonderful guy!  It was so challenging to just sit there because I HAD to, now if I was healthy and not recovering from surgery or the loss of our pregnancy, I would have had NO problem sitting on the couch watching him, ha!  I was on a lot of meds though, for all of the post surgery stuff and pain.  The first couple of nights I took too much of the vicodin or whatever that was and was having really weird, creepy, scary thoughts/visions so Thomas had to tell me a story to try and help me go to sleep.  So we decided not to give me such a large dose.

By the second week Thomas was able to go back to work and I wasn't taking very many pain meds, since I have such a great pain tolerance, so I could drive if I needed to.  I had a couple of cheerleading practices to attend ( I was coaching at the time) as well as some basketball games.  They were nice to go to since they sort of kept my mind off of what was going on and most of my girls were very supportive, caring and nice.

While I was at a game that 2nd week of recovery, I received a phone call from my brother telling me that my mom was admitted to the hospital due to a tumor in her brain.  It was a large one located in her right temporal lobe.  It was unknown whether it was malignant or not and would need to be operated on.  I called Thomas about 20 times with no answer, darn cell phones on vibrate, so I tried calling his parents and let them know what was going on.  I decided to go home first and talk to Thomas, then we packed up and off to the hospital we went.  It was a very emotional week for us, mourning the loss of our child, recovering from surgery and awaiting the diagnosis of my mom.  On December 20, 2010 she had a successful surgery removing the tumor, we learned that she had Stage 4 Glioblastoma Brain Cancer.  We were hoping and praying that she would be well enough to come home for Christmas and she was released on December 23rd to come home.  Talk about a hell of a month!


Back to my infertility.  My doctor advised that we wait at least 3 cycles before trying to conceive again to make sure that all was healed well.  I have two little scars from the incision and a third in my belly button.  As far as we could tell there was no complications.  After 3 cycles we tried naturally, with no luck.  Then we tried with Clomid, no luck, then we went back to Clomid and follicle studies.  At our follicle study we learned that we had two follicles at 20 we were on day 16 and I had a shot of the HCG to stimulate ovulation.  Thomas and I did the deed and waited, we were so hopeful the possibility of having twins is a dream come true!!  13 days later dear Aunt Flow arrived and 2 days later a negative pregnancy test.  Back to Clomid and the follicle studies.  We decided to try having an IUI for this cycle.  Again the arrival of Aunt Flow AND a negative test.  Onto round TWO for an IUI with Clomid and follicle studies and HCG shots.  Again the arrival of Aunt Flow AND a negative test.  We decided that it was time to take a break from all this medical intervention.  Conception was just not going to happen for us this way.  We were tired of trying to "Play God" or to "Trick God" into getting pregnant.  IF we are to get pregnant it will be a natural gift from God.  We will wait "patiently" for our time to come, if that is even possible.

Even though I had an explanation for why we weren't getting pregnant; late ovulation, semi-blocked fallopian tube, endometriosis and a sometimes hyperactive thyroid, learning that others were and are getting pregnant is like a knife to my stomach.  I try to be happy for these people, I know what they are going to experience is a gift from God, but I cannot help but find myself jealous of them and thinking that THEY are not ready to have a baby or they don't "deserve" one.  They just started trying and do not understand what they are in store for.  They already have a child what do they need another one for when I cannot even have one?  Their joys make me sad and I long to experience what they are going through.  I think the things that make me the most upset are the pregnant women who complain about the "woes" of pregnancy, how they are tired, that they cannot stand being pregnant, they have morning sickness, they are bloated, they feel sick Or the mothers who complain about their children; not sleeping, not eating, crying through the night, that they are teething, or not potty training right, or whatever it is that they are complaining about...OH what I would GIVE to experience that and all I want to say is "HEY IT COULD BE WORSE! AT LEAST YOU HAVE A CHILD!!!"  Count your blessings.  I hope that when I finally have the chance to have a child that I will not say these things about them.  I will try to be sensitive to the others out there that are like me, unable to experience this.

Part 2
In October 2011, Thomas and I came to the decision that we want to be parents.  Maybe God has a different plan for us, we have hearts that love.  We can love a child and give a child a home that needs one.  We decided that we are going to adopt a child.  We have been looking into it.  We are going to adopt a child from Washington State, a "home grown" baby if you will.  Our research shows that the cost is about the same to adopt as it is to go through IVF.  We are not interested in IVF because we believe that God wants us to have our child "naturally" without any medical intervention.  Also we would rather put in the money and be guaranteed a child through adoption then to go through the physical, financial and emotional stress of IVF for three cycles and have no guarantee of a baby.  So there you have it.  It is the end of December 2011 and we are in the process of adopting a child.  We have 3/4 of our application done and are working on getting a Home Study completed soon.

We are still trying for our own child while completing our adoption paperwork and still plan on going through with adoption regardless of what may happen with us pregnancy-wise.  I am so excited that we were able to come to a decision regarding our parenthood status.  I am looking forward to becoming a mother, and I am hoping that I get to experience just a little bit of the pregnancy of our child.  Though I still pray everyday that God will grant us the joy of knowing that experience first hand.  I want to know what it feels like to feel my child kick inside my belly.  I want to know that my body will not fail me.  I want to see what a child with the genetic makeup of me and Thomas will look like and grow up to be.  But first and foremost I want to be a parent, and that parenthood will come to us in the form of a child, one that we will adopt but one that we will love unconditionally and that child WILL be ours.

We have selected our Adoption Agency.  We are going through one located in Spokane...we realize that is far away from the great Tacoma/Seattle area that we live in but we were so pleased with the way that they run their agency.  They still have a long waiting period...though it is just on the other end in regards to other agencies we looked into.  This agency is small and they like it that way...we do too.  Most of our waiting time happens from the time we choose them to the time we get put into the "Waiting for Placement Pool"  which can be anywhere from 3-12 months.  Then once you get put into the "Pool" you should be placed within 6 months.

We submitted our application in December.  Started our Homestudy with a private company in February (our FBI fingerprints came back in RECORD time!) so we are still working on that.  I just have a few more bits of paperwork to send in...like our marriage certificate. Wait on our references to send in their approval of us.  And then we should be good to go.  

I was told by our agency that we should expect to be contacted to take part in the Adoption Seminar (a 2 day get to know you with two or three other couples at their Agency in Spokane) sometime during the 2012 calendar year...hopefully sooner that later.  Once we participate in the Seminar then we will have to dish out a large chunk of Mula to be put into the "Waiting for Placement Pool".  Then keeping our fingers crossed its only a few months and we will HAVE our baby!!!

Part 3

I guess I have a lot more to update on here.  On March 5th, 2012  I had a miscarriage.  I was at a district meeting for school and I felt this sudden rush of pressure so I went to the bathroom and lost a lot of blood.  In the course of the 3 hour meeting I went to the bathroom about 6 or 7 times.  Used up all of the tampons and pads that they had stashed in the women's bathroom so about 8 tampons and 4 pads.  It was weird.  I didn't feel any cramping or that my cycle was off at all.  I believe that I was only 3 or 4 weeks along and didn't really have a chance or time to feel any sort of loss, since I didn't really know that I was even pregnant.  Then 2 months later we got the call from our Agency that we would be attending their next seminar so we could begin working on our Portfolio.  In June, we went to Spokane and attended the 2 day seminar and turned in our completed Portfolio and paid the fee to be in the "Waiting for Placement Pool"!!

In the beginning of January 2013 I got a call from the Agency that we had been selected by a couple who were having a baby girl due in May.  We were overjoyed.  We were planning on having a meeting with them in March.  Then a week later at 11:00pm I experienced an excruciating pain in my right fallopian tube area.  Which was weird because I had had a normal period just two weeks prior.  The pain was so intense that I was puking.  I called the emergency line for my doctor and they asked me if I was pregnant.  I said "NO" I couldn't be I was only on day 14 of my cycle.  They suggested that Thomas go to the store and pick up a test RIGHT NOW.  So he did.  Never in my life would I have ever thought that I would swear at a pregnancy test because it was positive.  I was so angry and pissed off.  I was in NO MOOD to have another ectopic pregnancy.  I had to go into the doctor the next day for an ultrasound, blood work and an exam.  Yep, it was ectopic. Through looking at the ultrasound, it seemed that my left ovary had released an egg which met up with a sperm and then got lost in my uterus only to find a nice little home in my right fallopian tube.  Now I am at a 60% chance of having another ectopic pregnancy.  Luckily I knew what the symptoms were and could identify them early so we were able to get a head start on this one.  I had to go for two more blood draws just to see what was happening and then we decided to go for a shot of Methotrexate that would terminate the pregnancy so as to avoid another fallopian tube rupture.  The first shot didn't work so I had to have a second dose two weeks later.  Please add insult to injury.  Luckily the second shot worked and the pregnancy was eliminated from my body and I did not have to have surgery.

We met with the couple in March, the day before my birthday, and felt that it was a good fit.  We drove to Spokane a couple more times and then got to be present in the hospital at our daughter's birth. Ellie was born on May 21st at 1:03pm via c-section and she is beautiful!!  Praise the Lord for He is good!!

Part 4

Life is good with Ellie and we are so happy to be parents.  Our adoption finalized on September 6, 2013 and we are so happy to be complete.  We still want to have more children and will most likely adopt again.  But our infertility doesn't stop there.  On September 10, I started my period again but it was super light (very similar to my first pregnancy in November 2010) and on day three I stopped bleeding.  So I took a pregnancy test on day 4 and a VERY FAINT line appeared.  I was pregnant!! But I was not ready to rejoice and celebrate. On day 6 I started bleeding again, heavier than my first 2 1/2 days.  I thought to myself "I am miscarrying again".  And then the bleeding continued.  It lightened up a bit so I guess it was more of spotting.  But the weird thing is, I felt a little nausea and my boobs hurt SO bad.  I took another pregnancy test on September 18 and again it was positive.  It still took a while before the line would show up and it was super light.  Still things just didn't seem quite right.  The spotting continued.  Finally on September 25th after 15 days of spotting I called my doctor.  They wanted me to get my blood work done so I got that done the following day on Thursday and then needed a second blood draw on Saturday to see what my HCG levels were doing. On Friday mid morning I got a severe pain in my lower back around my spine.  I couldn't stand up straight and it hurt when I was standing, sitting and laying down I also had a really bad headache.  Then on Sunday I really started to bleed a lot and my boobs stopped hurting.  I figured that this was it, this was my miscarriage.  On Monday I learned that my blood work came back.  Instead of my levels doubling over the 48 hours they only went up 30 points.  So I had to re-do the blood work and again this time they only went up another 20 points.  So the decision was made to have a shot of Methotrexate on Monday October 7, 2013 with the thoughts that this might be a really early ectopic pregnancy, or whatever it was it was an abnormal pregnancy that was not viable..  I had some minor cramping and light bleeding since then.  I hoped that this first shot worked.  My blood needed to be taken again the following Monday on the 14 to see if my HCG levels were decreasing which would show that the medication was working in terminating the pregnancy.  My blood work came back and it had only dropped 2 points.  We discussed this could have happend because my levels probably continued to rise over the weekend and then a little bit after the shot but then probably started to go down.  They wanted to get my blood done again so I went in the following week and it had started to go down some more.  We decided to wait for the final blood test until November (when my insurance would kick in).  I got a call on Monday November 18, 2013 that my HCG levels had gone down to less than two.  My period started that Wednesday.

10 comments:

  1. i read the entire thing. you're an amazingly strong woman and i'm so happy your husband and you have one another with such great love…and now you have ellie. could she be any luckier??!

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  2. What an incredible journey to go through! Stay strong and grateful! Ellie is so lucky to have you!

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  3. I just finished reading. Thank you for sharing. So sorry for what you have gone through. Ellie is lucky to have you as a mother. She is adorable!

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  4. It was heart wrenching to read your story in more detail. But also inspirational as you guys have persevered through SUCH heartache and pain. Ellie is so lucky to have you guys as her parents and I look forward to reading more on your journey!

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  7. I found out about my fertility issue (I have a septate uterus, a birth defect) after having lots of "unexplainable" pelvic pain in 2009. They did a pap first which was normal so they did an ultrasound of my uterus and I found out that way. My problem basically means that I have an 80-something percent chance of miscarrying. The cycle you described above sounds exactly like a miscarriage to me! I miscarried a twin (carried in one half of my funky uterus) during my pregnancy and it was the most painful, hormonal, and gory experience I've ever had in my life. If you like you can read about my experience with my uterus, pregnancy, and un-natural birth here: Where You Came From - Birth Story.

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♥ Ashley