Friday, October 11, 2013

To Our Lil Peanut...

You’re only a few weeks old and barely making your existence known but I want you to know right now, and every day in the future, that you were loved and wanted long before you were here.

A few years ago (October 2011 to be exact), your dad and I were visiting your grandparents in Iowa.  We were living in Florida at the time, and training for a marathon was consuming much of our time.  We decided to get up early before a full day with family for a 10 mile run.  It was a perfect fall day in Iowa, and we ran on the trails in Cedar Falls.  Your dad and I were in great moods following the run, and it was then that your dad admitted that he was ready for you.

The following summer was when I first had a strange feeling that it may be harder for us than it is for some couples to conceive.  I went to a doctor for the first time and began a long process of figuring out exactly why it was seemingly more difficult.  The experience was scary, and involved many uncomfortable tests - even an MRI to rule out any “mass” in my abdomen.  I remember crying at the mere thought of never meeting you, and your dad’s eyes appeared so sad when thinking those same thoughts.  These tests concluded with no concrete answers.  So, we grabbed my file and moved back to Iowa no further along in our process.

I wasted no time in getting recommendations to the best doctor in Cedar Rapids as we continued our journey toward parenthood.  We met with Dr. Zhang in the fall of 2012 shortly after moving back.  She reviewed our file and offered us the option to endure even more tests.  I’ll never forget the moment when I was handed a brown paper bag to give your dad for his “test” and losing my composure.  This wasn’t the person I thought I was – the infertile one - and this wasn’t the journey I expected.

But, we continued on.  We underwent more uncomfortable tests including one on a dreary day in November.  On this day we underwent a Saline-Infused Sonography.  I have to admit that this was more than uncomfortable.  It was downright painful as my uterus contracted to expand and then contracted to go back to its original size.  And, to make matters worse, your grandpa Mort was in the hospital in Waterloo.  So, your dad drove down for my appointment, and upon its conclusion, we drove back to Waterloo to spend the weekend with family.  It was a tough weekend.  I was in pain and uncomfortable, but we remained relatively quiet about what was going on. We were still leery of sharing our experiences.

With no clear answers, our patience was wearing thin. Tired and frustrated, I decided to take a more holistic approach and began seeing an acupuncturist. I’ve written about this experience separately. In short, it was a nightmare. I hate needles and spent a decent amount of time (and money) on what amounted to nothing.

After a few months of needles and acupuncture, we made the decision to set-up a relaxed visit with our doctor.  Our only objective with this appointment was to ask questions – as many questions as we could.  I have to say this was the most refreshing appointment we had.  Dr. Zhang was in no hurry to get our inquisitive minds out of her office and after exhausting our list of questions – me as the question-asker and your dad as the note-taker – we decided to proceed with Laparoscopy surgery for Endometriosis.

Lil’ Peanut, I hope that one day you find a partner with whom you truly love and who loves you back, unconditionally.  In my life, my marriage has been one of my most fulfilling endeavors.  And, I have to admit that this process made my love for your father grow as I realized how devoted he was to me and our family – whatever it would end up being.  Never was that more true than the day I underwent surgery and the days following.

We were two balls of nervous energy as we drove to the hospital that morning.  Our hope was that Dr. Zhang would find a small amount of Endometriosis.  This would increase our fertility temporarily.  However, if she found a large amount, we may have further complications due to scar tissue.  So, we hoped to find “just a little bit.”  And, as I awoke from anesthesia that’s what I thought had occurred.  It wasn’t until your dad was allowed into the recovery room that I learned what the doctor had shared with him.  And, before he explained a thing, I learned it through his eyes!

What we learned is that I have what they call a unicornuate uterus.  Essentially, this means that while I was developing in my mother’s belly only one half of my uterus formed.  And, that half is not connected to one of my ovaries.  At the time we really didn’t know what this meant for our desire to have a family.  I was scared, and while your dad was so supportive, I could see the fear in his eyes too.  We left the hospital with an awkward drawing of what my insides look like, and a lot of questions.  The biggest one being – would we be able to have a family?

After a follow-up appointment, we better understood the risks involved with our fertility future, and my future in carrying a child.  While it wouldn’t be impossible for us to conceive, it would be more difficult.  And, our fertility options were limited due to the risks of caring multiples.  So, we left and decided to take another break.  We would give it six months.  Six months to let it all sink in and to decide if we wanted to proceed with what we saw as our best option – IVF. 

So, six months came and six months passed with still no positive results.  We finally decided to head to the University of Iowa to learn more about the IVF process and whether we felt it was right for us.  We were so impressed with everyone at the University of Iowa’s Advanced Reproductive Clinic.  They were all so knowledgeable, and prepared to see us.  Never once did we have to bring anyone up-to-date on our situation.  Each nurse, doctor and financial counselor came to our room prepared to talk with us about our options in-depth.

After about five hours of appointments, we decided that we’d start an IVF cycle as soon as we could. This meant that as soon as I got my next period we would both start antibiotics, and I would start one month of birth control pills to regulate my cycle for the hormones.  We were nervous, but hopeful for the first time in almost two years!

What we didn’t know then was that you had other plans. On the exact day we thought we’d be starting our initial round of medication for IVF, I took a positive pregnancy test. It seems obvious to us already that you are strong-willed with determination, and we can’t wait to welcome more of that into our home. We love you already and look forward to meeting you. 

Thank you for finding your way to us and being ours!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...