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Things that Shaped Me: Infertility, Part 1

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Things that Shaped Me: Infertility, Part 1

I have wanted to be a mom since I can remember. I had a doll in my hand since I was old enough to carry one. I wanted it so bad that my sisters and I used to look through the Sears Catalogs and pick out the kids that we could pretend were ours. Being a mom just seemed like the greatest job in the world. My mom instilled that in me. She was (and still is) just the best at it. Cooking and cleaning and loving and making it fun...I wanted to do the same thing (loving and making it fun and cleaning, not so much). I became a teacher because I loved kids. I LOVED being surrounded by them and with each class, I loved those kids like they were my own. I couldn't wait to start a family with Leo. Would our kids look like him or me? Would we have boys or girls? I could NOT wait!

I remember the very moment when having my own became a reality. Leo and I had been married for three months (after dating for 7 years) and when I went back to work, my college roommate's mother came in showing off my friend's baby (her mom was my secretary) and I thought, I can't wait to do that. Then it hit me, I CAN DO THAT! I AM MARRIED NOW! I will tell you that the moment I had it in my head that we could have a baby, I couldn't think of anything else. I could do a very long post about how devastated I was for almost a year of every month thinking I was pregnant and every month being wrong. In that post, I would write about how EVERYWHERE I went, I saw pregnant women and it seemed like it was easy for everyone but me. I would write about how having my body fail me at the one thing I dreamed most about in my whole life made me doubt everything from Leo and my marriage to whether I was deserving enough to be a mom. I would also write that looking back, 11 months was nothing compared to what was to come.

I'm going to do a sidebar of things you should never say to someone who you know has been trying to get pregnant: Just relax. What does that even mean? Maybe it means the next one. Stop thinking about it so much. I challenge anyone that has a dream to stop thinking about it. It will happen, when it happens. Every woman trying to get pregnant knows this and thinks and hopes and prays that when it happens is right now. God has a plan and His timing is perfect. Looking back, I know this is true but when I was going through it, my relationship with God suffered a few hits and I didn't want to hear about His timing. He put the dream in my heart only for me to be devastated every month. The story of some woman you have heard about who tried forever and then adopted and then found out she was pregnant.I know this has happened but it's not what you want to hear. Adoption isn't a quick fix to getting pregnant. If you have gotten or get pregnant easily, resist the urge to say, "All my husband has to do is look at me and I get pregnant." Last but not least,You must be having a lot of fun trying.You would think but no.

The day I found out I was pregnant with Nico is still one of the happiest days of my life. The relief and happiness that washed over me when that stick came back with two lines was the best feeling. I LOVED being pregnant! It was one of the things I thought about and the reality was just as good. This post isn't about being pregnant or my labor with Nico but it was the delivery that led to years of heartache. I labored for 56 hours and it was intense, back labor the whole time. Finally I was diagnosed with "failure to progress." I hate that phrase. First I felt like a failure trying to get pregnant and then I was a failure at delivering him? I ended up with a c-section and it just couldn't be a routine one. It had to have complications. After they announced that we had a boy, Leo announced to our families that were waiting with thumbs up that, "We have balls!" I was back on the operating table feeling like I was in a bad movie. I heard the two doctors whispering and asked what was wrong. One of them answered, "Nothing, we just have a small complication" and then put me all the way under. When I came to, I was in the worst pain I ever remember feeling and they explained that I had two large dermoid cysts on both of my ovaries that they removed taking some of my ovary with them. I didn't give much thought to any of it because I wanted to see my baby. Nico had to be in the NICU because it turned out my water was broken for longer than 24 hours so he developed an infection. The worst part of the whole thing was that I had to leave the hospital without him. I could write another whole post about how heart-wrenching that was and the amount of tears that spilled at feeling like I was leaving a part of myself every time I had to leave him. I didn't even know that could happen. I was so naive. He was in for a week and I was trying to nurse him. I did too much going back and forth to the hospital, especially in the middle of the night, and my incision split open causing more pain and more problems.

Fast forward five months later and I was still having pain. I went in and my doctor asked me if I wanted more kids. I wanted a lot more kids but having a 5 month old, I wasn't thinking about it right then. Her advice was if I wanted more kids, I should get started sooner rather than later because she had a feeling, after doing an ultrasound, that it was scar tissue causing the pain. Then she said something I'll never forget, "I hope I did the right thing by taking out those cysts. I hope I didn't cause problems for you later." We made a plan for us to start trying (and that was a ton of fun to do with a 5 month old) and if I wasn't pregnant in 3-4 months, she would do a laparoscopy to remove as much scar tissue as she could and then have us try before it would build up again. After four months of disappointments and resenting the fact that I just wanted to enjoy my baby (who was having a lot of issues of his own at the time), I went in for lab work for the laparoscopy. The day before the surgery, the doctor called to tell me that the surgery was canceled because...I was pregnant! I thanked God (He and I were still on shaky ground) for the miracle and couldn't believe my luck. I was so happy, I told everyone. Again, I was so naive and still believed bad things happened to other people. I thought my problem was getting pregnant, not staying pregnant. I had no idea what was about to happen.


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