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♥ ~*The story of Lisa and Andy*~ ♥
I woke up one morning with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I reached over to the nightstand and pulled out the positive pregnancy test from the day before. My smile grew larger as I relived the moment when I took the test. The joy in my husband’s eyes, the tears that flowed; it was one of the best days of my life.
I jumped out of bed, ready to start my day. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone that we were expecting our first bundle of joy! Suddenly, my happiness turned to horror, as I realized I was bleeding profusely. I stopped dead in my tracks as a sharp, stabbing pain ripped through my stomach and radiated towards my back.
I curled up in a ball in the bathroom, crying, feeling like I couldn’t breathe. The world was caving in on me. I kept thinking this couldn’t be happening. I had enough sense to call my doctor, and they told me to come in right away. However, it was too late. I had lost my baby already. One day of pure bliss, followed by weeks of sorrow. That was my first miscarriage, and it wouldn’t be my last.
♥ A letter to my 8th angel, lost in October 2011 at 5 weeks, 2 days ♥
This is a story of two people who fell in love but are still waiting for their happy ending. Andy and I have battled infertility for the past 4 1/2 years. We have cried, cursed God, wondered if we were being punished, experienced guilt as if we were to blame, drained our bank account, and made many sacrifices. At times, the grief was so heavy we felt like we were drowning. Instead of surrendering, we have never stopped believing that our dream of having a child will come true.
I met my soul mate ten years ago. Although we were only nineteen when we met, Andy and I believed in true love. As soon as we connected, the spark and passion ignited. If that wasn’t enough, we also discovered a deep, trusting friendship that we continued to build upon over the past ten years. It truly feels like we’ve known each other for a lifetime. With ease (and at times a little work), Andy and I have created a love that would last forever.
Our family and friends were rooting for us from the start to get married and have kids. They could clearly see we were meant for each other. Everyone wondered why we kept waiting, but we wanted to be sure we were mature enough and completely ready. Neither of us took lightly the sanctity of marriage or the responsibility of having children. We married on April 12th, 2008 – the sixth anniversary of when we met. It was the happiest, most joyous day of our lives.
Part of the reason for my caution and hesitation, stems from my upbringing. I grew up in an abusive household among addiction, chaos, neglect, and poverty at an age when I should have been innocent and enjoyed my childhood. Instead, I had to grow up too fast and worry about things that no young child should have to worry about.
I have forgiven my parents. I love them with all my heart. I know people make mistakes. They wouldn’t have behaved they way they did if drugs and alcohol weren’t involved, as well as if they had waited until they were more mature. It’s difficult to comprehend how people can have children and neglect them or abuse them for their own selfish reasons. I already know that I will NEVER ever neglect or harm my (future) children in any way. They will only feel loved. That is why I believe in a strong family unit.
My husband grew up in a very different environment. He was lucky to have two loving parents, along with everything he would need to achieve in life. It goes to show that character can be built in both the toughest and happiest of situations. Life is what YOU make of it. My in-laws raised and shaped a wonderful man. Andy is the most kind and gentle man I know. He’s intelligent, sensitive, talented, hard-working, and so loving. Right now, he’s putting himself through school (to begin a career in the medical field) in one of the most challenging programs at his college. I’m so proud of him. He will make a great Dad and be a magnificent role model to our future children.
Despite my poor upbringing, I chose the right path. I worked two jobs while putting myself through college. I believe in compassion, empathy, and helping others. I now work as a pediatric nurse, and I love bringing joy to children when they are feeling ill or experiencing pain. The parents need support too, and they are so grateful for even the smallest of gestures. It’s so fulfilling to support people, but there’s still something missing in my life.
I have spent hours upon hours reaching out to fellow infertile couples online. Not just for my own needs, but in hopes of helping people. I’ve been a member of an infertility support forum for about 2 1/2 years, as well as part of the blogging community for almost two years. What’s so amazing is that strangers (but I don’t see them that way) all across the world, can lean on each other, uplift one another during hard times, cheer for each other during happy moments, and create lasting friendships. I have a lot of respect for my infertile sisters (and brothers). The goldmine of advice, support, and sharing means the world to me and has brought me through the darkest of days.
My Blog: The Pursuit of Pregnancy – https://lisabttc.wordpress.com
My Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Pursuit-of-Pregnancy/238085612899452
Once we were ready to begin building our family, we were hopeful it would happen right away. It did happen fairly quickly, but I suffered two miscarriages in the first year of “real” trying. With no success naturally, we turned to fertility treatments in our second year. Again, we conceived twice only to miscarry both times. This past year was the most heart-breaking, with 4 miscarriages. After 5 IUI cycles, 2 IVF cycles, countless medicated/timed intercourse cycles, thousands of dollars, 8 miscarriages or biochemical pregnancies, heart-breaking disappointments, multitudes of testing, and several discovered diagnoses, we are at a stand-still due to depleted financial resources.
Fertility treatments, namely IVF, are a grueling process. Getting poked, prodded, stuck with needles, and violated by the vaginal ultrasound wand every single month for years is not how I imagined making a beautiful, sweet baby. I have taken almost every fertility drug, every supplement/herb/vitamin, and I’ve dealt with the hot flashes, crazy hormonal changes, mood swings, headaches, and bruises from the needles. Every cycle, I have to put in vaginal suppositories that leak out all over the place, as well as stick a blood thinner injection in my stomach every single day. My belly looks like a bloated, bruised mine field. I take steroids that make me swell up like a puffer fish, and I’ve gained about twenty pounds since last year. I look pregnant and often have to explain to people that I am not, or at least not anymore.
Combine all of the above with the roller-coaster of negative pregnancy tests and miscarriages. It’s all enough to drive anyone insane or into a deep depression. After being beaten down so many times, it’s hard to get back up. The physical, emotional, and financial toll is devastating. You know what though? I would do it all a million times if it meant I could have a baby. My husband and I still have a lot of fight left in us.
Infertility and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss is like a puzzle. The picture on the puzzle box is beautiful and serene, but what’s in front of us is far from beautiful. There are missing pieces, broken pieces. The puzzle is a mess. It’s hard to look at. It looks nothing like it’s supposed to. We have come close to putting it together, but then it falls apart again. We both want so badly to fill in the holes and make a beautiful picture that we can hold onto forever. It’s just that we can’t find those pieces yet. I hope they are out there somewhere.
The deck is most certainly stacked against us. My diagnoses include Diminished Ovarian Reserve (egg supply is running out), Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (8 miscarriages or biochemical pregnancies), Complete Alloimmune Implantation Dysfunction, Activated Natural Killer Cells, and my husband and I are a 100% complete match with DQ Alpha and HLA (autoimmune/genetic issues).
The most devastating diagnosis is the DQ Alpha/HLA match + NK Cells. This news came from Dr. Sher in August 2011. It’s complicated and leaves us with very few options. As difficult as that news was to hear, we are so grateful to finally have answers. I believe in modern medicine (thank you, God, for knowledgeable doctors – especially Sher Institutes.
Dr. Sher has relayed to us that our only option is IVF. He says a surrogate would be our best bet for a successful pregnancy. My heart has opened up to this idea, but I also feel cheated and struggle with the thought of never carrying a child. We are also considering adoption, but we are not sure we’re ready to pursue that avenue just yet. Even with the looming dark cloud of most likely never being able to have a successful pregnancy, we continue to try (just incase there’s a miracle in store for us).
What has helped us most, is our faith and our strong bond as a couple and as best friends. We believe our desire will be fulfilled, one way or another. We’ve loved our children for many years. The babies that we’ve worked so hard for, gone through hell and back for, endured every fertility treatment, suffered every loss – they are out there somewhere, waiting for us. And it will be well worth the wait. To quote the beautiful song, “I Believe” by Steve Carlson & Darren Sher, “I believe it’s coming our way, that change is coming some day…It’s just a matter of time…”
♥ “I Believe” – Written by Steve Carlson & Darren Sher Performed by Steve Carlson & Rosalee: ♥
“Here we go, incomplete but not alone
Both of us together down this long and winding road (and you say)
I want to build a perfect circle, make something beautiful to call our own
And I believe that there’s a change around the corner
And in a world that’s out of order we still have time
I believe in the love that’s all around us
And as the arms of life surround us it all seems fine I believe…
Let the seeds we’ve sown live on forever once they’ve grown
And inside our happy home they will see
There’s a lot of things that we will do, sacrifice anything for you
Promise anything, knowing you will be.
I believe it’s coming our way, that change is coming some day
It’s just a matter of time…”