Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The GIANT elephant in the Room, our journey through infertility…

I started this blog a few years ago as kind of a release from everyday life. It was something fun, a place to tell my “funny” dog stories, a place to describe my hard work trying to shovel the snow off of the driveway, and to rant about fashion and the ignorance of America’s youth.  I don’t use it much even with all my intentions of “blogging” but I’m switching gears and drawing inspiration from other blogs. I’ve discussed it with Chance and we’ve decided to use my blog to document the next step in our lives. I’m not writing this for sympathy, I’m not writing this so people can judge us, I simply want to share our story with others in hopes that someone will read it and it may help them through difficult times. I am also writing this for our children so that someday we can go back and read this together and they will know how much we love them, how hard we prayed for them, what we went through to have them, and how amazing our God is, “For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him.” 1 Samuel 27. This will be a long one so bear with me.

Let’s start this story about 2 years ago; Chance and I had been married 2 and a half years and we were discussing  when to have children, most of our friends were having babies and let me tell you I had the fever!! Little did I know but my husband had it too… as the summer wore on the more we prayed about it and finally decided that we were ready. November of 2011 came and we made the decision that I would go off of birth control, it made me kind of crazy and well you can’t get pregnant if you’re taking birth control, there was NO Turning back! At first we decided just to pray about it and let things happen naturally and after about a month off of the pill my periods returned to normal (I’ve always been a “like clockwork” every month girl) so this wasn’t surprising. We fell back into our normal everyday lives and every month I waited to “miss” but every month it came… again… like clockwork… and it started getting to me. It was June, about 6 months in, with the suggestion of my DR, that we decided to start timing. I downloaded an app and bought those strips that you pee on that will magically tell you when to… well you know! So we tried that for another few months, we prayed and I just knew it was going to work, we both did. It didn’t. I had this plan in my mind that by November (one year after starting the journey) we would be pregnant, I was so hopeful that I almost had myself believing that it was true. I wanted to announce our good news on our Christmas cards, wouldn’t that be special! Well by September I was symptom searching, wishing and hoping, then aunt flow would come. October everything around me smelled horrible and I was still symptom searching, any pregnancy symptom you could have I had it, but then alas the end of the month would come and I’d get my period again. November came we’ve got one more shot to make my Christmas card dream come true (seems so silly now) I just knew it was our month… it was, I could feel it in my bones, something was different. Chance was going to come home from work and I’d get to tell him the amazing news that the baby that we’d been praying for was finally growing inside of me… but then like clockwork it came, I was devastated, Chance was devastated. It started at work that day and I almost couldn’t work, I almost went home. I spent most of the day in my office staring at the computer screen doing something… anything to keep my mind off of it. I kept my cool and only cried twice. When I got home though I think I cried for 20 minutes straight until Chance got home and then I put my big girl panties on and sucked it up! December came… I didn’t do any Christmas cards and I got my period again.

The day I got my period in December I called to make an appointment with my DR. January 4th we went to see the DR and we started the process of finding out why we hadn’t gotten pregnant for over a year. I’m so fortunate that my DR was kind and understanding, she looked at me that day and said “don’t worry, we’ll get you pregnant, you’ll have a baby” it was the first time in a year that I finally felt like we would get some answers. They did blood work for me that day and we came back the following Monday for more blood work for me and for Chance to give a sample. My DR was on vacation the following week so we didn’t hear any results from any of the tests until January 21st… I remember the call like it was yesterday. The nurse called to tell me the results and I was devastated, I called my friend and just sobbed on the phone…my heart was broken not only for me but for my husband, I knew his desire to have a child was equal to mine and I had to tell him this horrible news.  So we went February 4th for a follow up appointment. They did further blood testing and a few weeks later called to tell us that “everything looked normal” and “we can’t help you any further you’ll have to see a fertility specialist”. At this point we were tired… we were just flat out tired. We had things coming up in the spring that got our minds off of it for a while. And we prayed, we prayed hard, we didn’t like the news we got and so we prayed about it. We decided we wouldn’t call Little Rock right away we wanted to wait until maybe the fall and in our minds I think we thought “we’ll show all you doctors… we’ll get pregnant even with this diagnosis”. Yeah that didn’t happen and it didn’t get any easier month to month either, on the 3rd Thursday of every month (I know TMI) when my period would show up and last 4-5 days, it was still devastating. We were focusing on paying off the DR bills we had accumulated, getting thorough the annual NWTF fundraiser banquet, focusing on Relay, focusing on our teen class at church, and preparing for our mission trip that we took in June.

At my yearly appointment in May my DR offered to get an appointment set up with the nurse practitioner from Little Rock for a free consultation. We didn’t get into too big of a hurry to hear back, that was the day of Relay, and the day that it snowed in May. Also we were leaving for Pennsylvania in a little over a month and had a lot to do to get ready for it! We were very apprehensive about the money aspect of it. We had already been told that based on all the current tests IVF was our only option, to have our own children. So we went on with our lives over the next 2 months. When we got back from PA I called the clinic and asked why we hadn’t heard anything and by the end of the day we had an appointment for July 2nd. It was all coming together I was very nervous of what she was going to tell us. But we prayed over the appointment that all would go well, we prayed that whatever she told us that we could accept it and whatever money we would need that God would help provide a way.

We went to the appointment on July 2nd and she was wonderful, she went over all the results. She explained why this wasn’t the cause of the problem and that this is a possibility of the cause of the problem. She wanted to take another sample so that her lab could analyze it, she wasn’t satisfied with some of the numbers from the first one and she needed to know exactly what we were working with before we got started. Luckily since I did all my blood work at the beginning of the year I didn’t have to give more! When the money aspect was brought up we were thoroughly surprised… It was actually less than what we were expecting, and it was doable. Praise God now we have answers and a plan!

This whole time I’ve been clinging to a verse, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Back in February when we received the news that we weren’t going to be able to get pregnant naturally I remembered a conversation with a very sweet woman right before we “officially started trying” they had adopted their first child and she told me about a blog that she had started during their journey. We had become Facebook friends so I looked up her blog, it took me 3 days but I read that blog from start to finish and let me tell you it was inspiring, I laughed and I cried. If you haven’t found it yet pop over to and take a look they are in the process of adopting baby # 2.

So this is our journey now, it’s a scary road ahead but we know that God is in control. As the next few months pass there will be many appointments to attend and many updates to be given. I just want to expose that giant elephant that’s been sitting on my shoulder mocking us the last 2 years, making me feel terrible every time someone asks us “when are you going to have a baby?” I’m telling our story so that I don’t have to secretly cry at home after I’ve been asked that dreadful question again. God bless all of you, and thank you for reading. Thank you for all your support. I want to especially thank those that we have confided in these last 2 years if it wasn’t for the understanding and listening of friends, and our amazing God I don’t know how we could have made it this far. Stay tuned, it just got REAL!!!

Ashley & Chance


Ashley said...

I am so thankful I started my blog to document our journey. I have made it into a book each year and I love being able to read back through it and see how God has been so faithful and loving to us throughout.
I did the exact same thing you talked about- the symptom searching and thinking, "ok, if I get pregnant this month I can announce it like this and it'll be just perfect". Ugh. I finally quit mentally counting the months after a few years.
I'm so glad God brought us together that day! I can't wait to see how your story unfolds and what He is doing in your life. Praying for you!

Ashley said...

Oh, and thanks for the shout-out! =)

Ashley said...

Turing it into a book is a great idea, thanks Ashley! I'm glad that God brought us together that day as well, thank you for the prayers! I'm praying for you and your journey as well!