Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Four Years: An Overdue Update, Surgery, New Diagnosis, and the Future

      It is about time for me to do the update I should have done months ago. It is fitting that it is April and this month officially marks four years since we began trying to have a family. When I last posted, we had just received the fertilization report after the egg retrieval had taken place the day before. It was at this point that things began to take a turn for the worse. I had a rather robust response to the meds during the stimming process and we had anticipated on retrieving around three times the amount of eggs that we ended up with. Even though we were sad that there were complications, we were happy with what we had and remained optimistic all the way up until transfer day. On the morning of transfer, we were informed that out of the 4 eggs that were fertilized, only 2 made it to day 3 for transfer. Unfortunately, out of those 2 only 1 was of good quality. It was then that we found out I had poor egg quality on top of the other issues we were facing.

The transfer was supposed to be a very special moment, and it was, but part of me knew right then and there that this was over and devastation was right around the corner. Nevertheless, hope remained and we clung to that. This event was over 6 months ago now, and although some of the details are a bit fuzzy, the emotions are very real. I still look at this picture of my embryos regularly:

On October 10th we went to the hospital for blood work and my fears were confirmed -- it had failed. I was a complete mess. I'm not too prideful to admit that, and I'm not too prideful to admit that I'm still a mess. I believe there was life inside of me, and there was, and I would like to believe that those babies are waiting for me in Heaven one day. It may seem silly to some, but I miss them. For 12 blissful days, from September 28 to October 10, I was 'pregnant' and that is the closest I have ever come to having the family I desire. My heart hurts. I've been very angry and confused, and although I don't like to say it -- bitter. I've been angry with God because I prayed some very specific prayers and I felt betrayed by the outcome. The doors had been opened for us to do IVF, and I had prayed HARD many times that if this was not meant to be and that if this was only going to end in devastation that God would put an end to it before it began. He didn't. We spent money we didn't necessarily have to spend for a chance to become parents. God allowed all of these things to happen and I have struggled for months because of it. These aren't emotions I'm proud of, but they are real and I know that there are many others who have felt the things I have felt and do still feel on occasion. I'm human and although I have put my happy face on during many occasions, and have acted the way I felt I was supposed to act, I have often been throwing a fit inside. I'm sharing this because I have had people come to me quite often who feel the 'ugly' emotions about infertility and who think I am handling things so well and I want people to know that I do not always handle things gracefully. I cry ugly tears. I have ugly hissy fits. And I have had ugly arguments with God. It is not always pretty, but it is real. It is a good thing that God loves us so much, even though we don't deserve it, and that He shows us grace. I am continually amazed at the grace that God shows me.

Anyway, that is the outcome of our IVF cycle and I felt that I needed to start this off by wrapping up that previous chapter before I continued with the current. I had surgery last week so that my doctor could hopefully diagnose the cause of my chronic pelvic pain. During surgery, my doctor found that both of my tubes are blocked (they were not blocked a couple years ago) and he was unable to unblock them. This confirms that IVF is our only option for a biological child, which we pretty much knew anyway, but there was always the hope for a miracle to happen. During an appointment I had with my doctor a couple days ago, we discussed my surgery further and he informed me that I have adenomyosis. Adenomyosis is when the endometrial tissue that lines the uterus goes into the muscle of the uterus (and I guess my tubes, but that may just be scar tissue). There is nothing they can do about it, but it explains my pain and gives me an answer for that.

So what is next for us?
We had previously decided that adoption was our next move, but after further discussion and coming to terms with what my heart (and Matt's) truly desires, we have decided to try IVF one more time first. We love the idea of adoption and no matter what will pursue it in the future, but we do want to try again for a biological child. Adoption is always an option, but IVF will not be. We may be young, but our medical issues are great and will only get worse with time. My doctor and I agree that it makes sense to try IVF again now. We have felt a lot of pressure to move forward with adoption, but we have to do what our hearts are telling us. I have shed a lot of tears, but this is what we are hoping to do. A referral to an RE in Charlotte has been put in and we will be meeting with our new doctor in about a month or so. We are just going to find out the financial aspect of another IVF cycle (costs, possible payment plans, etc.) and go from there. I have a supplemental insurance until January of next year and hope to do IVF toward the end of this years before that insurance plan runs out. Our plan is to try and come up with the funds between now and the end of the year. Hopefully we can come up with some ideas, and God willing, it will all come together. Prayers that I find a great job soon, too!

I think that is about it for today with the update. I felt it was time to fill in all the blanks from the past 6 months. Please pray for us, and with us, as we try to figure out how to make things work and to (hopefully) make our dream of having a family come true. There is still a great amount of unknown.