June 17, 2011

the story behind the story

Before we had this exciting news to share, there was something of a journey, one that changed who I am. I've been considering writing about this journey for months now, even before there was a happy end result, because if I can help one person who might read this and need to hear it, that would be worth it. Knowing someone else knew how I felt always made me feel less alone, less angry, and more hopeful. My grandpa whispered to me just last week that only those who have been there can know how it feels so hopefully someone reading this can know that I know how it feels and that it gets better, no matter how long it takes.

We decided, with lots of prayer (which really made us feel that it wasn't us that was deciding, but that a higher plan was in place), that it was time to have a baby. That was the weekend of our anniversary, January 3rd, 2010. More than a year ago (coincidentally, exactly two years before Baby's due date). We stopped the birth control, started counting days, etc. etc. And then, there was nothing. Months of nothing. No positive pregnancy test, no period. I was obviously not ovulating. This wasn't a huge surprise, as I had never been what one would call regular. Still, The Year of No Periods was quite long, even for me. I had always heard you shouldn't go to the doctor until you've been trying for a year with no results. My mom especially encouraged me to ignore this rule as she had had very similar issues getting pregnant with all six of her kids. I've heard my whole life about the struggle she had to get pregnant with me, her first, and how terribly devastating it was (and how much she learned from it). She was right. IGNORE THIS RULE! If you KNOW something is wrong, who cares how long you've been trying? Find a doctor. Do something to help. Lesson #1.

I finally went to my regular practitioner in July of 2010 for my regular yearly woman's exam. While there, I hesitantly mentioned that we had been trying for several months (seven!) to get pregnant with no results. He asked me some questions and gave me a diagnosis without even needing a test. PCOS. Ok, sounds good. And likely. What now? He prescribed metformin, which is actually for diabetes patients but somehow has the side effect of regulating your levels of estrogen and testosterone (hopefully producing ovulation). I took that for oh, four months? Still nothing. I hadn't had much confidence in metformin, mostly because I knew Clomid was the medication my mom had used for all her pregnancies and because she was still urging me to see an OB/GYN and at least get tested to make sure everything else was ok. Not that metformin was bad, or wouldn't have worked for someone else. But trust your instincts. And your mother. Lesson #2.

In the meantime, even though to some people a year isn't very long, it was forever to me. I was alternately experiencing moments of sadness, anger, doubt, hopelessness, resignation, hopefulness, faith, peace, excitement, etc. Depending on the day, I was crying in my car or cheerfully updating a friend with "no baby, but oh well!" On bad days seeing a baby made me ache. Hearing about other people getting pregnant made me ache. I had imagined the experience of a positive test, of telling our families, of feeling a baby kick, of holding my child a million times and they felt like they were total fantasy. Never to be experienced in real life. I had wonderful support, though. A close family member was also experiencing trouble having a baby in the form of multiple miscarriages and she and I could understand one another's heartache. We could encourage each other not to give up. To trust in the Lord and in His timing. It was a great deal of comfort to me, and to her (she is pregnant now, too, by the way). Sam was wonderful. He felt it just as much as I did, but we have always had the great ability of trading off days when we are strong. When I was down, he was strong, and when he had doubts, I was there to tell him it would work out. And of course, my mom knew exactly how I felt and let me cry to her a hundred times. If you let them, trials will strengthen your relationships with the people that matter, to the point that it is worth it. Lesson #3.

We finally went to an OB/GYN in November 2010, took a bunch of tests that confirmed I was not ovulating on my own and were prescribed Clomid. The testing took a couple of months because they had to be done by monthly cycle. We had our first cycle of Clomid in March of 2011. In April 2011, our second cycle, it worked. There was a positive pregnancy test. And weeks of sickness. And an ultrasound that might have been the most beautiful experience of my life so far. And here we are, just about out of the first trimester. Something I had almost believed would never happen. But it did.

I understand that this experience of mine was a cake-walk compared to other women's infertility. My heart is full for them. Not being a mother when you want to be a mother is hard, no matter how long it has been. And yet I might never have learned the soul-altering things I did, things I will need to be a mother, without the pain I felt every day for 16 months. There is a God and He loves us and He has a plan for us. Regardless of how that plan differs from our expectations or from those around us, it is exactly right for us. Lesson #4, the most important one, is that I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father and He will never, ever leave me alone.


Sarah Familia 6/17/11, 9:38 AM  

How beautiful, Krista. Thank you for sharing. That little baby is lucky to be coming to a mother who wants him/her SOO much.

Jannifer 6/17/11, 10:13 AM  

Thanks for sharing Krista. :)

Bradi Burke 6/17/11, 10:59 AM  

So glad you shared! I went through almost the exact same thing! It helps to know all those feelings are normal and that it is good to get emotion out and trust others to help you through.

Lisa 6/17/11, 11:07 AM  

I am so so so happy for you guys! Although I was lucky in this regard, my mom was not...it took her EIGHT years to get pregnant with my brother, so I was always so scared that the same thing would happen to me. Thankfully, it wasn't a problem for me (I have crazy irregularities, as well), but I've seen several people go through this, and, inevitably, these are the most-loved kids on earth because their parents REALLY wanted them and learned to appreciate them well before they came around. I'm sure your baby will feel and greatly benefit from all the love you have for him/her. I'm so happy for you!

Candace 6/17/11, 11:20 AM  

That was beautiful. I'm so happy for you and Sam!

Amanda 6/17/11, 11:23 AM  

I'm so happy and excited for you guys! And I know how hard it can be to share such personal experiences like this, but I really admire you for doing so. I believe one of the main reasons we go through hard times is so that we can share them and hopefully help and empathize with other people. While I never had to take Clomid, I did meet with an infertility doctor and he talked about putting me on it. It took us 2 years to get our sweet Lexi but it's totally worth it. And while everyone's story is a little bit different and some people may have harder struggles, I feel like the emotions and feelings are all the same. I'm so happy that your's is finally giving you a happy ending. This post will also be a good thing to go back and read once your baby's born and keeping you up all night and throwing tantrums. It helps you keep a good perspective. lol

C&C 6/17/11, 2:06 PM  

So exciting and such a sweet story! My sister has PCOS and was put on metformin after trying to get pregnant for a couple of years. Now they have 2 beautiful kids. So happy for you!

Justin Ferrell 6/17/11, 2:21 PM  

Thanks for sharing Krista. I know it was not an easy thing to do. This August will mark 5 years since we started "trying" for a kid. We'll hopefully be able to make a post like this before too much longer.

Rachel 6/17/11, 3:39 PM  

Krista, I love you. And on days I when I was struggling with feeling hopeful you seemed to know it and would write me something positive. Thank you for your influence in my life. I'm so incredibly thrilled for you guys! I love that, so far, everything big with our family happens within a couple of months of each other (namely, getting married, and now having a baby). I vote to keep this tradition alive.

Betty 6/17/11, 8:25 PM  

Hooray for grandchildren!

Brissa 6/18/11, 1:21 AM  

krista, i am so, SO happy for you. thank you for sharing your story. i can't wait to see you baby.

Perla Maria 6/20/11, 4:04 PM  

What a beautiful story thank you for sharing that with us.

Ashley Arnold 6/23/11, 3:04 PM  

Oh, Love. It hurts my heart to know you had to go through all of that. I'm so glad you're on the other side now and can look back at everything. Love, love, love you.

mary 6/27/11, 3:55 PM  

Krista, you are so good to write this. And I love that you were going to write it even before you were pregnant. That makes it all so much better. But I sure am thrilled about the end result...

elisabeth 7/13/11, 12:12 PM  

i'm so happy for you!
i know what this is like.
i'm currently going through a similar experience.
it's so nice to hear that i'm not the only have difficulties & that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

congratulations on becoming a mother!


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