Saturday, November 20, 2010

Infertility and My Babies

**I am putting this out here to help someone who may be in the shoes I once had to wear.  What shoes?!  The shoes of an infertile, heartbroken woman.  Though I am no longer in those shoes; no longer heartbroken with empty arms, I don't want to forget how it felt back then.  Everything felt hopeless. It truly makes me appreciate what who I have been given. I want to help someone else who may be wearing those shoes.  I want the women who feel they have no hope to have hope.  Some of it is embarrassing for me to share but I am tired of people being quiet about infertility.  I am speaking out.  Please keep in mind this is an abbreviated version even though it is still long.  And most importantly, never give up hope.  It happened for me.  I pray it can happen for you too.**

With the holidays upon us, I feel it necessary to share some of the things for which I am thankful. I had planned to add something that I was thankful for at the end of each blog post and that hasn't happened. Having a good memory is not something I can be thankful for because that is not one of my gifts. :) I wanted to talk a little bit about a long and lonely journey I lived through: Infertility.

You will notice from the pictures in the sidebar, I have not one, but TWO gorgeous girls. :o) One is five and a half and one just turned three.  Hang on, it was a bumpy ride and some of it is painful for me to share.

Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty

I must share a little more on them. Or rather, what it took to GET them here. When I was younger, maybe 14 years old I KNEW something was wrong with my "woman parts." Doctors agreed, I was put on birth control pills to help with the symptoms and I sent on my merry way to get some ibuprofen. I would miss a few days every month of school because I was too sick to move.  Women on my dad's side of the family notoriously have to have a hysterectomy young.  We just don't seem to be able to keep all our parts.  ;o)

I would later find out that I would have to fight to keep my own parts in my own body.  I had to tell doctors that they were wrong, that I would live with it, somehow, just so I could be a mommy.  I cried and fought and I begged and I pleaded.  With the doctors, sometimes my family, and with my own body.

Years and years of suffering later I found out I had endometriosis. This disease put me through about four surgeries in my early twenties. Why? I was in chronic pain, not just monthly anymore and left untreated, endometriosis can leave a woman barren. Sometimes I couldn't even get out of the bed. Sometimes the laparoscopic surgeries and the removing or burning of the endometriosis helped. Sometimes it did not. If it did, the relief was short lived. I wasn't going through these surgeries and procedures just for temporary relief. I was putting myself, my family and my future husband through this for the chance to maybe have ONE baby one day. I still have the pictures, (though I have NO idea where they are) and I probably sound crazy to some of you, but after the fourth surgery something amazing or miraculous happened. All signs and traces of the disease were gone. A disease that has NO CURE. Even a scar I had across my uterus (no one knew how or why it was there to begin with) was gone. No one knew how to explain why it was gone. My dad knew. He told that doctor it was God. And it was. :) The doctor had to agree. Those painful problems, for the most part, were in the past.

I got engaged and five months later we got married.

I thought I would get married, get pregnant a couple months later as is the tradition in our family if you marry in November, but no.

A few months went by.

A few more months went by.

Then a year went by.

We had a faint positive pregnancy test at some point in there but we didn't even get to celebrate it as it was over as quickly as it began. It was painful and scary and many people still don't know about it but I felt we didn't need to upset anyone more than we needed to.

And it didn't happen again. No more faint positive lines.

By this time we had seen a Reproductive Endocrinologist (who had done my previous surgeries) and he began working with us so we could have a baby.

We did everything the doctor said to do. Private things became public and we felt like all the love that was supposed to create our baby was taken away. So much is taken away when you are diagnosed with infertility. I felt like a science experiment and my poor husband comforted me every month when the answer was "No." I cannot stress to you how heartbreaking infertility is. It makes you question everything.

You get poked and you get prodded. You get shots and medicines that make you feel like you are the hardest person to live with and you feel fat and just plain crazy.

The last time we tried IUI (I put this in abbreviated form so those not wanting to read anything too graphic can skip it) was a no go. I had two eggs, stimulated by the drug Clomid. This drug alone made me feel pregnant. I was moody and cranky and felt like a crazier person that I normally do. The doctor told us that the eggs were not big enough and we would not do the IUI this time.

At this point I gave up trying to make it happen. IVF was the only hope in my getting pregnant. I told the doctor that we would do IVF but I would need to work a couple of years to get the money to do it. Our insurance did not (and may still not) cover such things.

I was OK. I lived through what I didn't think was possible. I prayed and now that I look back, I didn't give up.

I gave it to God.

A few weeks later I felt different. The mere mention of one of my favorite foods made me feel like I'd hurl a million times. I thought, "Could it be?! Are you serious?!" It was time to go buy a home pregnancy test. I could not wait any longer! It was Father's Day 2004 and I found out I was pregnant. The line was faint like before, but not as faint. And I felt different this time as well. The sickness was heightened. I was pretty sure there was more than one baby in there. We have twins in our family and there is a higher occurrence of multiples on the fertility medicines I was taking.

We would find out later that I was indeed pregnant with twins. We lost one at nine weeks. Once again, my world came tumbling down. It didn't seem to affect anyone else the way it did me. I didn't want to seem ungrateful to God because I was getting ONE baby and that's all I had ever hoped and prayed for but part of me hurt and longed for that other baby. And to be even crazier, I am sure it was a boy. I put on a happy face because I was pregnant and yes, I was happy. But I was sad too. I kept the hurt inside though and moved on.

I guess having twins was not meant to be and God knows what He is doing because if I had had the twins I probably would not have my Sleeping Beauty and I cannot and will not imagine my life without her.


  1. Oh my sweet precious friend, I knew you were meant to have a little boy. And I do not doubt your feelings at all. Mothers just know. Hopefully, if it's in His plan, and He can change Mr. T's heart ;) there will be another little boy to come and will live with the other blonde babies at your home. Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to reading more.

  2. Kel, your words are inspiration. I know how much you have suffered. I know how much all of us with endo have suffered. But God truly grants miracles and those miracles are staring right back at us. We are the lucky ones. The ones who beat the odds and had babies. I thank God every day for Sam and also for having a friend like you. I love you, Christina

  3. You're so brave for posting this. Thank you, and I hope it helps others to find the courage to face their own struggles!

  4. I found your blog through you being featured on SITS, and am forwarding the link to a friend in case it might be helpful to her. Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. Sometimes we can never imagine the joy our trials can lead us to. Your daughters are adorable! (visiting from SITS)

  6. Hi I'm visiting from SITS - I've been down this road, except I refused all surgeries (big chicken). We now have two precious children adopted from Romania, and I wouldn't trade them for anything or anybody on earth. But I am eager to see my first baby when I get to heaven. Hugs, thanks for sharing so beautifully.

  7. You are a strong and wonderful woman for sharing this. I'm so happy for your blessings and thank you for sharing this with the women who still need to keep this hope in their lives!

    Big big hugs!

    Happy SITS day!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

  8. Beautifully written. My husband and I were going to use a surrogate because I have Myasthenia Gravis. But he really wanted a biological child. So I went through the drugs...(And I SO know what you mean about moody...WHOA!) and I made ONE egg that was big enough, but it wasn't worth retrieving for the cost. (Insurance didn't cover that either).

    After about a year, God told me to try the old fashioned way. I just assumed I couldn't get pregnant if I didn't respond to fertility drugs. Twelve weeks later I was pregnant.

    Thank you for talking about this. Although I didn't struggle with "infertility" per se, it was a very tumultuous time.

    P.S. Your children are beautiful!

  9. I really appreciate how you ended... I lost triplets last year, but I keep hoping that there's a reason, something else on the horizon for me.

  10. Thank you for this. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for putting yourself out there. Thank you for being willing to be used. I'm struggling with my own infertility, though not because of anything medical (that we're aware of right now.) I truly appreciate your post. Is there a "to be continued?" :)

  11. Happy SITS day!! Thanks for sharing your deeply personal story and journey. Thank you for being willing to open up your heart and tell your story so that others may take heart, have faith and have encouragement and strength on their own journey.

  12. wow what an awesome post.. you are truly inspirational... I agree, it must have been God.
    Still hoping for my miracle..

  13. Heather,
    Every day is a "to be continued" but yes, I will one day follow this up more.

  14. Happy SITS Day! My SIL just had twins (a boy and girl) last month after trying for 5 years! I wish you and your family the best!


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