Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Am Never Alone

I know, I know...
... It's been forever since my last post.
But I must warn you, Blake and I have been busy.
Very busy.

Where should my story begin?
I guess I should take off right where I left off.

Stupid pink bubble gum ice cream.
No worries, though. My tooth is fixed. 
My dentist even gave me permission to eat pink bubble gum ice cream.
He said I shouldn't necessarily blame the pink bubble gum ice cream.
So I won't. 

I blame my kidneys.
They must secretly hate me.

At the beginning of July, after our trip to Istanbul, London, and Greece, Blake and I decided to make the leap. The leap into the unknown, the unreliable, the unpromising world of IVF. 
We had learned from our fertility specialist after a battery of tests and treatments and blood work that we would not be able to conceive on our own.
I was 25 years old, and I carried the label of being infertile.
After coming to terms with this probable forecast on our lives, Blake and I wanted to challenge the odds.
Adoption didn't seem right for us.
Blake was perfect, and I was capable of carrying a child. 
We were going to give this a shot.

I'm not going to lie.
It was expensive, scary, and with each phone call and appointment, there was an emotional tole that I can't really put into words.

It seems easy, right? 
Take the pills. Take the injections. Give the blood. Go to the appointments. 

IVF is not easy.
It comes with no promise. 
There is no fine print telling you that everything will work out for the best.
There is no guarantee.

Two months after the pills, the shots, the blood, and the appointments, Blake and I came out of the operating room with 25 of my eggs in a doctor's petri dish.
After 12 hours there were only 16.
After 24 hours only 11 were left to be frozen.

This was a promising number, but Blake and I had little time to reflect on our accomplishment.
I had landed myself in the hospital with OHSS, which pretty much means I was going to be very uncomfortable and confused for about a week.

The first night in the hospital, Blake and I were terrified.
Wait, that's not right. 
Blake was terrified. 
I was starving and tired.
I hadn't eaten or slept in over three days.
If I ate, I threw up.
If I tried to relax, I would cringe in pain until I curled into a little ball all over again.
If I sat up or stood up, I would pass out.

After experiencing this, I was thrilled to be in a hospital bed.
I mean, they weren't going to let me die.
At least, I hoped they weren't going to let that happen.

A Few Highlights from the Week in the Hospital:
1. I got to use a bedpan. 
2. I had to be carried/lifted to be moved or weighed.
3. I wasn't allowed to eat solid foods until three days into my visit.
4. My kidneys stopped working. (Hence why I think my kidneys hate me.)
5. I had human plasma pumped into me. Twice.
6. A nurse spilled my urine all over the floor.
7. I had to have a six inch long needle stuck in between my ribs while I was awake. Twice.
8. I had two and a half liters of fluid drained out of my chest and stomach. Twice.
9. I had a nurse ask me whether I had given birth to a boy or girl. (I tried to punch her.)

Blake and I didn't exactly know what was happening. 
We were tired, and the doctors kept telling us that I might get to go home "tomorrow", but tomorrow would come and pass. 
My doctor kept telling me that I was dehydrated on the inside, but I was so swollen with fluid, Blake and I didn't know what to think. 
We weren't sure whether this was life-threatening or not.
At one point my sister-in-law, who is a nurse, told me over the phone, 
"At least you know now that you aren't going to die."
Wait, was that ever a possibility?

Maybe, at the beginning.
I didn't die, though.
I left the hospital swollen and scarred from all of the IV's and needles, but I was alive.

There were 11 embryos waiting for me and Blake.

After giving my body a chance to recover, we quietly dove back into the process. 
On October 19th, in the very same operating room where my eggs had been removed, two embryos were placed back into me.

Less than two weeks later, I couldn't wait...

And then, 9 weeks later... 
We saw them. 
There are two.
There is no joy more simple or complex at the exact same time.

"The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me."
Psalm 116:6 

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! I was wondering when we would move on from the pink bubble gum ice cream. But I figured you had things going on... I guess so!

    Seriously, prayers that your pregnancy will be a good one, and the babies (plural!) and you will remain healthy! :)