Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Last of the Rewinds

This is my last entry of focusing on the past.  There are many things that have happened in between posts that I may share later but hopefully today we will be up to speed and ready to talk about where God has brought me and where He continues to lead me.  I have put off posting for a few days trying to bear my teeth back into this newest pain, and it’s been hard focusing.  I have found that sometimes when things sting your heart it seems natural to get to a place of, "feeling nothing."  I have trained myself to not think about hard things for a majority of the time & to make myself, "go back," is nothing less than hard.
 
  When tragedy happens the whole world tends to know for the first few days or weeks, but after that they move on and your pain becomes what it was all along...yours.  You continue to move through, cast aside, and sometimes attack head on the things that are hurting you.  It’s no longer fresh for others; it becomes private and genuinely yours.  After learning to claim it and sign your name to it, you begin to heal and can again share it with others.  That is where I step into as I open my heart to you.  I take you back to the beginning of this year, just a few short months ago.
 
   Ilana is now 5 yrs old, soon to be 6.  Tanner is 17, and making plans for his future.  Chad & I continue making a life for ourselves and our children, serving God and pursing knowing Him more, and also pray continually about enlarging our family still.  Our last miscarriage was in 04, 7 months before we brought home our sweet daughter from Milwaukee.  It has now been almost 6 years....and no pregnancy.  We had started seeing a new doctor in Ft Wayne who equipped us to use the Creighton Model Method of family planning, we were sure that this was working for us.  After being with his clinic about 1 1/2 yrs and trying his protocol, we were stuck again feeling defeated.
 
Up to this point we had been diagnosed with the following:
*Recurrent Miscarriage Loss…sometime called a Habitual Abortifact
*Luteul phase defect syndrome
*Progesterone defienciency
*PCOS
*Annovulatory cycles
*Insulin Resistance
*Secondary infertility
 
We had done the following...
*Creighton Model Method
*Basel Method Charting
*South Beach Diet for insulin/sugar control
*Prometrium (now taken 3 days after ovulation instead of when I had a positive pregnancy test)
*Natural Family Planning
*Taken...metformin, naltroxon, vitex chastetree.., tons of herbs, vitamins, & minerals
Selenium, prometrium, hormonal crème, fertility blend, and many more
*Instead cups (to hold the sperm to the cervix after intercourse)
*Clomid (10 rounds)
*HSG testing of uterus & tubes
*Genetic testing
*Auto immune testing along with too many labs to name 
 
I can make a list just as lengthy of the doctors we had seen as well... It had been a long journey.
 
  My current doctor wanted to continue using clomid to stimulate my ovaries; I felt that because I had already overused clomid according to FDA standards, I wanted to move in a new direction.  We decided after doing research that gonadatrophins with IUI may be in fact what I needed to have a baby.  Our doctor didn’t feel comfortable advising me with them because of the slight risk of hyper stimulation of the ovaries, so we went elsewhere.
 
  This is where I need to introduce my very good friend, Logan.  There are many people that have come alongside me in this process for different reasons but Logan came along at a time in her life where our struggles were very similar.  She has been facing infertility for 6 years & can relate to me in a very private way.  We met at a spa party where I was consultant.  I had started a new part time job to keep myself busy.  She was in a room of nearly 20 women and she stood out to me in a way that makes you feel you should just get to know her.  She radiates a joy to everyone she’s around…it just comes natural to her.  I can be a serious natured person & Logan just simply smiles about everything.  She is an asset to me that is rarely found.
  We became quick friends.  We worked together, worshipped together at bible study, and sought out what Gods next step was for us…together.  She became a close confidant to me about my internal struggles and hopes for the future.  We were placed in a bonded friendship for such a time as this.
  Logan, “Lo,” always spoke highly of her Doctor in Ft Wayne, so when Chad and I were on the search of a new approach, we decided to try the same place.  We loved the Dr. the first day we met him, we felt it was in the “plan” for us to be in his care.  Our first round of gonadatrophins started right away.  I was used to taking oral meds but not the injections.  Chad had once years ago tried to give me a HCG trigger shot and after much anticipation he stuck me in the belly then out of shock, pulled it out without even administering the meds….He’s an Indiana farm boy, he can deliver a cow and give shots with needles a arms length long but no way was I asking him to help me.  I learned quickly to “girl” up and give my own shots.
  The fear went away and soon I was a pro.  I took shots everyday for a week and then found out we had way to many eggs ready for ovulation and because my estridiol was so high, we cancelled the cycle due to fear of having 4 or more babies.  We were not allowed to do the IUI so out of rebellion Chad and I, “baby danced,” a lot that week.  We figured, why not!  Maybe it was foolish but in any case we didn’t conceive and was on to the next cycle, toning down my meds a bit I would be sure to respond great.  Our second round was good, everything looked great.  We did the IUI and had a 2 week excruciating wait to find out if it worked.
 August 10, my 35th birthday and the day I was to take a beta serum HCG draw.  I never like taking a normal urine test; I could always convince myself of a faint line.  I have a running lab draw that I can just go get at anytime…it’s like having a tab at the bar but not so glamorous.  The mental game of the treacherous 2 wk wait is so tough so we decided we would leave for my birthday and go north to Jellystone Water Park.  The kids could play n swim, Chad could go down the towering water slide, and I could wait for my call back from the lab with results.  At least if it was going to be a “bad” day we could find something to do to keep my mind off things.  We had decided that this was our last attempt so whatever the result, we were done spending the money & felt effortless to try again for a while.
   I got the call from the office while hundreds of people were all around me.   It was so hard to hear so I left my family and wandered away to another area full of strangers hoping to hear better.  The nurse small-talked with me for a moment and then said, “Well, it looks good, your levels are a 62,” I couldn’t even think.  It had been so long since we had heard this foreign language.  I kept saying….”what,” over and over.  She said, “Yes, you are pregnant, I know it’s hard to believe but you are, congratulations.”  I started jumping up and down thanking her.  I ran to Chad and the kids and in front of crowds of people I fell to my knees and took a moment to praise the Lord for His kindness.  I kissed my husband & had to tell him several times for him to believe me.  Tanner started praying and thanked God as well, he texted all his friends that had been praying for us that day.  Ilana started telling a lady in the pool that her mom was going to have, “brothers and sisters.”  I took a walk and called Logan, I knew that she may be sad for her own fulfillment was not yet here, but I knew she would rejoice with me.  Within a few moments all our friends and family knew…why keep it a secret, I had new life within me.  It was amazing, my birthday from Jesus was all I had ever wanted, I felt like his sweetheart!
   2 days later I had another HCG level drawn and it was again rising, everything was fantastic!!  Chad was so sure that this was, “it,” it finally was here.  We knew that our hope was not in vain, we knew the promise that we have in our hearts from God, and we knew that He would bless us not only with a child but with a strong testimony of His great Love!   Several weeks past by and I couldn’t help but be cautious.  I was so used to things dissolving that every day I would wait to start spotting or cramping.  Each trip to the toilet was a total shock for everything was perfect!  Chad was beside himself with joy, the kids & he would give me these little looks of happiness, as if to sing to me, “you’re really pregnant.” 
  We took a 7 wk belly photo knowing that it looked just as I did months before conception but we knew that our baby was snug inside, and that made it so fun.   The next day, Sept 1st we ran to Ft Wayne to do our 7 wk ultrasound.  I have longed for years for Chad to hear the baby’s heartbeat & to experience the miracle of God in this fashion, that I was so excited for him.  We took our camcorder to record our moment to share with friends & family…and probably all of facebook when we got home. 
  We went into the ultrasound room and started the procedure.  As the nurse scanned my belly I saw a slight image of the baby but noticed they scanned right by it.  I felt relief that I had seen it and waited for them to come back so we could take a closer look.  They continued to focus in a different area & then both the nurse & Doc let out a big sigh while asking me if I had any pain…Chad shut off the camcorder.  I felt great, no pain, no cramping, nothing…what could possibly be the problem?  Our sweet baby was fine, growing & thriving.  137 tiny heartbeats a minute were singing to me in the background.  Our baby was normal but living quietly in my left fallopian tube.
  This was such a nightmare, how could this be?  We finally get to a place where we are having a normal pregnancy, all my labs were good, progesterone was stable, not funky… nothing…just a classic pregnancy and now the big reveal left us with this!  We were shocked, the Dr shut the screen off  quickly & directed us to have a 2nd image done at another center but made it clear that he was 100% sure we would be traveling to Indy tonight to terminate our pregnancy. 
  Our 2nd ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis.  Our sympathetic nurse allowed us to see our baby & spend time marveling at, “his,” form.   Once Chad heard the heartbeat & saw the circulatory system working marvelously throughout our baby, he was overfilled with joy.  He ran to the van to retrieve the camcorder to record his 1st & last image of what we feel was our son.  We were allowed to lay eyes on our most treasured gift, my birthday present.
  The drive to Indy was horrific.  Screams, wailing, cries of deliverance was being magnified down the highway as we drove to our dreaded destination.  We tried to bargain with the Dr to give us a day to soak up what was going on with no avail.  I begged mercy from the Lord and forgiveness towards our baby.  I spoke aloud to him telling his the tales of the world, trying to fit in a lifetime of praise & love within a 2 hr drive.  Ilana loves for me to sing a certain Randy Travis song to her every night…saying “my love is deeper then the holler, stronger then the river, higher than the pine trees growing tall up on the hill…”  I sang to our son along our drive the same lyrics to show expression that I claim him as my child.  I was so hard, I tried my best to protect him and now I had to let him die.  I felt as though it was a sick joke, I knew the enemy would have me curse God and not trust. 
   We asked others to pray with us in agreement for a miracle to take place.  Our desperation were probably the most beautiful thing for God to hear, we drew so close to Him.  I regret not being that close to our sweet Lord on any given day.  Only in times of hardness & trial do I really long for His shelter in a way I believe He honors.  I felt as I was an infertile women who was miraculously pregnant heading for an abortion.
  The hospital was aware I was coming.  Our Dr had met us there and before I could assess my surroundings they had an IV started and reading me legal documents.  They brought before me a paper of surrender to sign, stating that I indeed was giving them permission to terminate my pregnancy.  I asked the Lord to spare me from this, I felt as I was blood signing the death of someone I loved dearly.  I understood the fear of having an ectopic pregnancy and the risk for the mother.  I knew that the baby had a 0% chance of survival but I did not want my name on the certificate of death.  I wanted to continue to breathe life into my child until the moment the Lord decided was time of departure.  I started to pray that they baby would die before the procedure.  It was a difficult request to make. I wanted to spare the Dr & myself from having blood on our hands.
  Poor Chad…he felt so helpless.  Everything was happening so quickly.  He was alone, and frightened for all of us.  He so badly wanted to rescue me.
They took me to surgery, as I looked at their faces and knew soon I would be asleep, I said aloud over and over till I remember no more….”Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord.  I hoped with all my heart that if something should happen to me, His name would be the last on my lips and if I should be restored then at least He would be praised through my pain.  I awoke with a great sadness, my son didn’t survive.  The sweet beating of his heart was stilled and the silence inside of me was great.  I was no longer 2 souls traveling in one body but a single beat with an empty womb once again.  Numbness fell over our household, sweet Ilana never knew babies die…I hated her learning that so early.  We all prayed & wept; our only hope was in the Lord.  He is the only one who had the power to sustain us.
  Years ago I was staring out the window of my living room and I saw a blackbird fluttering with all of its might in one spot, much like a hummingbird would.  I thought it was so strange and continued to watch…after a short moment I saw it fall from the sky into death.  Never in my life had an ever saw a bird die naturally like that, but I knew that everyone of them that drops from life, God sees.  Even though I’ll never share my baby with my loved one and marvel at his dimples or chubby legs, I am so grateful that the Lord laid eyes on my precious one and made sure that He saw.  He sees.  He sees me.
  My surgery left me empty and also took my left fallopian tube as well.  I now remained in a hopeless state of wondering why.  I have since worked through so much grief, have increased my faith in the Lord, and am ready to rely again on the hope that God offers his broken.  I know my child was not here in vain, the story is that we survive through God only.  My body was incredibly sore, I could hardly walk and to talk about what I really was feeling was extremely hard.  We had deep sorrow, and rightfully so.  Our emotions were random & deep, we bawled especially at night when no one was around & the kids couldn’t hear.  We were in private agony but our private personal friend Jesus was abounding in His love for us…He was everywhere. 
  The Lord brought us so much comfort.  He led dear friends of ours to meet us at the hospital and drive us home, something we didn’t even know we needed.  He had others bring us tons and tons of meals and people were praying heartbroken prayers for us.  My sweet mother & sister were here to minister to us when we arrived home.  We were amazed at the amount of support we had when we came home.  His love could be felt through other people so freely.  I know that the Lord allowed such a thing for me to comfort someone who may read this today.  Someone needs to know that the Lord is good ALL OF THE TIME.  He loves us so.
  We named our son Thaddeus, a name Chad always liked, for I feel this was his special boy.  Thaddy  (my lil nickname) is flesh of my flesh.  I daydream of him of what he must look like as a new person with Christ.  I long for the day to hold my babies and introduce them to our family.  God is so good to create such a moment as that for me.  I am still His sweetheart, my birthday present is more alive then ever, and the story He gives me is still typing itself out.  I encourage you to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength.
Thank you for reading my heart of hearts.