Andy and Stephanie

Just a little history on Andy and I that I thought I would share…

Andy and I have been married for three and a half years at this point and I know we will have a long marriage because we have already been tested in more ways than you would hope to have to face in a ten year period. I know that Andy will be there for me whenever I need him to be and I will be here for him as well.

Just a month after the wedding I went through major surgery on my bladder due to the fact that mine wasn’t functioning correctly anymore. They were going to put in a stoma and although we knew about it before the marriage we only found out about the surgery needing to be done in the last couple months leading up to the wedding, talk about hectic! After recovering from the surgery, my doctor attempted to see if the surgery had been successful or not. We found out that it was not successful and that we would need to reschedule another operation for the coming months.

We were upset that it had not worked and we were going to need to go through it all over again. The surgery itself had a five day stay in the hospital and a minimum four week recovery period until I could begin doing normal activities.  I knew that this would mean we would have to put off things in our lives: I wanted to find a new job, we wanted to try to start a family, and find a bigger house to move into.

Just three months after I had recovered from the first surgery I was scheduled to have the second surgery to make corrections. At a week pre-op I noticed that I had missed my period. While we wanted to start a family I knew we weren’t ready and getting pregnant would require moving the surgery until after the pregnancy. We also had not talked to my doctors to make sure I was healthy enough to carry a child.

After canceling the surgery and making appointments to see my gynecologist we had reached a point where we were happy and looking forward to starting a family even if it wasn’t the best time in our lives. At the doctor’s appointment though we found out that I was not pregnant and I had more than likely had a chemical pregnancy (where the egg becomes fertilized but doesn’t actually implant). We were crushed that we had just started getting excited about something that ended up even not being a reality.

It was so odd we weren’t even ready and didn’t want to start the family until I was healthy again but I had already started thinking about that little life that never was. We decided that it was hopefully a good sign that when we did try to get pregnant we would be able to and continued on with the plan of having the surgery. Luckily the second time was a charm and everything worked correctly after recovery from this surgery.

At this point I had two major surgeries in under six months so we decided to wait until I was fully recovered and feeling more like myself before trying to get pregnant on purpose this time. By July of 2010 we were ready to start the process and hoped that we would get pregnant easily. After five months though we scheduled appointments to make sure that everything was working for both Andy and I and we could indeed get pregnant. It might seem like we rushed into fertility testing but for us we knew that with my medical history and number of abdominal surgeries it might be possible that I could not get pregnant naturally.

After months of testing everything came back normal except for my uterus. We found out that I had a unicornuate uterus and that it was tilted. This meant that even if the egg is fertilized it would have a hard time implanting because of the shape and size of my uterus. This was a setback but we were convinced we could find a way to get pregnant. We started doing fertility treatments trying several different combinations of drugs and doing blood work multiple times a month to make sure that my cycle was happening as expected. We even tried IUI (inter-uterine insemination) a couple times before we realized that it had been just over two years and we still were no closer to having a baby of our own.

It didn’t help that being on the fertility drugs I was taking pregnancy tests every month exactly 14 days after I ovulated. The problem with this is I would take the test and it would be positive and I would then go in for blood work the next day and it would come back negative. It seemed that either I was having repeated chemical pregnancies each month or I was having false positives on the at home tests. Every month I would see the positive I would think maybe this month would be different and that it will stay and the next day it would still be positive. I felt crushed every month that I would go in for blood work only to find out that there was nothing.

This is when we decided that we couldn’t do the roller coaster of emotions each month on having the extra hormones in my body and all the stress of trying I was being put through. We knew from the beginning of our relationship that pregnancy might not be an option for us and had both talked about being open to adoption if that was the case. It looked like it was time to start researching adoptions and start on our journey.

That was only in September of 2012 that we gave up on the fertility treatments and decided to put our energy into adoption. By October we had researched multiple agencies and found one that we thought was the perfect match for us. We would be doing an open domestic adoption of an infant (up to one year old). We signed up for our weekend intensive workshop on adoption in December and started the process of filling out the paperwork for the home study in November just before Thanksgiving.

Even though the holidays were really busy for us visiting friends and family we worked through the paperwork part as fast as we could because we knew we were ready to start a family. We finished all of our paperwork by mid January and set up appointments to do the interviews and home visit as soon as we could get it on the schedule, meanwhile also working on our Dear Birthmother letter and website designs. We could see the light at the end of the tunnel (the first tunnel that is) and we couldn’t wait to cross the finish line and be in the “waiting” stage.

At this point we are so close to being a waiting family we can both taste it I think. We are just waiting on approval of both the website and Dear Birthmother letter designs that we completed. Once we get those approvals the part that some people dread starts. For me I am looking forward to being able to do all the things to prepare to bring home a baby. I am excited to start buying the basics that we will need such as a car seat, bottles, diapers, etc.

We know somewhere out there is a child that will become a part of our family and regardless of how they entered our family there will be nothing short of endless love for them. All the ups and downs over the last several years have just been the beginning and we can’t wait for the rest of this journey to start!

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