Thursday, October 30, 2014

Our Journey To Fertility


We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, so here it is.  The path to parenting was not an easy one for us, but the tough road made the victory even sweeter!  Where to begin?

I've never been one to beat around the bush, so staying true to who God made me to be, I'll just say it.  I have PCOS.  I was diagnosed close to 12 years ago.  I have always had maybe 1 or 2 periods a year.  My doctors had chalked it up to being so active(I was a dancer and soccer player), and said to "enjoy it".  So I did.  Then, the dream of being a mom came into focus.

PCOS is a condition in which ovaries produce follicles that never grow to maturity, or being released.  They stay attached to the ovaries as "cysts".  Hence the name Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome.  There are all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms associated with it, including weight gain, lack of periods, infertility, and more.  Having this condition, and working in an OB-GYN office for 6 years, I was well versed in it.  And, I knew that it, unfortunately, can make pregnancy very difficult to achieve.  I didn't want to waste any time.

My doctor and I had a plan in place shortly after I married my husband in September of 2012.  We tried naturally for 3 months.  Nothing happened.  I went on a medication called Clomid in December of 2012.  I had a terrible, terrible experience with that drug.  There were days I found myself on the couch crying, devastated, and unable to cope.  But I trudged on.  Motherhood isn't easy, right?  I would bear any discomfort, endure any amount of sacrifice, if it meant a baby in my arms.  December came and went.  The medication did not even cause ovulation, which is what it was supposed to do.  My normally endearing husband kindly asked me to never go on that medication again.  I couldn't have agreed more.  We went back to the drawing board.

Meanwhile, friends and family all around me were becoming pregnant.  Well meaning friends and family were unknowingly pouring salt on our wounds, asking us when we were going to have kids.  Because that's a natural question to ask newlyweds, right?  Oh the heartbreak.  Oh the devastation.  Oh the strain and pressure that was put on our marriage.  I carried so much shame and guilt.  Why was God "punishing" me?  I felt so isolated and crushed.  It was an hour by hour struggle to be happy for my loved ones who were falling pregnant so easily.  It was a struggle to not speak my mind when they would complain of weight gain or morning sickness.  Jealousy constantly threatened to steal my peace.

Back to our strategy.  We tried the holistic route.  I went to a holistic doctor, and began quite an extensive herbal regimen.  I was praying, and pleading.  Still...nothing.

I scoured online research, blogs, and web forums.  I came across an herb called "Vitex" AKA Chastetreeberry.  I took the maximum recommended amount.  It worked!  I got a period within 30 days!  Never was a period so welcomed in all the world!  I continued that herb and also started tracking my basal body temperature.  A very strong, clearly noted ovulation was being displayed.  Hooray!  My doctor was impressed with the results, but still no conception.  I was also taking Metformin, a drug to treat diabetes.  Symptoms of diabetes can also show up in patients with PCOS.  Metformin helps to regulate blood sugars, which can also help to level out hormones.  So, I took Metformin and the Vitex for 3 months.

I was struggling internally.  I would have loved for God to just show up, and part the Red Sea before my eyes.  To grant me a miracle pregnancy with no drugs involved.  I totally think He is capable of that.  However, that's not the direction I felt pulled in or called to.  Walking through the Christian aisle of the local library, a book entitled She Did What She Could caught my attention.  It centered around Mark 14:18, referencing the woman who poured a very expensive perfume on Jesus' feet.  Just short of hearing an audible voice, I strongly felt the urging to also take a relatively new drug to the fertility world called Femara.  I had done the research.  It is actually a treatment for breast cancer, but one of the side effects is increased fertility.  I felt God telling me to do what I could, and trust Him for the rest.

Upon discussion and agreement with my husband and physician, I took it.  Ovulation was indeed confirmed by an ultrasound, and conception followed!  Praise God!  It worked the very first month!

I was out to lunch with my co-workers in Chicago when I suddenly felt very ill.  I had to excuse myself to the bathroom.  My body was showing all the signs that indeed I was pregnant, but my mind was cautious to accept it.  A pee stick confirmed it.  My prayers, my pleading, my lifelong dream had come true!

Of course I had to take more tests,  you know, just to be sure.  The very same day I had prepared to share the news with my husband, he had news of his own to share.  He had made the final payment on a loan, making us debt free!  The same day we discovered we were parents, God enabled us to repay all of our debts!  He is so amazing!

Around 9 weeks, I had slight spotting.  My joy came crashing down.  It was one of the most fearful moments of my life.  I will never forget my husband's response.  He said, "It was God's baby first.  We have to trust Him no matter what happens".  Man, I love him.  He is so grounded and steady.  Another ultrasound confirmed all was well with the baby.  We had genetic testing done at 10 weeks, and the rest is history.

God is good, and promises children to His children.  Be encouraged.  He is faithful and true.

I hope this story encourages you, especially if  you are on a similar path.  Stand firm, your baby is on its way!

A little picture update on our miracle baby:

    

Monday, June 9, 2014

Two Months!


 At 2 months old, Hudson weighs 13.2 lbs!  He loves to smile & adores ceiling fans.  He will stare at one until some kind soul will turn it on for him.  He's not quite laughing yet, but is getting close.  He holds his head great & even stands on his own-so long as someone is holding his hands.  Not much bothers him, unless of course he is strapped in his car seat & you're not going fast.  Apparently boys are born with a need for speed... He is sleeping an average of 7 hours at night.  Hudson is such a joy!  We're often told how "lucky" we are.  We consider ourselves blessed.  God has truly given us double for our trouble in Hudson.

Hudson was not a huge fan of having to get shots at his 2 month checkup.  If the truth be told, his mom was near break down, too.  So hard to see him upset!


Thankfully, he quickly got over it.


We thank God for a healthy, happy, & growing boy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

This Mother's Day has been unlike any other.  Honestly, the last five have been awful.  They were painful reminders of what I once had(but lost too soon), what I yearned for in the present, and what I was beginning to doubt I would ever have in the future.  But this Mother's Day?  This year was much, much different.  It represented answered prayers, unspeakable joy, renewed hope, tears of longing for my son in heaven, and tears of gratitude for the son in my arms.

One day, I will share the story of our fertility struggles.  I've gone to write the post many times, but haven't had the courage to hit "publish".  But, for anyone reading this that is currently battling (and it is a battle...in every sense of the word) infertility, know that you are not alone.  Know that God will grant you your heart's desire.  Know that what is impossible with man, IS possible with God!  And don't let anyone tell you any different.

This Mother's Day, my dreams came true.  I held my own flesh and blood in my arms.  He is alive.  He is healthy.  And, he's completely adored.  All of that I owe to Jesus.  Thank You, Lord for this perfect gift!

Hudson is not a morning person.  He comes by that naturally.

I am so grateful to have had the last 7 weeks home with my boy:




Monday, April 21, 2014

Hudson Newborn Pics

A very special thank you to Julie Plain Photography for these priceless pictures of our miracle baby!











Friday, April 18, 2014

3 Weeks Old!

Hudson's first week in pictures!  
There's nothing more attractive than seeing your husband dote on his look alike son!

 Hudson has tons of hair!  We try out many different styles...



4 days old.  We brought daddy donuts to work this day.

We've been able to catch a few smiles on camera.



Week 2





Week 3




We waited til now to introduce the pacifier.  He wasn't too interested at first, but is starting to get the hang of it.


He's 3 weeks old already.  It's amazing how fast time is going!  We can't even remember what life was like without him.  From the very beginning he has been a great eater and sleeper(We're so thankful!).  I find it hard to get anything done around the house, but that's mostly because I don't want to put him down. :)  We are so in love!

Monday, March 31, 2014

He's Here!

Born on Thursday, March 27, 2014!  Hudson Matthew weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces, and born after a 4.5 hour labor...start to finish. He's a true gift from God!