Friday, January 13, 2006

Our Journey - Part 1

The long and short of it… ok the long version on how we became parents – Part 1

So this is the whole story. My dh and I met 10 years before we married, we did not start dating until the year before we married though. My dh is 9 years older than I am so dating didn't even cross our minds when we met as I was only 14!! In 1994 we were finally married exactly 1 year after our first date. We were engaged only 2 months after we started dating. I was not ready to get married however I knew I had a keeper so I decided to forgo a season on the ski hill!

We did not plan on starting a family right away or really talk about it but we weren't taking any precautions if you know what I mean. Well the years came and went and still no pregnancy. We enjoyed many years of skiing and some traveling in North America. As time went by I began to worry as I felt in my heart that I would never get pregnant and would never have a family of my own. Depression started to set in and our marriage began to run into some issues.

SURGERY

In December of 2000 we found out that I had a mass in my abdomen, with a trip to a ob/gyn we found out that there was actually 2 masses and they were much larger than first expected. I was scheduled for surgery in Feb of 2001. It was a real turning point for our marriage, it got us on track and really got us started talking about having a family. Our problems were finally behind us and we were ready to take on the world!!

Well January came and the pain in my abdomen got worse, I couldn't even sit in a chair anymore. In retrospect I should have probably called my doctor back, but I waited patiently for my surgery. Feb came and it was time for my surgery… I was terrified as I had avoided the dr. all these years and now I had to go in for surgery. They figured it was a common problem of fibroids. They were hoping to remove them laprascopically (SP?) but before they even started they decided to go for a laparotmoy (sp?). The 'big' cut as I like to call it.

When I woke up I found out that things hadn't gone quite as planned and they needed to work on me for quite a while. The first thing they said was they were unable to save my right ovary, all I wanted was to see my husband, I was terrified, what did this mean as far as our chances to have a child. Unfortunately I am one of those people that wake up after surgery totally coherent (not to mention awake for 2 days after as well!). Eventually I was moved back up to the day surgery ward and I got to see my husband and tell him what was going on. At this point we didn't know how it was going to affect my fertility and I was really freaked out, I had to wait until the next day to talk to a doctor.

The next day I found out that they also removed two growths, one the size of a melon and one the size of an orange. I guess they had really grown since they first saw them on ultrasound in December. The smaller one was really weird so they had someone take a look at it right away and it was sent of for further testing. My dr. and the other surgeon said they had never seen anything like it before. I don’t imagine that can be a good thing??

Well after an unpleasant few days in the hospital my Dr. let me go home early. I didn't get the greatest nursing staff it was truly hell and I wasn't even being difficult. It all started just a couple hours after surgery the nurse didn't want to slide me over to the next bed she wanted me to get up and do it myself. I only had a catheter and a fresh 8 inch incision in my belly. I found out later that I wasn’t supposed to be out of bed so soon, I was lucky I didn't fall I was so weak. Anyway that is enough whining about that. I know that we all don't have good days so I am just hoping I ran into a bunch of nurses that were just having bad days. I must admit I would not want their jobs!!!

Well after being released it was back home to continue recovery and to move toward our goal of having a family.

Recovery

Time to recover, after 3 weeks had passed I was grateful that I had not heard back anything about the cyst that they sent away for testing. I think it was about the 4th week, my recovery slowed, I was having problems walking. I decided that I should phone the doctor. He was busy so the nurse called me back to talk to me, she figured it was just because they had been hitting nerves in my legs when I was getting injections after my surgery. No biggy it would heal soon. I thought I was done. That afternoon I got a call back from the dr., my husband has just arrived home (thank goodness). He said he had my test results in front of him and that I had an appointment at the Cancer Clinic for a consultation. I didn’t really get any good information; I was just scared to death!! It is a good thing I called though as I got my startup package from the cancer clinic in the mail the very next day. Can you imagine if I hadn’t have talked to him first… yikes.

Well anyway the appointment at the Cancer Clinic came and went. I had a form of ovarian cancer, lucky for me it was self contained so really I didn't have to worry at all. I never thought I would ever be told I had cancer and I never even thought that for a moment that I would ever hear anything back about my tests. It was quite a shock. But I was truly lucky that all that was required was to have ultrasounds every 6 months just to make sure everything was ok.

I remember some co-workers dismissed the fact that I had cancer because I didn’t have to have any treatments, just surgery. It really made me feel like I didn't have a right to be worried and scared. I know other people are much worse off but it truly was the most horrible thing that happened to me. It made it really difficult for me to deal with and put behind me. I did learn that I should never discount what a person is going through as to them it may be the most difficult time of their life, just cause it isn't the worst thing that you have ever been through doest make it an less painful for them. Little did I know things would get even rougher for my husband and I.

Trying again
Well it was time to start trying again, trying meant charting everything! Yipee! We had dr.'s permission to start trying again so off we went!!! Just 5 months after my surgery my dh was scheduled for major jaw surgery, anything to get rid of his headaches that would last for months on end. Of course it was considered cosmetic so we had a big bill to go with that one, he even had to pay for the surgery. They had to do a lot of work and it was quite disturbing to see his poor swollen head after surgery. Then I had to get used to his new look, that was strange, he didn’t look the same as our wedding pictures. He was out of the hospital in 4 days, only to have major issues and end up back again. He had an aneurysm in his main facial artery. I won't get into details; let's just put it this way I don't know how he was still standing after all the blood he lost. I had to call and ambulance, it was the longest 3 minutes of my life waiting for them to come. Well he finally healed up and was home again. We had to put our trying on hold for a lot longer than we had hoped while he healed up. It was a scary time for us and I am sure glad it is over. I am so glad that time of our lives was over.

Soon came my 6 month checkup, they found a growth and were worried about it, this lead to 3 month checkups for a year. Everything turned out fine; it was a major sigh of relief. And we are still in 2001.

In December of 01 I got to experience my first HSG. I was one of the lucky ones who got to experience excruciating pain, man was I glad that was over with quick! I had read that sometimes this 'clears the way' and some people get PG after. No such luck!

The next step fertility drugs

Well now for the fertility drugs…. Great! We started in January. (Oh ya still charting, I think I can tell you for about 3 years when we did the 'deed'… talk about sucking the fun out of it!! ()

Things were starting to get strained in our relationship again. My husband did not want to see me have to go through everything. He announced that he wanted to stop trying. I was totally devastated. I never thought I would ever forgive him for telling me this. After some long chats we were both on the same page again. But I think for the next year I kept thinking about that every month when I didn't become pregnant.

I was truly hopeful that the fertility drugs would work and was secretly hoping for twins, I thought that would be cool. I think a lot of us feel that way when we have to get a little help in the conception department.

Well the fertility drugs came and went and so did the months of hoping this time would work. The visits to the ob/gyn office came and went. These visits were so horrible, small office full of very pg women was not a good place for someone suffering through infertility.

I still can't believe that every month when we knew it didn't work again I would still be so upset. You would think after a while you would not expect anything different; hope can make life difficult at times.

More tests

Well more tests were required; a laparoscopy (lap) was scheduled for the spring of 2002. My husband also had to have the dreaded sperm analysis (S/A)… why do men hate that so much?? It seems just a little less invasive than the tests women have to go through… HSG anyone?? Anyway the S/A was fine the lap was fine, the dr. removed some scar tissue but nothing serious. So this leads us to the diagnosis of Unexplained Infertility. Great! (Note the sarcasm)

More fertility drugs on and off.. I was not happy. Just after my surgery it ended up that my Gal bladder started causing me trouble, in April they figured I should get it removed. I had enough of surgery for now so I procrastinated!! :(

Now the decision of IVF was right in front of us. I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to go down that road or not, I was still hoping it would just work the old fashion way.

Road Block

In Feb of 2003 I had finally decided that maybe we should follow the adoption route. We were looking at adopting an older child. I had printed out the paper work and brought it home to look at with my husband. We were going to look into it the next week. I suppose I will always remember this day. Friday, February 14th, 2003… yes Valentines Day. My husband came home sat in front of me and held my hands and said I have something to tell you. I thought he had a nice surprise for Valentines Day. He lost his job. No explanation, no warning, nothing. It ended up that he was fired so a buddy of two of the guys could have my husbands' job. We foolishly decided to pursue a wrongful dismissal law suite. Our legal system is to protect the guilty. The other side had no case yet still managed to drag out our legal costs for 2 years.

Anyway it cost us a lot of money and heartache and put a stop to our adoption plans.

My husband was working very quickly after as he is well respected in his field, no one could believe what had happened to him because of what kind of worker he was. The two gentlemen (if you can call them that) were escorted off the property a year later (yup fired), I think that felt better than settling our law suit!!

Anyway it cost us a lot of money so IVF was out of the picture for a while. My heart was broken but we were so preoccupied with other stuff that it was a distraction anyway.

On the path again – More decisions

Well the summer came and we knew the wait for IVF could be a long one so we decided to get our referral letter in by the fall. A couple of months later we got the call for our first consultation. At the end of November we had our consult and we had decided that in December of 2003 we would pay our registration fee and get put on the waiting list. I was full of so much hope. It had to work right? Oh ya and I got to have another lovely HSG, frick do I hate those things as I am sure anyone else who has had one feels too!

When December came there was a death in the family so we decided to wait until the new year to register with our IVF clinic. It was a hard decision as not everyone agrees with 'messing with mother nature'. This really bothered me, but it was our last hope.

Well January came (and yes I still was having Gal Bladder issues, a few dr's have told me that I have an extremely high pain tolerance, I think it’s just stupidity!! Ha ha) and we registered. Let the wait begin.

See Part 2 for the continuing story!

2 Comments:

At 2:32 PM, May 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 23 and have not had a period in over a year. Reading about your journey has given me strength and its comforting to know other people are dealing with similar issues.

 
At 8:02 AM, February 08, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi im now 45 and now the mother of 3 my son 23 and my 6 year old twin girls. when my son was 7 [concieved naturally ] it was an 11 year long haul with frtility drugs and i.v.f treatment two attempts and SIX THOUSAND POUNDS later i gave birth two my girls both healthy and much wanted they so far are happy and healthy and have had no health problems at all . i never gave up hope of having more children and am so gratefull fot the i.v.f team who looked after us from begging to end . its a very emotional prosses to go through and i had a lot of support now my family is complete i say to others be strong dont give up x

 

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