Thursday, March 20, 2008

From the Beginning - Part One

We always knew we wanted children. It was never a question in our minds. The only things we ever "disagreed" on were the number of kids we wanted to have (Greg = 1 or 2. Me = 4-5) and the names we liked (Greg = Diedrich. Me = Daren).

Part of me always knew I would have trouble having children. I even told my mom that back when I was 17 or 18 years old. When child bearing was way off and there were no physical symptoms that would predict trouble conceiving, I still knew it. I also knew that I thought adoption was cool. I never really thought much about it. I didn't really think I'd ever do it, but if anyone would, I could picture someone like me doing it. That probably doesn't make much sense. I guess what I mean is, I loved the idea of adoption, but it was a foreign concept for our family. No one had really done it. It wasn't close to home.

Greg and I hadn't even been married a year, when his grandmother suddenly passed away. If it would've been up to me, I would have started trying to conceive when we first got married in June of 2001. Greg wanted to wait awhile. Get used to the idea of being a couple. Looking back, he was probably right. Little did we know that we'd have 5 1/2 years of "just us" time. After Greg's grandmother passed away, we had a discussion again about having children. We decided April 1 of 2002 we would start trying.

About a year of no success, we went to my doctor. He didn't give me a whole lot of information, but he did mention infertility. I went home and cried. Then, we went to my parents' house to talk with them and Greg's parents and I cried some more. I remember feeling like I was a failure as a woman. That I couldn't do what happened so naturally for other women. It was incredibly isolating.

Over the next year, we went through a series of uncomfortable, embarressing tests. Let me tell you that I was now comfortable saying words like fallopian tube, vagina, uterus, menstruation, cycle, etc... My poor family and friends. I felt after going to these doctors that nothing was sacred anymore! We found out that I have unexplained infertility - which as a diagnosis explains absolutely nothing.

We tried one round of artificial insemination. We also took the drugs for IVF. The doctor didn't get the dose quite right, so we missed an entire cycle - all those shots, and no eggs to "harvest". We went through a different doctor to try a second IVF cycle. This was a really weird experience for me. When you get to her office at 7:00 in the morning, you're trying to rush in before the other ladies to get the earliest sonogram & blooddraw spot in line. Then, you sit and wait your turn, all the while, these mother hens are sitting around talking about IVF like it's just another day in the life... I remember sitting there thinking, "God, don't ever let me be as flippant about this. Don't ever let this be an experience I just casually talk about!" When it was my turn, I'd go back behind the reception area and a nurse would draw my blood. I did this every other day for 2-3 weeks - driving an hour each way and each time, I had a different nurse. I didn't think much of it at the time, but looking back, I don't think my doctor was good to work for.

After the blood draw, I would go into a room with a sonogram machine and a small table and no room for anything else. An internal sonogram was done to see how my eggs were progressing. With this doctor, my eggs were maturing and getting ready for "harvest". On a Saturday night, at midnight, I had to receive an HCG injection to release my eggs for the harvest. Sunday afternoon, I went in to have them retrieved. I believe 3 days later, the embryos (3 of them) were inserted and we waited 2 weeks and prayed for the best. I remember the doctor asking me if I was sure I wanted all 3 to be transferred to my uterus. I definitely did. If we were going through all of this, I wanted to have a baby. If I got 3, wonderful!!

After 2 weeks, we found out that none of the embryos had taken and that I had been receiving intramuscular injections in vain. It was absolutely heart-wrenching. I thought for sure with the quality of our embryos, and my age, and the fact that my doctor thought I'd be a perfect candidate for IVF that at least one of them would've latched on. After all, I had already latched on to them.

After a failed IVF, we decided we needed some time to think. So we just stopped everything. No more treatments. My best friend and I prayed and prayed that Greg would consider adopting. Then, about 9 months later, our prayers were answered. We'd just finished watching some of our friends' children while they were away on business. Greg told me that he didn't see their skin color (they're Native American). That he just saw them and he missed them. He told me that he could adopt. He could see us doing that. I couldn't believe my ears. God answered my prayers and Greg brought it to me by himself. It wasn't from prodding from me. So, the road to adoption began...

That's all you get for now. Stay tuned for Part Two.

5 comments:

kimberly said...

Bri,

I am so glad that you are sharing this. I am looking forward to the rest.

Bri said...

Thanks Kimberly. I was a little hesitant to, but I finally worked up the courage.

The Mrs. said...

"After all, I had already latched on to them."

This right here brought me to tears. What a beautiful start to what we already know comes to a beautiful end in Gabe coming into your lives. I can't wait to read more!

Kelli said...

Great Blog! I love reading your posts! I found your blog through the Mrs. page.

Darci said...

God is faithful. At the anniversary of our miscarriages, I wanted to re-read some of these posts. You and Greg have been through a lot. Not that I was there for every shot or tear you had, but I remember the pain/excitement you had in anticipation of a possible child. And although it didn't come exactly like you thought, Gabe is here, and we are so thankful!