Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"I'm Pregnant!" - Our Special Story

Here is the story of our special baby journey, from the first steps of trying to conceive to where we are today, how we found out we're expecting and how I told Jose. This is a fairly long, in-depth story, but it has been a very special and valuable experience to us. Hope you enjoy reading our story!

We feel so blessed to be able to say that we are expecting! We started trying to conceive in the spring of 2006. As weeks and months, and then a couple years went by, we continued to pray for God's guidance and asked Him for patience and understanding as we continued to try.

About a year and a half after we started trying, we decided to seek doctor's help. My OB/GYN recommended that my husband get checked first, to avoid any unnecessary testing checking the woman. So, Jose's primary care doctor ordered some tests. The test revealed some possible issues considered to be a "male factor". Jose was referred to a urologist. A few months later we went to see this urologist. In a few words: the experience was horrible. We did not feel comfortable. The office staff was not nice at all. The doctor had us waiting in the exam room for 45 minutes with the door open while we watched him talk to his buddy on the phone about dinner plans and such before he saw Jose....and Jose was the last appt of the day and the only patient there! The urologist didn't sound like he knew what he was talking about. He did confirm that Jose had a sperm motility issue, but the sperm count was fine. BUT he said, "since you have a high sperm count, just keep trying and one is bound to make it eventually". But it doesn't take rocket science to know that if the "swimmers" aren't swimming or swimming in the right direction, it doesn't matter HOW MANY there are! In the end, we did not feel like God wanted us there. We decided to put doctors on hold for several more months and just kept trying on our own.

In the summer of 2008, my OB/GYN referred us to a fertility doctor (Dr. Fisch). Both my OB/GYN and Jose's primary care doctor said they wanted to have Jose get checked again with a fertility doctor and to check him before me since there are thousands of tests that can be done for a woman, which can be ruled out if something is diganosed with the male. More tests confirmed that Jose had a motility issue, which, agian, simply means that the "swimmers" were not reaching their destination (the egg). Jose's sperm count was great. So, the swimmers all show up, but didn't know where to go or how to get there. :o) Dr. Fisch said we are not necessarily a good candidate for IVF (Invetro Fertilization) since Jose's count is good and it was so early in the process. Dr. recommended IUI. IUI is the medical term for artificial insemination, where they simply inject the "swimmers" closer to their final destination (the egg). This gives them a better chance for fertilization because they do not have as far to swim. It is a fairly simple procedure and we did not see any ethical issues or controversy with this procedure. We decided to give it a try. The doctor warned us that it doesn't always happen on the first try.

On August 13, 2008 we had our first try of IUI. Dr. Fisch said to contact him in two weeks if I didn't start my menstural cycle. Exactly two weeks later, on a Wednesday - nothing, but I decided to wait another day before calling the Doc. I didn't want to jump the gun. Thursday - nothing. Still wanted to wait another day. I still didn't want to get to excited. Jose didn't know that this was ''the time" to be watching for my cycle and calling the doctor. He just knew the doctor said "....a couple weeks later..." and wasn't keeping track of dates or time frame (like most guys). Friday - nothing. Around 10am that morning I thought about the fact that I didn't want to go the long labor day weekend wondering. I called the Dr.'s office and told them I still hadn't started my period. They asked, "weren't you supposed to call us Wednesday?". ;o) They ordered blood work and marked it STAT. By 3pm that day the results were in. Jose had no idea about this. I told him I was going to Quest Diagnostic to get my thyroid checked, which is routine for me anyway. 3pm comes around and the nurse calls me at home and says "You're pregnant!" I was in shock and asked "what?!?!" several times. I asked her if she was sure and she said my hormone levels were sky high and I was definitely pregnant! I frantically started wondering what I was going to do for the next 4 HOURS!?!?! Jose didn't get off work until 7:00 and I could NOT tell anyone before telling my husband. I asked the nurse if a home pregnancy test would show up positive and she said "absolutely!". I continued to ask her random questions, like "what should I do for the next 4 hours?!?!", "how am I going to tell my husband?!?!", "where do I go?!?!". I wasn't really looking for answers, I was freaking out and talked a million miles a minute. She was laughing and said I should take him to dinner or something and tell him then. "Yeah, yeah, that's a good idea!". After hanging up the phone, I ran around the house screaming with joy for a very long time. I think I told my cat I was pregnant 50 times. I ignored ALL phone calls because I did not want to slip and tell anyone. I could not believe it!!! I was shocked and so excited! I called Jose (keeping the conversation as quick as possible) and said I wanted to go to dinner to celebrate our anniversary (which was a week ago). He tried convince me that Saturday was better because he was working 11 hours that day. I had to make up something to get him to join me for dinner TONIGHT....I told him that I had a 2 for 1 coupon that expired TONIGHT! So, although he was exhausted, he was delighted to have dinner with me.

We went to a place called Kennedy, which is where we tradionally go for Valentine's Day. I had purchased a home pregnancy test and two cards. One card was an anniversary card and the other card was a congratulations card that played the song, "I Could Not Ask For More"/These are the Moments by Edwin McCain, and I taped the positive pregnancy test in the card. After giving Jose the anniversary card, I took out the other card and said, "I actually got you two cards because I also really liked this card and I couldn't decide which to get." (this is definitely something I would do). He opened the card and did not look up for the longest time. I could see his eyes quickly reading and frantically looking for confirmation to the words that popped out like, "father", "baby", "congratulations"..... Once he realized what this card was really saying and he saw the pregnancy test, which read "+", a million tears must have run down his cheeks. He was crying so much. He finally looked up at me and kept asking, "really???", "are you sure????", "how, how do you know???" An amazing meal was served soon after our special moment. We hardly touched our food because we had so much anxiety. Our stomachs were full of butterflies and excitment.

I soon read a text from my brother telling me that he got 2 show tickets to Beattles Love and he was thinking of taking mom. My brother and mom have already seen Love. I ran outside to call him and asked him if he would consider letting Jose and I go since it was our anniversary night. He was a little reluctant, especially because he didn't know the real reason why this night was so special, but he said yes anyway. Jose and I got our food to go and quickly went to my parent's house.

It worked out nice that both of my parents and Jon were home. I told my mom that I had a late birthday gift for her. We were all in the kitchen and my mom opened her birthday gift, which was a onesie that said "What Happens at Grandma's Stays at Grandmas". It took my mom a long minute to comprehend why she was receiving a gift like this. She just starred at it. Finally, Jose says "we're pregnant!". Wow! How my parents and Jon yelled and jumped for joy! We were all so excited and nobody could stop laughing and smiling! It was such a special moment.

Jose immediately called his parents. I got on the phone with his mom and told her that I was pregnant in spanish. She screamed and was, of course, just as excited as all of us! Too bad they don't live here anymore because it would have been nice to tell them in person.

That night Jose and I enjoyed seeing the show, Love, at the Mirage. We were on Cloud 9! That was an amazing evening! Nothing could have made this night more perfect or special. God is good.


This journey of ours was a JOURNEY. It wasn't easy. Time passed by very slow as we tried and tried and tried. Taking pregnancy test after pregnancy test with no positive results was so discouraging. We continued to lean into God's strength to pull us through and help us hold our heads up high. Our faith was continually tested. We prayed that God would help our hearts possibly accept the fact that we may never have children of our own. We wondered what we did to deserve this. We asked God to help us not be angry with Him. It seemed so unfair at times. More people than we have ever seen were expecting while we were still trying. We did pretty good at not putting too much pressure or emphasis on the "trying" part of it. We tried to keep the attitude of "if and when it happens, it happens..." and continued on with our lives. That helped us a lot. I know that is was especially hard for Jose because he felt that he could not provide his wife with a child since the problem was said to be a "male factor". He would often say how responsible he felt and guilt would just pull him down. He said he felt like a horrible husband because he couldn't provide me with what we both wanted so bad. He asked several times if I regretted marrying him because he could not give me a child. This BROKE MY HEART! I did not want to see Jose feel this way. I prayed for him to not feel bad or that it was his fault. I prayed WITH him for God to heal his heart of feeling this way. He prayed continually for God's grace and healing. Through lots of prayer and communication with God, we were able to reach a mild point of understanding and somewhat stability after about 2 years. We felt God holding us and comforting us. We understood that there may be a chance we will not have kids and that was OKAY. Jose realized, with his heart, that his wife was NOT with him to have kids.....she was married to him because she loved HIM and were meant to be together - kids or no kids. We were in this TOGETHER, nomatter what. We felt God saying that the most important thing was that we needed to have FAITH and TRUST GOD, nomatter what that meant....whether we conceived or not. FAITH THAT IS NOT TESTED, IS NOT FAITH AT ALL. Jose and I felt that whatever God had planned for us as a family... is what it would be.