Trey and Rachel

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Trey and Rachel just had a baby. His name is Everett and I saw a picture of him on FB today. It made me so happy and giddy for them. You might be questioning whether I’m truly happy for them, given our infertility struggle…and let me tell you why my heart is overjoyed for this particular couple.

Rachel is one of the best friends I’ve ever had, if not THE best. During the last three years, Rachel has sought me out to talk with me, journey with me, cry with me, laugh with me and help me sort through things in my journey. We have had countless white mocha lattes at the Barnies which is a stones throw from each of our houses. We have cried in Barnies, laughed…gotten to know this super adorable Barista,and talked about everything going on in our lives. She watched me go through fertility treatments, and gave me shots monthly. Rachel is a nurse and I trusted her to stick a needle in me. We joked that she would be integral in helping me get pregnant. I cried when she had a miscarriage, and she cried with me every month I got a negative pregnancy test. One month, the drugs were affecting me so negatively that I couldn’t stop crying. She was so concerned that she drove over with makeup only on half her face and she cried with me. My pregnant friend, put her joy aside and got down in the dirt and muck and mire of my life and cried with me.

Rachel has journeyed with me.

I remember when her and Trey and Rob and I got together for yogurt one night by our house. They told us Rachel was pregnant and I was so happy for her. They told us immediately, as in the day after she took a test. I remember everything about that. They were gentle in bringing the news to us, because they knew. They had watched us ache and cry for our own baby. And I cried on the way home that night, but I felt blessed to journey with Rachel too.

Yesterday, Rachel and I were texting. I texted her this on my way to work.

Rachel Text 1

A few hours later Rachel let me know she might be in labor.

Rachel text 2

On my way home I actually stopped by Trey and Rachel’s house. She was having contractions and in pain, and Trey was getting things together. I will be forever grateful for this 15 minute glimpse into what it’s like to start the labor process. Because, it might be the closest I ever come to experiencing something like that. A few gems from being a fly on the wall in their house was Rachel calling Trey an idiot for something…we joked that he would have a lot more of that to look forward to when Rachel was giving birth. But my favorite thing that was said came from Trey:

Trey: “Rachel, I think if you just rest the contractions will go away”
Me: “I’m pretty sure that once the contractions are 4 minutes apart, it’s go time. I don’t think they’re going to stop.”
Trey: [shoulder shrug] says something to the effect of he is new at this whole thing
Rachel: [logging contractions on an iPhone app] “Trey was this app free?”
Trey: “no”
Rachel: “why did you pay for an app?”
Trey: “This is serious! We’re having a baby. I think we can pay for an app”
Rachel: “Yeah…ok” [chuckles…has another contraction]

Wow. I can’t believe I was a part of that. I left and told them I felt blessed to be a part of their journey…but this was a special time for them and I needed to bow out.

Rachel text 3

I loved every update. I loved waking up to a text from Rachel from 2:24 a.m.

Rachel text 4

I love this couple. And Rachel…she is the definition of friendship. Taking the time to be sensitive to an infertile friend and to journey with them, I imagine might be tough. It’s rocky. But Rachel has been a rock. She has always been there for me. So yes, I am genuinely thrilled for her and Trey…and I’m heading to the hospital as soon as I can!

Moving on

After three or so years to try and have a baby, we’ve decided to pursue adoption. We asked ourselves, “do we want to be parents, or just try to get pregnant.” The answer to us was clear…we want to be parents. Here’s how we came to that decision…

The doors to seeking fertility treatment just seemed to be closing. We did a total of 15 rounds with our fertility clinic. It started about two years ago with medications of letrizol at two different doses for several rounds as well as an ovidrel shot. After six or seven rounds of this, which included about 2-3 appts each month we decided to stop. We put our fertility treatment on hold for about 18 months, and then began again with a different doctor at the same clinic. We did clomid, 3 shots of follistim and ovidrel, and I also took a steroid every day during the duration of treatment b/c it was supposed to aid in getting pregnant based on their research. We did five IUI’s and I even had a surgery to widen my cervix. Even still, when all the tests looked good, when the follicles and sperm analysis were the best possible results, pregnancy never came about. A positive result was never seen. I realized that even if we did want to go through IVF, God would decide whether we became pregnant, not the doctors. So if it hasn’t happened up to this point, why do I think I could alter God’s plans through IVF. I want to say that ethically and morally we are ok with IVF within certain guidelines and would not judge someone for proceeding with IVF to build their family.

We discussed how proceeding with IVF might look like. You might have up to 60 shots in one month, you have a surgery to retrieve the eggs, and the raging emotions I felt while on a much more mild treatment path, made me not want to experience more intense mood swings, emotions, physical discomfort and cryfests. What fertility treatments do to your body should not be overlooked. Watching Guilianna Rancic’s struggle to get pregnant really hits home with me. And b/c IVF makes your hormones go crazy, you allow your health to be at risk, in her case, the drugs activated the cells in her body and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer runs in my family on both sides. It’s just not worth it to me to pursue IVF when the cons outweigh the pros. The pro is, you may get pregnant and can have a biological child (something people take for granted). The cons are added emotional, mental and physical stress, not to mention the financial cost, plus potential for constant disappointment, which I’d had enough of. I was done and wanted to move on.

Adoption is something you have to warm up to, in my opinion. You have to make a conscious decision to care for a child, not of you physically. But adoption is also a beautiful way to parenthood and something I believe you are called to. Adoption is not for everyone, but hopefully it is for us and we are chosen to parent beautiful children through it. We both want to be parents, and I’m excited, hopeful and optimistic about achieving that through adoption.