Life’s Blimp View

The other day I decided to look at Reagan’s adoption video…with her birthday coming up, I think I was getting sentimental about the day she was born and wanted to relive those first few moments. I was shocked that in just a year, almost 20,000 people have viewed it.

Before the adoption video, I did the infertility video…and in two years, almost 12,000 people have viewed that. I have no idea what made me start sharing things so personal in my life.  It’s not for the “view count” I really think I just needed a way to express how I was feeling, the videos are an outpouring of my heart and from tears shed to show that life is hard…there’s real struggles people face and I know I’m not the only one. You can feel alone in infertility…you can feel alone when dealing with something that most people don’t have to. One way to not feel alone, is to talk about it, the videos for me helped to open conversations not just for me, but for others who are dealing with tough stuff.

If I were to look back at that first infertility video…and how I made it one afternoon just sitting in a puddle of my own tears, wondering when my time was supposed to come, there’s no way that back then I could even fathom making a video for my one year old to celebrate her first year.

What has unfolded in our lives, has always been the plan God had in store, but I didn’t know…and how could I? God is the only one who has the blimp view of life and can see the beginning, the middle and the end of the parade. And he knew, that we needed to go through painful years of infertility to have what it takes to care for Reagan. And if I watch all three videos in a row, I get that blimp view except I’m looking back at the start of parade vs. God who can also look forward. And looking back I can say God is good. But not only that…I need to have faith that says, “look forward and know that God is good.”

As I look back on this past year, I am looking back with huge smiles and tears of joy, truth be told, I was scared to death for what the year would hold. I was holding my breath and on the edge of my seat. I feel like this video for Reagan’s first year is a sigh of relief. And I hope we go through many years with her where we can look back with a big smile, such pride and unbelief at how amazing she is. This is her story…we’re just watching it unfold.

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.

A thousand years…

I created this video because I love this song and would always think…I feel like I’ve loved this child to be for a thousand years.  As I started writing the words in the video…it made me realize that the love Rob and I have for each other also feels like we’ve loved each other for a thousand years.  And God…well, he has loved us since the beginning of time.

Real love is loving the other person through their mess and imperfection.  That’s why Jesus was such an amazing example for what true love is.  Even while people were hating him, he died for them.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video.

Two and a half years ago

Two and a half years ago I thought being pregnant was the only thing that mattered. I was consumed by it. It also didn’t help that I watched over 50 COUPLES get pregnant and announce it on Facebook…but who’s counting. I ask myself how come 100 people were able to become parents, but not us?

Let’s back up though. How did we get to two and a half years later? Well, in Jan/Feb 2009, Rob and I thought it would be a good time to start our family. After 6 months, of negative pregnancy tests, I thought something might be wrong. We decided that if after a year of trying, we hadn’t conceived, we would go to a fertility clinic.

Cue February 2010 and our first visit to a local fertility clinic. We had a myriad of invasive tests and questions we had to face. Six months of appointments, drugs, the last month which included an injection in my tummy…we still got a big fat negative.

The cost of treatment was getting to be too much, not to mention the emotional, physical and mental drain on your body. Infertility can be used by Satan as a foothold to get between you and your spouse. Rob and I have been completely open about this with one another and our close friends. When you’re both striving for something whole heartedly and it doesn’t happen you can get disillusioned and it causes you to have some serious introspection. “Why doesn’t God want to bless me in this way? How come all our friends are pregnant? Why do I feel like no one cares?”

If you’ve never had to go through something like this, it’s hard to really understand how it feels. Resolve, the National Infertility Association, compares the struggle of infertility to that of a cancer patient. You deal with the loss of self esteem, loss of security, loss of control, loss of anticipation–after so many negative results you just start losing hope. The biggest that goes unnoticed to “outsiders” is the loss of someone. Every month that is not a success, its like mourning a death…and then you have the loss of health/body image because you weren’t able to produce a life. All of these emotions can wreak havoc on a relationship. And I believe–I truly believe, Satan loves to use this struggle to come between husband and wife. You feel inadequate and the quiet whispers of “God must be punishing you…you’re not a real man or woman…your name won’t live on,” well, that can bring you down quite a bit.

So at the kitchen counter in July 2010, we looked at the monetary costs of another round of treatment…$2,000. (Did I mention insurance covers zero)? We discussed our emotions and we affirmed that NOTHING was more important than our relationship with each other and with God. And that this struggle was getting a foothold in our lives and that needed to stop. I cried all weekend, but I knew it was the right decision. So from July 2010 to September 2011 we didn’t do any fertility treatments. I had some acupuncture and did yoga for stress relief, but we put our biggest desire on hold for more than a year as we tried to sort though what God was trying to teach us.