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So...I guess I have some explaining to do. I might as well start from the beginning. I will warn you this post may be somewhat long, so skip ahead to the giveaway at the end if you want to. = ) I won't go too much into details, but if you have any questions at all or have been debating on undergoing IVF, feel free to leave me a comment with your email address below, or you can email me at email@example.com. I would be happy to help you with any questions you might have.
Shane and I have been trying to have a baby for 7 years. We didn't tell anyone. It seemed personal, and also we thought it would just happen, so we waited and waited. Somewhere along the way we realized that there were some issues, and we wouldn't be able to have a baby. We just recently over the last 4 or 5 months even told family we had been trying. We told maybe one or two friends also, but mainly we didn't really tell people. It was just too emotional and stressful. It hurt too much. As a matter of fact, I have not even been to a baby shower in the last few years because I just couldn't stand to. The only reason we even broke down and told a few people was because we could not handle the pain of having people constantly ask us when were having children. Shane just turned 31, and I'm 30, so of course our friends and family have been asking us like crazy, and I could only just shrug it off for so many years. We've been married for 7 years, and we have been together for 10 years. A lot of my friends have children who are around 5-12, so to them I'm sure they thought we were probably really behind lol. We honestly didn't want to have children too young, but mid-20s seemed good to us. Of course we know that it is God's timing, not ours. Shane and I liked to joke that their kids would be able to babysit ours (or maybe even drive them around) one day lol. We tried to stay positive and just kind of joke about it, but eventually it's just too much to deal with. I have always been very positive, and I don't really get stressed, but I could really see it start to take its toll on me over the past year. I even got to where I also started resenting friends who would complain they had been trying for a few months but weren't having any luck. I didn't mean to get upset, but I just kept thinking, you already have a healthy child; be happy for what you have! And a few months of trying does not mean there is a infertility issue; that is normal. 7 years is not. I know I shouldn't have felt this way, believe me, but sadly I did start to. I'm embarassed I did, but it was a strange kind of feeling that I wasn't use to, and we didn't know how else to deal with it. I could easily have left this part out of my post, but I want to make sure you get the entire story. Even though the way I was feeling was wrong, it happened, and I'm finally ready to share it.
We kept praying for an answer, and this past December we felt like things were lining up and were pushing us to at least go to a fertility doctor and see what they had to say. We didn't actually expect to do IVF yet though, but we thought we would at least get some information on it. It was hard, because it meant we had to admit there was a problem, and it was scary. And it was expensive - $15,000 expensive, but I can tell you it was the best thing we've ever done. I don't normally like to share personal details, and that includes talking about money, but I want to share everything in case someone else has been debating on going through this. I use to think I was the only one going through this, but it turns out there are much more people than I ever thought, even people I know and friends of mine. A month later they had me taking all of the initial tests that you do to see if they could find out what the problem was. Shane had to go through the analysis tests also. I had to take an HSG, which many people say is extremely painful. I have heard it is different for different people, but I want to tell you I did not feel a thing. My previous doctor told me it was normal to try to have kids for 7 years and would not let me take the HSG. She said it was too painful and was a last resort. Maybe it's just me, but after 7 years, I think we were well past a last resort! So if you are heading in the direction of going to a fertility doctor, I completely recommend it if that is your only option. One month after that, they started medications and then injections. I had to give myself 2 shots a day in my stomach for a week and a half at the exact same time each morning and night. The last day, I had to give myself another shot in my hip. None of them were as bad as you think. Luckily most all of my family is in the medical field, so I literally grew up in hospitals and have never been scared of needles, blood or any of that stuff. 2 days later, I had to have surgery for the retrieval - put to sleep and everything. It sounds scary, but I don't remember a thing. The surgery was to go in and remove all of my eggs. They got 20 eggs, and then inserted Shane's sperm into them. The embryos then grew each day. Some don't fertilize, and some don't mature. By the next day, I had only 11. The next day, I had 7, but only 2 of them were good. The doctor called us and was extremely worried. They actually called twice that day to make sure they fully relayed the amount of concern they felt that something was seriously wrong, and IVF may not work. They immediately scheduled to do the transfer the next day because they were scared that more embryos would stop growing and wouldn't make it. The next morning I went in for the transfer. They transfered 2 emboroys. We had a 35% chance of IVF working, and with that percentage of people that it works, there is a 33% chance of twins. I was awake the entire time during the implantation. You have to go in with a full bladder, and the only thing I could feel during the process was how badly I had to use the restroom. After the transfer, you can't go use the restroom yet because they incline you and make you stay there in recovery for 30 minutes. After that, they sent me home and told me not to do any activity for 3 days. They said I need to prop my legs up and try not to even get up much. They said I couldn't even do the dishes. I am a busy body, so it was definitely tough, but Shane was a great cook and nurse that weekend. = )
My next appointment was 2 weeks later when they would do bloodwork to see if I was pregnant, but I knew that there was a strong possibility I would be able to find out the results using a test at home 7 days after the transfer, so on Valentine's morning, Shane and I found out that we would finally be parents. I cried. It was so strange. We had spent so many years trying, but never actually imagined it happening. It was a surreal feeling. After that, I had to go 3 days a week for a couple weeks for more bloodwork to make sure everything was going great. 1 week later, we had our first ultrasound at 5 weeks, and we have since had one every single week. We were able to hear the heartbeat at 5 weeks for our ultrasound, and it was absolutely crazy to experience. There was another scare then when the heartrate was a little low, so our doctor has us come back a few days later for another. We have had 6 ultrasounds now, and at 9 weeks we had a genetics test to make sure everything was okay with the baby. Many IVF doctors do genetics testing, and ours was no exception. With this test, it also tells you the sex, so we have known for a couple weeks now that we are having a girl. I am now 12 weeks pregnant today, and it has been a crazy, long yet fast journey, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. We are so, so lucky it worked the first time since we wouldn't have been able to afford to try it again. We even have 4 more eggs frozen for the future to try to have another one one day. We are so blessed and so grateful for this experience and can't wait to experience something else new each day during this journey. Thank you all so much for reading. I appreciate each and every one of you and am so excited to share this exciting journey with you all. = )
Now let's keep the good news coming! To celebrate mine and Shane's exciting news, I have teamed up with some amazing people and companies this week to host a giveaway each day this week. To start it off, my sweet blogger friend Elena is giving away 2 custom illustrations - one for 2 different winners! This is the second illustration Elena has done for me over the last year. She is so talented, and she also has the biggest heart. Elena just recently drew the above illustration of me from this post.
I also want to share this gorgeous new project that Elena has been working on. She is now creating wedding guest books. They have 3D butterflies on them, and they can even be used for housewarming parties, birthday parties and baby showers. Elena is also offering all my readers 20% off their very own custom illustration from her Etsy shop by entering GIVEAWAY at checkout. To enter just use the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!!