Warning.....very long post ahead!
Chris and I have no doubt been through our share of challenges in the time that we have been married. I think our toughest challenge besides dealing with the death of my dad was facing a pregnancy loss. We knew our journey to a child would be a little more challenging than most and we were ready for that. What we weren't ready for was a loss. I know no one is, but it is something that you can't prepare for and it's a hurt that I have never experienced, nor do I wish to ever experience again.
When we decided to start trying for a baby we enlisted the help of some really great doctors. We were ecstatic to find we got pregnant the first month we tried. How lucky were we? Our bliss was short lived and at almost 10 weeks we found out that the baby's heart had stopped. We were absolutely devastated, how do you even prepare for that kind of news. It hit us both to the core and very much changed our outlook on many things. After healing had taken place we decided to give it another shot and returned to our favorite specialist for assistance. We tried for 3 more months with medication, but no luck. At that point our doctor thought it was best to peruse the next step, an IUI. We were so hopeful that the IUI would work and when it didn't it was a huge reality check. We trusted our doctor and kept going. We finally got our positive test on our 3rd IUI- finally, it was our turn.
I never knew how emotional this journey would be. I would be lying if I said that I didn't get mad at the process. There were many times when I would say to Chris, 'Why can everyone else get pregnant so easily, but I can't?' It is easy to judge from the outside looking in- but in reality what I didn't know was everyone else's struggle. To me all I saw was pregnancy announcement after pregnancy announcement from everyone (lord knows everyone) and I just assumed that it happened for them so easily. But what if it didn't. My journey here has taught me that things are always very different than they appear from the outside. You never know the struggle people are facing. I appreciate the people that knew my journey and the ones that were extra sensitive towards Chris and I when it came to all things pregnancy. And to those that weren't sensitive, they have also taught me a great deal. They taught me to be a stronger person and to realize that some people just don't understand. They don't understand what you have been through and that is ok. Because of my journey I now know how to be sensitive to others that may be in similar situations. I have learned so much about myself over the last 2 years and it has definitely strengthened my relationship with Chris, I definitely wouldn't have been able to get through the rough times without his love and support.
Recently our journey got a little bit sweeter. On March 4th I took a test and got the positive that I had been so desperately hoping for. It is a day I will never forget. I woke up around 4am and had to use the bathroom and thought to myself why not test now? I remember taking a test and then jumping in the bed to wait a couple of minutes, telling myself, 'Don't be disappointed if it is negative. We will get through this, we always do.' I remember getting back up and not wanting to look at the results because I feared it would be a let down. So I glanced at the tests (yes multiple) and the first one was negative. I threw it away and picked up the second. On first glance I thought it was another negative and was about to toss it when I thought, maybe, just maybe that could be a second line. So I squinted my eyes and looked at it again eventually setting it down to go back to bed. I got back up a few minutes before Chris' alarm went off so that I could check out the test again, and sure enough there was a second line, it was faint but it was there! I then hid the test because I didn't want Chris to see it when he took a shower. I got back it bed and he got up for the morning. Obviously when you go through fertility treatments nothing is really a surprise. My entire family (Chris included) knew the day I was supposed to test. In an effort to have some kind of surprise I tested a day early. I knew I wanted to surprise Chris. So I waited until he got out of the shower and while we were talking I told him how I had been awake since 4 am. He asked me why I couldn't sleep and I told him it was because of this- and I handed him the pregnancy test. He knew immediately what this meant and we both had a good, happy cry that morning. I will never forget that moment. The flood of emotions was heavy, on one hand we were so excited that we finally were pregnant again, but on the other hand our minds wandered back to the events of last year. We knew that whatever was to happen was going to happen regardless of how much we worried.
We went and had blood work done twice to confirm the pregnancy. Since we were working with a specialist we had appointments early on- our first was at 5w3d. They confirmed that there definitely was a pregnancy, but it was still too early to see a baby or hear a heart beat.
(5w3d- yolk sack pictured)
We came back at 6w6d and heart the best sound there is, the heart beat of our sweet baby. The heart beat was right on target at 137 bpm. This appointment was bittersweet for us. This was our last appointment with our specialist- I was so happy to be 'graduating' to a regular doctor because that meant things were progressing positively, however, this is who helped me get pregnant. We had been working together for over a year. It was another emotional day for us but one that was also very exciting.
(6w6d- you can see a baby!)
I then got to go see my regular doctor just a couple of days later at 7w2d and much to my surprise got another ultrasound! We loved getting to hear the heart beat again!
At this point we felt good, but knew we would feel much better if we could make it past the 9-10 week mark. This would put us farther than we made it before. Over the next 3 weeks until we had our next appointment we tried to keep ourselves busy. We took a long weekend trip to new York, which was really fun, but hard to do at 8 weeks pregnant (ie the walking and all of the NY smells). :)
It was finally time for our next appointment. We opted in for the extended 1st trimester screening which included manyyyyy chromosomal tests as well as determining gender. That's right, we were going to find out gender early through a blood test. We went back to the doc at 10w4d. We were so nervous going into this appointment but came out feeling much more content. We got to hear the heart beat again and it was a strong 166 bpm
(10w4d- baby really looking like a baby now!)
We then had to wait an agonizing week and a half for results from the screening. We got the call on Friday May 2nd that our results were all normal and we also found out that we are having a precious little girl! We could not be more thankful than at this moment in our lives. We are still battling nerves about something going wrong but are learning to trust that things are ok. This is a hard thing, but each day that passes we let some of the anxiety go.
We are very much looking forward to our next appointment (at 15 1/2 weeks)- it cannot get here fast enough. We just keep looking to the future and cannot wait for the day that we can hold our precious girl in our arms, what a magical day that will be!
For all of our friends and family that prayed for us and helped us through our hard times, you will never know the appreciation we have for each and every one of you. It is because of you all that we are where we are today and we cant wait to continue to share this special journey with you!