...to having our little Baby Girl Pal.
Here she is the day she was born. July 25, 2013. Best day of our lives. We were able to breathe a sigh of relief. The baby we wished, hoped and prayed for was finally here.
But, how did we get here? Let me tell you.
Mr. Pal and I always knew we wanted to be parents. We wanted two. A boy and girl would be great. We had our kids names picked out right after we were married. We couldn't wait to be parents after we said, "I do." After some discussion, we decided to wait a year before we started to start trying. We wanted to enjoy being married before we had to add another label to each other besides just "wife" and "husband."
The year came upon us. We were a jumble of a bunch of nerves. This was it! In year we would be holding our little one! I figured it would take about three months to get all the birth control out of my system, then we'd be pregnant.
Three months went by. Then six months. After nine months I made a tearful phone call to my dad asking how long it took my parents to have me. (They were married six years before I was born). Apparently, it took them a pretty long time as well before they were able to get pregnant. I was devestated. I was heartbroken. I was so sick to my stomach. How come everyone around me had no problem having a baby? Why was it taking us so long? The length of time it took my parents wasn't comforting.
There wasn't anything we could do at this point except keep trying. So we did. And we did. And we did. Then, in December I was late. I was exhausted. I was forgetful. Are we finally lucky?? I remember the moment we found out we were pregnant so well. It was December 26th. We were both off from work because of a major snowstorm that hit our area. I remember taking the test and seeing that word I prayed for a year to see, "Pregnant!" I was so overjoyed! I remember crying when I told Mr. Pal the good news. He was beyond excited. Mr. Pal screamed out, "Yes! I'm gonna be a dad!" Then he proceeded to run outside in the snow and make snow angels.
Yup, there was the father of our future baby outside in a blizzard in nothing but a tshirt and sweatpants making snow angels. I couldn't love him anymore than I did in that moment.
We kept our pregnancy a secret from everyone. We wanted to do a big and fun announcement for our families. We made our doctor appointment and waited patiently to see our little baby.
I think doctors should learn to play Poker. They need to find a way to not have a "tell" when there's something wrong. Our doctor searched and searched, but all she could find was an empty sac. My body thought it was pregnant, but there was no baby. I can't put into words what I felt when I heard that information. I have erased it from memory because it was too painful to hold on to. We called our families to let them know the news. We wanted so bad to be sharing a joyful moment with everyone, but instead, we were sharing our misfortune.
I had a D&C and once we got the go ahead from the doctor we began to try again. Our moods had changed, our perspective was different. We prayed and hoped harder. We bought ovulation tests and loaded up on pregnancy tests. I've peed on more sticks than I could ever count.
After ten months we conceded that we could not have a baby on our own. We asked for help. We turned to science.
Science gave us back hope in our journey for a baby. There were a lot of tests, a lot of questions, a lot of poking and proding, a lot of examining.
We went through six IUI's. By the fourth round, we were ready to try IVF, but insurance required the 6 IUI's first. We were so excited when we went for our first IVF.
Well, I'm not sure excited is the best word to use. The idea of it was exciting. The day of the retrieval, I was so hormonal and miserable. The hormone drugs pumping through my body made me crazy and angry. I was mad at Mr. Pal for no reason. I remember him asking me to stop looking at him with such hatred. I remember snapping back at him that I wasn't. (Yes, my husband deserves a medal for dealing with Hormonal Mrs. Pal!)
After the retrieval though, the only one who could make me smile was Mr. Pal. He was all I wanted near me. It's amazing how a little anesthesia can change a person! haha
We put a lot of hope and trust in that first round of IVF. We both, as well as our families, believed that we would be holding our bundle of joy in nine months.
Well, that wasn't the case. It didn't work. IVF wasn't looking too great. More tests were run. More procedures were done. More rounds were completed. Still nothing.
By our third round, I was done. Physically and emotionally my body couldn't handle another round of IVF. I needed a break from shots. I needed a break from negative tests. I needed a break from seeing pregnant people.
The week of our third round Superstorm Sandy was headed straight for our area. The facility called up the day the storm was set to hit and asked if we could come in a day early for our transfer. They were worried they wouldn't have power on our scheduled day to do the procedure. Seriously??!! This round would never work. Mr. Pal was excited. I just wanted to get back home.
Superstorm Sandy came and went. There was devastation, power outages, loss of homes, and flooding. We took in family members after we regained our power. Our state slowly rebuilt itself and people began to pick up the pieces of their homes.
Two weeks after my third round of IVF I was driving back from the facility. I had just gotten bloodwork to measure my progesterone levels. They needed to check if my medication needed to be changed. The roads weren't in the best shape at this time, and on one particular road there was a huge branch that was hanging down blocking one side of the street. My side of the road stopped to let the other side go. The guy behind me didn't stop. I remember watching the gold truck get closer and closer to my car. There was no where for me to go. I had to just brace for the impact.
After the police came and information was traded, (there were no injuries, just a bad fender bender), I called the facility to let them know I was in an accident. They wanted me to come back for an evaluation. I didn't have any bruises or soreness. I was fine.
Actually, I was more than just fine. That afternoon the doctor called with news I never thought I would hear. They ran a pregnancy test and it came back positive. In fact, my numbers were pretty high, which was so promising. An ultrasound taken a week later revealed a beautiful heartbeat. A sight that still tugs at my heart when I reminisce.
Yes, our state was rebuilding itself after a major storm. And Mr. Pal and I were building our family after weathering our storm of infertility.