Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Beginnings in the Blogger World!

For days I have been trying to decide how to introduce myself to you and the big wide world out there. Thankfully I have had some time to think about it given the complications (or perhaps my lack of IT skills) of how to create my blog and then make it look cute. There are so many adorable ones out there with all the bells and whistles, Jeez... I need help. I will get there. I figure out something new in the world of blogs everyday.

I am Katie. I am 30 something. I tend to read like an open book. I am outgoing, honest, and faithful. I work in a local school system with troubled youth. I LOVE my job and the kids I work with. As you will learn as we get to know one another, I have a passion for at-risk children. I love Vanderbilt sports and I always root for the underdog. I grew up in a Catholic family. I attended Catholic school all my life, as did my husband. I try everyday to remind myself that I am not in control, to trust in God, even when I don’t want to, even when it is hard and uncomfortable. I believe with all of my heart that his plan is better than mine, although there are many days I need constant reminders of that. I have been married to my husband Seth for 5 years. He is my soul mate and best friend. If he wasn't, there is no way we would have been able to stay together and stay in love given the incredible hardships we have been through in our short 5 years together. There is no doubt about it, infertility is HARD on a marriage. Seth is giving and kind. He is patient and loves me for who I am. If I never have anything more in my life, I have him, my babies and an awesome support system built of family and friends, and for that, I am forever blessed.

I have had a private blog for many years. It was private for several reasons, reasons that I will explain later in further posts. My blog has been about our journey to our children thus far. Our sails have shifted a bit now and we feel as though we can now help others with the wealth of knowledge we have due to our experiences in almost all arenas of adoption. I feel called to help others, as I would have given anything to know or be able to talk with someone who has our kind of experience. I will start at the beginning of our family building, 5 years ago.

In May 2004 Seth and I married in Las Vegas, NV. Neither of us wanted a big, fancy wedding. Something different, intimate and FUN was more like us. So we planned a small wedding and celebrated with about 50 family members and friends that had come out to join us. It was perfect.

We were both ready to start a family when we got married. We had been to college, enjoyed many crazy single years and it was time to add to our lives with babies. We started trying to conceive almost immediately. At first it was fun and the anticipation was exciting, but when month after month of not getting pregnant turned into almost a year, the fun was all but gone, and the excitement turned into frustration and concern.

After a year of trying to conceive we made an appointment with my OBGYN who recommended a mild medication to ensure I was ovulating along with other popular techniques such as monitoring my temperature. I read every book I could find. I talked to anyone who knew anything about becoming pregnant. I searched the Internet on how to make our chances even higher, and I prayed and I prayed. I pleaded with God, "please God please, just let us have a baby."

Eventually we wound up at the local fertility clinic. We had test after test (I even had laproscopic surgery) only to find that we were both absolutely perfect. I will never forget the confusion on the doctors face when he said to us, "there is no medical reason that you shouldn't have had several kids by now." This was a relief, but also another frustration. How can we "fix" it if nothing is wrong? Nevertheless, in the spring of 2006 we had begun down the invasive and desperate, medical intervention path.

That road was brutal. Oh was it brutal... but not half as brutal as the road ahead of us that we were unknowingly yet to endure.

I was getting hormone shots (even though I was ovulating on my own just fine). This resulted in numerous eggs that were potentially to be fertilized. In fact, in the final, and last month of this trek I got a phone call from the fertility center. I had just been there that afternoon getting the normal ultrasound and tests run to make sure everything was a go for the scheduled insemination the next morning. There was a female voice on the other end of the line. "Katie, we just got your results back. You have 23 mature eggs this month. We really highly recommend you not be inseminated tomorrow. You will almost positively become pregnant with multiples...many multiples."

Are you kidding? Why would I sit on the bench? It was game time. I was EXCITED. I was ready. I called Seth with the good news. I just knew this was it. Not only would we have a baby but we could have several babies and I would never have to go through this again and our family would be complete. I wanted a big family anyway.

Ok, before you judge us or tell us how selfish we are for carrying on with the IUI I would encourage you to walk in our shoes. You will NEVER understand infertility unless you have experienced it yourself. You will never know the hurt, the longing, the absolute desperation, not to mention the physical exhaustion and invasion on what should be a very private, intimate experience that it all brings. After years of trying to become pregnant to tell me that I will "almost positively become pregnant with several babies" was music to my ears.

So I guess you can guess, we did the IUI and we didn't get pregnant. Even with 23 mature eggs, perfect sperm and all the odds on our side, this was not God's will. It was our will, but not God's. At the time I was angry. I was angry at life, angry that all my friends were suddenly coming out of the wood works pregnant, angry that I worked with KIDS who were getting pregnant by mistake...but without a doubt I was mostly angry with God. All my prayers, all my pleads, and all the deals I had made with him I felt were wasted, and unheard. I kept my end, and he wasn't keeping his, and I was PISSED! And I let him know exactly how I felt!

Of course in retrospect I realize this was good for me and my relationship with God. I think it's OK to be mad at God sometimes. I get mad at all the people I truly love in my life sometimes. This doesn't mean I don't love them. This means I have a true relationship with them. This means I trust them and I believe in them and when I am let down by them; sure, I get pissed!

The next few months were a blur. We were spent, literaly, we were spent! Our money was running out. My body, but mostly my soul was tired. Our marriage and faith were suffering. Literally, in almost all areas, we were spent!

The next step for us was IVF, a very invasive and very expensive fertility treatment. We had some soul searching to do. At this point we were not ready to waste more time, money or heart on something that simply just may not work. We needed some time to just think, reflect, pray and talk. We needed to begin heal from all the shattering disappointment. We needed to reconnect and work on us. So this is what we did.

We took a well deserved break on the conception front. We were starting to have fun as a couple again and our heads seem to be lifting from the fog. Once we were ready to face "it" all again, we started praying about it again. By now, for me, my prayers had changed. No longer was I begging for a baby and trying to make deals with God; rather I was asking him for clarification on HIS plan for us and our family. It's amazing how clear his plan came, not only to me but also to Seth. It's amazing to me that when we ready ourselves to listen and faithfully agree to follow him how things just begin to fall into place. That's not to say that's easy to do because it's NOT. It's hard. It's been some of the hardest times of my life, to give up that control (at least the control I stupidly thought I had) and follow.

At this time we decided to close the door of desperately trying to conceive, praying that God would open others. And he did just that.

Soooo much more to come. BUT, if you are needing a shoulder, advice or have questions about infertility and adoption.. PLEASE feel free to email me. I am not sure how all the comment stuff works out yet but, as I said, I am working on it. :)

"Feels like some kind of ride but it's turning out just to be life going absolutely perfectly."
-B. Andreas

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