Finally, last July, after another quick conversation with my gynecologist, she suggested trying Clomid. I was apprehensive, naturally, but after a few weeks of thinking, and talking with my husband, I decided to give it a shot. And so started the charting of ovulation, periods, cycle days, and figuring out when to "baby dance". Even being 38 years old, I never really understood how the female reproductive system works when trying to concieve a child. I charted like it was MY JOB. I marked everything down. I followed it to a science. And I guess I did pretty well.
I took Clomid for 3 months: August, September and November. (I skipped October)
for reasons that even I don't know. Maybe I was starting to get discouraged or reluctant.Even though I skipped October's round of Clomid, I attended a St. Gerard mass with my sister and my niece. If you don't know about St. Gerard, he is the patron saint for Motherhood and I have heard so many testimonials either in person, or on the internet, of women who have called upon the intercessions of St. Gerard. I was sure, at that mass, that something miraculous was happening. I really did. It was full of emotion and HOPE. My sister and I both cried. In addition to the general prayer that was said for all of those attending, we were also able to have our own personal prayer and blessing given to us, individually, by one of the attending priests. I honestly know that we walked away with such a feeling of just knowing that it was going to happen.
Then, on December 13th, not really thinking about it too hard, I took a pregnancy test. This wasn't unusual for me, because I was taking them a lot during those 3 months of Clomid. But since I was so used to getting NEGATIVES, it floored me when I saw 2 lines show up! I remember dipping it in the cup of urine, leaving it to sit and figuring I'd go back in a few minutes. I wasn't expecting to see a positive result when I went back to look at it. It was so usual for me to do this; it had become a way of life. I just remember seeing those 2 lines and GASPING out loud "OH MY GOD!"... It was too good to be true. So, I took another one, using another test strip that I had bought in bulk. Positive!
I ran out to tell my husband, who at first thought that I meant I'd gotten a positive on the ovulation stick. He was used to me telling him that I had, and then rushing off to "do it", so he assumed this was one of those times. Then I told him it was a PREGNANCY test. We cried, we hugged, we laughed. I even had a brief sob, thinking about how my mom wasn't here to experience this with me. She'd be soo happy. I know she was there with me though. Then Jeff ushered me off to the store to get a "real test". He didn't trust the strips I'd bought on Amazon. He needed to see something that he was sure was legitimate.
Talk about being over the moon. At that moment, it seemed as if my world had changed and only for the better. It felt like there was nothing anyone could say or do to ruin my day or the way I was feeling. After trying for so many years and being so disappointed & discouraged, it was amazing and miraculous, all at once. I did go to the doctor on 12/22 after having some bleeding, but she assured me everything was ok and even 'saw' the sac on the ultrasound. That was my green light.
We knew we couldn't keep it a secret from everyone, until Christmas, so we told his parents and my sister. That was it. We used the next few weeks to bask in the joy that we were already experiencing and that we knew was to come. We also planned out how we'd tell our families. My dad and stepmom host Christmas breakfast each year, with just my siblings, and our spouses. So I wrapped up a "gift" that my dad and stepmom had to open together. It was a cartoon-ish picture of a baby holding a sign, announcing a baby in 2015. The reaction that morning was MORE than I could have ever anticipated. The tears, the joy, the emotions! I had my sister (who already knew), record it on my iPhone. I watch it sometimes just to smile. But it always makes me cry, no matter what. Jeff and I went to his parents' house for Christmas dinner and his mom made an announcement, by calling everyone out to the kitchen. It was so awesome .. I think, mostly, everyone was shocked at first.. but equally as happy for us.
I never thought that joy would be so short lived and I can't say that it was entirely. I still have that happiness of it all happening. I still have the memories of it, from December 13th on. I can't ever say that particular period was a sad one in my life. It was just AMAZING and beautiful.
BUT, the days that followed? Not so much.
It was later decided that my pregnancy was ectopic. This diagnosis came after 6 ultrasounds (both abdominal and transvaginal) indicated that there was no gestational sac. The doctor realized that it had to be in my tube, because my HCG levels were rising as they should have been, but without seeing the baby on the ultrasound, it could only be an ectopic pregnancy. So, on December 30th, after a ton of STAT blood work, I was sent to the ER for a shot of Methotrexate. Never even heard of the drug before that day. Methotrexate stops the growth of rapidly dividing cells, such as embryonic, fetal, and early placenta cells. (Web MD). So, in layman's terms, it was supposed to stop the baby from growing. But it didn't. A couple of weeks later, on January 15th, I finally had enough pain, pale skin, and just feeling awful, to go to the hospital. Once I got there, it was discovered that I'd been bleeding internally and needed a blood transfusion. Two to be exact. Then 2 more in surgery. My left tube had ruptured, somewhere in the days before I actually went to the hospital. (guess the little one got comfy and continued to grow). I went into emergency surgery that night. They couldn't do laparoscopy as once thought, because the situation was too bad when they got a look inside. My tube, when it ruptured, had adhered to my bowel. The general surgeon was called in to help my doctor with the surgery, at that point. She was afraid she'd tear my bowel or worse. After the first surgery was over and I was sent to recovery, I started hemorrhaging. So they had to get my husband's consent to take me back in and open me back up. The bleed, ended up being residual, as far as they could tell. But it was a frightening experience.... for them and for my husband and sister who were patiently waiting in the family area, when the doctor came out with the news and the consent form. I can't imagine being on the receiving end of that experience. Yes, I was the patient but I was worried about THEM. I was coherent enough after they put me in recovery to know and hear that something was wrong. I don't even remember being wheeled back in.
I spent the next 5 days in the hospital & and came home with an order of 6 weeks medical leave.
I think the emotional aspect of this whole ordeal, was the worst. I hate the physical scars that I have, (cut straight across my stomach)... but the emotional scars are so much harder to heal. If they ever do. One minute, I was up in the clouds and experiencing what I'd never thought I would. The next minute, it was all being taken away from me. Even though it's not often, there are some days that I can see the upside:
1.) I can finally say I have been pregnant! and I think it gave me the boost my body needed.
2.) I can share some of the early and COMMON symptoms I had ..before I even thought to test.
Of course, I also, at times, wish I hadn't gotten so excited, so early on. But I could hardly contain my excitement. I wanted to share the miracle that was bestowed upon me. I started filling out my 'pregnancy book' that my niece gave me.. (and bought with her own money - she's 9!) I also created a wish list on Babies R Us, but that was when I was trying to conceive. Yes, that's how hopeful and optimistic I was. Nothing wrong with that.
I have every hope and every reason to believe that I will conceive again. This was a huge step and an even bigger accomplishment for me! When you think it'll never happen and it does? Pure amazement and disbelief. Just because things didn't go well, and my little bean ended up getting himself in a real pickle.. I still feel extremely blessed. I think what's encouraging is, I hear so many stories of women who have gone on to conceive with no medical intervention at all, after the first time, whether the pregnancy failed or she carried to term. That is such encouragement for me.
We will see what the future holds for me and our dreams of being parents. I will continue to keep the Faith and will not give up my Hope. That's for sure. I think I will get my rainbow baby and I'm at peace that I'll even see baby #1 someday.