We started trying to have a baby in October 2003. By July 2004, my doctor was concerned and sent us for testing at a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). The appointment was on our wedding anniversary.
“You will never have a child naturally.”
“There is a 99.99999% chance that you will never conceive a child on your own.”
Happy anniversary! Needless to say, the celebratory dinner later that night was less than enthusiastic.
The RE recommended IVF with ICSI as the only option. Typical IVF, when they put the egg and the sperm in the dish together and leave it up to chance, wouldn’t work. Instead, they would take the egg from me, actually insert J’s sperm into it, and then put everything back in me and hope for the best. All this cost enough to pay for the doctor to buy a new car. Insurance was covering squat. But they would cover my depression medication.
J waffled on whether or not he wanted to do it. He wanted children; he just didn’t want a litter of children.
Then there was the problem of affording the IVF. Of course they had financing programs, but was that the way we wanted to bring in another life? Under a pile of bills? It was a mess. So when we started undergoing all the testing, we knew we had to tell our families. His parents were supportive; my mother sucked (typical) and my dad was MIA (also, typical at the time but now, thankfully, things are very much different).
At 23, I was basically told I had three choices: spend a load of money, adopt, or live child-free.
J, after an unsuccessful surgery on his part, wanted to choose child-free. I wanted nothing more than to be a mommy to a child – any child. But I couldn’t force him to give me his sperm and $20,000.
For four years, I watched painfully as the people around me got pregnant and had babies. I avoided family functions at times because it was just too, too painful. I wanted a baby.
I tried to convince myself that I didn’t want one. It didn’t work.
In November 2007, I had surgery for endometriosis, a horrible, painful, bullshit disease that makes your uterine lining grow outside your uterus. Fun stuff.
In January 2008, we moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to spread our wings. My job had a need for my special gifts: organization and a killer sense of humor. You couldn’t do my job without one.
In May, I found out I was pregnant. We didn’t tell anyone because we were terrified. A week later, we miscarried.
The good that came of it was that J decided he wanted a baby. So my new doctor recommended a new RE. She thought that maybe we could get pregnant with Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), which was a fraction of the cost of the IVF with ICSI. Incredibly, we had enough money in savings to do it the next cycle.
The first month, even on Clomid, my ovaries did not produce enough viable eggs to do the insemination. She recommended that we wait until the following month to try when I had enough eggs to really give it a go. “But have sex,” she said.
The next month was November 2008. We did the cycle, the shots in December, and the insemination in a very cold room two weeks before Christmas. Three days before Christmas, we found out the cycle failed.
I couldn’t do anything but cry.
The doctor recommended having surgery to clear the endometriosis again. I’d only been at the Knoxville location for a year and didn’t want to take the time off. So we put it on the back burner: I started working out, teaching belly dancing. J started running.
In late March, I had the worst stomach flu ever. It was awful. I puked all the time – I couldn’t even brush my teeth.
A friend asked if I was pregnant. I scoffed at her: “Are you crazy? Do you have any idea what you’re suggesting?” On April 4, 2009, I took the first of twenty pregnancy tests. All of them were positive. I cried. And cried. And cried.
I called my doctor and demanded progesterone supplements and an immediate ultrasound – both of which I got. My Monster was in a perfect position in her little sack in my womb. I just needed to keep her there. My husband immediately put the kibosh on the belly dancing for fear I would shake the little pea loose. Sex was put on hold for the same reason.
I was S.I.C.K. The whole freakin’ nine months. But I was carrying a baby.
The first time I felt the baby move, I cried. It was like a fluttering across my whole stomach. And then it got stronger and stronger.
I had two baby showers – one in Alabama and one in Knoxville. I had great family and friends. I bought the stroller/car seat and the crib. Most everything else was bought for us.
I was expecting a whopper of a baby girl.
October came and J’s grandfather died. I couldn’t travel to the funeral for a man who had been like a interim father to me, which hurt. I tried to talk my doctor into it but since I was swelling and having contractions, she said no. I still miss Grandpa every day. I wish so badly that he could have met the Monster because he would have LOVED her.
In December, things got more and more intense. I went into labor December 7, around 11:30 PM, but contractions weren’t strong or close together – just enough to keep me up that night.
J drove me to the doctor’s office the next day because we were pretty sure they were going to keep me. Nope. They sent me to the hospital, where they promptly sent me home. I know I sounded like a crazy person when I called the doctor’s office in terrible pain. They scheduled me for an induction the next morning.
That night, I went back to the hospital; they admitted me and gave me some blessed medication that allowed me to relax and sleep. I sent J home to sleep in the bed before all the action started. He would come back at 5:30 the next morning because they were starting the Pitocin (to induce stronger contractions) at 6AM.
At 2:30, I woke up and called the nurse. When she walked in I apologized because, in my sleep, I had peed all over the bed.
My water had broken. I was having back labor. It was BAD.
I didn’t get the epidural until 5AM. I think I proposed to that man. I know I paid a fortune for it, even with insurance. Worth every penny.
J showed up on time, I told him what had happened and his eyes got really big.
His family arrived from Alabama around 7.
At about 9, I remember telling J that I needed to push. He said, “You are not doing any of that until the doctor gets here and they say it is okay.” So I sent him to find the nurse.
She said it was, indeed, time to push.
I pushed for 45 minutes and heard the cry: she was out. My Monster was out. J grabbed my head, kissed me and yelled “You did it!”
That is one of my most favorite memories.
7 lbs, 9 oz., 19.5 inches long.
Perfect in every single way.
My baby was born. After all my struggles, all my sorrows, my baby was born. I have a baby girl.
She’s almost two now – so rotten that you can just smell her. She’s prissy and sassy and all the things that little girls should be.
She’s a Mommy’s girl. I love her – I am so thankful for her; so thankful that I am her Mommy, so thankful that I have my daughter and my J.
Shared by Jennifer Forsman, U.S.A. Originally published on Band Back Together (all links courtesy of BBT); used with permission.