Tuesday, February 19, 2008

We've Come A Long Way, Baby

I've always been a late bloomer, and didn't really consider getting married until I was in my mid-30's. After kissing more than a few toads (and a snake or two, for that matter), I found my prince and married him at the ripe ol' age of 39. We both wanted a family and knew we weren't going to waste any time in that department. Little did I know there would be a snag. Enter the world of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and the land of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

As a newlywed couple, we were faced with a daunting situation. (The statistics, for a girl my age, just aren't very optimistic.) And Jim (God bless that man!) certainly stepped up to the challenge of supporting me through, easily, the hardest thing I have gone through thus far. And so began the process of administering shots, egg retrieval surgeries, and a long emotional rollercoaster ride.

Long story short: Our first IVF cycle resulted in a pregnancy, but sadly, I miscarried early on. Our second cycle produced even fewer embryos - only two. But, happily I got pregnant again. I'll never forget the first time we heard the heartbeat. I think I was in shock. We were both crying and my doctor and nurse (heroes in my book) gave us big congratulatory smiles and hugs. The doc then asked, "So where do you two want to deliver?" And I remember thinking, "Deliver? Deliver what...a pizza?" It was just such awesome news I couldn't digest it right away. One of the two embryos below is our soon to be born daughter. I'm just amazed and humbled and so incredibly grateful.

I don't even have words to describe how happy, fortunate, and grateful I feel. We were lucky. So lucky. Many couples go through these treatments and don't end up with a baby of their own. Of course, there are many alternative ways to have a family and, believe me, I don't think any one way is "better" than another. This is a lifelong dream come true for us though and it truly feels like a miracle.

Some of the highlights of the infertility journey are:

  • Over 100 injections (in the thigh, stomach, and hip)
  • A fully stocked liquor cabinet that was quickly depleted by one stressed out husband
  • An extreme mix of faith and fear, high hopes and shattered dreams
  • Multiple runs to Costco for Kleenex for one emotionally distraught girl
  • Countless prayers and conversations with God (also some begging and pleading on my part)
Here is an excerpt from my journal:

Well, tonight was the night for the big Kahuna shot. An inch and a half needle! Poor Jim-a-loo...he is not a medical kind of person. He prepares the shot while I'm in the other room. (He told me later that's when he started getting nauseous.) The time has come. I walk into the medical room, aka kitchen, and say, "Put that shot behind your back...I don't want to see it!" He gets the ice pack and slaps it on my butt. "Longer...longer," I plead. Several minutes later, he plunges the needle in my rump, surprised at how easily the needle slides in. I'm doing okay. I can handle this, I think. I am a bad-ass-woman-hear-me-roar-type trying to protect the home and survival of my future specks. Until...I feel his hand leave the shot and now, (huh?), he's sitting on the kitchen chair.

"Jim, are you done?"
"No, baby." (long pause) "Just give me a second."
"What are you doing?," I say in a panicked voice, sweat beginning to bead on my forehead and upper lip.

No response.

"Is the shot dangling out of my ass?!!!" "What are you doing?!!!"

"Just hang on,", he says. "I'm about half-way done."

Oh, my God! This is starting to hurt. I moan. Now, I feel the thick medicine dispersing through my body. I think I am going to be sick. I hunch over the kitchen counter, with my weight on the non-shot leg, now sweating profusely. He pulls the needle out. I slump into the chair and immediately put my head between my knees. Jim staggers into the hallway and collapses onto the floor. He is drenched in sweat. I join him on the floor, stepping out of my fallen pants and collapse next to him. We did it.

And now here we are... just seven days from Baby A's due date. Thank you all so much for checking into my blog now and then, and for all the sweet comments you've left. (Many times I will delay reading your comments because I want to savor them like little jewels.) I'm very appreciative of our creative community - what a nice and fun and supportive group of people! This will probably be the last time I post until the bebe arrives. Wish me luck. Hope to be back soon!


Scrappy Jessi said...

it is all worth it ! i promise! you will forget all the things you have done before she came!
she will change your life!
good luck!

ArtsyMama said...

Oh sweetie. What a heartfelt post. Thanks so much for sharing such emotional terrain with us. I have tears streaming down my face. I am so happy for you! Your little girl is going to look into her mommy and daddy's eyes and realize she is the luckiest lady in the whole world. Much love!!!!

Sugar Bear said...

Thank you for sharing this - it is such a personal and special time for you. Congratulations to you and Jim on getting to this point and I wish you the best as you go into the next few days!

Britt- Sparkled Vintage Charm said...

Boy! What a story. Thanks for sharing it!! I bet you are excited that your sweet baby is coming so soon! I love the goodies you made to giveaway in the post below. I should do that with this next baby. I forgot to with Lundyn. I was really sick with him(not like I am any better with this one. lol) I love your baby's nursery! :-)

Shannon said...

You are soooo sweet, and sooo funny! And Jessi is so right... you will forget all these things you've done prior... there will be so many new memories!! (Hope your hiney isn't too sore!)
If you need ANYTHING please, please let me know!
:)Lotsa hugs,

carmen said...

You, my dear friend, are the Warrior Woman! A wonderful post, so proud of you! You are going to be an awesome mommy! Tons of love! Carmen

Jerri junque said...

oh, what a story and it brought back so many memories. We tried for 4 years with no luck. Many shots, disappointing months and heartache. Oh sweetie, enjoy that baby. Good luck!

Linda said...

How excited you must be feeling as your day soon approches, your lives will change forever, and it is all for the better. (Until they become teenagers anyway!) The very best of luck.
Cheers Linda

Pixie said...

I'm so happy for you! I watched my cousin go through this 2 years or so ago. She lost the first baby as well and then had a beautiful baby boy. And to top it off, when he was about 5-6 months, she found out she was pregnant again...their Christmas miracle. Congratulations!

Rose Garden Romantic said...

Sounds like you two have been on quite the journey together! And now you are about to go on a new and exiting one with your sweet little bundle of joy!

Heather said...

What doesn't tear you down will make you stronger! This journey will make you one strong person! I just wanted to wish you the best of luck with your beautiful baby girl! ENJOY...they grow up SOOOOOOOO fast!!!

Anonymous said...

oh my oh my....I've been there, in a different way but the same. Shots 4 times a week for my lil Andrew! And just think, it's all over now and the big moment is about to arrive Kimla! So excited for you...I just keep checking in and get goosebumps when I read your posts! :)
Teresa McFayden

twinkleshabbystar said...

I too have been down that long road of IVF. It's a long and EMOTIONAL rollercoaster as you well know, but sooooo well worth it. Im extremely excited for you and your husband. Congrats to you both!!!!! Jenn

Robyn said...

Just was checking in to see if Baby had arrived, looks like I am a week early! Good Luck, can't wait to see pictures. Enjoy every day, they really do pass too fast.

Tammy said...

ooohhhh, good luck, good luck! so excited for you!! can't wait to "meet" her...xoxo

Dee Light said...

I just happened by your blog today, but had to say congratulations!! What a treasure a child is. I will stop back by soon. Enjoy your little one.

Tammy said...

I had a dream that you had your baby last night!!! xoxo

Linda said...

Oh wow! I'm so excited for you. I can't wait to see her. She will be so loved and I know it's all going to be wonderful.

shar said...

Good luck, Kimla!

Vicki said...

I can identify with every word!!!! I started trying late, had 3 m/c and am now 3.5 months preg. with twins after IVF. Those syringes are all too familiar. Check out my blog at Holyhocks.typepad.com ...and Good Luck. Yay for all of us. We worked hard for this miracle.

Donna Layton said...

This is such a moving post. I can't imagine going through all this. Can't even imagine. Now you've got that precious girl in your arms pooping all over everything! LOL. You've come a long way and now you've got the prize. I'm so happy for you.