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Why Don’t You Just Adopt?

Today’s topic: adoption. Before we dive in and get to this blog I want to make it very clear that Russell and I love adoption. We love hearing success stories of people who are going through infertility and they think they have one last shot at having children so they go the adoption route and their family is complete. We are advocates of making sure children have a safe, happy, loving home. I am 100% supportive of adoption.

There is one simple, yet complicated question that keeps being brought up. Why don’t you just adopt? It’s much more complicated than that and here’s why. Adoption isn’t free. Adoption costs on average $25,000. Adoption is also a never guaranteed thing either, because sometimes the woman who is pregnant could change her mind or there are some unforeseen circumstances that change everything for both families. I will say this until the cows come home but I want to experience pregnancy, even if it’s just one child. I want to feel it all, well not all of, like morning sickness, but you know what I mean. I want to invest our money in ourselves. And I can’t tell you how many people take offense to that. In our minds if we go straight from where we are which is stage 4 endometriosis, to adoption we just passed GO without collecting our $200. Basically, we are missing out on opportunities to become parents ourselves.

I’m being 1000% honest when I say this. The moment I/we decide to go for adoption I’ve given up hope that we can conceive on our way. I refuse to give up on myself. Remember Russell has no issues and for a man whose 40th birthday is next month is levels are of that of a man in his early 30’s so we have absolutely nothing to worry about with him. But my clock is ticking a bit faster.  We know that in the next couple of months we are going to have to bite the bullet and begin treatment. We can not risk the endometriosis spreading and causing more damage to the only side I do have. Back to adoption though…sorry we veered left for minute. I am not ready to think about adoption. It makes me very emotional. I know that the universe ultimately is the one who will let us know what we going to be able to. Adoption is scary because even though that child is yours, you didn’t carry them for 9 months and feel the labor pains. As I stated in my last blog that I want to feel what labor feels like. I want to know what a contraction can be. But most importantly I want to feel a bond between my baby and myself.  I want to take a picture of a growing belly and see what fruit my baby compares to. But going through adoption I won’t have that opportunity. And I’m sure those of you reading this are probably like wtf is wrong with her. There are thousands of children that need homes and help and you are saying no. The short answer is I’m saying no for now. Russell and I have been trying naturally for 14 months and clearly my body isn’t functioning because after the first IUI I thought for sure I was pregnant. But it was negative. To me, if we decide to start the adoption process I will have failed myself. My body has failed me when it comes to having the adoption conversation. All I really want to say is let me get through Christmas and then we’ll think a little more, take the rest of the year to apply for 4 amazing loans I found to be a perfect fit for us. More on that in another blog.

I wanted to clear this up because this is one of the most frequently asked questions. So, no adoption in the near future because IVF will work. Even if I have to eat a lot pineapple. Two, we are still trying but not getting any positive results. This part has been frustrating for me because I’m taking advice from the endo doc and they say IVF right away.

Can I be brutally honest for one minute? I’m scared. Scared that I’ll let my husband down. If you don’t know you know he’d give the shirt off his back to a stranger. Shoot, when we were in Detroit for Thanksgiving he game a man $10 and said Merry Christmas. Little things like that remind me daily why I fell in love with him. Anyway, I don’t want to sound selfish but I can’t go through life wondering what would have happened if we didn’t try IVF at least once. I’m in the mindset of one day next year we’ll become parents. There are so many medical advances made every day that it’s insane what scientists and doctors are going to be able to achieve. Please when you ask why I wont adopt it’s because I want my babies made from my husband and me, first. Then if we can’t make that happen we’ll get to another game plan but right now we are putting all of our chips in front of the dealer and hoping we have the winning hand. Please continue to prayer for us, send positive energy, whatever spiritual thing you are into add us to your list of giving thanks and lifting us up. I truly don’t think how strenuous a marriage can be when you throw in every day life stuff but then your partner gets diagnosed with an incurable disease.

Having this been cleared up, please don’t ask me why I won’t adopt because I refuse to give up on myself, my husband and everything we’ve talked about thus far in our journey.

 

I’m thinking of doing a Q&A for my next blog so if you have any questions please shoot me a message on facebook and I’ll go through them and answer then for you!

Until Next Time

xoxoxox

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A Letter to my Husband

 

From the day we met I knew you’d be my husband. I know that sounds like something you hear from a fairytale book but that’s how I felt. I knew you’d be the one I’d spend the rest of my life with. Before long we started dating. I had no idea what would transpire. After all you are 11 years older than I am and unlike me you are a thinker. You know exactly when and how something’s going to happen. Me on the other hand, I know what I want when I want and how I want. I’ve always been that way and I attribute part of it to being a Leo and a Hispanic woman. But the connection we share is something I really value. You are the calm one, while I am the fiesty one. You talk me off ledges and are the calm to my storm. And this is where I get emotional. Where I always have a hard time expressing how I feel, which we all know is easy for me.

The first seven years of our relationship were a breeze. I was able to travel with my friends to a Mary Kay convention and see all the glitz and glam. I was able to compete in pageants and become a beauty queen; something I had always wanted to be. You were there by my side for all of it, supporting me, telling me I could do whatever I wanted to do. Then December of 2015 came, I thought I just had a cyst that would go away; but the pain got worse. Everything from there seems like a blur. It all went so quickly. The next thing I know I’m waking up in a hospital bed being told I may never be able to have children, with my fiance sitting next to me. We had this plan. We were going to get married and then have four or five children because we wanted a large family. We wanted to hear kids running around and chasing after our dogs. That dream was shattered with those words. Hearing at 26 I was infertile was blindsiding and you were strong, you handled everything in stride and have told me no matter what everything would be okay. I wanted to show you I was strong and committed to doing anything that would help us have clarity and make a decision on what to do. Our second opinion was devastating. Hearing there is no chance is heartbreaking. But I held my head up, choked back my tears and asked again “why”. I came home and broke down and you were there to pick me back up. You always have been and I can’t thank you enough for that.

For that two years it’s been hard to have an identity. It’s been hard to not be lost. After all we’ve been married for 14 months, gone through two heart wrenching IUI’s that resulted in negative pregnancy tests, and trying naturally, all for it to turn out negative. I know that we are family but I want to give you children. I want to bear your children. I want to know what labor pain feels like. I want to know what moments after birth are like and what it feels like to hear your baby cry for the first time. But my body has failed you. My body is saying it isn’t strong enough. I’m also scared of what is ahead of us. IVF is an uphill battle. When do we start? How will the financial burden of it all affect us? I don’t have the answers to those questions and neither do you. But one things for sure, we’ll walk through this together. I know it’s not always easy because there are good and bad days. October 24th 2016 we vowed through in sickness and health we would love each other until death do us part. I know the next year is going to bring lots of frustration, tears and happiness but as long as we are together everything will be okay.

I love you more than words can express.

xoxo

p.s. I promise to try not to bring home any more dogs without your permission

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University of Cincinnati Center for Reproductive Health

I’ve struggled with what to write the last few weeks. Not only have I felt a little down but I also didn’t know how to process my feelings enough to write down. We went down to the University of Cincinnati’s Center for Reproductive Health in West Chester. It’s been a few weeks now because I remember it being an all day visit. The doctor that I saw was young, not more than a few years than I am. She asked me the normal questions, why were we there, what made me think I had endometriosis, what do we want to do,etc. I answered all her questions and I asked a lot too. I brought all my records with my from the last two and half years. She didn’t really look at them until we started talking about what we had planned. She talked about an IUI, which there facility charges about $1200 per IUI (Kettering charged $800). So for us that was a bit of an increase, plus I had already said I would not go through another IUI. She said that’s where we needed to start in order for her to get a better understanding of how my reproductive system is or is not functioning. I was adamant on not doing another one because they are too difficult on me emotionally and mentally. The two week wait is a lot to handle and with only having one tube there is a lesser chance of us getting pregnant. She then suggested using donor eggs because I only have one side. I have made the decision I will not use donor eggs because it’s just as risky as going through IVF. I know this is going to sound crass or even selfish but if I am going to carry a child and use science to get pregnant I want my baby to have my DNA. Now, I know that is going to make some people mad but that’s the choice I have made with Russell’s consent. She then suggested IVF, which is the route I know we are going to have to take. For them IVF at it’s lowest is $16,000. For us it’s more like $18-$19,000. She said I don’t have a high chance of getting pregnant. That’s where she and Dr. Karnitis’s opinion are different. He says because my body is able to react well with fertility meds he is confident we could have triplets if we wanted to. However, our UC doc says she doesn’t think it’s a high probability. We ended the appointment disappointed and relieved at the same time. We have also decided it would be best for us to stay in Kettering. But we wanted to get a second opinion to make sure we weren’t missing any information.

It is very important for me to have a doctor that can see the positive in any situation. The doctor at UC only seeing the negative is not going to help us get through this process. The nurses, doctors and care team at Kettering are always there for us. They were there when I needed to cry, have a ton of questions, and give us good news. I need a doctor who is the best at what he/she does, and Dr. Karnitis is it. We have also decided to put fertility treatment on hold for now because the holiday’s are just too hard emotionally on a regular basis but to add treatment on top would be too much. We are hoping that starting spring 2018 we will be able to begin the IVF process. Until then we are going to prep my body the best way we can with vitamins and supplements and lots of positive thinking. We are also going away for Thanksgiving, just the two of us to reconnect, spend some quality time together and take in some football games! As you can imagine going through infertility is hard on a couple. It’s stressful and draining. I have never said our marriage is perfect and never will. We are happy and love each other very much but we need some time to forget about daily life and have some fun.

We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Until Next Time

xoxox

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Still having Hot Flashes…

This week has been filled with highs and lows. Needless to say I’m ready to relax tomorrow and forget the world exists. July 25 I went into the fertility doctor’s office and they gave me the shot. They said once week 12 hits I shouldn’t have hot flashes, insomnia, etc. I’m having the hot flashes and even worse the ever before. My ears turn bright red,  my nose turns red and my entire body from top to bottom sweats so much you’d think I Just ran a marathon.

It’s been a long week because there has been a lot to do. I had to schedule our second opinion. We’ve decided it’s best to go to Cincinnati. I already see a Nuerologist at UC Health. Dr. Vij. He’s amazing and the reason I keep going back to get my botox! I’m getting my last botox treatment until after we give birth. In order to get botox I have to count four months out on the calendar and know when we’re in the safe zone to conceive.  But I am excited to meet this new guy and see what he has to say. Everyone is going to be different but I hope he will hear me when I speak to him. We have a lot more reasons for choosing UC Health but getting the best care is what is most important to us, especially if I have to pay for everything then I’ll make sure  we are seeing the person we want to see. Not to mention our current doctor can’t see us until we are ready to begin IVF treatment. We feel this is the perfect time to get a second opinion. I realize all the costs that are associated with infertility but I am signing up to get pregnant.

But I’ve had such a down week. It all began at the beginning of the week because I was feeling awful. I had to cancel a few appointments I had with friends and with my doctors simply because I couldn’t get out of bed. I cried a lot and  said to the universe ” why is this happening to us? I’ve been a little unstable emotionally this week. Every little thing stressing me out. I’m noticing negative thoughts are entering my space. Thoughts talking about me as a mother, how do I deserve a child over someone else, am I ready, etc. All these questions are consuming me and for a split second earlier this week I thought maybe I’m being punished for something I did in a past life. But I’m coming around now.

Some days are better than others and I’m still learning how to deal with emotions that infertility brings.  As also, please hug a friend extra tight and let them know you’re there. Even if it’s just to text about their day. I have a very small circle of girlfriends and one of them has been so understanding of why I can’t do things when I did say I could do. She understands how much this takes out of me. I’m not ignoring anyone if they are trying to hang out!

Until Next Time

xoxo

 

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That moment you realize no one believes you or your disease

I came to the realization that there are doctors, more specifically those who don’t fully understand what endometriosis is, and therefore think I’m faking my pain. It all started last Saturday at Kettering. I was in the ER for excruciating back and pelvic pain. I get back to a room where I wasn’t given an IV or anything. After a few minutes a lovely young lady walks in. I see she has a notepad and is in scrubs. So basically she’s a student learning for this shift. She sat down and asked the usual questions : why are you here? where is your pain? what has caused this pain? can you explain in more detail what endometriosis is? have you had surgery in the past? Tell me more about your surgeries. And this goes on and on and on and on because so many nurses have never heard of the term endometriosis before they encountered me. After sitting the room for over an hour, I’ve asked for water because I’m getting quite parched, they ask me to do a pee test. Now if I hadn’t seen what I did when I walked in maybe I wouldn’t be second guessing the reasoning  behind it all. And when the nurse came back into the room and said my sample was fine they just wanted me to make sure there wasn’t anything in my system. After that it was like here’s an anti-nausea pill and a shot of morphine and you get to go home now.

Here’s why I’m complaining. When a doctor can’t “see” pain it can be very hard to diagnose. But I feel like a lot of the time when things get too hard or their priorities shift they’re just like this girl needs to go there is nothing we can do for her. So now we are back at square one. I have an OBGYN appointment tuesday. As you can tell its 3am. I’m in more pain than you can imagine and the pain in my lower back is starting to spasm.

Until we have a day where information about endometriosis comes out and there is a cure or even a way to detect it, this is how endometriosis will continually be treated.

Until Next Time

xoxo

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Through the looking glass…

Have you seen the movie Alice Through the Looking Glass? Ya, I haven’t either. LOL But what I can gather from the title of the film is that Alice is going back to Wonderland to help the Mad Hatter. “Through the Looking Glass”, to me, is portrayed as looking at things or people from your own eyes. Have you ever just looked at someone and caught them at a very raw and vulnerable moment? To me, that is a through the looking glass moment (Now I could be totally wrong on how I’m using this phrase so please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). This very thing just happened before going to sleep. I was going back into the living room to write and forgot I left the surface in our bedroom. I was being really quiet and I went in our bedroom to retrieve the surface but I see Russell eyes close, fingers laced together, praying. I can’t tell you what he’s praying for because he wasn’t saying anything out loud. But what I can tell you is I know he prays for me. He prays for our marriage, for our friendship, for our life together, for us to continually be as happy as we can be. For a baby. I know he prays for me to have peace because he knows there are plenty of times when I want to cave and just cry. There are moments when I’ve told him I don’t know how much more I can take. But looking at him in that moment was all the strength I need to keep pushing forward. Seeing him sending out positive vibes into the universe and praying for us to have our miracle baby, makes my heart so full. Knowing that this man is asking, begging, pleading for this month to be different gives me hope. He gives me the drive I need to keep going because there are so many days when emotionally I am not okay. I can’t tell you enough how much having him by my side has put many difficult and unexpected moments into perspective. The times when I’d ask “why?” or “when is it going to be our time?” or ” am I worthy enough to be a mother?” or ” am I being punished for something I’ve done?”. These questions are hard for anyone to answer let alone your spouse. The fear. The doubt that creeps in. All the negative emotions and thoughts that creep in every now and then are why I need him by my side. Seeing him take the time out of his day, even just for a moment to pray for us…. there are no words to describe that sight and feeling.

Going through infertility changes a woman…I’ve said this a million times before and I’ll keep saying that infertility changes everything about you. Infertility changes the way a woman looks at another with children, it can change the dynamic of a relationship, it can ruin friendships. Infertility has so many dark moments that seeing moments like Russell praying brings light into a very dark room. If there is one thing infertility has done it has brought us closer together. I feel like Russell and I are stronger and more connected than ever. I am glad I had this through the looking glass moment of watching him pray.

Keep stopping by for more updates on whats to come on your journey towards Baby Y!

Until Next Time

xoxo

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An open letter to my best friend

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Caitlyn

To say I’m proud of you would be an understatement. Your hard work, persistence, and never give up attitude landed you in the Top 15 of Miss Ohio USA. Watching you last night on stage was one of the highlights of my year. This journey hasn’t been easy for you ( but how boring would it have been if it was?!) but you pushed hard, made sacrifices, and knew that with God on your side you could do anything you set your mind to. Preparing for a pageant is more difficult than anyone can imagine. You worked harder than ever; working out, practicing, and even watching what you eat (btw I hope your enjoying a donut as you read this!) to make sure your body was in top shape, and you looked amazing!

Caitlyn, you are one of the kindest, sweetest souls I have ever met. You show me day in and day out what it means to let God show your way. Throughout this entire process you have known all along that God has a bigger plan for you than you can imagine. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing that is. Watching you grow and become more confident in yourself has been such a joy.

I am so grateful to have you in my life. Thankful for all of our conversations. Thankful to have a pageant sister like you that goes to the end of the earth for her bestie, even if we do live 3.5 hours away from each other. I am in awe of your grace and how much your give of yourself. I am so thankful for the friendship we share and can’t wait to see where your path will lead you.  Thank you for being the role model, an inspiration, and more importantly for being a strong woman of God.

With love