How Much Patience Do You Have?
I have started this post at least five times in the last 8 months. I would get a few paragraphs written, then I would decide "Nobody will want to read about this". There's too many happy, warm, and fuzzy things going on. Nobody will want to read this. Well. Here I am. I'm sitting in my chair pounding out my feelings on my laptop. There might be one person read this or there might be fifty.
Here goes nothin'....
In 2006, shortly after I graduated from Motlow, something didn't seem right. I was going longer than normal without having a period. When it would come, I would be in the most awful pain. I had given birth to Gavin just three years before. At times, I would compare the pain to the moments before I told the nurse I needed my epidural. It was bad. In November of 2006, my nightmare began. I had gone longer than ever without a period, so I called my OB/GYN to make an appointment. I was ready to get some help. I was tired of it. After explaining to the receptionist why I needed to get an appointment as soon as possible, she scheduled an appointment for the following week. A few days after scheduling my appointment, I woke up to what appeared to be my period. "Oh now you decide to show up?" I almost cancelled my appointment, but something told me I needed to go in anyway. Shortly after my exam began, the doctor started asking a series of questions that made my heart stop. He told me to get dressed. He left the room quickly. I was terrified. What is going on? After what seemed like an eternity, the doctor finally returned and instructed me to go across the hallway for an ultrasound. The tech poked and pushed around as I had tears running down my face. I caught a glimpse of a dark spot on the screen and started to panic. "What is that? Is that supposed to be there?" Of course, he wouldn't tell me anything. He just did his job and told me the doctor would discuss the results with me in a few moments. At this point, I wanted to scream.
I sat in the hallway staring at the floor for several minutes. I probably sent a few texts to friends and my fiance at the time. I can't remember. Eventually the doctor came out in the hallway, placed his arm around me and told me, "It appears you are having a miscarriage. This happens to a lot of women. It isn't something you have done. It just happens sometimes." As I sat on that chair in complete shock, I couldn't make words. All that came out was, "Why?". He couldn't give me an explanation. He had his nurse give me a piece of paper and directions to the lab for blood work. I had so many questions, but I couldn't make complete sentences at the moment. All I could think about was how empty I felt. The week before, I was pregnant. Today, I'm losing a baby.
Fast forward a year or so.... It was time for my annual check-up. Since I was working and going to school in Murfreesboro at the time, it made sense for me to find a doctor in Murfreesboro. After doing some research and talking to a few college friends, I decided Dr. Kelly Williams at MMC would be the doctor for me. I called and made an appointment. Due to him being such a busy guy, I had to schedule my appointment for a few weeks out. No big deal. I could wait. When my appointment finally came, I loved him. He showed so much compassion for his work. He asked a lot of questions. I told him about my miscarriage in 2006. He looked me in the eyes and told me, "It doesn't just happen. I want to do more tests." I was at a point in my life and marriage that having another baby wasn't on the radar at the time, so I was hesitant. A part of me wanted to know why though, so I agreed to the tests.
The Day I Will Never Forget...
Two weeks after my first appointment with Dr. Williams, I returned for a follow-up. Alone. Big Mistake. Dr. Williams came in with an odd look on his face. He read off a bunch of test results that might as well have been in another language. After he finished reading the results to me he said, "So what does all of this mean? It means when you are ready to have another baby, you will have trouble." He said there were medications and treatments. Once again, I felt like I wasn't at a point in my life that I wanted another baby, so as tragic as the news was... I was ok. I was still in college and didn't have a well paying job. I had a 4 year old and my husband at the time wasn't in a hurry to have another baby.
In 2010 I lost another baby...
As most of you know, I got remarried in May of 2012 to the man I had hoped and prayed for my entire life. In October of 2012, I started having strange symptoms. I was exhausted, had pain in my lower back and abdomen. I would need to pee every 30 minutes it seemed. I have UTIs quite often, so I went to the local walk-in clinic to get checked out and hopefully get some antibiotics. The doctor (or PA or NP whatever he was) tested my urine and told me it was clear. I did not have a UTI. He asked a series of questions, then said "Could you be pregnant?" My heart started pounding. I got a little excited. I WANTED to be pregnant! This is amazing. He tested my urine again for pregnancy. The results were negative, but he said it might be too early to tell. So he told me to see my OB/GYN ASAP. Since I had begun working in Tullahoma, I had recently switched doctors and was seeing an OB/GYN in Tullahoma now. I made an appointment with her as soon as possible, but tried not to get my hopes up.
I was literally crushed at my appointment with her. My husband had gone with me; however, he was not allowed to go back with me. The doctor did an exam, asked several questions, and "assured" me that I was probably not pregnant. She told me I probably had a little cyst or something. She ordered an ultrasound, some blood work, and told me to come back the following week to go over the results. In the meantime, I was miserable. My symptoms were getting worse. I was in so much pain, so tired, had NO appetite, and was nauseated most of the day. When I went back for my follow-up visit, the doctor told me it looked like I had a kidney stone and some small cysts on my ovaries. She said the cysts might be from where I was about to ovulate though. I asked her if the cysts would cause any problems since we were trying to get pregnant. She looked me right in the eyes and told me, "NO". After 2 months of ovulation predictor kits, fertility tracker iPhone apps, irregular periods, big fat negative pregnancy tests, PMS symptoms that gave me false hope of a pregnancy, I decided it was time to call my doctor again. She kept suggesting I take birth control to make my periods regular. I didn't want birth control! I wanted a baby.
After a meltdown that lasted for what seemed like days, it was time to get a second opinion. I had stopped having periods. Something wasn't right. I made an appointment with another doctor in Tullahoma, even though my gut feeling kept telling me I needed to go see Dr. Williams in Murfreesboro. I was working in Tullahoma and my job doesn't exactly allow for a lot of time away. I convinced myself that sticking with a Tullahoma doctor was my best option at this point. This doctor gave me a tiny bit of hope and a lot of frustration. After a full blood work-up and 2 ultrasounds, she gave me three options. Two were very expensive options that involved checking my tubes and uterus and one was to take birth control for a couple of months to get my cycle back on track, then we would see if I could ovulate on my own. In the heat of the moment, I caved and chose the birth control option. I was terrified. This was what I had a feared was wrong the entire time....my body wasn't doing what it was supposed to do. I'm a woman. I'm supposed to have babies! Why is it so hard for me to have another baby?!
After a few days of talking it over with my husband, I felt like the birth control was NOT the option for us. I cried and cried and cried. I hated people. I hated Facebook with a passion. I removed the app from my phone because I was literally crushed everytime I saw a new "Woo hoo we're pregnant!" post. I lost friends because I was dying on the inside and didn't want to talk to anyone about it. I was tired of hearing, "Stop trying so hard" "Oh it must be stress." "God has a plan and maybe this isn't in his plan." "Oh but you already have a baby". I was over it. I had been a positive Polly long enough. I had dismissed my inner battle and put on a happy face long enough. I was done. I was angry. I was frustrated. I felt like it wasn't fair I had to go through so much. I got angry with people who called me a "bad friend".
I called the doctor's office after a few days and left a message with the receptionist telling her we wanted to try another option. I didn't want to do the birth control. Somewhere in the relaying of the message, the nurse thought I wanted to just stop taking it. So she called me back and left a message for me telling me that "this is just temporary to try to get rid of the cysts." I tried for 2 days to call her back and tell her, "THAT'S NOT WHAT I CALLED YOU FOR! The doctor said I had other options, why do I not have options now?" No response.
Weeks went by and it was time for my 6 week blood work. The nurse came in and told me she would schedule my follow up ultrasound for mid-May. I lost it. I demanded a sooner appointment. I was not waiting until May to find out if cysts were gone. Especially since I had people tell me, "Oh I have cysts too and I got pregnant!" Clearly, I could get pregnant. I can't get pregnant on birth control though! I left the doctor's office that day hysterical. I called my husband crying, then I called my Mom crying. I called my sister-in-law crying. I hit my breaking point. This was it. It was time to call the person who I should have called months ago, Dr. Williams.
I called MMC OB/GYN that afternoon. It was a scary feeling making an appointment for a fertility consult, but I knew this was the next step and our only option. On March 27th, our journey took a new path. Dr. Williams told me everything I had wanted a doctor to tell me. There isn't anything wrong with me. I'm not broken. He would do everything in his power to try to get me pregnant, I just had to trust him. He told me he isn't God; therefore, he doesn't have the right to tell me I should try for a year before we do anything. We wanted a baby now, so there was no reason for me to be on birth control. After almost an hour, we left MMC with a prescription for my first round of fertility treatment, directions on how to take it, and two pamplets. One was for infertility and one was for PCOS. I read as much as I could about the drug I had been given. I prayed and cried that if it is God's will for this work, please let it work.
So here we are today, 1 month after the day Dr. Williams gave us a lot of hope. That's all I had needed all along... Hope and a plan.
This journey has brought my husband and I closer together. It has shown us who our true friends are. I have made new friends and developed an amazing support system. It has been a hard, trying journey but it will be worth it one day... hopefully sooner rather than later. I see pregnancy announcements now and I just smile. Hopefully one day we will make a pregnancy announcement of our own. Hopefully one day I will get to experience the moving and kicking of our little miracle baby. Until that day comes, I will hold on to my hope and the fertility bracelet that someone who has felt the things I am feeling gave me.
"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For this whole life he will be given over to the Lord."
1 Samuel 1:27-28