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This evening I jumped on my blog dashboard to do some maintenance and before long I found myself scrolling through the journal entries I’ve published for the world, reflecting on the time that’s passed and the healing that each one provided. As I did this I stumbled upon my blog post ‘An Open Letter About Our Journey to Parenthood' and was taken aback when I saw that the date I originally posted it was one year ago from today. That entry was one of the scariest things I’ve ever written, but as I look back over the year I’m so overwhelmed by not only the response from friends near and strangers afar – but also the healing that its allowed me as it was the first step in opening my world and allowing God to break down my fears and insecurities and embrace the community He had waiting for me in this season.
I also realized that so much has changed in a year, not just emotionally and spiritually, but physically and logistically as well. So for those of you who have followed Justin and my journey to parenthood, this is what we’ve been up to :)
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Shortly after that first post I did a month long series called 'Capture Your Grief' alongside countless other families facing various forms of grief in recognition of Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month. I was amazed at how much this 'guided vulnerability' helped me walk through and process a lot of what I was going through in a way that felt manageable after such an extended period of silence.
The following month, we bought a house! This has been such a wonderful thing…truly. Signing the papers on our first home with my best friend and the love of my life at my side was so good for my heart. We were knee deep in a season where our dreams felt farther and farther away each day, and the gift of this home was and still is such a drink of cold water to my thirsty soul…I’ve since been in a state of perpetual nesting (ha!), spending time here and there preparing a place for a family to someday make memories all the while knowing that Justin and I, together, already are. It’s been just wonderful.
Medically speaking during the last year I’ve had an HSG procedure and the results came back negative for any abnormalities, more blood tests than I can count, 3 more medicated Letrozole Cycles supplemented with Estrogen and Progesterone during different phases of my cycle (on top of 4 Clomid cycles and 5 Letrozole cycles last year), as well as two Rounds of IUI with Letrozole, supplemental hormones, uterine and follicular monitoring, and HCG Trigger Shots. Unfortunately, all medicated cycles (a total of 11) and both IUI procedures were unsuccessful.
When we first started seeking treatment for my LPD and RPL a Reproductive Endocrinologist recommended to us that we make what’s referred to as a ‘Fertility Ladder’, this is essentially a game plan for you and your partner to decide what steps you’re willing to take and how far into aggressive treatments you're willing to go - so that once we hit the gas on this, we know what to expect. It has been an amazing thing. Knowing that if x rounds of a medication fail we're moving right along to a predetermined procedure took away so much anxiety and gave me a sense of knowing where we were headed. Of course, like many other couples, when we first started to discuss this, I was certain we would never use it…but we have, and we’re on our top step as of now since decided that IUI would be the last means of medical intervention that we would take. We don’t have a cap as to how many we will do or a time limit as to when we will stop, but what we do know is that we have something exciting on the horizon coming up and it’s something we would be so grateful for your prayers for!
Adoption is something that has always been near to our hearts, and as Justin and I have worked with families at Heartlight who have adopted, as well as been intentional to keep it a part of our conversations over the last year, we’ve felt God opening us up to a world that very well may be everything he’s planned for us. Honestly we really have no idea how all of this works, so at this point we’re just learning. Familiarizing ourselves with terminology, different approaches, and truly just the idea of it all. If we do adopt it likely won't be for some time, as the process is far more complicated and financially taxing than we can manage at this point…but we’re working towards it and praying daily about what God may have for our future.
We do know that I am able to get pregnant, and we do know what was causing the recurrent early losses in the last couple of years – we have however since walked into a season of infertility where we’ve not been able to put the changes and ‘fixes’ we’ve made into action, so nothing is written in stone as to which direction we may head - but when is anything ever?
It’s possible we’ll carry, its possible we’ll adopt, it’s possible we’ll do both :)
At this point things are truly up in the air, and surprisingly, we’re doing alright with that. Justin and I have said that if January of 2018 rolls around and we’ve yet to become parents, we will begin actively pursuing adoption and all that it entails.
I told a girlfriend of mine this recently and she asked me “So what does that date mean to you? How are you feeling when you tell me that?” and all I could do was smile and say “That I can’t wait for 2018 to get here…” Her face broke into a smile and she told me that was everything she wanted to hear. We’re truly not just open to, but excited about the possibility that God may be leading us on a path that we were never inclined to ask for or imagine.
So we will see…until then we will continue to prepare emotionally and financially for our next IUI, and the next, and the next until it’s simply time to climb up to the next step on our ladder. Right now I'm really working through the emotions and growing pains of learning how to pray expectantly, while still resolving to be content in my current circumstances. Each month that passes making it a lot harder, in some way makes it just a little easier at the same time - so even though it's slow and it's choppy, it's progress.
So I'm happy to close out this letter similar to the last one in saying YES, we are still trying and yes, we are okay. We appreciate the prayers and care of those of you who have locked arms with us through this and hope very much that someday soon we will have good news to share! Until then...