In late October, early November, Justin and I rallied through Northern California on a vacation of a lifetime. We learned how to surf, hiked miles and miles of the Sierra mountains in Yosemite and had our fair share of skateboarding in San Jose. We enjoyed each and every moment that we shared on our great adventure. On most days we ran ourselves so hard that by the end of the night we hobbled into our hotel room barely able to hold up our own weight from total exhaustion.
Due to the fact that we were on vacation for two weeks we were unable to use any medications or participate in any procedures for infertility. We figured what the heck, we could just take a break from all the poking and prodding and try on our own. In the back of my mind I felt like it was a lost cause. We had gone over a year without achieving pregnancy even with highly technical procedures and massive doses of medications.
We had started shifting our focus to adoption and were even taking classes to become licensed in Ohio. Justin and I had long discussions about our adoption plans on our travels across Northern California. All of the thoughts of the unknown, of suffering and hopelessness started to dissipate when we talked and planned for our adoption. We started to feel excitement again.
Even though we were set on adopting I did not want to stop trying to have our own child. It seemed weird even to me but something would not let me give up whatever fertility I had left. I figured it was futile but I was willing to take the risks….just in case.
On Saturday, November 19 after being two days late I took a pregnancy test as a joke. Well, to my surprise two lines appeared and my first words were not of a joyful nature. I immediately started mourning, it is all that I knew how to do from my past experiences. We were on the roller coaster once again whether we liked it or not. I kept hoping that if I was going down the same path as I had in the past I would be smarter this time. I would protect myself from getting too excited and just live as if I was not “pregnant” (minus the skateboarding and alcohol consumption).
Two weeks and 5 days passed. I was still pregnant, was not bleeding and was experiencing multiple symptoms including sickness day and night. I felt a little reassured by these facts but still would not let my guard down. On Friday, December 9 we set off for our first ultrasound appointment at 9:00 am. Scared, shaking and prepared for the only thing I have ever known I somehow made it into the examining room without a major breakdown. It seemed like it took the doctor hours to finally come into our room. When Dr. Kennard entered the room she asked if her student intern could join us. Being in the state that I was all that I could get out was an inaudible groan. She asked the student to wait in the hall. The doctor asked me a few questions before the ultrasound started and I answered yet again in groan format. I guess I had reached my maximum capacity for coping with stress and fear at this point. I do not remember much from the appointment because I went into a state of shock. Luckily, Justin was very attentive and remembers everything that happened that day by heart.
The doctor turned the ultrasound monitor screen away from Justin and I so we could not see the first glimpses of the pregnancy just in case something was wrong (we are pretty much experts on reading early ultrasounds, at least the bad ones). After a few minutes (and four different measurements were complete), the doctor finally said “Well, you have a baby with a heartbeat, do you want to see it?” I grumbled something and Justin stepped in and spoke for the both of us, “Yes!” So the monitor was turned in our direction and we saw a very small embryo and the little flutter of the heart! It was an unbelievable moment and I kept waiting to hear that something didn’t add up. Instead the doctor furiously printed off ultrasound shots. She asked if I wanted one and of course I just groaned. Justin grabbed the picture and said “Yes, we definitely want that!” We watched and listened to the little heartbeat in awe. When the doctor was done measuring and assessing again and again she said “I have no concerns.” “I know you don’t want to hear this but I want to see you again in 7-10 days only because of your history.” I asked, “Can I be happy now?” Dr. Kennard said “Yes”. Then she went on to say, “I knew you were going to have a baby sometime, I just didn’t know how or when it would happen.” “You may just be having a baby in July!” I told Justin to hug me and he did. Then the doctor gave me a big hug as well. We then made our next appointment, talked to the nurses and made our way out of the office.
On Friday, December 9th, we were those people…the people leaving the office with good news, photos in hand for proof and smiles from ear to ear! I was still feeling numb, still shaking but somehow managed (after several attempts) to call my mom. She answered in her nervous, not sure what to expect voice and I screamed “IT’S GOOD!” “WHAT?” she replied, “OH MY GOD, IT’S GOOD?” There were screams, tears and pure relief coming from her end of the line. I told her we have a perfect embryo and a little heartbeat! I asked my mom where she was and we coordinated a meeting spot in Westerville so we could show her the ultrasound photos. On our way to meet her, I called and text messaged our support team to tell them the news. I think everyone I told busted out in tears of happiness and relief. Justin and I know that all of our family and friends wanted this to work out for us as much as we did.
It was a long ten days before we saw the doctor again. Justin reassured me through my doubts and fears that everything looked really good at our last appointment. I made him re-tell what happened at the appointment at least twenty times. As Monday, December 19 approached, I became more and more scared and went into protective mode. I wanted this so bad words could not even describe my emotions. After everything we have been through it was so hard to let go and be able to hope for the best. The only thing that kept my hopes up was the fact that I was very sick all the time. In previous pregnancies I had never experienced morning sickness so I knew something was different about this time around.
It was finally time to check on our California miracle after ten days. We were probably just as nervous as we were at the first appointment, or at least I was. The doctor went straight to business, wasting no time with getting the ultrasound on the monitor. As soon as she could visualize my uterus and the baby she announced proudly, “You’re going to have a baby!” Immediately, Justin lit up with joy. He smiled from ear to ear, holding back the urge to jump up and down in the examining room. My reaction was subdued. I was numb, just waiting for the doctor to retract her statement. The doctor was so excited, she kept hitting my thigh when she was talking because she could not hold back her emotions. She told us that she only knew one other women that had been through as much as we had and stuck it out and eventually got pregnant (This still blows my mind).
We watched our baby on the ultrasound monitor for quite some time and the doctor admitted she could sit there all day and watch our little miracle. We saw little tiny arm and leg buds, listened to the heartbeat and even saw our baby’s spine. Dr. Kennard said that our risk for early miscarriage was very low now since our baby had developed so well. We got our official due date for the first time ever….July 28th, 2012! The doctor made us promise that we would bring our baby in to visit her once he or she was born. At this point I think I finally let my guard down and became excited. All of my fear was washed away with complete happiness. I signed papers to be release to my OB/GYN doctor and away we went. This day was by far the best day of our lives. Justin and I furiously made phone calls to all of our support team (who were all waiting on pins and needles) to relay the amazing news.
We are still in disbelief about how all of this transpired. It feels like a dream, a really awesome dream! Every day that goes by we are honored to be in the position we are in. We feel that we have made it past a huge hurdle by reaching twelve weeks with a healthy pregnancy. Justin and I are thrilled beyond what words can describe. As Justin reminds me quite often as he beams around the house, “WE ARE HAVING A BABY!”