If you missed Part 1 of Our Baby Story, click HERE.
As I mentioned in the first post, this is our transparent, honest story of our journey to getting pregnant.
(Michael’s thoughts will be in italics.)
Our Baby Story – Part 2: More Testing
The first part of our story ended with me going to a new doctor in Houston. She was wonderful, and we continued to test in order to hopefully find some answers. We knew that I had PCOS, but we wanted to rule out other factors.
Our Houston doctor referred me to a male specialist and I had my personal tests run. As awkward as it all was, I reminded myself that Staci had put herself in much more awkward situations with doctors throughout this whole process and it was time to pay my dues. As we waited for the test results to come back, I secretly prayed that if there was going to be a reason that we would never have children that it would be me. When the tests came back positive (or negative… or however you look at it) — when the tests came back that I was ok, it was a very bitter-sweet feeling for me. I was glad to know that we still had a shot, but I was also worried that if Staci was unable to bear children, she would have to live with the weight on her shoulders, and I would rather have been the one to live with it. And so the focus moved from me back to Staci.
The bloodwork continued to point to PCOS, though. In fact, one fancy test showed that I have the same number of eggs as the average 13 year old girl! That’s how few times I’ve ovulated in my life. Well, there’s our answer…no ovulation=no pregnancy.
On top of all the blood-work, tests, and other doctors visits our summer was jam-packed with youth activities. If you read my summer recap post you would know that out of 78 days of summer, we spent 42 of those days doing something with our youth students (not including Sunday morning church). We spent 1 week on HS mission trip, 4 days on MS mission trip, 1 week at summer camp, 1 week at a conference in California, 1 week with Harry Potter and much more. So imagine dealing with all of this, plus infertility and traveling 1 and a half hours to and from Houston for countless doctors appointments and check ups.
While we were on our high school mission trip the second week of June, God really spoke to me one of the nights. One of our boys who lives at a home for at-risk teenage boys was just sobbing and talking to Michael and me about how much he missed his family. He’s been at this house for at least a year, and he was told he has to be there for several more years before he can return home. After he left, I just started bawling. My heart was so, so broken for him and for our other students. So many of them have such tough things going on. God reminded me that it was such a blessing that I didn’t have a baby–and even that I wasn’t pregnant–because I had been given this time with the students. I was able to be “all in” with our ministry.
That next day, my little brother and his wife Skyped us and told us that we were going to be an aunt and uncle. While we were happy for them and excited to be an aunt and uncle, our hearts still broke a little bit. It was nothing at all against them. It was just so hard every time we heard about someone else having a baby since we were having such a hard time trying to get pregnant. But this was another time that we just had to take things to God and trust in His perfect timing.
It was also difficult, because at this time it seemed like so many other friends on Facebook were getting pregnant, and, once again, although we were very happy for them, it was hard to see so many others succeeding in what we couldn’t achieve.
The last week of July, we went to California with our youth students. Throughout all of this, I’d been charting and taking my basal body temp. I knew that 18 high temps after ovulation equals a pregnancy. Even though I’d had more false alarms/false hopes than I could count in the past year and a half, I just “felt pregnant” this time. So as we got closer and closer to the 18 days, I would get my hopes up more. I was running to the restroom constantly, and our youth intern even made a comment about us possibly being pregnant. However, I also knew that if my temperature slowly dropped 1/10 of a degree at a time, this meant I was probably miscarrying. It started to do this toward the end of our trip. But I tried not to freak out.
After 5 plane rides in 5 days (3 take-offs and landings the last day) and just the stress of being gone so much, I knew that my fears were probably coming true. A couple of days after the trip (21 days after the temp rise), I stayed home with excruciating pain. I finally had to call Michael to come home. Even though we never received a positive pregnancy test, I believe that we lost a baby that day. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I’ve never been in so much physical or emotional pain. We went to my doctor in Houston, and she said that she didn’t believe it was a true miscarriage since I didn’t have a positive test, but if it was, my body had taken care of everything. My mom flew in for the week to help take care of us. It was the hugest blessing. Our pastor also stopped by, and numerous people surrounded us and prayed for us during this hard time.
During this time, one song ministered to my heart so much. My best friend from college had made me a mix CD one summer, and for some reason she included this song. I’d always thought it was beautiful, but now it was just what my heart needed. The song is “Glory Baby” by Watermark. (This video is for a charity, but it has the song.)
God continued to pour His love on us and comfort us in this time. Through others, His Word, and each other, we were able to grieve and to see the hope of His promises. One blessing of not getting a positive on my pregnancy test was that we were able to move forward even more with the testing and eventually the treatments.
The coolest (and most expensive) test I did was called a hysterogram, which basically means “fancy dye test/x-ray of my tubes”. I was able to watch the x-ray screen while the radiologist inserted dye into me. I watched as it filled my uterus to check to see if it was shaped right, and then I watched as it filled my tubes to check for blockage. I was so fascinated! Thankfully, all of that came back fine, and we knew that PCOS was our culprit.
Around the time I did my dye test, I asked my OBGYN for a fertility specialist recommendation. She’d told me that she would send us there if the dye test came back fine, and I was just ready to set up an appointment. She gave me a couple of names, and wished us the best of luck as we moved forward. I was able to get an appointment with a fantastic fertility specialist in Houston for later that month (August). We were anxious to take this next step, and we continued to pray that God would bless us with a child.
This concludes Part 2. Stay tuned for Treatments and a Positive Test!
–Michael and Staci