Archive for July, 2014
Unlike many couples who keep their pregnancy news a secret for weeks and even months from their family and friends, we were in a different situation and could not wait even more than a day to share! After sharing news of our infertility so publicly, we felt compelled to share news of our pregnancy with all those who knew about our infertility before we went completely public. Many close friends and family members were filled in on our infertility journey before we shared the news on a public level, so we didn’t feel right withholding news of our pregnancy when so many we know and loved were worried about us and prayed for us often.
We thought we would dedicate a post sharing how we told those closest to us and share some of their reactions we got on film! These will always be so precious to us and I’m still trying to figure out a way to pass these memories on to Baby Raisin when he or she is old enough to understand.
We learned about our pregnancy for the first time on May 25th, or 10 days past ovulation (DPO for short). I had been having some symptoms, but nothing out of the ordinary. The only really strange thing was that my bra was feeling very tight during the day and not just at the end of the day like normal. I tried not to get my hopes up like I had so many times before, but part of me really started thinking I could be pregnant, moreso than any other cycle. The morning of the 25th, I laid in bed and researched how effective a pregnancy test would be if I were pregnant ten days past ovulation. A website shared there was a 75% chance the test would read positive if pregnant and a 25% chance it would read negative even if we were pregnant.
I woke San up and asked if we should take one even if it might be a false negative. He wanted to, so I ran to the bathroom, peed on the stick, and got back into bed with a timer set for three minutes. Those long three minutes were spent holding hands, praying, and just hoping we could wish ourselves pregnant, but also reminding ourselves it was going to be negative so we wouldn’t be devastated. Sure enough, after grabbing it and letting out a big sigh as we looked at it, it was negative. However, it was dark in our room, so I decided for some weird reason, to look at it under the light, something I had NEVER done before. I still find it odd that I was so compelled to double check. As I held it under my bedside lamp, I saw the faintest of faint lines making the test read positive. I though perhaps I was having some kind of infertility-related mirage, so I had San check and he agreed. I took multiple pictures of it, manipulated the pictures, and posted them on various forums which all responded with a resounding, “Congratulations! It’s positive!”
We let ourselves cry at the possibility that maybe it was actually positive, but went about our day knowing if there was a baby growing inside of me, the line would be darker the next day. The next day, it was definitely darker and visible in all lighting, so we celebrated and decided to share the news with our closest friends and family that day!
For my parents, we wanted to do something creative and fun since we wouldn’t be able to share the news in person. Because my parents were up at our house almost every weekend for seven months to help renovate it last year, we thought a renovation themed surprise would be perfect. I crafted an email that I sent to their email inboxes just as they picked up the phone. We talked for a few minutes before I shared that we were ready to work on the “office” and had a few ideas that we wanted their feedback on. I told them I sent a few photos of ideas for what we were thinking and needed them to look at them so they could help us figure out how to execute our vision for the room.
This is what the email contained:
Hi Mom and Dad!
San and I wanted your feedback on our newest house project. We are hoping to work on this room:We want to include these items:
It may be a little urgent . . .
It needs to be completed by February 2015.
Scroll down . . .
Here is a video of us sharing with my parents, San’s parents, and my friend Courtney, who has two darling little boys and has been waiting for us to get pregnant for a long time!
Oh my goodness! I can’t believe I’m posting updates about our pregnancy! I honestly had come to terms with never being able to do this. Excuse me while I completely soak up this amazing moment!
How big is baby: The size of a plum or a lime. So big!
Weight gain/loss: Last time I checked a few days ago, I was down 5 pounds. At the doctor today, up 3 pounds. I’d say without all the pizza I ate yesterday, I’m probably at about 0 actual pounds gained.
Sleep: I always wake up around 4:40 to go to the bathroom, but it’s been easy to fall and stay asleep before that point. I’m always having crazy dreams! And, I always wake up to the cutest Clemmie Lou cuddling me, so it’s hard to complain about sleep at this point!
Stretch Marks: None yet
Cravings: Pasta and I cannot get the thought of apple crisp out of my head. And today, Eggs Benedict and salad (shocking since I couldn’t stand the thought for weeks). It’s kind of all over the place.
Aversions: Chicken is still lingering as an aversion, but I’m normally okay to eat it if I don’t think about it too much. I’ve been getting nauseous mid-meal quite often, but perhaps my body is just doing a better job of telling me I’m full!
Movement: Nothing yet, but can’t wait!
What I’m loving: I’m loving life right now. Now that my energy has come back, I have been on a high. I’ve had a permanent smile on my face for a few days! We are just so happy to finally be open about the pregnancy and to share our story! And, I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat again today which was so strong, so I’m on cloud 9!
Symptoms: None of my bras currently fit, which is an awesome problem to have as a small-busted lady! And, I guess my growing belly that is obvious to those who know what my belly usually looks like is also an amazing symptom!
What I’m excited about: Sharing our amazing photos by Leah Fontaine, sharing the news, and just being pregnant in general!
What I’m nervous about: Currently, nothing!
And to see where we came from, here is a comparison between 6 weeks, when I wasn’t showing yet, and 12 weeks.
It’s been three months since we began the Making Babies three-month program. We are overjoyed and so humbled to be able to finally announce that two days after officially starting the program, we did, indeed, make a baby who is now expected to arrive on February 3, 2015!
On February 5, 2014, we learned the devastating news that my husband had 0% morphology, meaning that there was basically a 100% chance that we would never conceive a child on our own because no sperm could either swim to an egg or fertilize one. We spent the next few months doing more testing, crying, picking each other back up, falling down again, before finally deciding on a treatment plan that involved three months of lifestyle changes before moving on to insemination which would likely never work.
On April 22, we shared our infertility story publicly. The outpouring of love, support, and prayers we received was overwhelming in the best way. I have never felt such a sense of community, so far from isolated, and so understood by those around me. It was what I thought was the silver lining to this whole situation (and it was a glorious silver lining at that time). That outpouring led to me finally coming to acceptance that we would likely never conceive our own child. I started meeting with and writing to those who had adopted. We were still going to go ahead with our plan, but I was almost certain adoption was going to be our path to a family.
I finally understood what I believe God was trying to teach me through our infertility struggle. I learned that I was happier than I had been in a long time because I had been sadder than I had ever been in my life. I felt more support than I ever have because I had previously felt so isolated and lonely. I could sense God’s presence strongly because I had been feeling completely devoid of it for months. I finally understood that in God’s own way, he would provide for us according to his plan, his timing, and our needs which he knew. I knew he put a desire for a family in our hearts and instead of forcing it to happen, we would do our best and wait patiently. Do I believe God caused our infertility? That’s a tough question, but I believe God is all-good, so I would say no, but I believe he allowed our infertility to cross our path to teach us something, which it did.
On May 13, we officially started our three month plan for our last effort for conceiving on our own. Just two days later, on May 15, we conceived our child. On May 25, we saw our first faint line on a pregnancy test. On May 26, we knew for sure by the line getting progressively darker that the impossible, the longed-for, the miracle had occurred. Two blood draws at the doctor confirmed that our dream had come true.
We are now close to 13 weeks along and can finally share this news with everyone who prayed for us, who rooted for us, and who supported us. Medically-speaking, there are a few things that probably could have impacted our success this time (which we will share in a separate post), 17 cycles into trying, but we owe this miracle baby, this light of our whole world, to God who answered countless prayers. It is no coincidence to us that not even one month after sharing our story, we conceived our child. We could not feel more grateful to all of you who prayed for us, because without your prayers and God’s never-ending love that we so do not deserve, I believe we would be preparing for insemination or adoption right now, not sitting here with a full womb and overflowing hearts.
I know our story is not everyone’s story. It took me quite a while to truly get worked up with joy toward this pregnancy because the thoughts of those still waiting crushed me. I know exactly how it feels to wait with a horrible diagnosis and keep trying anyway, even when the odds are completely against you. However, I do not know what it is like to go through multiple rounds of insemination, IVF, adoption papers, etc. only to be let down. We have not been faced with the pain of deciding we cannot have children because we cannot afford treatment or adoption. I have not been pumped full of drugs only to be told I didn’t have enough follicles. We have never endured the gut-wrenching desperation of a miscarriage. The thought completely shakes me to my core. My heart is still shattered for all those still suffering with infertility. I cry as I write this post because my heart is so full while also being simultaneously broken for all those who, just like we were, are waiting for their miracle baby that may never come. It is a nasty, devastating trial for anyone to go through, and my heart goes out to you. I pray so often for those I know specifically struggling as well as for a cure because it can completely wreck a person’s purpose, self-worth, marriage, and so much more. We had only a small taste of it, but that taste was enough to shake my world in monstrous proportions to the point where I was bawling in the bathroom on a daily basis and had pulled away from God because I felt unworthy of his love and as though we were denied something we had such a strong desire and heart for. It’s not pretty and part of me will still from time to time feel a trace of sadness when I think of our baby because I don’t understand why we were so fortunate and others are not.
When people ask me how I feel, I say I feel completely and totally lucky and grateful. Someone close to me pointed out that I should use the word “blessed” instead of lucky because the baby is a gift from God, but I hesitate to use that word in this situation. Is our baby a gift from God? The greatest gift we could have ever been given, no doubt. Are we blessed to have this baby? Of course. However, that word to me leaves me feeling devastated in this particular situation because we in no way deserve this baby any more than all those longing for a baby. It leaves me wondering why are we blessed when others are not? Why did I, the woman who couldn’t pray to God with an open heart for months, get pregnant when all the odds were against us? Certainly I am far beyond grateful, but I don’t like the word blessed in this situation because it reminds me of all those who aren’t blessed with a baby and makes me question why. Part of faith is believing God is good and knowing we may never understand this world, so I am clinging to that instead of using a word that really makes me question our creator.
Despite the sadness I feel and my reluctance to share our pregnancy so openly, I believe our story has touched many people and allowed them to hold on to hope, and I believe sharing this amazing news will hopefully allow others to know that it is possible, it all will be worth it, and to not lose hope or faith in God because he will provide in one way or another. I look back, and I would never ask to take away the pain of the last year and a half of trying and failing and reliving our diagnosis all over again. I’m so grateful for that experience because without it, we would not realize how miraculous this child is or how truly difficult it can be to do what our bodies were supposed to be designed for. We would not have the strength within our marriage that we do now without being at rock bottom together, just clawing at some kind of hope to get us through. We would not have an amazing story to tell our child about when he or she is old enough. I cannot wait to share our infertility story with our baby when old enough so he or she can learn just how miraculous God is, how much we desired him or her in our lives, and how powerful prayer is. I don’t need to tell our child through detached stories or metaphors about God’s love and faithfulness; he or she will be living proof.
Now, we fully understand that we are insanely lucky right now. This baby is far more than a blessing to us. No words truly describe it. However, we know that this may be our only child conceived naturally. Infertility doesn’t usually just miraculously go away, so we are happy to be open about it before conceiving this child so we can be open about it in the future if we are unable to conceive again. We are all about helping others, inspiring hope, and coming up with new ideas, so as much as we hope we have no trouble conceiving more children, that will likely not be the case, so we will be able to continue on with our infertility conversation down the road if things don’t work out like we hope they will.
We plan on posting regular pregnancy-related posts and videos for those interested, but mostly for us to document this rare and beautiful time in our marriage. Our intent is surely not to rub our fertility success in anyone’s face, so if you have been reading our blog following our infertility story because you are suffering from it yourself, we fully expect to lose readers and completely understand if our posts become too much for your heart to bear. However, I know at times, reading about others’ successes, especially those with male-factor infertility, gave me hope that we would be parents one day, so feel free to use our posts in that way to help yourself cope. I hope to always be a voice for infertility and am grateful we have become part of the community and can continue to raise awareness about it.
Thank you again to anyone who supported us and prayed for us. This baby wouldn’t be here without your help and support. We can’t wait to meet our child and to become parents. I’ve joked in the last couple months that I know everything there is to know about getting pregnant, but I came into this pregnancy knowing virtually nothing about actually being pregnant, so I appreciate any advice any mothers out there are willing to give me!
And final note, we are calling the baby “Baby Raisin” until we know the gender, or perhaps even until we deliver the baby. Raisin is kind of a funny name comprised of the fact that we have always talked about our “redheaded Asian” children (we know they will likely not have red hair, but it’s been a running joke since the time we started dating in high school between us and our friends). Redhead + Asian = Raisin, well sort of. Plus, at the time we picked the name, the baby was the size of a raisin and it’s cute, so it stuck! We can’t wait to find out Baby Raisin’s gender in a couple months and are so happy to finally be able to share this news!
A big thank you goes out to Leah Fontaine for taking such beautiful photos of this special moment in our life! You are the best!