15 November 2011

To RE or Not To RE

In my last post, I described my frustration at having our third pregnancy end with a surgery to remove my fallopian tube. To continue ...

After I was checked out by the new OBGYN, I got a call from his nurse letting me know that I would not be able to get in to see the new fertility specialist until August. I was pretty disappointed. Once they scheduled that appointment, I got a call from the fertility specialist (RE)'s office to let me know that I needed to complete a questionnaire online. They also told me that if I completed the questionnaire, I would immediately be placed on a waiting list for the next cancellation. So I completed the questionnaire that day!

I just really wanted to get in to see the RE as soon as possible to start making a plan for how to proceed from there. I was still going to have weekly blood draws to monitor the decrease in my HCG (pregnancy hormone), and I would be required to prevent pregnancy until it was negative ( <10). So either way, I wasn't going to be able to immediately get pregnant. But I just wanted to map the future. Unfortunately, my husband did not share my enthusiasm to move on. (Keep in mind that it was only days after my surgery.) He was not 100% comfortable with moving forward, especially with fertility efforts.

The following morning, the RE's office called me to let me know that I could come in that week! I was excited that I would be able to meet with the new doctor and hopefully make a plan for how to proceed from here. My husband was supposed to go with me, but I wasn't sure if he would support me going at all. He was comfortable with both of us going, but not with pursuing another pregnancy via fertility methods ...at least not yet.

It seemed to me that he was very down on the idea of fertility medicine altogether, and he wouldn't explain exactly why. He just told me that he felt like God was going to restore our pregnancy and that he didn't want to use fertility methods yet. He questioned whether I had faith that God could get us pregnant without fertility medicine. He also asked me if I could be happy with just him and Abigail if God never blessed us with another child.

I was so hurt for so many reasons:

  • I felt like my husband blamed fertility methods for the loss of our baby. It seemed like he may have never been comfortable with our fertility pursuits, despite his willingness to go ahead with all of it. I was afraid that he blamed me for our loss because of the fertility medicine.
  • I didn't think we shared the same desires for a large family anymore, and I was afraid we were growing apart.
  • I definitely believed that God could get us pregnant how ever He wanted to, but I felt peace that God was using fertility treatments in our case.
  • I couldn't believe he questioned whether I could be happy with just him and Abigail. I love my little family of 3, and I was perfectly satisfied with my family. I just know that I have a promise of 6 and that God is not done with me yet. 
I began to realize over the next few weeks that my husband was just very grateful that I was alive after our life-threatening tubal pregnancy, and he was afraid that I was becoming obsessed with having more children. And I agree that I was definitely too focused on growing our family. 

I also figured out that I was feeling guilty. I felt like I didn't deserve to be a full-time wife and mom if I only had one child to take care of. Now, those of you who have only one child understand that it is a full-time job to take care of a child and a home. But I still felt like my husband might feel like I was a slacker since I didn't have several children. Part of the reason I felt this was was that I was constantly comparing myself to his mother. She had her first 3 children very close together and raised 5 children altogether. She managed all of this while earning their devotion and respect. He holds her in such high regard, she had to have been a wonderful  mother. I felt like I would never earn my husband's devotion and respect unless I could prove to him that I could be an amazing mother too. 

My husband does not hold me to nearly as high a standard as I apparently hold myself. He also DOES share my desire for as many children as God will bless us with. I think he was just trying to protect me.

And that's when I realized that I really needed to get over my insecurities. My family loves me so much, and I didn't have to have any children to earn their love. And more importantly, God knows me, and he gave me the desires of my heart. My life is already in full swing, and I believe that God has promised me 6 children. I will just keep moving forward and pursuing the desires of my heart with God's help and with the support of my family.

02 November 2011

Anger and Doubt

In my last post, I described the night after losing our baby Gabriel to an ectopic pregnancy. To continue ...

The next morning, I called my husband to come get me from the hospital, and he arrived a couple of hours later. He took me to our house that was for sale and went to the airport to pick up my mom, who was coming to take care of me and Abi while I recovered from surgery. My husband wore a shirt that read "I LOVE MY WIFE!", and it meant so much to me. Once my friends had brought Abi to our house in Texas, and my husband arrived with my mom, pain medicine and rental car, we got ready to leave for our apartment in Lafayette.

I was so happy to see Abi. I just wanted to pick her up and snuggle her, but I wasn't really in good enough condition to do more than give her a kiss on the forehead. I was also not really in good enough condition for a 4 hours ride on the interstate, but I didn't want my husband to miss work the next day. So we loaded up in our car and the rental car, and my mom and husband drove the family back to Lafayette to return the rental car and go to our apartment.

I already had a 1st OB appointment set up the following week with the doctor I had chosen in Lafayette, so I called them to let them know, through tears, that I was no longer pregnant but that I still needed to keep the appointment as a follow-up to surgery. The receptionist at the doctors' office put me on hold and when she came back, she informed me that the appointment was strictly an OB appointment. Since I wasn't pregnant, the doctor wouldn't be able to see me until September. And I began to weep while explaining to the receptionist that I still had to see a doctor within a week to follow up on my surgery and that it wasn't my fault that I lost the baby. She sounded panicked and set me up with a different doctor. I was so hurt by the experience that I really didn't even want to go see the new doctor, but I did.

The new doctor checked me over, and then set me up with the best local fertility specialist in Lafayette. Of course, we weren't ready to try again right away. I still had to recover from the surgery and mourn our loss, but I was definitely very eager to start trying again as soon as I was healthy enough to do so.

I guess I thought I would handle this loss much better because I had been through a loss before. But I began to feel intense anger a couple of days after the surgery. I had specifically prayed for the baby to implant in the perfect spot, repeatedly. And yet, God allowed our baby to implant in the worst possible place. I was so frustrated. I knew the whole time that God has a master plan, and He knew this was going to happen before we ever got pregnant. I guess I just didn't understand why He was allowing all of this to happen ....again.

Was God saving our baby from implanting on the leftover septum? Should I have had that surgery after all? I had so many questions .....and I still do have questions. I don't understand why God has allowed me to go through all of this.

I also questioned whether we were being punished for taking fertility measures. But we felt peace about fertility and taking that approach ..... But my husband also questioned the same thing. And a couple of family members made comments that implied that this wouldn't have happened if we hadn't taken fertility medicine. And again fame the guilt. Did I cause this by taking a medical approach to resolving our fertility issues? I was so frustrated and angry and most of all sad ....so sad.

I realized about a week after the surgery that my life had been saved. I had been misdiagnosed in Lafayette by the terrible doctor I had been seeing, and things just worked out perfectly for me to see the right doctor at the right time in Houston. I could have died had the baby grown much more. I was so grateful that I was still able to be a wife and Abi's mommy instead of dying from a ruptured fallopian tube.

I really began to question whether God's promise of six children was real. Despite three confirmations, I still wondered if I had made it all up in my mind. I mean, I was (and am) 33 years old. That doesn't leave a ton of time to have five more kids, especially if we continued to have all of these problems.  I also know that sometimes God directs our paths toward a future that we will never see here on Earth. Everything just seemed so uncertain all over again, and I wanted more than anything to just know what the future holds.