Monday, September 30, 2013

The Road to Becoming a Mom

My journey into motherhood began 18 years ago.  Bob and I had become friends at college and married soon after. Because I wanted to utilize my degree in social work,  I chose to work for several years before we began having children.  I had no reason to suspect that I would have troubles conceiving , and yet , that is what happened. 

The first few months, after we decided that it was time to begin our family, were exciting times, as we imagined the possibilities of being pregnant and having a little one.  But after six months of trying, the excitement wore off and things became a little more scheduled and stressful.  Of course the doctors would not intervene until we had been trying for a full year,  but this did not stop me from reading every book I could get my hands on and implementing the temperature chart, and the proper positions, and all the other fun things that the books said would help our chances of conceiving. ( My heart goes out to all couples who walk this road for years on end.  I can only imagine how difficult this would be).  The months began to revolve around my cycle.  For two weeks we would be filled with hope and anticipation,  only to have that all come crashing down when my cycle began..  But then, two weeks later, we would need to begin trying again.  And that meant that all systems had to be go on the exact date and time.  And, just in case we were off a little,  I would want to take all precautions and try a day before and after.  So,  needless to say,  all passion was gone and now it was a mission that was to be accomplished.  This added  such emotional stress to both the marriage and to myself.  And then to have others tell me to "just relax".  Of course the advise was accurate,  but almost impossible to do,  and adding the knowledge of what I should be doing only heightened the anxiety that I wasn't doing it.  After a year of this roller coaster ride ,  I visited the doctor and was told that my hormones were off.  We were started on a regimen of clomid, with three months at one dose, documenting all temperature fluctuations.  After 3 months,  the dose was increased and two months later we had conceived.  Not only were we excited to be having a baby,  I think we were both relieved to be done with the trying.  Now our lives could become "normal" again.

I share all of this, not because I am an expert on infertility,  for I realize that for many women,  a year and a half is nothing.  But I tell this part of my story because I believe that it impacts my determination later on, to fight with all I have to save this child.  I did not know if we would be able to conceive again and we had worked too hard to get to this spot.

Two months into the pregnancy,  I began to spot.  It wasn't tons but it was enough to put fear in my heart.  A trip to the doctors again revealed that my hormone levels were off and I was started on progesterone.  This stopped the bleeding, and I continued this regimen for several weeks.  Again,  I share this detail, because when our child was  born with special needs,  as a mother, I went back to see if anything I did could have caused the trouble.  Many years later,  we were told that the mutation that caused Caleb's breathing problems occurred at 5 weeks gestation.  I do not question whether the progesterone caused the problem,  I just wonder if nature was trying to take its course and we circumvented the process.   I wouldn't change what I did,  but again,  once I was pregnant, I would do anything to hold onto that little one inside of me.  I am no longer going to be pregnant, but, after much soul searching,  I believe I would make the same choice today. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Journey Begins

For years now people have been telling me that I need to share my story. I didn't ask to have a story, but life happens, and along with it came my story. So, 17 years into this journey of motherhood, I finally have decided that I will begin to write about the adventure that I call life. My preference is to sit with a friend, over lunch, and share our stories that way, but many people that are experiencing the life that I have lived are not able to meet for lunch. They are too busy caring for their child in a hospital, or advocating for their child in order to get the services they need. Or they are just too worn out and exhausted by the demands that life has given them. So, I will begin my blogging career with an invitation to all of those mothers out there, who need a shoulder to cry on, an older woman to seek advise from, or someone to listen to their worries and fears. I will share my story, along with the joys and sorrows I have faced. I will be honest, though at times it will hurt, and I will paint a true picture of life in our home. I do not do this for sympathy or accolades, but to help others know that they are not alone. There are many of us on this journey, and if I am able to bring encouragement and help along the way, then I am greatful for the time I have spent on this road.