Pain, Pain Go Away

So it’s been about nine months since the chronic pain started. I saw at least a handful of doctors to help me figure out what was wrong; the first was a surgeon who increased the pain significantly. The second was a chronic pain specialist who, when I told him my symptoms and my quality of life, dismissed me without bothering to learn my story. Although he was kind enough to tell me my first surgery sterilized me. *sigh* Again, the pain never ended, it only got worse. It wasn’t until I went to a third doctor, another surgeon who has more accolades than I can count, decided a partial hysterectomy was in my best option. At 32, that word and the menopause to follow, were very scary things. At the time, however, I would do anything, and I mean ANYTHING to get rid of the pain, even if it meant officially, no children of my own. We scheduled the hysterectomy for December 27, 2016 (Merry Christmas!).

The day came, my husband and my mom were there with me at the hospital to support me and take care of my mental and physical well-being after the surgery. Everything during the surgery went as well as it could have gone. The surgeon needed to take much more than he planned, however. He originally planned to only take my uterus, but took that plus my right ovary, Fallopian tube, and cervix due to the endometriosis. Currently I am left with one ovary.

After the surgery, the pain seemed to continue, and not in a surgical manner. It was as if every time I moved, my insides burned and felt like they were being stabbed. Something didn’t feel right. I “recovered” and returned to work for a little less than two weeks before I couldn’t teach. I remember my last day: I ran our television studio from the floor in the fetal position and taught my first period journalism class from my desk with a heating pad on. My kids wouldn’t even let me stand; they are a wonderful, caring and a compassionate group of young scholars and I am blessed to have them. They watched me cry as I helped them with the paper and showed such strength for me.

During second period, a colleague of mine (one who taught my husband), saw me in excruciating pain and crying at my desk in our common planning area. Everyone suggested we go to our local hospital’s ER, but time and time again, I’ve been dismissed because they couldn’t see anything on their tests. To be frank, they considered me a drug seeker. My colleauge immediately called our administrators and my husband and I went directly to Mercy hospital in Baltimore instead.

At first they couldn’t figure out what was wrong and said they would send me home with pain pills. The entire visit took less than fifteen minutes. It might have been the pain talking but I finally got up the gumption to say, “If you don’t know what’s wrong with me, admit me. If you send me home with pain pills, you’ll see me again in a week.” My doctor said okay and I was admitted that day. Let me preface this by saying my surgeon is a wonderful man who is kind, caring and compassionate. He listened to my plea for help and ran tests while I was admitted. No one could see anything on either the CT scan or the sonogram and the answer again was pain pills and home. I refused his team’s suggestion and said I wasn’t leaving until he opened me up, looked around and everyone stopped relying on pictures to tell me “nothing was wrong”. Again, pain speaks volumes for me and my courage and my doctor agreed. He even did the surgery on a Sunday morning.

The surgery, again, (3 times in 9 months), was successful. I woke up to my husband telling me adhesions (scar tissue) had built up in my belly and was making my organs stick to my abdomen wall. Basically, every time I moved, I pulled organs that are not designed to move. After this surgery, of which I am still recovering, I am FINALLY chronic pain free! I feel like my old self, not like the shell of a person trying to survive.

If I could have you take away one thing from this post, only one, it would be to be your own advocate. You know your body better than anyone or any picture could ever show. Had I not been my own advocate and basically demanded surgery, I would not be on the road to full recovery!

I am grateful and blessed to have had a phenomenal surgeon, good friends and family check up on me and take care of me, even in the smallest of ways. They have sent cards and small gifts, food, flowers, and things to help me stay busy while I’m resting for one month. Needless to say, I’m getting very good at coloring and hand lettering calligraphy! Two of my cousins even sent me special gifts: one sent me a yellow bracelet, as yellow is the color of endometriosis awareness and the other sent me healing crystals which I keep by my bed to help comfort me.

My husband, during this final surgery, has been such a great support system. He has made sure I have everything I need, while sacrificing his own needs at times. I cannot tell you the love I have for this man!

I’ll also say that animals seem to have a keen sense of pain and healing. Our four dogs have been very attentive to me and don’t want to leave my side. They are loyal and they love unconditionally.

Together, now, it finally feels like we can move on with the adoption journey. We are both working side jobs to help raise the astronomical amount of money we need to have a child of our own. I teach to children in China online and he has a side business called WoodBuryDesigns.  He also does hand lettering and wood burning that started as a hobby and now we are using the money from both of our side jobs to make it possible for us to adopt our waiting Webster.

Now that the pain is gone from my insides, there is room for more love for a family and fun! Thank you to everyone for your support during this difficult time. I love and appreciate all of you and your gestures, big and small! They mean the world.

Next stop, adoption! ūüôā I can’t wait to meet our baby.

~Trenae

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When one comment ruins a day

As an infertile couple we have had our experiences of people saying the wrong thing even when they think it is right and that it will help us cope. We’ve even tried to bring awareness to what should be said and what shouldn’t through this blog, but my wife and I are realistic in the sense that we can’t control what others say. However, it doesn’t mean the words hurt any less.

For those of you that have read our blog from the beginning you know the journey we have been on and more recently the surgeries that have taken place. For those of you that haven’t and are just tuning in, My beautiful wife at the age of 32 had a hysterectomy and it closed the door to us having a biological child. A hysterectomy is more than just the physical removal of the female reproductive organs. We as men will never understand what it means to our wives even though we try desperately to. This surgery is so much more. It takes an emotional toll on a woman like you wouldn’t believe. My wife has told me a while back that she can’t do the one thing she was put on this earth to do and that’s to carry a baby. Now I don’t buy into that is why women are here but I sympathize with my wife in this feeling knowing what hand she has been dealt what hand we as a couple have been dealt. The surgery is over but the emotional effects still linger and probably to some extent always will. She is only human to think will I ever hear the sweet little voice shout out to me and say “Mommy.” I have watched my wife cry over many situations that people who haven’t walked a mile in our shoes will never understand. Things that before we went through this I would have said oh for the love give me a break you’re reading into everything. The truth is though you don’t ever know what someone else is going through and it’s not fair to expect people to walk on egg shells but I do think people should try to understand your situation and the impact words can have on a couple struggling with this. we have been¬†hurt many a times throughout our marriage and journey to become parents by friends, by family, and by people who we don’t even know and in most cases not at any fault of their own people just are simply unaware. Most recently though a very simple conversation wrecked our day in a big way.

We were in a store where my mom works just browsing some of the vintage items that they have. A gentlemen was talking to my mom and I got the sense that he was a regular customer because it was very clear he knew my family and my nieces and nephew. My mom is a grandmother of three all of which have come from my sister. She is a very proud grandmother and no ne can fault her for that because we hope to experience that someday. The gentleman was just talking to her about his grandchildren and commented on how lucky my mom was to have this new grandbaby. It was a very casual conversation, one that you would never think would have such a profound impact on us. I instantly noticed my wife’s demeanor change. She went from smiling and happy to very stoic and quiet. Now¬†for those of you that know me know that I can read people and their emotions really well in fact its art of my job to do that. So I instantly ask her what’s wrong to which she replies nothing it’s stupid. Now me being me I continue to ask (totally annoying and not my best quality but I’m a fixer and don’t like seeing people I love in pain)¬†She tells me again its stupid but I won’t let up. She finally, holding back tears says I just wonder if your mom will ever get to talk about our child like she does my sisters. Now let me say this wasn’t her being upset with my mom or what the gentlemen sais it was her worrying we will never get the opportunity to provide my parents with another grandchild. It was her fearing we will never be called mommy and daddy. It was her showing raw emotion with everything we have one through. Our overall tone of our day shifted completely. It went from¬†a light airy fun day to being pushed in a hole and trying desperately to pull ourselves out. Even as I write this I fully expect for some people to still not understand the situation or get the impact such a simple conversation had on us as couple but I did it wrecked our day.

I’ll be the first man to admit I am not the perfect husband even though I try so hard to be. When my wife first told me why she was sad I minimized the situation. I told her she was reading into the comment and to not take it so personal. I thought about what I said and realized that’s not what she needed from me as her husband. In fact I didn’t need to say a thing I just needed to be present and let her know I am there for her. All she wanted me to do was to hold her. That’s exactly what I did after we got home and it helped but as I mentioned before I am not the perfect husband but I am man enough to admit that I am a work in progress. There are times when I question if I am enough for my wife and if she deserves better. I have certain tendencies and tones I take and they are not always pleasant but I am working so hard on that because she deserves that. And guys listen very carefully with what I say next. When speaking to your wife or your daughter¬† or son it’s not always what you say that matters it’s how you say it. For me this is my area I have to work on to be a better husband. My wife and I have been through hell and after this surgery she is still healing emotionally so now more than ever I need to keep my tone in check and be there for her no matter what. This is the overall theme of this post though how words can hurt people even when you don’t intend them to. Everyone has their own shit going on for lack of better words so next time you judge or don’t get why someone is upset take a step back and think about what they could possibly be facing in their life. Know it may not have anything to do with you that they are just going through a hard time. Be there for them and don’t try to solve or fix just be a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on because for us that’s all we want from our support system.

The Beginning of the End…

It’s been a little less than one month since I had my hysterectomy where the surgeon intended to take only my uterus. Instead, he was forced to take my uterus, cervix, right ovary and Fallopian tube. Needless to say when I woke up and gained consciousness, I was a little taken aback by all that needed to be removed due to my endometriosis. According to my surgeon (no one else saw it), my right ovary was “indiscernible”; no one understood my pain or took the time to understand it. No one except this man. This wonderful man whose bedside manner is something to be commended. He reassured me and hugged me more times than I could have ever imagined. His staff was caring and compassionate and to put the cherry on the sundae that was this experience, he sent me roses during my recovery.

I’m blessed to have had such a great support team, from the doctors and nurses at Mercy Medical Center who took such good care of me and tended to me overnight, to my husband and my mom who never left my side for three weeks during and after surgery. My husband even slept on those awful hospital couches just to be with me. I’m one lucky lady. My mom, who I can’t thank enough for taking three weeks off from her own job to be with me and take care of me, Steffan and our furry family. My school family who called, texted, sent flowers, cards, Meal Train dinners to help lighten our load and focus on healing and taking over my classes; you are all wonderful and I’m proud to call myself a Clipper. My in-laws who came to visit and bring dinner to cheer me up and visit. There are too many friends to list, but your gifts and time meant the world. Lastly to a woman who, despite her own medical issues, took time to think of me and my classes and won a contest and gave my kids the money. Twenty years of knowing this wonderful lady and not seeing her in almost ten, and she still thinks of me. I am lucky.

recovery.jpg

There is always a flip-side to the positives. This has not been an easy journey. Surgical pain sucks. Knowing my childbearing years are officially over sucks when all I see are baby announcements. I try to be happy, but it’s a challenge sometimes. I am truly grateful for the people who show empathy for what Steffan and I have dealt with in regards to our infertility; you are our family. Therapy is helping. I’m learning techniques to keep from crying when it gets overwhelming; to put it into the words of Carrie Underwood, “This mountain is just a grain of sand.” Maybe mine isn’t that small, but I know this “mountain” is something I can climb over with time and support.

I’m learning to be kind to myself, which is incredibly difficult because I hold myself to such a high standard that when I am not perfect, I feel like I have failed. Kindness takes a LOT of breathing and patience, but I will get better at it.

Honestly, the hard part comes now. Surgery is over. Healing is underway. It’s time to take on the biggest journey of our lives and we’re ready. We’ve been ready. I know, because I’m nesting the heck out of my home, despite the chagrin of my hubs. Let the adoption process begin! We’re giving ourselves until June to reunite as husband and wife and grow in our love again and heal from this monstrous minefield.( “Dancing in the Minefields”by Andrew Peterson)

We can’t wait to have a child of our own; someone to dress and play with and spoil with love. Our turn is here. Our wedding song talked about “the beginning of the end starts with the words ‘I do'”. Well here is another beginning of the end, and this one is just as wonderful as our first one nearly four years ago. So here we go, time to get ready for another glorious minefield!

If anyone has suggestions for agencies or adoption lawyers, please leave your comments below! Thanks!

~Trenae

Tug of War

To say that it has been a long time since we have written is an understatement. We have had so much on our plate it hasn’t only been difficult to find time to sit down and gather our thoughts but we haven’t even been making dinner. I think in the past month I’ve maybe cooked like twice. For those of you that know me know that this isn’t¬†ordinary considering cooking is a strong passion of mine. Let’s pick up where I believe we left off….

We were in Annapolis finding out answers for my beautiful wife as she had been suffering for almost six months. Well She was finally placed in the right hands or shall I say back in the right hands of our current surgeon. He previously did a surgery for Trenae years ago that provided her with relief for quite some time until her endometriosis had progressed. For the past two years my wife has been made to believe it was “all in her head” by several very respectful doctors because they couldn’t see the issue on your run of the mill tests. Blood work showed nothing, CT showed nothing, and internal sonograms showed nothing. It wasn’t until this past week that we truly found out what was wrong. Now granted as Rumpelstiltskin¬†says everything comes with a price and for us it was the price of my wifes uterus, Fallopian tubes and her right ovary. I will not say it came at the price of us having children because that is simply not true and a very negative way to think of things. This price was one My wife and I were willing to pay and had I known this is where we would be today I would have encouraged her to have this done years ago. What was found during the surgery was that after two different doctors told her she didn’t have endometriosis our surgeon said her right ovary was covered in it and removed it with her request. Every other month for as long as I can remember my wife would have excruciating pain associated with her menses and on December 27th we found out why.

For months I have watched my wife fade as a lighter version of the woman I fell in love with because of this awful health condition. She became more anxious than ever, angry about many different things, and just over all very sad. Honestly who could blame her. I can’t say with an honest voice I would have handled it anywhere near as well as she has. She is one of the strongest people I know. But when I tell you what happened simply two hours out of surgery I knew we made the right decision even in spite of all the anxiety the build up of the surgey caused. My mother in law and I went back to see my wife. Now at this point she was in the recovery room lined up with multiple other patients in recovery. When you walk in you get hit with a very distinct smell that i associate with hospitals. One that doesn’t bring back memories that i enjoy. In fact at one point I had to step away from my wife because I felt like i was going to get sick. But I digress what happened when I saw her is I saw her again. She had that sparkle back in her eyes. The one I hadn’t seen in months and possibly a year. Two hours after surgery she had humor back and was making jokes about her surgery. As dumb as it sounds I walked away not only because I was nauseated from the familiar smell but because I was choked up. I had my wife back. I always knew she was still in there and I would get glimmers of her from time to time but this was the real deal.

One day after surgery she was up walking and laughing again, and while she was in surgical pain, the pain that she lived with in her heart had gone away. Now I am not going to sit here and say it will never come back but this surgery provided us with closure. It allowed us to let go of control and realize that sometimes we don’t get to make all the decisions. It allowed us to set our sights on what it is we have been yearning¬†for these past four years and that’s to be parents. I’m not saying it will happen tomorrow or that adopting is going to be a piece of cake either but what i am saying is that we will have a child and they will be ours forever. If you’ve read my past posts you’ve heard me talk about ¬†riding on a rollercoaster that never stops. Well I can finally say it has stopped for us and we are buying new tickets on our ride that has an end and its one that leads to becoming a family of three.

Trenae was discharged the day after her hysterectomy and we headed back home. Now before we went up to surgery our beloved long-haired mini dachshund had injured his back. He seemed like he was improving the couple of days we were home, but then we get back and his back legs weren’t working very well. In fact they were dragging at certain points. Is this where I began to feel very overwhelmed. I had my wife who was recovering and now my dog who we are thinking is paralyzed in the back legs. I called our breeder to find out what she suggested to do, and she gave me the contact info of this amazing veterinarian that does physical therapy, acupuncture and multiple other modes of therapy. I called and made an appointment right away and we were to be seen two hours after I hung up. We go in and this place is like the Ritz of vet offices. I mean not a speck of dust or dog hair on the floors. They take Walter and I back and assess him and determine that it is either a bulging disc or herniated disc. She suggests two options one is surgery and the other is a culmination of different therapies. She goes over the pros and cons of both and makes some calls to get me an estimate of what the surgery will cost. Now keep in mind we are a day of being home when all of this is occurring. So you can imagine the level of stress in our ¬†household because our dogs are our children. She comes back and says Mr. Webster the estimate for surgery is going to be between 12 and 15 thousand dollars for Walter and they can take him today. Now my first thought was how can I make this happen because my wife and I love this little dog with all our hearts, and then my second is how the hell are we going to afford this when trying to adopt and everything else that has hit us in 2016. She suggested calling our breeder and seeing what she would recommend. She recommended the multiple therapy route. So Walter has been “lasered” and given a gamete of meds and he is walking again. He will be crated for weeks possibly months to regain his strength and allow his disc to move back into place.

I literally do not know how we would be standing without my mother in law here helping us or our friends that have brought us food and visited with my wife and I.¬†I am in this strange tug of war right now with a sense of relief but also a sense of being very overwhelmed. In the end it will all work out however it is supposed to but I would love nothing more just to be able to enjoy my wifes recovery with her and to have our little Walter snuggled up next to us in bed again. Only time will tell whats in store but for now I must go to bed because tomorrow is a big day for me….. I turn 30. It’s insane to think I am that young and have experienced all these different things in life already. Good night all and stay tuned for whats up for us next…

-Steffan

When the Train Changes Tracks Again…

Today was one of those days where I know I need to write a post but I’m overwhelmed to the point I am worried my fingers won’t represent the sheer emotions that we are experiencing at this moment. Here goes nothing…..

Today Trenae and I both took off from work to have a “day off” for doctors appointments. I put it in quotes because it felt more stressful and strenuous then any day of work I have experienced to date. We have been really looking forward to our first appointment with our fertility doctor. After all we thought we stepped foot off this ride a long time ago until we recently received the very generous gift of an embryo from a loving couple that shall remain anonymous. But back we went with the hope and joy that this is the one thing we had been waiting on for what feels likes an eternity.

The appointment went really well…… or so we thought. Our doctor went over our charts and said everything looks great, this would be a great option for us and the probability is about 50% (doesn’t sound high I know but when your probability is zero for so long 50 is huge). Trenae went on to explaining to our doctor that she had a surgery in August and thought it was just like the ones she had before to minimize the pain from her endometriosis. She said the word “ablation” and suddenly the conversation tone changed like when a bad thunderstorm is coming in and you feel the winds shift. Our doctor said he needed to know more about the surgery and if it were the kind he was thinking that we wouldn’t be candidates for a donor embryo because it would have taken away Trenae’s ability to carry a baby at all. We continued on the conversation saying it wasn’t that kind of surgery because we had communicated to her OBGYN our strong desire to be parents if by the stroke of luck a miracle happened. Our doctor felt confident in what we were saying because we were confident it wasn’t that kind of surgery. We left there elated thinking this might be it for us that our ride is finally coming to a stop and we are walking off it rather than falling like its felt for the last two years now. Until our next appointment….

We went to our next appointment with a pelvic pain specialist because since the surgery in August Trenae has had unbearable pain, and I mean what I say there. I have watched my wife cry as she goes to the bathroom, sneezes, and even just stands for a period of time. We went back to her OBGYN after post op and told her all these things and she said I just don’t know, maybe take some Tylenol and use a heating pad. We were in her office for all of two minutes until she dismissed us doing nothing. That’s when it hit me in the parking lot I wasn’t going to stand for this and that something needed to be done. I walked back in with my wife and told the receptionist they weren’t billing our insurance until we had answers and my wife felt relief. Finally she sent us to the amazing doctor we saw today and said we just need to get you pregnant (you’ll see the irony in this statement later). We meet with Dr. M and he reviews Trenae’s file and goes over everything with her to make sure he has the full story. He says to us I see here that you had an “endometrial¬†ablation.” I think there’s that word again, you know the one that if you had this surgery you can’t carry a baby. Trenae looks at me in sheer panic and says to the doctor I thought I had the same surgery I did before just to remove the endometriosis because I told my OBGYN that I wanted to get pregnant. He says no I hate to be the bearer of bad news and it pains me to tell you this but yes you had an ablation and no you can’t carry a baby… see the irony in her statement?¬†I see the sadness engulf my wife like a dark dense cloud. She says I wouldn’t have done the surgery if I had known that, how could this be, I told her over and over we wanted to get pregnant. I sat there holding my wife’s hand feeling the grip get tighter and tighter. Dr. M kept apologizing and said lets see if I can help with the pain at least and you can speak to¬†the fertility doc about the other issue. He exams her and does a couple different test to see what her pain triggers are and tells her to get dressed and for us to meet him back in his office. Now before the exam he told us he thinks it might be nerve damage but won’t know until the exam and when we go back to his office he says I think it may be what is called Adenomyosis. For those of you that don’t know what that is its basically when the endometriosis goes into the uterine wall and into the muscle tissue causing pain and lots of other issues. The crazy thing is before he said that I told Trenae on the way up that that’s what I believe she has through the research I had done. He immediately sent her to the building next door to have an MRI so we can figure out what next steps are. He says if it is in fact Adenomyosis the only option is a hysterectomy. At this point we are both feeling like we’ve been trampled to death. We started out our morning thinking our prayers have been answered and we will be able to have the baby we have yearned for to find out that her OBGYN took that from us and now she has to have a possible hysterectomy.

It is very hard to not feel like you are drowning in this situation. I tried so desperately to stay positive and think that some higher power whoever that may be is telling us we are supposed to adopt and even though we try and derail the path of the train we are being taken back to the original path, but lets be honest it doesn’t make it hurt any less. This news has wrecked both of our worlds, and there’s nothing we can do about it. So now what? we wait for the results of the MRI and go back to saving the crazy amount of money it will take us to adopt. We will have our baby eventually its just painful to feel like the medical system has now failed us. I was okay when it was me it had failed and my doctor ruined my chance of being able to conceive but now another doctor has ruined my wife’s ability to carry because she didn’t take the time to listen to us over and over again saying we want to be parents. It saddens me deeply that this ride has changed tracks yet again but the silver lining in all of this is we may finally have answers for my wife and she can be restored to normal health again. I’m sorry if my post seems to jump around and not make a whole lot of sense. I am finding it very hard to put this all into words but this is my best attempt. Until next time

 

Steffan

When God Closes a Door…

It’s been a little while since our last post…probably because the shock of some news that came to us around the middle of September.

Where to begin? College might be a good place to start. Brief, yet important. I went to college at a small university and have kept in touch with very few people from those days. Skip to this month and my husband and I get a Facebook email from an old college acquaintance and his wife that just about knocked the wind out of both of us (in a good way).

You see, on a Monday, I had a second post-surgical¬† appointment with my GYN about the pain I am still feeling over a month later. She barely touched the area where she operated; she basically looked at my belly button, the area of my main incision, and said she had no clear-cut reasons why “I’m still feeling this way” and said, “If only we could get you pregnant, a lot of this would go away.” She sent my husband away and told me to use a heating pad and OTC pain meds like Advil. I walked out of the office with Steffan in a state of shock and in tears. My bulldog of a husband does not take kindly when his wife is in tears and since he already works in the medical field he marched back in and said he wanted to talk with the doctor again, because he was confused about how she was getting our copay and insurance pay when she spent less than five minutes with us, didn’t touch me, and changed the plan from a CT scan, meds and a trip to a specialist to a heating pad and Advil…needless to say, by our second time out of the office, the original plan was in place albeit I was still so frustrated I told my husband I just about done. I couldn’t take much more.

On Tuesday morning I woke up to the email of all emails from “the angels” . In it, the wife told the story of how they had been through similar situations to ours, and how they have been reading our blog and basically re-living their own roller coaster ride through our stories. At the end of her story, she told us that after their own long journey, they came away with two children of their own who have made their lives full of joy and happiness as a family. To end the email, she and her husband informed us that after their rounds of IVF, they have one frozen embryo left. One. And after an honest, heartfelt conversation between them as husband and wife, and reading this blog, they have offered donate their last embryo to us.

Needless to say, until now, Steffan and I have been left utterly speechless. What a generous gift. What a generous couple. When we asked ‘why’, they simply said, they are better parents because of their deep desire for children, just like ours, and they wanted to pay it forward to us because they have been so blessed.

For days we were stunned. We didn’t know what to say, even to each other. Steff and I had resigned ourselves to the adoption path and we were okay with that, but the timing of the doctor’s appointment and their email seemed all too coincidental. My husband and I aren’t the most actively religious people, but there was just something too undeniable there to ignore.

We talked on on the phone with our generous couple and we explained our medical situation in detail, including our excitement and nerves. They were given until just about the end of October to make a decision about what to do with their embryo; they could pay for another year of storage, donate it to a couple or science, or “trash” it. They chose to donate it to us. This option wasn’t even on my radar, nor my husbands, but how do you ignore such a thing. In my mind, all I could think was: there’s only one embryo (maybe it’s meant for us)…they do kind of resemble us…and we would finally have the family we’ve been yearning for since the week after we got married.

Of course, for every positive, there is an area of hesitation. Would I even be able to carry this beautiful gift? What happens if I lost it? How would we feel psychologically? Would they feel like they wasted this gift on us if I miscarried? Is my job too stressful for me to go through this?

I remember bringing some of these things up to them on the phone and C said, “Trenae, this is our gift to you. If you lose the baby, you tried…we tried. We’re giving this to you. We are better for having kids and we feel you and Steffan would feel just as blessed. Whatever the outcome, we want you to have this opportunity.

We had only just removed ourselves from this fertility roller coaster about a year or so ago because of the uncertainty and ups and downs with every visit. It was like having your stomach in your throat one minute and then in your butt the next! Now we’re getting our next tickets and getting back in line.

At this point, we’re moving forward. We have an appointment with our fertility specialists next week to see if this is a viable option. I mean, we literally have one shot. Is it time? Are we ready to be Mommy and Daddy? I guess we’ll see…because remember, when God closes a door, sometimes He opens a window.

~Trenae

 

We are Getting Twins??

I have always been a very intuitive person. Almost like it’s a sixth sense. When I was younger I would have dreams and see things and a lot of times they would happen. I know I know I sound crazy but you can ask my wife about just how many times it has happened.

For as long as I can remember I have had a reoccurring dream that I would someday be a father of twins. Strange I know most people hear about women dreaming about their wedding day or the day of the proposal but never a man dreaming of being a dad. Especially not dreaming about twins as young as sophomore year in college. When Trenae and I met the dreams occurred a lot more frequently. I knew for sure it was my intuition acting up again telling me that someday we will have twins. I always told her about this and what they looked like. A boy and a girl; The boy had my skin color and his mothers eyes and took the trait of both of us with dark chestnut brown hair. The girl ringlet curls with the same dark chestnut brown hair and piercing green eyes that looked so much like mine. Most people don’t dream in color but for some reason I always have. I always remember what my dreams are about and how vivid the colors are. This dream always made my heart warm because it told me there was still hope that we would have our family some day.

It wasn’t until we started going through all the fertility stuff that it dawned on me just how likely this “dream” may become a reality. One that scared me but excited me at the same time. Before we found out IVF wasn’t in the cards for us Trenae and I talked about how many embryos we would implant if given the opportunity. We both agreed two was a good number because it increased our likelihood of one of them taking and also gave us a 50/50 chance at twins. I could picture how ours lives would end up with these two precious little gifts. They would both play soccer before they ever truly understood what they were doing. Running around the field looking like a herd of cows chasing after the ball while I chased after them telling them where to go and Trenae cheered them on from the side lines. I saw them learning how to swim before they could walk, you know the good old fashion way that I learned; throwing them in while you wait to catch them. I had our whole lives planned out and it seemed so close I could almost touch it until my fingers graze the dream and it disappears into the sky. Once we found out IVF wasn’t going to happen for us the dreams slowly stopped happening.¬†They faded until I didn’t have dreams about kids at all anymore for a couple of months.

One of the ways I cope with my new found reality of infertility is talking to people about it. For some reason this is therapeutic for me to tell my story. It gives me a sense of support that sometimes I feel I do not have. Being that I work in doctors offices on a regular basis the ones that I am close with will ask me the question; “When are you having kids?” I chose to open up to some of them and tell our “situation” and almost always they are very supportive and some ask lots of questions. The questions don’t bother me so much as when I hear well you’re just overthinking it or guess it’s not meant to be. This rarely happens though. One particular time I opened up to one of my favorite Nurse practitioners at lunch. She asked me how married life was treating me and if we had found a new house yet to which I replied married life is amazing and yes we have found one they accepted our offer. She already knew the reason we were buying a larger home, and not just because we would need the space if we welcomed a little one or two into our lives. She knew that we were buying a new house because once we started the home study process we would be stuck in our house that we had already outgrown. We would lose all the blood, sweat, tears, and not to mention money that we had invested for nothing. She then asked me about where we are in the adoption process and told me that she’s always keeping her ears open if she comes across someone in a situation where they are looking to put their child up for a adoption. I thanked her for always checking on me and didn’t think anything else of it.

Weeks later this same Nurse Practitioner says to me I need to talk to you. She said it in such a manner that I thought something had happened to a patient on the medication I sell or I offended her in some way. She pulled me into the lunch room and said I have something to tell you… I have a patient that is pregnant with twins. My first thought was well that’s great for her why are you telling me this. Until I remember our previous conversation just weeks before. She says The young girl has already said she cant take care of the two little girls when she has them. I am trying to hold it together at this point and not get my hopes up. She then asks me if we have moved into the new house yet and I told her it doesn’t happen for a couple more weeks. I tell her how perfect it would be for the stars to align like this and how we have a room already designated for a future nursery and there’s a beautiful playhouse in the backyard. She then asks me what I have been waiting to hear for a long time, “would you be willing to adopt them?” Without a doubt I said yes but I would need to check with my wife first. Keep in mind this is already an extremely stressful time. We are buying a new house (of which the process was made extremely difficult by the sellers), selling our current home and settling all within hours of one another. I knew bringing the girls into the picture would create more stress but it was a good stress. The kind of stress we had yearned for, for quite some time. I run home and tell Trenae the news and of course she is on board. I tell her not to get her hopes up even though both of ours were at this point. We finally felt like everything was coming together. She secretly was pinning things on pinterestg¬†for the nursery we would be creating as soon as we moved in. I was thinking about names for our little girls. We were both so touched that this nurse practitioner thought of us to be their parents.

The weeks up to settlement on our new house flew by but not without a lot of bumps in the road. When buying a house you always expect something to pop up because that’s just how it goes, but we couldn’t have planned or prepared ourselves for the bump we were about to experience. I go into the office where the nurse practitioner works and she pulls me aside again. I am thinking I’m getting an update on the twins, and I was just the not one I wanted. She tells me I have some news, “the girl has decided to give the twins to her cousin. I tried to talk her out of it as the cousin already has nine children and she’s pregnant with the tenth. she’s unemployed and she can’t even take care of herself, but the girl wanted to keep the twins in the family. I am so sorry Steffan.”

I walked away trying to hold it together. I knew there was a chance of this but I truly thought this was going to be it for us. It was finally going to work out. We were two days away from settlement and this was the good news that we had waited for. Again I was wrong. I remember feeling complete sadness and dread to make the phone call and tell my wife. I knew she had been so excited about having two little girls. She was devastated, we both were. It all happened so quickly. I was hoping I would wake up from this nightmare but I didn’t. The twins were gone, our dream was gone. We were now an infertile couple living in a house with empty rooms and a playhouse with no one to play in it……

Steffan