In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I would take this opportunity to share Brennen’s story. Afterall, without him I would not be able to celebrate being a mom. His journey into this world began far before he was conceived and he came into this world very wanted and loved. Here is Part 1 of Brennen’s story told through my perspective.
My journey to motherhood was not an easy one. In fact, there was a time when I thought I would never become a mom.
About 1 year after Andrew and I got married, we decided we were ready to start a family. Once we got the green light from my doctor, we eagerly waited for nature to take its course. At this point, we had already been getting the usual question of “When are you guys going to have kids,” from family, friends and even strangers. People can not resist asking that question!
As the months slowly crept by without success, Andrew and I tried not to worry because the doctor had told us it could take up to a year before I became pregnant.
In the meantime, I attended friends baby showers and although I was happy for them, I hoped that my turn would be soon. It seemed that everywhere I turned there was a pregnant woman or a baby reminding me of what I was missing out on.
As we neared the 1 year mark, responding to that question, “When are you guys going to have kids,” became increasingly more difficult. Most of the time I would just say “soon,” even though I really wanted to take the person by the shoulders and shake the bejesus out of them while shouting, “Stop asking me that!” Other times I would tell the person the truth. The truth usually resulted in an uncomfortable moment of silence, followed by a blank stare on the person’s face followed by a mumbled “I’m sorry to hear that.” The worst response I ever got when I told the truth was, “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.” Which for me translated to, “Maybe you are not meant to be a mom.”
After a year past without any success, we finally sought out help. It took many months of testing to pinpoint the problem and eventually we were referred to an infertility clinic. The doctor we met with recommended in vitro fertilization (IVF). In retrospect I should have asked more questions about the procedure, but at the time I was so desperate to become a mom all I heard was, “You have a good chance of becoming pregnant.”
We began the IVF process about a year and a half after we first started trying to get pregnant.
The first part of the IVF process was to coerce my body into producing lots of eggs. This was accomplished thru daily injections of medication, which Andrew and I were taught how to administer ourselves. I also had to go the infertility clinic on a weekly basis for blood to be drawn and examinations.
Initially none of this bothered me but over time it did begin to take its toll. Mentally I was already very worn down from the disappointment of the past year and a half. Physically I felt strong and always prided myself on having a high tolerance for pain. During one particularly painful procedure, the doctor complimented me for having handled it better than anyone they had ever seen before. However, as time went on the injections became more painful. I ran out of “fresh” places to put the needle and my body began to ache and swell. My arms started to resemble those of a drug addict due to the countless times I had blood drawn. I remember one night, at injection time, I broke down telling Andrew that I didn’t want to do it anymore because it was too painful.
Thankfully, I persevered and my body produced enough eggs to schedule the removal procedure. My eggs were removed via an outpatient surgery and were then fertilized with Andrew’s sperm. A short time after, we returned to the clinic for my final procedure. Two embryos were placed inside of me in a procedure that was nothing short of a Sci Fi movie. I will never forget what the nurse said to me after wheeling me to the recovery room. “Now all you can do is think sticky thoughts.” And that is exactly what I did. I channeled all of my energy into willing those embryos to “stick.”
Next came the waiting. 7 loooong days of waiting. 168 excruciating hours of waiting for the results.
In my case, there was no peeing on a stick to determine if I was pregnant. I instead returned to the clinic 7 days later to get my blood drawn. I then waited again, for the phone call later in the afternoon. I was cautiously optimistic that I might be pregnant. A few days earlier my sense of smell was so heightened that I began to smell things that no on else could smell. I just needed the doctor to verify that my suspicions were true.
When the phone rang, I took a deep breath, walked into the bathroom and shut the door. (I find it ironic that I chose to get the news there.) When I answered the phone the doctor said, “I have great news! You are pregnant!” I don’t remember much else of the conversation or the rest of that day for that matter. I just remember tears streaming down my face and calling Andrew at work to tell him that after 2 years, we were finally pregnant.
I was finally going to be a mom!