There is so much to share here. It's been a long nearly 5 years of struggle for Jonathan and me. So instead of writing you the novel that has been our baby hopes for the past 55 months, I'll give you a quick rundown of how we've found ourselves where we are today:
June 2009 -- Womacks buy their first home in Houston Texas. Rachel is working as a middle school band director. Jonathan is a high school history teacher. We'd been married for 2 years, both had solid jobs, and we'd bought our first house. Now what??
July 2009 -- Womacks attend the wedding of one of Rachel's best friends Rachel :). Lots of talks happened that weekend about babies and our future. It was decided then that now was the time to start a family. So we seized the day...With the start of our next cycle, we decided to start trying.
August 22, 2009 -- 10 days into our first cycle of trying, I overzealously (since there was no way it could be positive) took a pregnancy test. And somehow it was very clearly and unmistakably positive!! I screamed and told Jonathan he had to come see. He was ecstatic and ran out to grab me another test to be sure. And yep, sure enough. Another positive! Jonathan's hugs literally knocked the wind out of me. Ready or not...here comes baby!
Later That Day August 22, 2009 -- Even though we had decided to wait until we had seen the doctor before we told anyone, we just couldn't wait. We told both our parents and siblings and were just beyond belief shocked and excited. We called on the next Monday to schedule our first OB appointment. "Is this just a regular well woman check up Mrs. Womack?" "No ma'am...I'm pregnant!" Appointment set for September 15th.
September 1, 2009 -- Other than the occasional morning sickness (i.e.-vomiting in my morning shower, puking on the way to work, etc.) I felt wonderful. But in the afternoon of this Tuesday, I noticed a small amount of pink spotting. So I "Wed MD'ed" myself. Blah blah blah...it was probably normal right??
September 8, 2009 -- This evening I saw red blood. Not a lot...it was still technically "spotting" and there was no pain involved. But we went to the ER anyway just to be sure. We got an ultrasound, a pelvic done, and blood work. Everything looked normal. Yes, my hCG was elevated. I was definitely pregnant...probably 5 or 6 weeks along (??), but the ultrasound didn't show anything. Which probably means it's just too soon to see anything there. The spotting stopped, I tried not to worry.
September 11, 2009 -- Chaperoning a school dance...went to the bathroom...noticed more red blood. A little heavier this time. But still no pain. Called Jonathan and we went to the ER again. Same doctor. Probably thinking I'm completely crazy at this point. But he ordered more tests and another ultrasound and called in the Head Sonographer to look at the scans to ease my "first time mommy jitters".
They wheeled me to the ultrasound room. Turned the monitor away from me and Jonathan. Began the ultrasound. In sync...as if rehearsed...the two sonographers squinted and turned their heads slightly to the left. Then rapidly printed the ultrasound pictures, turned off the machine, and told me someone would be taking me back to my room shortly. Jonathan and I were left in the dimly lit ultrasound room. We laughed and joked around to lighten the mood. He held my hand. They came to take us back to the room.
10 minutes later Dr. Love (yes that was his real name) came in. He sat by my bedside. The man who had spouted off all the percentages of women who's pregnancies end in miscarriage just a few days ago. The man who basically told me that I needed to quit being so paranoid. The man who was so very calloused and flippant about my concerns. He sat at my bedside and held my hand..his eyes brimming with tears. He said "Mrs. Womack, I wish I had better news for you. You *are* pregnant. No doubt about that. Your hCG is going up...but not like we want it to. It's not doubling. And we found something on the ultrasound." With that statement he took a deep breath and looked at the floor and then back to me. He said "It looks like it's ectopic. The baby has implanted somewhere outside of the uterus. And we have to act fast so that you don't lose your tube or something worse." He gave us a second to let that sink in. He gave us our options. He explained the process. He apologized again and again. He empathized with us because apparently his wife had suffered a miscarriage...he told us this would happen for us soon...we would be parents eventually. That the silver lining was that we "could" get pregnant. He tearfully wished us good luck and told us someone would be in to take us up to our room soon.
He left. I tried to hold it together. My first initial emotion was anger. Then disappointment. Then embarrassment. I'd made a big deal over nothing. Our beautiful story was over...tonight. And then I broke down. Jonathan engulfed me in a suffocating hug. We laid on that gurney just holding each other and sobbing. Not even knowing what to say. What to think. How to react. It was a blur. Jonathan called my mom. He called his parents in OKC. My mom came rushing to the hospital. In that ER room I hugged her and told her I was sorry that I'd gotten everyone so excited and then I failed. It was heartbreaking. Gut wrenching...
They came and got me and put me on the elevator. The doors open...the sign says "Center for New Life". I break down again. This was the labor and delivery floor. Where I would spend the night passing the snuffed out life of my angel baby. Where other women would be gazing on the faces of their beautiful miracles for the first time. I was placed in a labor and delivery room where methotrexate was administered through painful shots in both by thighs. I was given a good dose of dilaudid...to numb the emotional pain mostly. I spent the night high as a kite while puking and passing clots in the bathroom. Going through pair after pair of those fashionable mesh hospital panties. I asked for another dose of pain meds even though it was only my heart that was in pain at that point. It was torn open and bleeding. And my sweet Jonathan was so patient through it all. Holding my hair back, seeing his wife at her worst possible moment, being the stand up man that he is.
We mourned the loss of our baby. We eventually named him Aamon (which means hidden). We went home broken...we started over...
December 2009 -- We'd begun trying again...no luck yet. Jonathan decides, after the life changing events in September, that his life and our lives together are not what he had envisioned for us. He decided that medical school was his calling.
January 2009 -- Jonathan begins prerequisite classes to apply for med school.
March 2009 -- After an additional 6 months of unsuccessful trying we met with our OB who ran some tests and took some blood work. Everything was seemingly fine. Come back in 6 months if you aren't pregnant.
September 2009 -- Still no luck. Met with OB/Gyn who referred us to Dr. Nagamani...a local fertility specialist with glowing reviews. Begin a round of clomid after some assessment.
1st Round of Clomid 50mg -- 3 eggs ready to release. Trigger shot and timed intercourse. BFN
2nd Round of Clomid 150 mg with IUI -- 5 eggs to release. Trigger shot. Jonathan makes his deposit in a very conspicuous bathroom right off from the waiting room. Insemination ensues. BFN again.
1st Round of Letrozole -- One good egg ready to release. Trigger shot. Baby dance in an inconvenient location (oh the joys of TTC with infertility!). BFN...again.
3rd Round of Clomid 150 mg with IUI -- 6 eggs ready to release. 4 on the left which was the side of my ectopic pregnancy. Doctor strongly advises against the IUI due to the risk of recurring ectopic pregnancy. We leave the office for good. We are financially tapped out for the moment. It is March 2011. We are still childless, now pretty much penniless, and feeling pretty hopeless...
May 2012 -- Jonathan gets his acceptance to medical school WOOHOO!!!!
July 23, 2012 -- We move to Freeport, Grand Bahamas for school
December 28, 2012 -- We move to Dominica in the West Indies for school
March 2013 -- I come back to the states for a visit with a new OB in OKC because I'm ovulating VERY infrequently and am having crazy long cycles. She takes blood work. My prolactin is high. I begin taking Dostinex 0.25 mg (yes you read that right...it's a flake of a pill) once a week. My ovulation is restored and I'm having normal cycles again! We should realistically be able to conceive within this calendar year. Jonathan's soldiers are marching strong and steady and there's enough of them in each "deployment" to impregnate 10 women. Rachel's eggs are healthy and are actually being released from her ovaries on their own now. God PLEASE let 2013 be our year...
January 2014 -- Closed door. But new found hope. We have prayed about it and talked about it for a long time. It's time. We begin saving for our IVF round.
May 2014 -- We returned to the states for good!
June 2014 -- Our first appointment at The University of Oklahoma Reproductive Medicine clinic
July 2014 -- I begin taking birth control and schedule diagnostic procedures in preparation for our first round of IVF
August 2014 -- We start stim shots and schedule our retrieval and then hopeful transfer. We ended up with 7 total embryos initially. On August 16th, they transferred two healthy embryos and successfully froze one.
September 3rd, 2014 -- Took a pregnancy test...IT WAS POSITIVE!!!!!
Now we are excitedly anticipating the arrival of our first baby, our SON, Greysen Neil on or before May 9th, 2015. God is good ALL THE TIME and we are excited for our lives to change forever!