Baby Braden

This post is so long overdue. I apologize. Kind of. Things have been a little crazy around here.

A year ago, I was so emotionally drained after the holidays. Christmas was not full of joy for me, it was only full of reminders of the children we did not have.

My how things can change in a year. I am snuggling my 3 week old son (did I just type that…my SON?) as I write this post. My house is still decorated for Christmas and a bit of a mess. My shirt has been spit up and drooled on. Yes, I have showered but haven’t done my hair or makeup more than twice since Braden’s birth. And you know what? I don’t care. All I care about is taking care of our precious gift.

Our (brief) birth story:

On Christmas Eve, while celebrating with my in-laws, I started having contractions. I didn’t tell anyone at the time, until Brian and I were safely in the car and on our way to candlelight service at church. We began timing them and by the time church was over, they were 8 minutes apart. Then they abruptly stopped. I was disappointed, but so glad we made it through church…as was the music director since Brian was the choir accompanist!

Christmas Day evening was a repeat of Christmas Eve. I was wondering if I even knew what contractions were!

The morning of the 26th I was pretty certain this was the real deal. By 7:30 am I starting timing my contractions and they were 4:30 minutes apart. By 8:30 Brian and I headed to the hospital.

The nurses hooked me up immediately and confirmed that, yes, I was having real contractions! By 10:30, we knew we were staying and that we weren’t leaving the hospital without our baby! I was able to labor without drugs until 1:00 pm. Of course not without the help of my amazing husband. He was with my through every contraction and stayed very calm…though our nurse (another BS!) told me she was more worried about him than me! Several people said that…hmmm.

By 1:08, I had my epidural. The anesthesiologist is now my best friend! I was able to rest then. I only knew I was having a contraction by watching Brian’s face. Didn’t bother me in the least. 🙂

Of course, more events transpired, but I’ll spare you those details. Nothing bad or scary, I really had an awesome birth experience. One of the coolest things was that the house OB was the wife of RE #1, Dr. P! Mrs. Dr. P was just was kind and sweet as her husband. Kind of brought things full circle.

By 6:30, I was dilated 10 cm and ready to push. Nurse BS, who’d been with us all day, wanted me to practice pushing before calling the dr. Now, my regular OB was out of town, so after much discussion, we decided to have Brian’s uncle Fred, another OB in the practice, be the delivering dr. A decision I would make again if I had to. If we weren’t related, he would be my regular dr, no questions asked.

Well, it turns out I didn’t need to practice and nurse BS didn’t leave me until uncle Fred got there. 5 minutes after Fred’s arrival, our SON, made his arrival, at 7:04 pm. He was a big boy weighing in at 8 lbs 5 oz and 20.5 inches long. He came out with a pouty lip and a head of dark hair. Our years of pain, longing, tears, prayers, all culminated in this one moment. We had overcome. We had persevered, by God’s grace. Holding Braden for the first time was the most surreal, precious moment of my life. Seeing Brian hold him brought the exact same feelings. We are a family of three. What a blessing!

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Our Journey…Sara’s perspective, part one

Since Brian has written his perspective, and done so beautifully I may add, I figured its time I do some reflecting on this journey as well. If you don’t want the gory details, please don’t feel like you have to read this. I am normally a very private person, but I believe God gave us this cross to bear to help others, so I feel it is important to be open and honest about our journey. If you are finding yourself in a similar situation, please email me any additional questions you may have at Sara.Scheller@me.com

In spring of 2010, we decided it was time to have a baby and start growing our family. Our fur baby was wonderful preparation and we felt we were finally ready…plus we had both finished our Masters degrees and felt the time was right. We were about to learn “our time” meant absolutely nothing!

After months of no success and irregular cycles, I went to see my wonderful OB/GYN, we’ll call her Dr. M. She thought I just needed a boost and started me on clomid, an often used drug to promote ovulation. We were hopeful that’s all my body would need! After several months, nothing had improved so we upped the dose of clomid and tested my blood for EVERYTHING. She also scheduled an ultrasound (u/s) to make sure everything physically was normal. The u/s and blood tests turned out fine and after another 3 months of frustration with clomid, she recommended I see a specialist in reproductive endocrinology (RE). I knew others who had seen this new dr, we’ll call him Dr. P, so we were very hopeful…again.

Right here, I need to say how supportive my principal and aide were through all of this. They were understanding about me being late some mornings and leaving early and always covering for me…and more importantly, never telling ANYONE why I was late or leaving early. You know who you are, you are amazing! It’s so important to work with people who understand when going through infertility treatment.

We started seeing Dr. P in Dec. 2011. We loved him, even though he could be very hard to understand, because he wasted no time whatsoever trying to “figure me out.” More importantly, we LOVED his nurses (S/O to all you nurses!)! I soon had an hsg, which is an X-ray to check the Fallopian tubes to make sure everything was open and clean. Everything looked good. It was a bit uncomfortable and I wished I had taken the rest of the day off afterwards, but luckily my 1st graders were very kind to me that afternoon. 🙂

Then began a long cycle of treatment. Start a cycle with an u/s and clomid, go in for monitoring and another u/s a few days later, get an injection of follistim or gonal f to boost my ovaries to grow a nice follicle that would hopefully spit out an egg. More monitoring, more u/s, another shot to tell my brain to let my body ovulate, then a couple of days later, a quick in office procedure that we hoped and prayed two weeks later would bring a positive pregnancy test. 5 cycles like this, 2 of which I injected myself with drugs at home … or in the car … or wherever we were when the time came, and they all ended in heart ache. I lived my life in 2 week cycles-the first 2 weeks of drugs and monitoring, the second two of waiting.

Throughout all these cycles it seemed like EVERYONE else was pregnant, or holding their beautiful babies and polluting Facebook with adorable baby pics. While I love all of you who were these people and I was happy for you, I felt like a failure. I felt like I was failing my husband, our parents, our families. No one ever said this, nor do I honestly believe they even thought this, but ask did. Infertility is an emotionally debilitating disease, it affects your entire life.

Along the way, I confided in a few close friends, my mom, mother in law, and a few other family members. Everyone was wonderfully supportive and would listen to me cry, scream, and give them biology lessons. 🙂 I also found the amazing world of twitter, where I met countless women who were going through, or had been through, everything I was in the midst of. We supported each other because we KNEW what the other was going through. There is something about connecting with people who have been there. Amazing, loving support!

After failure #5, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t want to give up, but emotionally I was done for awhile. By now, it was August 2012 and I decided to focus on school and call Dr. P back when I was ready. Turns out, I was not ready for what he had to say….

I’ve gone on far too long. Guess there will be a part two! If you made it this far, thank you!