Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Get To Know Crystal - Our Struggle with Fertility, Story of our Daughter Jolene

Get To Know Crystal -
Our Struggle with Fertility,  Story of our Daughter Jolene

For our close friends and family, they know that we have been truly blessed with this beautiful little girl we call Jolene. For my husband Jeff & I our journey to having a baby was not an easy one. While most people we know were literally getting pregnant with almost no effort we were not having that kind of luck. 

Jeff and I were married for a little over a year (together for almost 6 years) when we decided that we wanted to have a baby. While telling my best friend about this very exciting decision, she asked if I ever thought about seeing a fertility doctor. Well, no.... We had literally just started trying and I never had any symptoms of major issues previously. I had normal menstrual cycles, and I was always on time. So this question kinda caught me off guard. She told me that after she had such a difficult time conceiving, herself, to just got to a fertility doctor and make sure that everything was working properly so I could save myself all the heart attack if we were infertile. Well, after much persuasion I listened and made an appointment to her fertility specialist.

Going into this appointment I thought, "This is so silly, she's going to look at us and tell us we are wasting our time. We haven't even been trying for more than 6 months." At the time I remember walking to the exam room and just regretting having taken time off work for something so silly. But, after her initial exam, she then decided to do an ultrasound. This got me a little concerned, and then without even a second glance she looked at me and said, "We need to schedule you for surgery". WHAT?! Wait a minute here, what is going on, and how is this possible? My heart sank right to the bottom of my stomach. The doctor explained that I had a massive septum in my uterus that would complicate us getting pregnant, and that it was her recommendation we get this fixed and hold off on trying to have a baby for the time being. I remember crying most of the way home, I was completely devastated. Why did this have to happen to us? What did we do wrong?

So a few weeks later I was getting wheeled into the OR for surgery on my uterus with my husband kissing me good-bye and telling me, "It'll all be ok, I'll be here when you wake up." I was just ready for the surgery to be over with. I knew that I'd be in recovery at home for a few weeks on bed rest so I had everything set up for when I returned home. All my shows were recorded on the DVR, lots of books I'd been trying to read for months on end, and my yarn to crochet and knit with (yes I know how to knit and crochet very well). When I woke up from surgery, which was supposed to be an easy 45 minutes in total length, I was told by my husband that it was a lot more in depth than originally planned. I was under for almost 3 hours instead of 45 minutes! The septum was so large that it took up almost my whole uterus on the inside, there were fibroid tumors they removed, scar tissue from ruptured cycsts on the outside of my ovaries, and scare tissue from what looked like an early stage miscarriage (which we had no idea we even had). It was shocking to me and the doctors, the fact that I never had any symptoms such as extreme pain, heavy periods, bloating or anything. I literally felt completely normal with all these issues. I was also informed that my 2 week recovery was now going to be 6 weeks long. Well, isn't that just wonderful, lol. 

So after my 6 weeks of recovery and another 3 months of waiting to heal we were back at the doctors office to finally get the all clear to start trying to have a baby. We were told there was a very small chance that during my healing process that the top of my uterus where the septum was removed could heal together and would need another surgery. We were reassured many times that this was rare and it was an extremely small chance. But, not so lucky for us, guess what happened? Yep, my uterus healed wrong and I would need yet another surgery, wonderful! Once again I was driving back from the doctors office in tears. All we wanted was a baby, and it seemed like we were never going to be able to have one. 

3 more weeks go by, and here I am at the outpatient office to get my next surgery. I remember waiting there just praying that this was it, that this was the last surgery. I didn't know how much more emotionally I could take. So off to surgery I went, and when I woke up I was in much more pain than the first time around. By the time my husband got me home I was bent over in the fetal position screaming in agony. So back to the doctor we went, and come to find out my body was rejecting the balloon in my uterus needed to keep it open so it wouldn't heal together again. After removing it and replacing it with a different one, I was free of the extreme pain, and off to my bed at home for another 2-3 weeks of rest. 

Fast forward yet another 3 months and here we were back at the doctors office. In those 3 months away we had a lot of misfortunes in our lives. We had to move out of our home we were renting with only a short 30 day notice (due to problem the landlord couldn't fix with the house), my husband's sister passed away unexpectedly leaving behind her 2 year old daughter, and within a month after that we had to put down our dog after she had an FCE (spinal stroke) and lost all function in her kidneys. We were so emotionally drained, you could see it on our faces. When the doctor walked in with our results we were just hoping for something positive, and by chance, today was our lucky day. We were FINALLY cleared to start trying to have a baby. This time when I cried on the drive home it was tears of joy, and it was perfect timing. We were headed out on to vacation in our favorite place later that week, The Florida Keys! Little did we know at that time, it was on this very vacation that our daughter was conceived!

I'll never forget when we finally found out we were pregnant. I took a pregnancy test, without telling my husband, and I wasn't even late yet on my period. I just thought, "ya know what, what the hell, lets just take it." So I did, and it came back almost immediately positive! I couldn't believe it, after everything we went thru that last year we were finally pregnant. Now you have to understand the scenery going on in the background. I was about to get into the shower, so I was only wearing a towel and the water was running. I grabbed the test, ran to the living room where my husband was watching tv, literally threw the test at him and screamed with joy, "Huffy look!" (I call my husband huffy, it's his nickname). His first reaction and response was, "Seriously, there's pee on this." Lol, only my husband would react this way, but he was excited and didn't believe it. So I got dressed and we were off to the store to get another test, well 4 more tests, lol. And they were all positive!

Our pregnancy was not much easier, I was on bed rest the first trimester and the last trimester. The second trimester I wasn't on bed rest but I ended up getting sick with Bronchitis, and wasn't allowed to take very much to improve my health. This left me sick as a dog for almost a month. Towards the end of my pregnancy they found out I had a lot of excess fluid in the amniotic sack, and suggested taking her two weeks early, which I was fine with. At this point I just wanted my little girl in my arms and not up in my ribs which is where she felt most comfortable on most days, lol. 

I'll never forget getting rolled back into to OR, only this time it was to have our daughter. We gave birth via C-section, and our daughter's song was playing while she was being born in the operating room, "Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, JOLENE"! Yes she was named after the Dolly Parton song, I love Dolly and Jolene would kick me like crazy every time I played it! That first scream was magical and the first time I held her I knew that all the pain, heart ache and waiting was worth it. I'd do it all over again just to have this little angel in my arms.

Now she's 15 months old, running everywhere, and on the trails with us!
Our little gift form God, our baby girl Jolene!
Mommy and Daddy love you baby girl!

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