I condensed all of the blog posts here. If you want to see the full posts with the images the links are below.
PART 1: The Day We Found Out
My hands are shaking as I write this…
You see, I have a secret.
It’s a secret that very few people know. I don’t know why I haven’t told very many people. I guess it is because it’s personal, and personal stories can be hard to tell.
I think the time has come for me to share. Maybe, hopefully, it can help someone else.
It was a June afternoon in 2010. We were living in sunny southern California attending school. We enjoyed going to the beach and Disney Land. We loved that we could go swimming in the pool in February, especially since we were used to the cold Utah winters.
It was amazing
All except for one thing. There was a deep dark pit within my soul that could not be healed or mended. Flashback five years earlier to March 2005, Mr.Main and I were married. The wedding was simple and amazing, The room was packed, standing room only. We had wonderful support from family and friends. After the wedding, we decided that we wanted to enjoy our time together, just the two of us.Flashback five years earlier to March 2005, Mr.Main and I were married. The wedding was simple and amazing, The room was packed, standing room only. We had wonderful support from family and friends. After the wedding, we decided that we wanted to enjoy our time together, just the two of us.
Flashback five years earlier to March 2005, Mr.Main and I were married. The wedding was simple and amazing, The room was packed, standing room only. We had wonderful support from family and friends. After the wedding, we decided that we wanted to enjoy our time together, just the two of us.
Soon after the wedding, however, we decided that we would try and hopefully bring a new bundle of joy into the world.
As 2008 rolled around and there was still no signs of a pregnancy, I started to get concerned. By 2009 I started to feel that something was wrong. Looking back now, I should have realized sooner that something wasn’t right. It was one of those times where I sort of knew something was wrong but I didn’t want to find out WHAT it was. Out of fear or laziness, I am not quite sure, but it took me a long time to seek help.
It was almost like continuing on how we were, was just easier. From what I know now, it definitely would have been easier to do nothing. But had we done nothing we would have stayed in the same place. Not moving forward was no longer an option for me.
I finally decided it was time to seek medical help.
I went to the doctor for some tests. They did a plethora of work on me and found no apparent reason or diagnosis that would warrant a problem with getting pregnant. They said, “Just keep trying.”
I was confused and upset as to why my desires were not being granted. I never ever in my wildest dreams thought that getting pregnant would be difficult. I have no family history of any issues. It was hard, to say the least.
It seemed in my foggy eyes that ALL of my friends, neighbors, and women at the grocery store were either expecting or had a newborn.
People would ask questions like, “So Shonee, when are you and Mr. Main going to have kids, it’s about time isn’t it?” I would just smile and say “Oh, someday,” biting my tongue. During one point, I had gained a bunch of weight and someone actually said to me “Oh! When are you due!”
What I really wanted to do was give them a lecture about how we had been trying to get pregnant for years, and since I didn’t know them very well they shouldn’t be asking me questions like that…
I was hurting and I expressed it through anger and closing myself off.
By 2010, my depression was at an all-time low. I was working and going to school. This helped me to function day-to-day. I was going through the motions. During the first few months of 2010, I was so deep in depression that my memory is fuzzy. It all seemed like a blur. Looking back now I feel so bad for not being there for Mr. Main as he really needed my help to boost him up during some very tough school years. Doing day to day tasks were a challenge.
Still, to this day, my memory of that time is sort of foggy.
After I had gotten checked and it seemed that all was normal, we didn’t know what to do next. We went back to doing nothing, floating through life. Staying the same.
A few more months passed and Mr. Main decided that maybe he should go in, just in case, to get checked out. I think he thought it might make me feel better.
He went in for his exam and had a bunch of tests. One of which included a cup (not for pee-pee). Poor Mr. Main!
Seeing that he wanted to do everything possible to find the answer to our problem did make me feel good.
This brings me back to that beautiful summer afternoon in June 2010. I was at work. I was anxiously awaiting the call from the doctor’s office. They were to call and give us the results from Mr. Main’s appointment.
The call came in.
I stepped out of the office in order to get some privacy for the news.
The nurse on the other end started with,”Oh, Shonee! I am so sorry but there is none.”
I responded….”None, what?!
Like it’s stuck?
How do you know?
What are we supposed to do now?”
I kept spitting out questions not giving her a chance to respond.
I had a million questions but my head was swimming. I was having a hard time verbalizing my thoughts. I stayed at work but was a zombie the rest of the day. When Mr. Main and I saw each other later that night, we were both in total shock, to say the least. It was at this point that we started to discuss possible reasons. We realized our infertility problems were because of a surgery Mr. Main has many years earlier. I guess I just said it…
We. Have. INFERTILITY.
Mr. Main is a smaller guy standing at 5 feet 9 inches tall. If he stands in the rain you can bet he won’t weigh more than 135 lbs. As a kid, he really wanted to be tough and do tough things. He was tough; he did do tough things. And he still is tough!!
One example of Mr. Main being tough is when he was 15, he worked at the local factory. He was required to lift 40 lb blocks of cheese. Back then he probably only weighed 100 lbs himself. It was straining.
Unfortunately, there was a cost.
The cost was two inguinal hernias…. In 1999, Mr. Main had surgery to repair the hernias. After surgery, his body tried to repair itself by making the wound strong so that the likelihood of another injury would be decreased.
At this point, we were both confused. I was sort of relieved. Up until now, I thought that I was the reason for our issues. Now it became an “us” problem.
At the end of June 2010, we decided to get a little puppy from the pound. Or rather I decided. It was sort of by accident I suppose. We found out that we had infertility the first of June and by the end of June we had HER. I didn’t realize at the time, but getting her was seriously my saving grace.
My memory since getting her is clearer. I started to pull myself out of the pit I had gotten myself into.
Let me introduce you to Mazie!!
She is a fun loving puppy, going on 5 years old!! I thought that she would grow out of her puppy stage but she is just as fun loving and happy as she was as a puppy.
When we first got her, I worked with her every day to teach her obedience and discipline. This, in turn, taught me patience. It was not my time for children. She became my running companion, my lap buddy while watching television, and my baby. She was sweet and loving, exactly what I needed at the time. Being able to get her was actually a little miracle in and of itself.
If you can believe it…
Mr. Main and I just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary last week. Wow!! It has been an amazing 10 years. We have had our ups and downs but all of our experiences have helped us learn and grow closer.
These are the exact flowers that Mr. Main got me for our anniversary! aahhhhhh!!!
PS. Here is the real story of these flowers and why I love Mr. Main so much.
The night of our anniversary around 9 pm I came walking down the hall headed toward the living room. I noticed Mr. Main coming in from outside with a pretty bouquet of flowers.
I said, “Wow those are pretty, are they for me?!!” …..I was sort of surprised.
He replies “Ya!! Happy anniversary!” ……crickets..
At least we both forgot about it. I forgot a little bit more than he did….I guess.
He’s the best. Aren’t they pretty !!
This is not the end of our Infertility journey. 🙂 I plan on having a series of posts that will include more of our story. I didn’t want to overwhelm you!!
PART 2- Option 1 or 2
A couple of weeks ago I decided to get out of my comfort zone and share our story of infertility. This is the second installment of our story.
We found out in June 2010 that we have infertility. We didn’t really know what that meant. None of our other family members have had to deal with any of these types of issues.
Mr. Main had had two surgeries to repair his inguinal hernia that he acquired as a kid working too hard. Remember he is a small guy!
We started to do research.
What we found was that we had the most severe case of infertility. This meant at we would need to utilize every aspect of the IVF process in order to get pregnant. Of course, this comes with a high price tag. Once we looked into how much it would cost we knew that at $20,000 we would not be able to do invitro fertilization (IVF) right away. Actually, we didn’t even know if IVF was even possible.
The doctors had only told us the reason why we couldn’t get pregnant and that more tests were needed to determine if IVF was an option.
After the news of why we would need IVF, we went dormant for a few more months. I didn’t want to pursue it anymore. It was too painful.
I had so many thoughts swarming around my brain including a bunch of what ifs. I am a pessimist by nature so a lot of my thoughts were saying “Even if we try it probably wouldn’t work.”
Time passed, as it always does, I started to heal. A little. My subconscious had time to sort through all my thoughts so that they were more realistic about our circumstance.
We decided in earlier 2011 to go see a world-renowned doctor in LA.
We went to his office and told him our story. He was the first person who gave us hope.
He said he had worked with other people who had similar issues to ours. He said that with IVF, children were probably possible.
My heart almost jumped for joy.
I am the type of person who hates to get let down. I was hopefully optimistic.
But, there was a catch….
The catch was that Mr. Main had to have surgery to determine if he had sperm inside or not. Sperm that was being produced but not able to come out, due to his surgery. The tests prior only told us that none was present in his semen.
We had two options:
They could take him into surgery immediately to determine if there was sperm. If there was, they would freeze any sperm they retrieved from the surgery and keep it until I started the IVF process.
Once they were ready to join the sperm and the eggs together they would thaw the sperm and hope that it survived and would still be able to fertilize. Price tag $2000
Have me start the IVF process and once my eggs were ready to be retrieved Mr. Main would have his surgery. If there was sperm then they would harvest it fresh and join it with the fresh eggs. Price tag $16,000 plus $2000
haha this is all kind of funny to write… harvest, freeze, retrieve, surgery….hopefully a baby, right!!!
At this point, we had no clue if there was sperm or not.
This might not seem like a hard choice but it was. The doctor told us that fresh is always better. We had to decide if we wanted to do the surgery before I started IVF to ensure that sperm was available.
We would have to risk using frozen sperm for the cycle if we did it this way.
Waiting to do the surgery could mean that we spend 16,000 and then realize that he doesn’t have any sperm. I didn’t want to go through the taxing procedure of IVF and spend all that money just to find out that he really didn’t have any.
We needed time to decided which one to choose….. option 1….. or…… option 2….
Again we went dormant. I was overwhelmed. When I get overwhelmed I shut down. We stopped pursuing IVF for a while.
Knowledge is power.
At this point in my life, I felt like I sort of knew something. At least a little bit about what was wrong and what we needed to do to proceed forward. This knowledge did give me some comfort, even though I was not ready to move forward.
I was able to be happier in life. That little bit of knowledge gave me the strength to move forward. I had hope and that hope was helping me to live a better, happier life.
By the middle of 2011, we had the opportunity to travel a little bit. We lived in Hawaii for a summer! It was a wonderful time of relaxation, great tans, and beautiful weather. We made some great friends too.
After Hawaii, we moved back to southern California for a few months.
We even lived down in Sierra Vista Arizona, right on the Mexico border for a while. It was an amazing year for us.
I did not worry about our issues of infertility. I soaked up our travels like warm sun on a cold winter afternoon.
It was great for me to be able to internalize the financial and physical burden that was looming. I was also able to come to grips with the reality of IVF and what that all entailed. It was a time of reflection and growth.
After our one year of traveling had ended we had the opportunity to come back to Utah permanently. This was part of our long-term goal. After having been gone for several years it was great to be close to family again.
As the beginning of 2012 rolled around, it felt like a new start.
We were back home. We had the opportunity of a new job. We were living in a beautiful area.
I was feeling like the pieces were starting to fall into place. The possibility of a baby was so close!
Above all, I was coming to terms with the reality of our infertility.
It only took me 2 years….
I was excited for our new adventure even though it scared me to death.
This whole process has helped me learn so much about myself. First off, I learned that I need time to think about challenges and other issues in my life. I have to study the options and think them out clearly in my mind before I act. Even if it is just time for my subconscious to think.
cI also learned that patience is not my strong trait. I had to be patient during this whole process but sadly I did not wear my patience well. I hope that I can move forward with better patience, having learned something from all of this…….
Aren’t these pictures cool!!
I took all of these pictures from a recent trip to our family farm. I can always find a treasure here! The view is amazing!!
This isn’t the end of our story, be sure to follow along and subscribe so you never miss a post!!
PART 3 When All You Can Do IS Cry
I have been sharing our infertility journey with you. This is a very personal story but since I consider all of you friends I thought you should know. I hope that maybe you can find some inspiration from it or maybe you know someone who might benefit from it.
I decided to add this part of our story specifically today becasue today I will find out if we are pregnant with #2. We just did an IVF cycle this past July. If I find out I am not pregnant I want to remember the blessing that I already have, Miss A.
Our first IVF cycle was in July of 2012, I got pregnant the first try.
My pregnancy was totally and completely bliss…..I am so sorry if you have ever been pregnant and that was not the case for you…..
I was so happy to be pregnant and I didn’t have one day of sickness. I think even if I had been sick the whole time, I would have still loved it….. I had wanted to be pregnant for so long….I would have gone through anything..
ok, ok…. I did have one bad day….
The only bad day that I had while pregnant was the day that the A/C broke. It was the middle of August the temperature was over 110 degrees and we had no A/C for about a day and a half. It was miserable. Mr. Main was getting me wet towels to drape all over my body to help keep me cool. Other than that day, my pregnancy was wonderful…
I remember being scared when I could not feel her kick, I would get worried. I would often have Mr. Main get out his stethoscope to make sure we could hear her heart beat.
I was able to continue to work, which was a blessing. I went to work on a Friday and after work I said
“See you all Monday!”
By Tuesday morning I had a baby. She came right on time.
I will not go into details of the birth story, unless you really want to hear it. Let’s just say that the labor did not go according to plan…AT….ALL… At one point the doctor came in and told me that I had to have a c-section, after being in labor for 22 hours. I started to bawl my eyes out, I did not want too….. But I had too.
The baby was born healthy, with all 10 fingers and all 10 toes, thats all that mattered.
I will say that a part of me still feels a little bit like a failure, I was not able to deliver her how I wanted too….I am slowly getting over it.
I can still remember when they gave her to me for the first time. Since I had to have the c-section I was not able to hold her for about 30 minutes it seemed. Mr. Main followed HER around while she got cleaned up and checked. They gave her to me and asked if I wanted to put her on my chest…..I did….
I remember thinking….what the heck….. this is so weird….It was love at first sight…..
We had come so far and finally, finally I had her in my arms, she was mine!
She was the best baby and I could not be happier. As she has grown up and gotten bigger I keep telling my family “this is my favorite stage”….again and again I say that….I just love HER and I love being a mom!
Next week I will be sharing the most personal part of this story….as if there can be anything else more personal……Yes, yes there is….
Having to go though IVF and all the challenges and trials that we faced is tough but there is a silver lining in all of this…. I cannot wait to share it with you!
Part 6 The Silver Lining
Over the past few months I have been sharing our infertility journey. I didn’t know when I started writing this series that we were going to be doing another infertility cycle. I guess it just turned out that way, and I am glad it did. I have been able to reflect on my past experiences. I have also met the most amazing women. Women who are so strong. Thank you for sharing your stories with me.
This is the last part of this series…. We will always have infertility, but I feel that this chapter can now be closed.
Oddly enough, this part of the story was one of the first parts that I wrote.
For some reason, it was the hardest part to publish, aside from the very first one.
I will do my best.
I don’t know if I have ever told you this before but I am a “the glass is half empty” kind of person. For the most part I am positive, but my first and quick response to situations is usually pessimism.
Once I have time to clearly analyze the situation, usually after a good night’s sleep, I can see the situation more clearly and therefore am more positive.
When we found out that we had infertility way back in 2010, after trying for some time, I was devastated to say the least. It took me years to come to grips with the future that was before us.
In the beginning I had no idea what treatments or procedures we would need, and as we slowly found out, my pessimism grew….
I remember this day clearly. I was going on a run with a bunch of friends. This was something that we did frequently. It was a time to socialize and exercise, two for one!
We lived in an area with a bunch of young married couples, most of them had kids or wanted them. The topic of children was usually on the forefront of our conversations.
One of my friends started to talk about how she had been trying for a long time to have another baby. She talked about having this procedure where they gave her system a flush, if you will. It was supposed to clean out any scar tissue or cysts- a possible cause of not being able to get pregnant. All of them knew that I was wanting a baby and she suggested that I have the test done.
I went home that very day and did a ton of research on it. I thought to myself and asked myself if this was something I should do.
An unmistakable feeling came over me and I knew that I should not have the procedure done. I did not know why….
This was way back in the day when you didn’t have to have health insurance. Since Mr. Main and I were relatively healthy, we did not get insurance. The financial cost of this procedure, out of pocket, would have been around $1,000. I wanted the test but felt it was not right…..so I didn’t have the procedure.
Knowing what we know now…. the test was unnecessary… and would have wasted money….. A time in our lives when money was even more scarce.
But, that is not even the beginning of the silver lining…..
I sort of feel a little bit weird writing this part of our story. Because in all actuality, this part isn’t mine….
It is Mr. Main’s.
I guess, since this is my blog and the events that took place eventually did affect me, I will do my best to tell it.
The year was 2003. I had just graduated from high school and moved away from home. I had a roommate and we had our very own place, off campus. It was so fun!!!
Our next door neighbors were a bunch of guys who were also going to school. We met them and became friends.
We quickly found out that one of them had recently been divorced…. word spreads fast in a small college town. Being divorced these days isn’t really that uncommon, but for a young twenty something kid, it kind of is.
This is how the story goes…..
One night, the ex-wife went to work…..and never came home. He had no idea what had happened to her….
Obviously he thought the worst. When he drove over to her workplace and saw her car still there, he got even more concerned. Calling her mom to see if she had heard from her was fruitless……
Three days passed….
While he was at home one afternoon, filled with discouragement and worry, he heard a knock on the front door….
He rushed to the door and answered it. To his surprise, his wife, with her new boyfriend was standing there. She started saying that she was there to collect her things….yada yada yada
I cannot image what was going through his head…other than confusion, anger, and hurt……
They divorced shortly thereafter and he moved in next door to me…..
I think there were two things that drew me over to the house next door. Number one, a computer…. say what? …. you didn’t have a computer….?
This was back in the early 2000’s not everyone had a computer, and even if you did, it’s not like they were portable or light…… I also didn’t have a cell phone back then. I am getting old! haha
The second reason why I went over to the house is because they had a washer and dryer. They said my roommate and I could use them, for free….score!!
Maybe I was being a mooch….
Was that wrong?…… Should I not have don’t that?….. I tell ya, I gotta plead ignorance on this thing…..(name that quote?)
Over time, as I spent many hours at their house playing canasta online…..
with some occasional homework, I became good friends with one of the boys. We played racquetball together, all… the… time….
We hung out and went to plays and basketball games.
Over the course of two years we went from friends, to dating, to married…..It was slow but progressive.
In case you didn’t figure it out already, the twenty something guy next door was Mr. Main. The guy in the neighborhood who had just gotten a divorce.
If you have read the story from the beginning, and I would recommend you do, then you know the reason for our infertility.
I have no doubt in my mind that if Mr. Main was able to have children, then he and HER would have a baby together……
I almost hate to say this because I don’t want to sound selfish, but…..
What would my life be like if there was a kid in the picture?
We would be stuck to that woman for life…..No joke.
We would not have the life we have now…. we would not be as happy as we are now…..
I hate to say that it is worth the $15,000- $20,000 that we have to spend on every kid, but it kind of is…
It was not until well after we found out about the infertility that I realized how different our lives could have been.
Once I realized this, my whole perspective on life changed. I had originally been so pessimistic about my lot. It was a horrible burden that I was forced to carry. It seemed that my world was falling down around me. With this new view on what could have been, I felt like I was being watched over and that my life did matter. Someone cared about me, specifically.
Since this whole experience, I try to look at things with the glass half full. I might not know the whole story and surely, I don’t know how it ends. I think that this shows that we might be in a tough spot right now….. maybe a really, really tough spot….. but we don’t know the future and we don’t know why we have to go through the things we do….
I just know that someone is looking out for me, someone who loves me and wants the best for me….
I cannot believe that I am saying this, but it is true.
I am grateful for IVF….
All of these pictures are from our recently remodeled kitchen. Even though the house is still a work in progress the kitchen is my happy place.