Monday, September 12, 2016

How our Journey began.




I always knew the road I was taking would be a little more difficult than it could have been. I remember the day I met her, I most certainly wasn’t sure it would work out but I knew I had to give it a try. I remember sitting there, contemplating in my mind what exactly it was I wanted and it wasn’t until she looked at me and said “ I’m not looking to get into a relationship to date, I’m done dating, I want forever.” It was those words that made my head spin and nothing was going to stop me from falling completely and utterly in love.

I’d be lying if I said she was my first, of course I tried to be with men, but the connection was lacking and I couldn’t force myself into that normal life that I knew would be easier, instead I've stayed with what made me most comfortable, and from that day on it was her.

I won’t sit here and tell you it was a fairy tale, it was the furthest thing from a fairy tale, it was complete hell in the beginning, neither of us knew what we wanted and neither of us knew if it would work, but we fought through every obstacle and eventually, on Christmas eve of 2013, she asked me to marry her.

Oh how the obstacles continued; I had our entire wedding planned in just three short months, it was beautiful and full of so much love, surrounded by both of our families and friends. We felt on-top of the world that day, even though Florida hadn’t acknowledged female weddings yet, we walked down the aisle and promised ourselves to one another, we danced and sang the night away, the most memorable night of our lives.

That night was only 2.5 years ago, 2.5 years of complete obstacles, might I note, obstacles I wouldn’t rather face with anyone but her. One year after we married, it became legal, we rushed to the courthouse and signed the papers to officially become wife and wife, all while we struggled utterly and completely to start the next step of our lives together, a family.

Donor after donor, friend after friend, ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, surgeries and prayers. Fighting and crying, laughing and hoping, our life seemed to stand still as we tried time and time again, finding anyway, researching every way to do at home insemination. Every donor we used eventually moved on, no longer being able to help us. Every day we needed it done, there was an obstacle. One may say that the signs are obvious, a family isn’t for us or it isn’t our time. Maybe that’s what it looks like from an outsiders view but let me just explain the passion in my heart to carry a child, the absolute urge to conceive and start a family. Of course, being straight would have made this much cheaper, much easier, or would it have?

After several months of disappointment, we decided to put family planning to the side and focus on the here and now. We finally began to accept it may never happen.

                                                                                                                                                                               

Two months ago, July 20th around 6am I woke and got ready for my surgery. The doctor found endometriosis and insisted I have a D&C laparoscopy. The surgery went well and I was able to keep my ovary completely (unlike my previous surgery where a cyst completely took my right ovary). The doctor removed more cysts and a tumor, as well as the endometriosis. We went into the office one week after, sitting on the bed the doctor dropped news I guess I wasn’t thinking about.  To be honest, I had come to the terms with the fact I may not carry a child, maybe it wasn’t for me and I was giving into the thought I chose this road and this is what it was going to be. Doctor looked at me and said, “what are your plans for family planning?”  My wife and I were previously arguing in the car before the appointment, we were stressed and overwhelmed. I had surgery, her mom found cancel spots on her skin and we were running very thin on hope and faith. But something happened in that office… Something I still can’t quite explain.  When the doctor asked me about our plans for a family, I instantly looked to her and  tried to read any kind of facial expression I possibly could, of course the doctor said our time was limited, but to head home and talk it over.

I remember the ride home like it was yesterday, I felt so many nerves in my stomach I remember trying to breathe slowly in order not to get sick all over our new car. Nikki looked at me and said, “Babe, we will figure it out, I want a family and you will resent me for not trying, we have to at least try.” Oh those words I could never forget. The sudden feeling of hope, even from a distance I could feel again. But how were we going to afford this, extremely expensive procedure? If we could afford to use the doctors for IUI we would have done it the other several times we tried, our insurance doesn’t cover it and let’s just say I need to declare bankruptcy and hers is barely established. So there we were, the opportunity right in front of us, facing another obstacle.

We went on for a few days, wondering how we were going to do this, pricing the sperm, pricing the doctors, pricing the shipping.. 9 thousand dollars was the minimum of what we needed, and we had only fifteen hundred saved. Where in the world would we get 8thousand dollars? Thank God for angels. My grandparents, who suffered from infertility (adopted my mom when she was 5) were the only people I felt comfortable asking after being told no by a few others. It was a long shot, but I typed up an e-mail and sent it to the man in my life, my papa. He responded within a day or two, asking for Nikki and I to drop by their home, so we did. We did it, fully prepared with paperwork, budgets, donor photos, prices and any other information we thought they may want, need or be interested in. It wasn’t a long visit, hell, it was one of the shortest visits I had with them. They told me to meet them at the bank in the days to follow and so we did, 8 thousand dollars later, we ordered the sperm and made the appointment.

There we were, a beautiful donor’s sperm stored away just waiting on the doctor’s word to be shipped, and we awaited my monthly visitor and began taking the fertility medication prescribed by the doctor. Of course, the obstacles continued.  While the Clomid was easy to come by, it was absolutely terrible to handle. My hormones were all over the place, up, down, happy, sad, angry and sick as can be. The Pregnyl shot was the obstacle. Oh the joy of having no insurance covered for infertility.. 3thousand dollars was too much, I felt like we had reached a dead end. Thankfully, we found an alternative which was only 140 max. But finding it was the hard part. The medication wasn’t ready, it never showed after being ordered to the pharmacy. Damnit! We went into the doctors for the ultrasound to see if it could still be our month for IUI, but with my follicles being minimum – the doctor felt best we wait.

                                                                                                                                                                  

Was this an obstacle? I don’t think so, not this time.  While we are on a time crunch and the doctor wanted to wait one month and UP my fertility drugs, I felt relieved. I knew the medicine wasn’t ready and to be honest I don’t know I was ready either. OF course, I want my baby, our family, but the truth is, I felt overwhelmed by the possibility of another let down, I felt sadden that nothing seemed to be falling within the right time frame and while I was sad, we walked out of the doctor’s office that day smiling, relieved and ready for another month of waiting and praying.
I’m not going to say it was easy, that I haven’t thought about it daily, but the truth is – I found the medication and while my fertility medication is being upped to 100mg, I feel this month could be our first time for IUI, our first time for the doctor’s work to be applied and for a real chance of hope. They say just relax, it’ll happen; but will it? Will it happen if I just relax? Will it happen if I stress? Will it happen if we laugh about it, pray about it, cry about it, fight about it or ignore the subject.. does it really matter? Is God watching us, waiting for us to act in a certain manner in order for this amazing gift to be given to us? Would it happen had we done something different in our lives? Not lied, not cheated on a test, been 100% faithful to God?
This morning my monthly friend joined us, the doctor insists I start my Clomid on Wednesday and an ultrasound the following Monday. Our savings is just enough to try two-three times. So, one out of three – I do hope the ultrasound shows my body working in the right direction as every ultrasound takes $330 out of our chances for a third try.
So, instead of keeping my every emotion inside and hoping for the best, I decided to join a few support groups and create a blog, maybe it won’t bring us a family any sooner, but maybe it will help others suffering or going through similar situations. Maybe it won’t, but I’ll give it a try!