Our Journey to Becoming Parents

Journey to becoming parents

The journey of starting a family started for us back in mid 2010. It has always been a deep desire for us to have children for many different reasons. My childhood was very difficult, marred by extreme physical and emotional abuse to myself, my brothers, and my mother. I watched people that I was suppose to respect and look up to, take advantage of others and hurt people without remorse. So to me, having children means continuing a new legacy of people (that started with my brothers and I) that I hope will affect positive change in this world. To Jason, having children means being able to be a present father to his kids, which is something he didn’t experience as his father passed when he was 8 years old. And to us, it means laughter, joy, and little footsteps filling an empty house.

After trying to start a family for almost 2 years, we went to the doctor to see what the issue was. It was then that I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). At that moment, a lot of things began to make sense due to the physiological issues I’d been experiencing. PCOS is an endocrine (hormonal) disorder that currently has no cure. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Lack of ovulation
  • Infertility
  • Male patterned baldness or thinning hair
  • Abnormal hair growth in places like the chin, chest, back
  • Weight gain or obesity; typically around the waist
  • Patches of darkened skin on different places of the body

After finding out about this syndrome, I worked as hard as I could to lose the stubborn weight to hopefully get my body back into gear. I also began taking the daily medication prescribed by my doctor to try and balance my hormones.

In making the necessary dietary changes for my body’s needs due to the syndrome, I finally began losing weight. Then on my 27th birthday, August 14, 2013, I found out that I was pregnant. Jason and I were so excited and nervous all at the same time. All of the hard work and dedication seemed to be paying off. Shortly after, I was in severe pain on the right side. We then found out that our pregnancy was tubal. We were devastated. The doctors were fearful that my tube would rupture because of the amount of bleeding and the pain I was in, so on September 5th, they dissolved my pregnancy with double shots of methatrexate.

We were devastated. I was so afraid that this was my only chance because of how difficult it was for us to get pregnant at all. Part of the difficulty in ‘resolving’ a pregnancy is the waiting. For weeks, I had to wait for the pregnancy hormones in my body to return to zero. My body would still think it was pregnant although there was no one there.

Shortly after, I found out that I was pregnant again on December 5th. I was ecstatic and shocked because I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was also very scared. Any little feeling felt like something was wrong. I started bleeding again but I wasn’t in any pain so the doctors just told me that bleeding can be normal and not to worry. Because I have PCOS, they have difficulty pinpointing when I ovulate so they weren’t sure exactly how far along I was, but based upon my numbers, I was at about the 7 week mark.I was so excited to get through to the second trimester so I could let myself enjoy being pregnant. But instead, the doctor told me that I am miscarrying because my hCG began to drop. Everything sank inside of me. I went on to do a D&C and methatrexate on January 17 of 2014.

I tried to resume life normally, but it proved to be very difficult. The reminder of my losses ached inside of me every time I saw a baby or a pregnant women. It became difficult to leave my house because I just couldn’t get away from the sad and painful reminder. Every day that went by, I would think “I would be X amount of weeks today.”

After this pregnancy loss, we ended up getting our dog, Milo. It was difficult to rectify my life not changing in any way, as one would expect when they are expecting. He was a great addition to our silent home and our empty hearts.

Shortly after having the second pregnancy loss, we began to see a new doctor that was 2 hours away from us because of insurance logistics and what was available to us. They did an exam to make sure my tubes were open. We then found out that my left tube is blocked and my right tube was seemingly open. We left the office that day with an answer and some hope because it only takes one tube.

On April 26, 2014, after taking oral fertility medication with our new doctor in Knoxville, we found out that we were pregnant again. We were shocked and excited. I called our nurse and she was shocked too because we had gotten such a strong positive. When we went in for our first ultrasound, the doctor informed us that the pregnancy was growing but it was in my right tube. I hear a small sniffle behind me. When I looked back, Jason began to sob. The doctor and nurse gave us some privacy and we sat in the room and cried together.

This last pregnancy resolved itself. The doctor explained that he may want to do exploratory surgery. Our other option is in vitro Fertilization (IVF) which is a costly procedure that bypasses the tubes by eggs being removed directly from the ovary, fertilized outside of the womb, and implanted in the uterus. Statistically speaking, after 2-3 ectopic pregnancies, doctors say that women have between a 50-90% chance of having another one.

At this point, the emotional and physical difficulties of trying for 3 1/2 years and experiencing recurring pregnancy loss and the resolution of them  is very taxing on us in every way. We’ve incurred medical bills for babies that we haven’t been able to take home and broken hearts from our hopes being deferred.

We are so grateful to the Golden’s for their generosity in fundraising for us to be able to do the IVF procedure. To us, IVF means a home filled with the joy of new life; it means beautiful memories and new family traditions; it means the restoration and continuation of our legacy.

Friends, family, and even strangers have been so kind in asking how they can help and what they can do. Only because we’ve been asked, we would humbly ask that you consider donating to the fundraiser set up by our dear friends, Kara and Andy. For information, you can visit the You Caring page HERE.

Self Love // Weight Doesn’t Determine Your Worth

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The scale doesn’t typically stay the same. Weight can fluctuate in varying degrees. Sometimes I look in the mirror and scrutinize myself about what I want to change and what doesn’t seem good enough. Sometimes, it’s the unhealthy opposite of that. If i’ve made any headway in my journey to being healthy, I look in the mirror with pride about how I’m coming along, as if I’m a better person because I lost a few pounds or inches.

I’m not saying that hard work and discipline shouldn’t be celebrated. I think that those are amazing traits to have and to take pride in. However, the number on the scale shouldn’t determine our level of self-worthiness. Losing or gaining 5 pounds doesn’t make us any more or any less valuable.

I was talking to a friend of mine, and she was talking about making a mental switch in terms of working out. We tend to work out because we want to fix ourselves. We want to fix our abs, our untoned arms, and the whole 9 yards. But, rather than doing something healthy like working out in an unhealthy way (self-loathing), maybe we need to shift our thinking to working out because we LOVE ourselves. We LOVE and RESPECT our bodies so we want to do things that make us feel better. That sounds more appealing to me than shaming myself about what I need to change, which in so many ways, is translated into not being good enough, or worthy enough.

I’ve decided that from now on, when I’m preparing to work out, I’m not going to put myself in ‘beast mode.’ I’m simply going to love my body where it is and do something for the love of it.

Outfit // Watercolor Peplum

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Jeans Jacket: Thrifted

Shoes: Target (from forever ago)

Pants: Target

Top: TJ Maxx

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One of my 500,000 (mild exaggeration) god children graduated from Kindergarten. For some reason, this morning, Jason and I were on serious Jamaican people time. Fortunately, we got there while he was still sitting with his classmates so I could get a photo of him. He was so proud of himself, sitting up there with his piercing blue eyes that was intensified by his blue shirt, holding his diploma. It wouldn’t have been E if he wasn’t wearing a tie with skulls and cross bones.

Seeing E at his graduation made me reminisce a bit. I remembered the age of simple delights like cookies, playing on the playground, loving all of your teachers (I mean, what kindergartener didn’t?), and falling asleep in the car and having your mom carry you in the house. Ah, those were simpler times.

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The first time I saw this top, it was actually from a distance.  I thought it was a floral print, but when I got up close, I realized it was more like watercolor. I also really love the pleating on the bottom portion of the top because it adds a bit more structure to it.

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Hello, Friends!

1. I’m back! Boy, it’s been crazy ’round here. But I’ve missed blogging, so, hello!

Photo Credit: Blue Cow Creative

2. I’ve finally made some headway with my decor. Hopefully I will hurry and finish some things before I change my mind again. What I do need in my life is this light fixture. I NEED THIS. Yes. Need.

Photo Credit: Shades of Light

3. I dyed my hair blue black. But a new fun color is coming very soon!

Blue Black Hair

4. I finally went to my local aquarium. Jellyfish are beautiful. Butterflies scare me. I ran through the butterfly room…hahaha…sigh.

Jellyfish

5. I had a chance to meet a beautiful friend in person…finally. It was like we always knew each other.

Natalie and Satoya

6. Milo learned karate.

Milo doing karate

I’m so excited to be back with you all. There’s so much to talk about! ‘Till next time.

xoxo