Sunday, February 21, 2010

from the start!

Well it is that time of month... No not that time silly. It is ILCW!!!! Since it has been a while since I have participated, I am going to give a little back story, well as little as I can.

I do not think I have ever met a woman who was happy about getting her period, but I also have not met one who hates it with as much passion as I did mine. This loathing could stem from the first time my period tried to kill me and almost succeeded! At some point we all get the period talk from some adult woman in our lives. I got mine twice in school and from my mom, but everyone forgot to mention that having your period for SIX weeks was not normal. In my 12 year old brain if I did not have a period for a few months then bleeding for longer was normal, right?

Not only was I bleeding for way too long I was flooding pads to the point that I would stand up after class and have blood in the seat. One morning in chapel I stood up and went right back down again. My mom came to get me from school and took me straight to the doctor. For week I had been having trouble staying awake and always wanted to just be sleep. That day my blood pressure was 60/40, no wonder I was tired! I was admitted to the hospital and given a blood transfusion. I knew it was going to hurt when the nurse made my parents leave the floor and then turned to me and said, "You are allowed to say any bad words that you want while we get this needle in." When adults are giving you permission to curse something really bad is about to happen. Thankfully, this was the last transfusion I needed. This was also the first on many estrogen shots I would endure, OUCH!

I was put on birth control pills, and then doubled the dose, then tripled and finally when I was taking four pills a day I got to graduate to Estrogen and Provera. During this time we were trying to get the bleeding under control, you know having a five day period once a month. There were times when no amount of drugs were going to make this body do anything, so we turned to surgery. I had my first of MANY D&Cs when I was 12, it was the only way to stop the bleeding. During this time I was also diagnosed with von Willebrand's. Now before anyone thinks that I have a stupid family that did not recognize a genetic bleeding disorder, I should say that I was adopted as an infant and there was very little in the way of a medical history.

This cycle went on for many many years. When I was in my early 20s the hormones started giving me horrid side effects and frankly I was sick of taking them. A wonderful doctor fell into my lap and it was at this point I was diagnosed with PCOS. Apparently, what was causing all this bleeding that that my body believed it was in menopause and just forgot to turn off the faucet. Without the hormones I was never going to have a normal cycle, with the hormones the rest of my physical and psychological life was a mess. I gave up the hormones and decided to just deal with the bleeding. At first it was not so bad a few months of bleeding and a few months of not. Sure it would get to the point that I would stand up and not be able to see or hear and drop straight to the floor, but it was occasional and something I could live with.

At 25, I married my wonderful husband, a man that was willing to put up with all these problems and so accepting of any decision I made. After a period that started on the day of our wedding and lasted for six months I was done. Six months was just unacceptable to me, I was exhausted and recovering from that took months. My hormonal balance was so off that there was no lining NONE, I was just free bleeding. Conceiving would be next to impossible because my body had decided that it was not going to work with any hormones. We made a decision that we were not willing to go through years of treatments and add more pressure to our lives.

I went to another doctor that had the answer. I had always said no to a hysterectomy because I saw no reason to go through menopause before I had to, who knows what the hormones will do then. In March of 2006, I went into the hospital and gave up my fertility. I know for some this is unthinkable, but for me it was the only way I had to have a life. With this endometrial ablation I took back my life. Yes, I gave up the chance to carry my child, but having a child when you are tired and sick most of the year would have left me unable to enjoy my child.

We began looking into surrogacy in 2007. Our first encounter with an agency turned into a NIGHTMARE. In fact, it was so bad that we really considered living childless. It was in the middle of this debate that Sabrina found my blog. She was an amazing support for me and made me start to think that going through the process without an agency might be possible. It is difficult to really understand trusting someone so much that you would transfer an embryo to them and know with everything part of your being that they will not only take care of that bundle of cells while it grows into your child, but also to give you back that baby. It is hard to imagine until you there with some of the most amazing people in the world. Sabrina is one of those people and there will never be a day that goes by that I will not thank the universe for putting her in our path.

Once we decided to work together it was then figuring out all the nitty gritty details. Which was actually easier than I could have ever imagined, yes there were points that were uncomfortable but everything was very smooth. Well until we decided to let my body get into the act. I did not want to pass on the von Willebrands, so I decided that we would use an egg donor that was easy enough. Then we talked to the RE who would handle the transfer and were given the option of doing genetic testing and then PGD to rule out those embies with von Willebrands. Give some blood, wait six weeks, and then transfer a healthy embie. Only problem was that we were dealing with me, and as my parents will tell you I have never been one for doing anything the easy way. After TWELVE weeks of waiting, due to mess ups with the lab, we learned that instead of having a genetic mutation causing the von Willebrands, I have deletions that are causing the disease. There is no lab in the U.S. that can make a probe for deletions of this kind. We had the option of waiting another few months for a lab in Europe to attempt making a probe but there was no guarantee.

It would have been nice to use my eggs, but it was not a huge deal to me. We picked a donor, which is a weird process unto itself. Our first transfer was in October and that one did not take. On January 28th we transferred one beautiful embryo and tomorrow we expect to see ONE very beautiful heartbeat. It has been a long road here but one that has made me grow as a person, strengthened our relationship as a couple, and brought some truly wonderful people into our lives.

Thank you for making it this far. I know this is a long story. I hope that you will stay around to find out exactly how it ends!

32 comments:

Cyn said...

Just wanted to pop in and let you know I'm still reading. I went back to work after 13 years and it's been a tough adjustment. I do still read, I just don't find time to comment. I'm definitely thinking of you and Cletus.

jenicini said...

I hope tomorrow is wonderful!

Caba said...

Hi! Here from ILCW! I actually was a gestational carrier for my sister, and delivered her twins in Aug of 2009. I am wishing you the best of luck tomorrow and hope you see a very beautiful beating heart!

Kate said...

That's quite the story! I'm glad the endometrial ablation made your life with DH livable, even if it's made your journey to motherhood more of a challenge.
Good luck with your ultrasound tomorrow!

lowfatlady said...

Wow you have been through a lot. You are strong to have lived through all that and come out the other end. I hope that your surrogate hears a heartbeat. Thanks for your note on my blog. I do intend to bug my doctors tomorrow to see what they say.

Michelle said...

Amazing story. To have to have had your first of many D&C's at 12 must have been very hard for you.
Looking forward to seeing your great heartbeat post tomorrow!!

jenicini said...

J - I saw that you were in Alabama since your husband is in school. How long will you be there for?

Happy ICLW!

Saige said...

I have read your story before, but it still astounds me. I remember and think of you in my moments of weakness because of your unbelievable strength. I thank God that Sabrina came into your life and is helping provide with with the wonderful blessing of motherhood. You are so very strong and admirable.

I can't wait to hear how little Cleatus is doing. :)

tomi said...

Sabrina sounds like a really lovely lady and I looking forward to hearing about tomorrow :)

xoxo

*iclw

Anonymous said...

Amazing story. I guess you are lucky to be alive. Even for a child, that's a pretty low blood pressure and you could easily have bled out. Thank goodness you had the option of endometrial ablation. It does put things into perspective when you have to think about your life.

I had a consult with a perinatologist after I emailed you my story. I was basically told that I was risking my life if I attempt another pregnancy, and I was given specific complications that apply to my case. I have to say, I'm still very sad, but I realized that my life is more important to me than carrying a baby.

Patty

Lisa RM said...

Just returning a little love to you, Jaymee! Can't wait to hear how everything's going in Sabrina's ute!

sharon said...

you are my new hero!
wow.
i will never ever bitch about my period again seeing what you have gone through.
best to you.

Courtney said...

Wow. What a story. You are such a strong woman! I can't even describe the words while reading this post! I am in awe of you and your decisions that had to be made. I am so glad you are in a place that you are still on your way to being a mama!! What a great one you will be!
ICLW

Jacksmom said...

Wow what a story. I don't find your decision to have endometrial ablation strange at all, you needed to have a life where you could function. I pray that you'll have a beautiful beating heart on ultrasound today, and in about 8 months, your beautiful child!! Happy ICLW!

K said...

Blessings on a string heartbeat!!! Your journey took courage and you are a real super hero!

Louise-in-the-middle said...

Wow, Jaymee! What a story!
It made me feel lucky to have "old" as the only thing wrong with me in terms of having a baby...
I'm glad surrogacy is allowed in the US, it isn't here in Sweden. But we are far, far behind in our legislation concerning the solutions to involuntary childlessness (weird construction) in general.
And also happy for you that you have found Sabrina to trust with your little treasure!

The (Type A) Nightmare said...

Thank you for commenting on my blog. How very exciting! I'll definitely be around to hear this story. So glad all the pieces have come together.

Jess said...

Thank you for the comment on my blog. I decided to pop on over here to check out your blog and I must say, WOW!!! You have sure been though a lot! I can't wait to hear how the ultrasound goes!!!

jrs said...

Hope today is a great day. I bet hearing your babies heartbeat has got to be one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. I hope you get to hear it. Thanks for stopping by my place as well. ICLW

BB said...

I have been following your blog for a while! But every time I read your story, it amazes me! You are so strong and you truely inspire me! Sabrina is such an angel! I wanted to wish you both the best for the u/s!

Lavender Luz said...

Fingers crossed. Toes crossed. Sprinkling baby dust all over the place!

Suzanne said...

I'm so glad that everything is going well and that you heard the heartbeat! What an amazing story you have to tell. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! Happy ICLW!

jill said...

Great summary! I learned a lot about you I didn't know before! You've been through so much. I'm so glad you found Sabrina! :)

Kristin said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I am so happy you and Sabrina found each other and I can't wait to here the results from your ultrasound.

Marla.z said...

Wow! Amazing story! If that post was a book, I wouldn't be able to put it down until I finished it! It's also amazing that you found Sabrina, just by starting a blog. You have me hooked...

Jonelle said...

Jaymee, thank you for your sharing your story. I can't imagine all that you have gone through.

Looking forward to seeing how your story ends.

Mama Bear said...

wow what a journey, you seem like an awesome person! cant wait to follow your story

kittyquilt said...

Wow - it sounds like you have been through a lot! I admire your strength in making so many tough decisions.
- iclw

Journey Girl said...

Honestly, I LOVE ICLW because I find the most amazing women. You, my friend, are one amazing women. That is a story and a half. Congrats on the heart beat - it's enough to bring tears to your eyes, right?

All the best!

Blondie said...

"At 25, I married my wonderful husband, a man that was willing to put up with all these problems and so accepting of any decision I made."

If I have found one positive piece of silver lining while navigating through the shi*tstorm that is IF, it has been to realize what an amazing, supportive, incredible-beyond-words husband I have. I'm so glad you hear that you have the same :)

daisy said...

Wow, thanks for the encouragement, and stopping by ICLW, what an amazing heartwrenching journey you have been on. I'm cheering for you!

Myndi said...

That is one amazing story! And you've handled it all with such calm acceptance (or so it seems). Not sure I would have handled it all so well. And you are such a wonderful advocate for surrogacy. Truly a beautiful thing.

Congrats on the pregnancy!