Tag Archives: Baby

Infertility During the Holidays

These days our house is filled with toys, laughter, and absolute chaos as we prepare for Christmas.  I’m running out of places to hide presents and our elf on the shelf, tripping over Abby’s little people reindeer thanks to her insisting that they “take off” in the middle of the living room, and loving the million different ways my kids pronounce Feliz Navidad (Denise Nady Na is my favorite) each time they hear the song on the radio!  However, a few days ago as I was hanging ornaments on our Christmas tree I was reminded of a Christmas not so long ago when I was longing to be a mother and that dream seemed beyond my reach.

ornament

Growing up I was a goal setter.  I knew right away that I wanted to be a teacher.  Not just a teacher, but a first grade teacher.  With hard work and a little luck I was hired for my first job the June before I graduated college to teach first grade the following year.  My next goal was to be a mom.  My husband Rob and I had been married for a little over 2 years and figured it was a good time to start trying to start a family.  When month after month turned into over a year and  the little white stick was still showing not a sign of pink I knew something was wrong.  We tried using ovulation predictors and monitors on our own and nothing seemed to help.

Testing came back labeling us as “unexplained infertility”  and 3 intrauterine inseminations (IUI) later I was still not pregnant.  By now I couldn’t hide the fact that we were doing infertility treatments to try to have a baby.  I wear my emotions on my sleeve and it was clear that we were having a problem.  I was also being so closely monitored for egg production that I had to miss school a lot for the insemination schedule that I was on.  Now that I look back, I am thankful for all of the support that I received from everyone who knew what Rob and I were going through.  I saved every card, St. Gerard medal, and well wish that was given to us during our journey and would often joke that I felt like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life from the end scene when he is on the bridge and everyone is praying for him…except everyone was saying…Dear God please give Robyn and Rob a baby!  I had a co-worker who told me over and over that the baby that was meant for me wasn’t ready yet.  I knew she was trying to be helpful, but when you want nothing more than to be a mother RiGhT NoW you don’t want to hear anything like that!  In hindsight…she was right.

After the 3 failed IUI’s we decided to go straight to in vitro fertilization (IVF).  This just had to work.  How could it not?  They take healthy eggs and healthy sperm, put them together, implant them into the perfect location in your uterus and all they have to do is implant.  We did the injections, the 6:00 am blood-work and uterus scans every morning, egg retrieval, and then the big day…the embryo transfer.  I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting it is to lay on the table with a photograph of the embryos that the doctor is transferring in hopes that one will implant.  In the days that followed my transfer I carried around that photograph like I had just been to Portrait Innovations with a newborn!  After the transfer comes the wait.  For a week we waiting hoping those little embryos had nuzzled in to stay, but we were saddened when my blood-work came back to show that I wasn’t pregnant.

Moving on we had to wait one cycle before we could begin another round of IVF.  By this time I felt like a professional at the infertility group.  I sat in the same chair each morning for my monitoring, had become friends with all of the nurses, and knew which parking spots were the best to get out of the hospital lot the fastest to get me to work on time.  My doctor changed my medications a little to get more eggs to fertilize this time and I had 26 eggs retrieved and 13 that went on to fertilize and become embryos.  Getting the call that I had produced 13 healthy embryos had us on cloud 9…we were sure this round would get us the baby we so longed for.   The next morning by a horrible twist of fate, we received a phone call from my Dr. notifying me that due to a “Catastrophic error on the part of the lab” all of my embryos had been lost because there was something wrong with the gel that holds the embryos.  There are honestly no words to describe the pain we felt that day.  Even today when I think of 13 potential lives lost it kills me.  We didn’t even know what to do with the news, we just knew that we wanted a baby and we needed them to get one.

We went ahead with a 3rd round of IVF and by now we were going on 2 and a half years of infertility.  I was emotionally drained and depressed.  I went for my egg retrieval and transfer and I honestly didn’t have much hope this time.  I had been through so much heartbreak that the naivety of the “This is definitely going to work” was LoNg GoNe.  I went for my blood-work the morning of my pregnancy test, but I was already spotting so I figured that it hadn’t worked.  I went back home after my blood-work and put my pajamas back on and laid in bed waiting for the phone call from my nurse.  Rob and I answered the phone together and were shocked to hear, “Robyn, you’re pregnant!”  We both cried along with our nurse who had been through all 3 cycles with us.  My pregnancy wasn’t easy but I delivered a healthy baby boy and finally understood what my friend meant… All of those missed opportunities to conceive didn’t happen because Nicholas was the baby that was MeAnT FoR Me!  If I had gotten pregnant any of those other times I would have had a baby that I would have loved, but I wouldn’t have Nicholas, and knowing that makes all the years, all the heartbreak, and all the lessons learned worth it.  Nicholas is 5 years old now and I still call him my little miracle.  When I meet couples going through infertility I try to remind them of this and to NeVeR GiVe Up HoPe.

Untitled-3

Our Miracle

Finally A Mommy!

Finally A Mommy

Those of you who follow Suede Sofa know that besides Nicholas I have a daughter named Abby who is two years younger.  As shocked as I was the day I found out I was pregnant with Nicholas, multiply that by 100 the day I figured out that by some either miracle or complete fluke we conceived Abby on our own!

My family ~ 2012

My family ~ 2012

If you or someone you know is struggling to conceive this Christmas season please share my story with them.  I know how hard it is to put on a brave face when you want nothing more than to be a part of what it seems like everyone else around you has.  Remember the words of my friend…Maybe the baby that is meant for you just isn’t ready yet!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year…

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Family, Friends, Getting Real, Holiday, I AM..., Life, Marriage, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Stories

Find Out Who Your Friends Are

Over the course of your life you develop numerous friendships.  Family friends, elementary school friends, high school friends, college friends, work friends, neighborhood friends, parenting friends, and the list goes on and on.  In recent years the use of Facebook has become a way to rekindle friendships that fell to the way side or even ignite friendships with people who at one time were just acquaintances.  In our busy day-to-day lives it can be hard to Be TheRe for all of these friends or to even set aside a time to get together and catch up.  However in the back of our minds there are always those friends who you know would drop everything in an instant if you needed them.

Over four years ago I delivered my son three weeks early after being induced for preeclampsia.  One day after I returned home with my newborn I was rushed to the emergency room with dangerously high blood pressure.  I spent the next three days hooked up to a magnesium drip to get my blood pressure under control.  I was already feeling the onset of postpartum depression (click to read my story) and all of the medication I was now taking made me completely disoriented.  I was in and out of sleep, my vision was blurry, and my head felt like I had been hit my a truck.  While laying in my hospital bed missing my newborn baby boy I looked at the door and was able to make out the outline of someone walking in.  I knew immediately it was my friend Jessica and in that moment I felt peace.  Jessica and I have known each other since we took dancing school together at age four.  We’ve been through so much together and no distance or circumstance has ever kept us apart when it CoUnTs.  That day in the hospital I couldn’t talk or even see her clearly, but that didn’t matter.  She sent my mom home to shower and sat and read magazines while she watched me rest.  She called in sick to work that day because she knew I needed her and to this day I am GrAtEfUl.

The Tracy Lawrence song “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” has always reminded me of our friendship.  I am sure you all have your own “Jessica” in your lives and can relate to the lyrics.

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Which friend can you count on for all of life’s ups and downs?

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For more details: https://thesuedesofa.com/2011/10/02/win-a-coach-purse-the-details/

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Baby Blues to Baby Bliss

As I CeLebRate my son’s 4th birthday this week and my daughter’s 2nd birthday next month, I also celebrate the amazing gift of mOtherHood.  Always knowing that being a mom was the #1 goal of my life, I couldn’t understand why I was constantly crying after I brought my son home from the hospital.  Baby blues quickly turned to full blown postpartum depression.  Thoughts like, “What was I thinking when I wanted to have a baby,” “Am I ever going to have a conversation with my husband again,” and “I just want to be me again” raced through my head.
Feelings of shame, guilt, and fear felt like they were suffocating me.  I even thought my son might be better off without me.  I thank God for my wonderful  friends, family, and doctors for Getting Me throuGh my darkest moments.  With  therapy and medication I slowly got better and became the mother I so longed to  be.

Two years later I delivered my beAutiful baby girl and like a dark cloud drifting over me, my PPD was back.  As I held my daughter in my hospital bed, I  looked at my husband and said, “It’s back.”  You would think it would be easier  the second time but it was actually worse.  I knew the scary thoughts…I had  just lived them two years ago.  “Why me” was all I could think this  time.

Both bouts with PPD lasted about 2 months.  I try not to dwell on those days as time lost with my babies, but as times that made me FiGht to be the mother I am  today.  I now know that there is No ShaMe in having PPD, it wasn’t my fault that  I got it, and with help you can get through it.  Whether you or someone you know  is going through PPD or any obstacle, remember you CAN get through it and are  stronger than you think!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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I Am…A NEW MoM

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I Am…A MOM…FINALLY!!

•For more “I Am…” stories, click here!

•Do you or someone you know have a story that could inspire other women?  We would LOVE to feature you!  Email us at suedesofa@yahoo.com

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