BE WARNED, there are some graphic pics in this post. It seems like this is becoming a tradition in our New Years Post...
As you can see from earlier post, we have had a great year in many ways. But that isn't to say we haven'd had our trials. One of our biggest trials has actually been for the past few years, which is infertility. We have been so blessed to have our two children, so by no means am I complaining. Neither Tate or Addie were planned, but I can't help but wonder if we didn't have them when we did, if we would have been able to have them at all. If we waited to have kids, there is also the chance that they would have ended up very far apart in age. This would have been sad since they do have each other to enjoy while growing up (even though they fight pretty much 24/7). I have to believe that God played a huge part in the timing of it all.
In 2012 Matt and I decided to go to an infertility specialist. Both Matt and I were checked out and nothing stood out too alarming as to why I couldn't get pregnant. Because we had been trying for over a year already, I was getting worried since my other two were getting older. I didn't want there to be too big of an age gap between the youngest and older two. I also decided I didn't want any regrets of not trying everything I could to have another baby incase it never happened. For this reason we moved forward with our options and months later we started our first round of artificial insemination. We would try 3-4 times. Our doctor was very positive this would do the trick, but on our last and final AI we learned it had not worked. By now it was Nov. 2013. I hated feeling sorry for myself, especially knowing how lucky we are to have our two. But I also have to admit that each time I went through AI and it failed, I got a little more sad and more discouraged.
We went in to meet with our doctor. Matt and I learned that his insurance would cover almost all of in vitro if we chose to go that route. The problem was his insurance would change by the new year so we had to get moving quickly. Once again I thought about how I wanted "no regrets".
If we had to pay the full cost of in vitro we wouldn't do it. We already had two children and with the cost there is no guarantee. In fact the percentage of getting pregnant with in vitro is much smaller then you would think. It is only a 30-35% chance for women under the 35. Since everything would pretty much be covered it was a no brainer so we went forward with in vitro.
In vitro put me on an emotional roller coaster. I began the treatments the following day after meeting with my doctor. Shots everyday and blood test every other. During this process the shots you inject in yourself cause your ovaries to enlarge EXTRA big. I was super uncomfortable and bloated. I could hardly bend over and had no clue, til then, what in vitro puts your body through. Not only physically, but mentally.
Once again we were all very hopeful but again the treatment failed. I never thought I would have taken it as hard as I did. It was a huge let down. We have enough embryo's for at least one more in vitro cycle but I hate getting my hopes up. It's especially hard knowing this will be our last try.
During all of this self pity I had no clue what else was about to unfold. During my in vitro cycle my father noticed a lump in his back growing at an extremely fast rate. He went to get it checked and the findings were not good.
My parents decided to wait to tell me of any of this as they did not want the stress to cause me not to get pregnant. They would feel too bad if they told me and I didn't get pregnant, out of fear that it was a result caused by the stress. The waited until a few days after I found out I wasn't pregnant and a couple days before my dad was to head in for surgery. I respect them for that decision.
My dad had cancer. The tumor they found was at a stage 3 and they would not be able to tell if it spread until they took it out. Even then, it would be unknown if it got into the blood because this kind of cancer will not show in blood test. Enough of my self pity, I now was filled with the pain for my dad and the fear of the unknown.
In Dec. my dad went in for surgery to have the tumor removed. It was the size of a grapefruit and until they could fully dissect the tumor we would have to wait for results to see if the cancer had spread. This also meant that they would have to leave the hole in his back opened in case they needed to go back in. They covered it with sort of a plug looking thing with a tube attached to a machine he would have to carry around. All through Christmas my poor dad had to walk around with a tube coming out of his back carrying a bag with a machine attached. He was super uncomfortable.
We were so relived to learn the cancer had not spread. There is still a small chance it got in the blood, but most likely they got it out. Right before the new year they were able to sew his back up and when it heals in the next month he will begin radiation.
Here is a picture of my dads back with the plug/tube thing and a picture of what it looked like when they took it out. Not pretty.
I love my dad and this scare really got to me. I feel so blessed that right now things are looking the way they do. I know things could be far worse than they are now.
My mom also sent us in for a scare shortly after Christmas when she got in a car accident with a bus. The bus hit her on the driver side. Her car was totaled and she defiantly sot some bruises and soreness. I happened to call her right after she got in the accident and headed over to help. She seemed pretty shooken up and I knew my dad wasn't feeling his best either so I wanted to help as much as I could. I have to admit that for reasons like this, I am so happy to be back in Utah close to family. I can't imagine being too far away to help and check in on them. As much as I miss cali and as much as family can get overbearing at times, I know I wouldn't change a thing. Being close to them and building the memories we can because we live close, is something that is irreplaceable.
It will be interesting to see what this new year will bring. So much is in the air. I am looking forward to it though, and hope I can appreciate all we have been given more because of the lessons I have learned thus far.