Journey to Parenthood

I want to be purposeful about journaling during this time in our lives as we watch our miracle micro preemie, Asher, continue to grow and thrive. I began this blog during my month of bed rest at the hospital while I was pregnant with Asher and his brother Titus. We continue to hope and trust the Lord for Asher's future. This blog begins with the story of how both of our boys came to be. They came about after many tears, many prayers, and many months of crushed hopes. On February 2, 2012, our boys Titus Bauer and Asher Mark were born at just 23 weeks and 2 days gestation. My water around Titus broke at 19 weeks, so his lungs were very underdeveloped. Titus lived 45 minutes and is now living a perfect life in heaven as he watches over his little brother Asher. Two and a half years later God redeemed our story of hurt with a precious full term baby brother for Asher. We are humbled by how the Lord has loved on us in our journey through parenthood.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Next Step- Fertility Treatments- Part 1, Joy and Pain

So, in Sept. 2010, we started using clomid to help my body with growing mature follicles. Nothing significant grew that month, so in Oct. the dr upped the dosage. This time I had a good size follicle or two (that is what holds the egg..never knew any of this before) and so it looked good! But, I never ovulated on my own. So, for the next month we added a trigger shot to the clomid. So, the dr would tell me when to take it, and that triggered ovulation for us. We did that in Nov. and then again in Dec. Both times we had about 2 healthy looking follicles that could produce a mature egg. Things were looking up!

In January, I took a home pregnancy test and was elated to see it was positive! We went to the doctor, she took blood and confirmed that along with the pregnancy hormone levels..all normal. We were so excited! We had so much fun telling our friends and family..I bought little shoes for when I broke the news to Bryan. (I took the test before he got home..hard to wait!) We printed off the verse 1 Sam 1:27-28-- "I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So, now I give him over to the Lord, for his whole life he will be given over to the Lord" and gave it to our parents and put one up in the future baby's room so we could be reminded of God's faithfulness. This verse, and prayer of Hannah, Samuel's mother, has even more profound meaning for us today.

Soon, our excitement was followed by some apprehension. The doctor was checking my hormone levels frequently to make sure the pregnancy was progressing into a healthy one. I was told my hcg numbers were not doubling as they should. They were, however...still going up, so our hope was not lost. We prayed and hoped, and I struggled with the week and a half wait until the first sonogram. I was literally a mess. I obsessed about the numbers and what that could mean. I really had no idea what God had in store for me for the year of of 2011.

At 5 weeks and 6 days, we had a sonogram to see if the baby was in the uterus. After that, the plan was to have another at 7 weeks and listen for the heartbeat. The hormone #'s are important, but a heartbeat is a definite sign of things progressing. At our sonogram, we had a yolk sac, with baby inside. It looked good for now! I still was not feeling super confident, but it was a start. The following day, I started bleeding in the morning. It got progressively heavier throughout the day. I had a sick feeling as the day progressed. I called a sweet friend who had experienced loss, and asked her what to expect if I did miscarry. It was a blessing to be able to call her. That night I had pretty bad cramping, and then passed our baby not long after the cramping. Based on my friends description, we were pretty confident that was what happened. I went to work the next morning, and Bryan called the doctor. They wanted me to come in right away to make sure I would not get an infection and to confirm what we thought had happened based on my hormone levels and a sonogram. We went to the dr that morning, had everything confirmed, then had lunch..both of us in a daze, and then I went back to work. I didn't want to go home and just "think about" what had happened. Even though we were just 6 weeks wasn't "just tissue" as some often say. It was life. It was our child. And the dream that we had been hoping for was dismissed way too soon. It was going to all the fun places in your mind that couples go when they see that positive test, only to have to retreat back to some state of protection and trying your hardest to not let those thoughts hurt you now that that baby is no longer reality. That's pretty the way-- to prevent yourself from hurting or try to protect yourself. But yet we all do it. It's just a human reaction I guess.

And so, we did our best to recover and pick ourselves back up. Bryan was more positive out of the two of us. I had a little harder time. I didn't want to hear all the time that everything was "going to be okay" because who really knows that but God? And I didn't want to wait long to try again...I just wanted to keep moving. I didn't consider myself someone who had a fertility issue...just a miscarriage, which happens often one time to couples, and expected we'd quickly bounce back with a second pregnancy in a few months. In the meantime...God was at work. On my heart. On Bryan's heart, and on our marriage. He wanted us to know HIM and seek HIM, not just to seek out what His schedule for our life was. And He wanted us to learn more about loving each other. This time was the beginning of me seeing myself as someone struggling with infertility. It was a slow process that God began and worked on over the course of that entire spring. And on top of that, He broke me down even more by plaguing me with intense stomach issues for 2 months, and then symptoms that trickled away, but still hung around several months after that.

Let me paint this for you a little clearer. I was not a girl who was used to struggle. Life had not been hard up to this point. I had never been very sick, never missed work or school for being sick, never really had a hard time attaining any life goals. I went to college, graduated, and was handed an amazing teaching position right away. I never struggled a lot with wanting to be married..even though I was 26 turning 27 when I did get married. (Old, by some standards!) By the time I knew I wanted that with Bryan..we were looking at rings shortly after, and engaged and planning it all out! Having "control" and "planning things out"...these were my my close "friends", and they were still there with me and cooperating for the most part. So, this was a process of God showing me He's in control, not me...and that He's GOOD regardless of what is stripped away or withheld from my life.

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