Friday, September 18, 2015

Our Story

I have debated for a long time if I should share publicly our story. Im fairly private when it comes to personal matters but a lot of close friends and family know our story. I know that I personally would not be the same if certain people in my life, would not have shared their stories about their struggles publicly and openly....they have changed my life, even if the trial is not the same!  I appreciate knowing what they have gone through, I have found comfort in hearing their testimonies and how they allow the atonement to heal them. I think we realize that we can draw on each other's strengths and experiences to become better people as a whole. I think it gives us more opportunities to love.  I KNOW so many out there who have gone through the same thing that I have, and I think about them often.  I hope that by sharing I may help lift someone who is struggling and maybe I might share something that could help. I have found a common ground with people and their trials, they don't have to be the same as mine to have the ability to relate. Our trials give us the ability to FEEL and genuinely want to help carry others burdens. 

Our Story...although long, still in a nutshell ;) 

 Over 10 years ago, I married the love of my life, the best part of me. I imagined we'd be married for a little while and then start having our family. We never prevented ourselves from having kids. We just figured that we would let life happen as it was suppose to. Of course you dream of having your babies and you talk about if one of them will have  your eyes or the Church nose, or some hobby that you do that hopefully they will do to!  After a few years you begin to kinda wonder, "ok, Maybe we should see a Dr." So we did some testing and found out that some hormone levels were off and some other slight complications were there with both of us but nothing that couldn't be fixed. So we continued on...more testing and treatments.  We seemed to get everything in balance with both of us throughout the years....but still no answers. So we tried artificial insemination.....no luck. After years of testing and waiting and then waiting and more waiting and hoping and believing that something may naturally happen, and being told we were one of those "unknown infertility cases" because "there's nothing wrong with either one of us" we were given the opportunity to do invitro. We were blessed with this opportunity by people we know and by anonymous donations and for this we will forever be grateful! There's no way to put into words our appreciation for this gift...the gift of an opportunity, even if it was just to have a chance. Many couples would love to try IVF but will never have funds to do it, I feel very blessed and undeserving.  Being able to do this has given us the answers we've needed to know what we need to do from here.  In 2014 we went through the IVF process. Anyone that has been through that process 1 time knows the emotional roller coaster that it is. There are many shots, many medications that you have to take and many office visits, ultrasounds, blood draws and the egg retrieval surgery. And then the bed rest and the waiting for the answer of "if it worked" and "if your going to become a mother." The first time we did invitro I was blessed to get that phone call that said, "your levels look really good, you are pregnant! You'll need to come in in another week to make sure your levels are rising". What a shocking and exciting miracle to hear those words after almost 9 years! I thought,"this is it! This is how it was suppose to happen!."  I went in for the 7 week appointment and I heard the heartbeat of my sweet baby for the first time in my life! That moment I will never forget! It is burned in my memory forever. Everything looked great! We started planning for our lives to change! At my 9 week appointment is when the fertility center graduates you from their office and you get to go see your regular OB. They give you the last picture of your baby which looks like a little gummy bear and a card with notes from all the staff. So exciting! But It's shocking how everything can change in one moment.  At almost 12 weeks I went in and found my baby's heartbeat had stopped. I've never felt anything so terrible in all my life. It felt like I may never be the same. That was the hardest thing that I've experienced. You have to force yourself to jump back into everyday life and try to be as normal as possible. Time does help, a lot! We had 3 more frozen embryos from the fertility center so we went in for a 2nd round of IVF. You have to repeat the shots the bed rest....you get the idea. They transferred 2 embryos. Unsuccessful. At that point you begin to wonder if you will ever have your own children but giving up is not an option. We decided to take the chance again and try for our final embryo(3rd IVF). My levels showed a pregnancy but it didn't make it to the 2nd check. Time passes and life moves on. Family is wonderful and so is our Heavenly Father. I've come to realize so many things about life. We are not guaranteed ANYTHING in this life, except for the fact that the Lord has a plan for each of our lives. He is in the details of our lives and he loves us. I have felt the power of the atonement work in my life in different ways. In ways to take away my sins and then In ways to show me that HE KNOWS how I feel because he has walked my path already and even carried me.  The gospel is amazing. 
We ended up hearing about a Dr who specializes in patients with reoccurring miscarriages, he is the only one in Utah who does this type of thing. We gave him a try. He found out that I have auto immune disorders, my immune system is so over active that it attacks anything foreign in my body(embryos, fetus). He also told me that my risk of heart attack is 3 times greater than someone else my age. This was a little crazy to hear since I feel I have always tried to be so healthy (running, eating right). So I went through another 4 months of treatments. And we finally got my immune system to where it's suppose to be! We decided to do invitro one more time with my now treated body/eggs, the Dr was confident that we'd see different results and that I could carry a baby. As we got into it, I was on the highest dose of FSH (follicle stimulating) hormones he dared put me on, and I wasn't producing the follicles for the eggs that he had hoped. He also found out that my Overian egg reserve is running low(I don't have many eggs left anymore which is strange for a person my age). We asked family to fast and pray for us. I was hoping for just ONE good embryo for just ONE more chance! Well, we ended up with 2 good embryos with retrieving 7 eggs! THIS IS A MIRACLE! (We only had 4 good follicles under ultrasound) We transferred our 2 final embryos. I had complications and bleeding so I thought for sure it didn't work, FOR SURE..... Wasn't planning on it at all!!! I went in for my first pregnacy blood draw and it was positive! POSITIVE!! I DID NOT believe it at all! So extremely surprising....I was in shock.   I went in for my a second blood draw 2 days later to see if my levels were rising, they were! Still couldn't believe it, oh the joy I felt! The word happy seems dull compared to my feelings. "My cup runneth over". Tears of PURE joy. I went in for a blood draw again just before my 6 week ultrasound and my levels dropped, which meant I would miscarry again. The baby stopped growing. Again, Crazy how fast everything can change. It's been an indescribable heartache for sure and I would be lying if I said we weren't completely devastated.  But no matter what happens, I know God loves us, you and me. And there is a reason for each and every struggle we all go through. The heartache and disappointment....there is a purpose behind it all. We may find out one day of those purposes and we may wait until we reach the other side of the veil but all in due time.  I am BEYOND grateful for the true empathy that I have gained to connect with others! People are wonderful! They have pure hearts and they have suffered hard things, and they are amazing! I'm so grateful for my sweet husband in all of this. I will always cherish the sweet tender moments of love and compassion he has shown me.  He is Christlike in every way.   I have a testimony of love and compassion. Love is the greatest power that is on the earth that everyone has access to and it is a natural healer.   And we all have access to Gods love, it's freely given at all times! Just because life may not go the way that we imagined or planned, despite what you think, God loves you and has an even better plan for your life than the one you may have dreamed of, you see, He is your creator and is shaping you right now into who HE needs you to become, because only He knows that. And when we feel like we just cannot go on anymore, he is pleading with us to just hold on a little bit longer.   I'm grateful for the knowledge of the gospel and the plan of salvation. I'm grateful for my sealing in the temple, and for the promised blessings Kade and I will receive by honoring those covenants. I know that when we follow the council of our prophets and honor our temple covenants that no righteous desires will be denied to those who cannot attain them in this life.  We WILL see our loved ones again! We WILL be together forever if we try our best to live worthy! And we WILL live with God one day if we trust him and do his will here on the earth. And we know without a doubt that we will have our precious babies!  Our family was designed in the beginning and I know those children just haven't made their way to our family yet. But it makes me want to search for them, and never give up! 
Even though this journey has been hard it has been wonderful. There's no way to experience the beauty of the top of a mountain without the grueling climb from the bottom. But when you reach that point or when you gain a stronger testimony through trials, and when you can sit still looking out at the beauty that sets before your eyes, and feel the complete peace, it's all worth it. All of our sweat and tears are not in vain.   That's why we are all here! It's been a long road and Im ready to have my family here, whoever those little spirits are and however they are suppose to come to us. Im ready to teach them about our Savior and how much He loves them! Im ready to hold them in  my arms everyday and love them.  :) 
I want to thank EVERYONE who have been so kind to us throughout the years! There have been countless acts of love shown to us, which I will never forget.  We love you all! 

1 comment:

Ben and Darci said...

Ciara I love this! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. You should share this on FB.