Monday, August 12, 2013


If you get a little blushy or nervous about words like uterus, ovary and infertility then allow me to jedi mind trick you. This is not the blog you are looking for.  Because it is about to get real up in here, time to write down our story.

In 2002, Josh and I were married and we waited exactly six months before trying to having children.  December* of 2002 was the first of many many months to come where no seed found fertile ground. About 5 months into trying I had debilitating abdominal pains and got the diagnosis and label of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).  My ovaries thought it would be fun to grow multiple cysts and then to let those suckers burst like pinatas of pain.  Brutal. The doctor that diagnosed me also advised that pregnancy would probably not happen.

This is where we decided to introduce humor. My ovaries earned the nickname Ovak-Hai.  Like their relatives the Uruk-hais, the most evil and devious Orc's from Lord of the Rings, my Ovak-Hai decided to attack at the most random times.

Now I can list all the medicines that we took, dates and types of procedures, let's just say years and years of treatments were happily taken in the hopes that we could have a baby.  But fundamentally what it boiled down to was that technology didn't have what I needed to procreate without spending astronomical amounts of money.  Large enough amounts of cash that Josh and I figured out treatments that "may possibly" lead to pregnancy equaled the cost of an adoption.  This is where we decided to stop.  For us it wasn't worth the 30% chance of pregnancy when we could put the money away and be placed with a beautiful baby at a much higher rate of success.  It might take years but at this point years seemed like nothing.

 December 2010 my father, an obgyn and infertility specialist, decided it was time to have the talk.  He quizzed me about what we had tried and when we had last participated in treatments**.  Then to my surprise (which in hindsight is silly) he told me about all the advancements since our last try. And so we decided to go for it again.

This time through some heavy handed spiritual inspiration, no really the Spirit practically hit me in the face, we landed with the right doctor. At my first appointment I explained our long history and that the last doctor we saw said I could not conceive. In return he told me, "Ellen, you'll be pregnant by September or October."  And I'll be honest, I laughed at him.  But I'll be damned, he was right.

In August we were placed with the most amazing baby boy for adoption.  He had an extended hospital stay so we never finalized our adoption until September 1. And people, for the first time in my life I ovulated that month.  So Josh and I had the talk, stop treatments and raise our boy or just keep going.  We chose to keep taking treatments because I think neither of us actually believed we'd get pregnant.  But we did, the second ovulation of my life and with a three month old child in our home***.

In the last six weeks we have been able to celebrate a first birthday and a second birthday for our beautiful sons.  It has been a brilliant time.  But rising from the cake crumbs is the return of the one Ovak-Hai.  That's right I have one ovary.  Not one doctor or ultra-stenographer caught it, not until I was being put back together after my c-section was that little tidbit discovered.  But I'll tell you what this one little Ovak-Hai punk has rage issues.  And so it just goes about business growing cysts and blocking fertility. Further debunking the idea that "it will just be easy" to get pregnant from here on out.  Sigh.

But don't give up on us, if the plan is to have more children in our family it will happen.  Whether by conception or adoption it will happen.

*As a side note, it is a terrible idea to try and get pregnant in December.  It is a memorable month for obvious reasons so as the years roll by without success it is hard not to grieve a little during a month that should be joyous.  

** This is my second rant.  People with medical condition need breaks.  Sometimes you have to stop forcing it and get cool with yourself again.  These breaks and your treatments are frankly no one's business.  By the end of our fertility journey I just started over sharing.  It proved to be the fastest way to get people to stop asking questions.  People want to know, but they don't want to know.  I just decided if they were going to ask, there were either all in or completely out.  Most people opted out.

*** Rant three:  People don't adopt and get pregnant as a regular practice.  We were lucky.  Our adoption had not relaxed us or taken the stress off. That is not why I got pregnant.  I got pregnant because of a good doctor, loads of pharmaceuticals and luck. Most importantly, it was the plan. The Lord knew that E Man needed to be the big brother.  This fact is confirmed to me often as I watch our sons play with a special familiarity.  I have no doubt they new each other before their arrival and had this process all worked out.