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Bringing Home Baby - Part 1

AWC >  Adoption > Bringing Home Baby - Part 1

The walls are painted.
The bedding is washed.

The diaper bag is packed.

The car seat is installed.

Here we are…within just a few weeks of birth mom S being induced.  Just a few short weeks until we become first-time parents.  And, hey, let’s face it.  It could be shorter than that simply because she could go into labor by herself.


Basically this means that I’m walking around in a sort of fog these days.  My concentration keeps getting broken by random thoughts like “Did I pack enough diapers for the trip home from the hospital?”  My stomach is constantly in knots and I’m generally about thirty seconds from bursting into tears at any given moment.

It’s anticipation, yes.  But it’s also worry.  And fear.  And joy that quickly gets tucked away in case It All Goes Wrong. 

My husband and I have been through the wringer when it comes to trying to build our family.  I mean, sure, there are plenty of people that have it worse.  But we’ve had it pretty bad. 

This coming August will make a full decade since we actively started trying to conceive.  We started trying in January of 2003 and then in February he deployed to Iraq when combat first broke out.  So basically that’s why I count August…because that’s when he came home from that deployment.

We tried on our own for the required year and then sought treatment.  We were stationed in New Jersey at the time and ended up being seen at Walter Reed.  There I was diagnosed with PCOS, we found out that I wasn’t ovulating (even though my periods were fairly regular), and that both of my tubes were damaged beyond repair. 

What this meant was that we skipped to the head of the line in regards to fertility treatment.  There was no way that any doctor would treat me with tubes like that.  We decided then that my husband was going to go to OCS (Officer Candidate School) and it was another nine months before we lived together again.  Six months at OCS and 3 months at OBC (Officer Basic, I believe). 

Wait.  Maybe I have that backwards.  Maybe it was 3 months at OCS and 6 months at OBC. 

Anyway, that doesn’t really matter.  Once he was out of training (including jump school at Benning) we moved to Fort Bragg.  And blessedly, the RE/IVF program was just getting started there at Womack Army Hospital on post.  (I could wax poetic about Dr. Parker for a long time.  For the sake of space, I won’t, but he’s an amazing, AMAZING, doctor.)

My husband deployed again to Afghanistan and we made the decision for me to do IVF while he was gone.  That cycle sucked.  I was mired in depression, barely leaving my couch except to feed my dog and let him outside.  I had to give the shots to myself, which was fine until I started having allergic reactions to the stim drugs and had to switch to giving myself intramuscular shots in my thighs.  Those needles are HUGE.  They were the same ones that you use to do your trigger shot and your progesterone shots after embryo transfer.  I used to sit on the couch, holding the needle in my hand and just cry and cry and cry.  Needless to say, that cycle was a bust.

So we waited until he came home.  I did all of the pre-cycle testing and we started our second IVF.  This time was actually a good experience.  For whatever reason, I didn’t react badly to the stims.  And then for my trigger shot with the huge needle, he was there to do it so I didn’t have to watch.  And best of all, the clinic switched to progesterone suppositories instead of shots.  That cycle was a total flip of the first one.  Including the result.

I was pregnant. 

Well, sorta.  The hormone numbers didn’t rise the way they wanted at first, but then they seemed to take off.  I went in for an early ultrasound and there was our little bean, complete with strong heartbeat.  The most beautiful sight ever.  We were filled with joy.  I walked around in a blissful haze, planning names and wardrobes and nursery colors. 

I went in for my 10-week appointment and all went well until she started the ultrasound to find the heartbeat.  She tried externally, but hey, I’m fat.  There was no real worry or surprise when she couldn’t hear anything.  She switched to the internal.  And then I saw her face fall as she turned the monitor so that I couldn’t see it. 

Panic.  Overwhelming panic. 

She brought another doctor in and he confirmed.  Our baby was gone.

I wish I could say that the day and week after that passed in a haze, but I can’t.  For me, that day and the days that followed are crystal clear in my memory, and when I’m having a bad day, they can pop in my brain at any time to torture me.

I’ll skip the rest of that story, if you don’t mind.  It still makes me cry to think about too much.

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