I met my husband almost 10 years ago August of 2013 where we went on one date that almost truly never ended. Fast forward some years and October of 2020 we were engaged and planning a wedding after asking his parents permission to be married on their wonderful property in Colville, WA backwoods no where.
During the time of planning and prepping with much help from family and close friends we were married August 21, 2021 and it was beautiful even with it raining up until two hours before the ceremony amongst all of the other chaos that goes along with weddings *supposed to be good luck, right?!*. At least his mom sent me an email of 10 articles with lists as to why it was luck that morning <3.
Our goal was to start a family after our honeymoon planned 1 year later while we saved to go on a 3 week trip to Europe in 2022 where we would start of in the UK for our friends wedding that we had met in South Africa African spring 2019.
We already knew that pregnancy would need to be planned as I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since the age of 7 starting black Friday of 1998 along. Over my 24 years now of Type 1 diabetes I have collected autoimmune conditions like children collect Halloween candy – and it being the candy the adult hands you that you never wanted in the first place (kit kit bars ha ha). The other autoimmune my husband and I knew we would need to at least be mindful about is my systemic lupus diagnosis from roughly 2014 and then the lack of thyroid – post thyroidectomy and treatment in 2011 due to three malignant papillary thyroid tumors.
The thing is all throughout my life I was told having kids would be a problem, dangerous, and why didn’t I want to adopt (probably based on the movie Steel Magnolias) where a Type 1 diabetic is portrayed has having a baby with complications and then passing away from kidney failure in that child’s very young years. The things, as long as you are diligent and prepared you can carry almost as safely as a normal person with higher risks which include high risk teams.
For some reason as I got older I always had this feeling that pregnancy wouldn’t happen. I didn’t know where this thought came from but it did eat away at me especially waiting to go on our dream honeymoon to Europe. About 6 months before hand I decided to do an at home fertility blood work up – and to our surprise one of my numbers came back weird. My AMH – which is an indicator of ovarian reserve. The test indicated I should test again the next month to confirm…which it did with roughly the same lab value. This lead me into a panic, and my husband and I got into a study (more so for science purposes than anything) and they sent him a at home analysis kit which also ended up with puzzling results, so we decided enough with home test anything and went straight to a fertility clinic in order to get the results in order to make proper decisions.
May of 2022 were were at our last fertility work up result appointment where we were told that my husband was perfectly fine, my AMH was lower so therefore embryo freezing might be a good idea if we wanted multiple children, and while we had age (for egg quality reasons) on our side. My husband and I decided to try until roughly December 2022 naturally and then proceed from there.
Oddly enough that cycle was weird for me. I ovulated a few days later, so the day after my HSG (uterine imagine test) before our final fertility results appointment of which I had thought nothing of. I was using a hormone tracking monitor at home to monitor LH, estrogen, and progesterone metabolites a few months prior in order to learn my body again after being on birth control for 15 years continuously. I found the numbers of the device helpful and informative. ——Away we went on our European Honeymoon!
We went to the UK, went to our friend’s BEAUTIFUL wedding, and then took the Eurostar to Paris. We were exploring, eating, people watching, and just enjoying our time. Part way through our Paris portion I felt more tired than usual. I didn’t think anything of it. My wonderful husband and I went to Harry’s of New York Bar in Paris our last night there where we also enjoyed the environment, people watched and had a couple drinks. On our way back to our hotel with an Uber style car service I noticed my stomach was very unsettled. I knew that I hadn’t over drank, and that the food we ate should not have been the problem. We got back to our hotel while I dealt with some minor GI distress and then we proceeded to go to bed for the evening.
I remember the first thing that morning waking up and instantly feeling ill. My husband was brushing his teeth so I decided I would start to get ready and do the same. Disclaimer 0 Bad idea. I had barely gotten the toothbrush in my mouth to start the process when i knew I was going to be sick — not something he had health with much of from me. Told him out while pushing him thru the bathroom door to instantly get sick. (Where my husband proceeded to search early pregnancy symptoms.
Fast forward a day and I took a easy@home pregnancy test that came up slightly pink shadow in color. I wasn’t sure if that was something I should believe in. I continued to test for a few days taking a test once a morning with no progression in color but cycle being 6 days late. We made it through Paris, Cognac, and Venice all while testing and my lines getting lighter. I decided to give up testing thinking I was either imaging things (even though physiologically I was having symptoms). We got to Tuscany and on June 14, 2022 I knew that the journey I had always hope for had ended once the bleeding of a cycle had started. Honestly, I was upset, but think I pushed it aside for another date. I wasn’t going to process that lost chance yet.
Months went by, depression grew, and my feelings towards that time surfaced. I remember sitting with my mom feeling like I either never deserved something so precious, and that it would never happen for us. Not that adoption wasn’t an option and that that child would have no less love than if I had had them myself…but I have wanted to be a mommy to a biological tiny since a young age. That was hard.
My husband and I continued to try with each cycle coming every month around the same time UNTIL……December. I remember waking up in the morning thinking to myself that I should test since we are going to the Seahawks game tonight, and if it’s negative I can have one beverage and enjoy myself while we were out. I pulled out a small medical cup I had been using monthly, and took a pregmate test (which I knew wasn’t as sensitive — but knew that was all I had at that time). I put the test back into its aluminum packaging and waited the indicated time frame….pulled the test out….and stared at it. AGAIN…thought I was losing it knowing that the test wasn’t as sensitive as easy@home tests, or First response tests, but i was certain I saw a shadow.
What did I decide you ask? To buy a package of first response tests on my way to work, and hold my bladder until lunch (which ended up being ~6 hours) on lunch, first thing is I went to the restroom, went in my washed medical cup dipped my first response stick, put it back in the package — and set the timer. I was at my desk by myself and put the hidden test, and phone next to each other. Trying not to get any hopes up.
Pulled my test out of the packaging and saw a beautifully pink line. First I had a mental coronary, and then texted my provider I was working with that day….and said….this is what it looks like….RIGHT?! My provider/peer came back to our office, looked at the test and got excited. It was confirmed official at least then. Now, I knew how I would be spending my Seahawks game…anxiously awaiting to tell my husband. While he was still at home I ask if he could grab a postal service bubble package but not to look into it. It had a book called “Mommy Beeps” in regards to my medical devices and a wine label saying “This pairs well with being a dad”…I turned our game outing into an impromptu baby announcement. Asking my husband to go grab me a glass of wine knowing he would need to leave our seats. I asked the couple ahead to take a subtle video…he came back with wine in hand and the rest is history.
As I write this I am preparing for our maternity shoot together with my husband, three pups (our first kids), and my sister in Sequim, WA to enjoy this journey, though it has been long & hard, we are so thankful for this precious lil lady on the way and also remembering the life that we thought we were going to start with before her. The fear doesn’t stop, but hope is stronger.
Photos taken by Michele Elizabeth Photography.
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