December comes and goes without a pregnancy. To be honest, it ended up being a refreshing break and we were able to enjoy the holidays shot free, doctor free and stress free, which felt really nice.
January 9th arrives and I am able to start the whole IUI cycle over again. This was the first month I decided to give myself the Follistem shots on my own. The first night took some time to build up the courage, but I finally did it. After administering my shot my legs went weak. I was in the house alone and I was feeling super emotional that day. I would just cry at anything. My husband was out of town for work so it was just me and my shot. I knew it was all the hormones pumping through me, but ladies that have gone through this will know what I was feeling. I broke down in tears right after giving myself the shot, I just felt so alone. I knew my emotions were getting the best of me so I called my husband and my mom since they were the best at calming me down. As usual, they were so sweet and caring and they helped cheer me up.
Monday, January 16th came and we were doing a sonogram to see if my follicles had grown enough. I had one that was ready (size 23) and one that was almost there (size 15) and they like to have a couple so it helps our chances of getting pregnant. I was sent home to do two more nights of hormone shots to get those two eggs where we wanted them to be. Thursday I had my 3rd IUI and once again the terrible two week wait. I go back on February 2nd for my blood/pregnancy test! My 29th birthday is on the 4th so I can’t help but think how that would be the most amazing birthday present ever!
Today is the big day. . .we find out if the IUI worked and if we are pregnant! I woke up early to go to the doctor to do blood work so I could get same day results (as usual). The rest of the day is the tricky part because usually I don’t get a call until later in the afternoon. I have to keep myself busy so I don’t drive myself crazy thinking about what the results could be.
I went to my mom’s house to do the elliptical, ran a few errands and then went home to get ready for a commercial I was shooting that day for Golden Chick. I was keeping busy and feeling sane so far! As I was backing out of my driveway to leave, I started to feel really nauseous all of the sudden and almost threw up in my lap. I was thinking hmm that is pretty strange, but in no way did I think it was because I could possibly be pregnant. I knew I was finding out in a few short hours at that point so I thought it was just my nerves or because I was feeling anxious. I get to the commercial shoot and I knew I was probably going to get the call while I was working so I had told the nurse to just leave whatever the results were on my voicemail.
I saw the call come up and I didn’t want to answer it in case it was bad news or good news because I knew I would definitely start ugly crying and ruin my makeup before filming! Watching it go to voicemail my heart was beating out of my chest. I finished up my work and then got into my car and just stared at my phone. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to listen to it or not. It was a call I had been waiting on for two weeks and I just couldn’t play the message right away. I wanted to hold on to every last second of “I could possibly be pregnant right now”. I had prayed and prayed all day, Lord, just please give me the strength to handle whatever the outcome is today. I decided to finally just play it.
I couldn’t even believe what I heard, “You’re pregnant!” Of course, I immediately started ugly crying uncontrollably, but decided to pull it together so I could see the road through my tears. The first person I called was my husband, of course. He didn’t answer! I was like, I know he knows that when I call its because I’m calling to tell him which news we got, why wasn’t he answering! I decided to keep calling like a crazy person until he answered. He picked up and I literally screamed, “WE’RE PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!” Turns out he was in a meeting…whoops! His co-workers all heard me screaming so he quickly tried to excuse himself from the room. He went back into the room and they were all wondering if it was good screaming or bad? He told them it was good and that his wife was just really excited about something! Lol. I hung up with him then called my mom, dad and sister to fill them in! I ran to Walgreens to get a ClearBlue pregnancy test because I had never gotten a “pregnant” on one of those before and you better believe I wanted that satisfaction of seeing it! Sure enough, it came up pregnant and I felt very satisfied! Mark and I took a picture with it and sent it to his family to let them know the good news. We were just in complete shock and awe. Its not that we were preparing for bad news, but I think after everything we have gone through we had learned to keep our emotions somewhat in check.
Earlier that week I was in my women’s Bible study group and we were talking about what our prayer requests were for the week. They all knew our story of struggle and how bad we wanted this baby. In fact, many of these women have had their own fertility struggles so they knew what we were going through. My prayer request, of course, was to get good pregnancy news that week. One of the girls in my group had just found out she has PCOS like I do and was going to struggle with getting pregnant. She came over to me and asked if they could all lay hands on me and pray over me before I left. We were all in tears praying together and I just felt so loved by these women. It was the sweetest most powerful thing and I knew that no matter the outcome that God and these women had my back. I couldn’t wait to tell them the good news once we found out! I could not stop thanking God a million times over for this sweet little blessing. I felt a calmness and peace that this was our time and this was going to be our baby.
The next step was going back for more blood work after the weekend to make sure everything was rising and going in the right direction. But first, I was going to relish in every little moment of being pregnant and having the BEST birthday present in the whole world. Monday rolls around and I go to the doctor and have to wait all day until hearing the results. It's like finding out all over again. We get the call that my beta went from 83 to almost 400 over the weekend and they were really happy with that! They were so happy with those results that I didn’t have to keep going in to check every 48 hours to make sure it continued rising like last time. I could breath a small sigh of relief.
I scheduled my sonogram for February 21st; I would be 6 weeks and 5 days. It’s a little early, but we were leaving for Hawaii the next day so we were hoping to get a glimpse of our little babe before we left for vacation. I even bought some baby flip flops so we could take a fun picture on the beach for when we were ready to announce our special news to the world. We went in for our first sonogram on February 21st. I could not wait for those three weeks to hurry up so it could finally be this day. The funny thing is, once we pulled up I didn’t want to go in. All of the memories and emotions came rushing back of what had happened last time and my husband and I were both a little terrified. Would we see a baby this time, hear a heartbeat, would everything look good? Or would we have another heartbreaking day? Finally we walked in and sat down. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I laid down on the table and the nurse started to look for our baby. I heard her say “There’s your baby!” and I almost fell off the table. I yelled with excitement and the nurses and our Doctor heard me outside the room and laughed back, “I’ll take that as a good sign?!”. Dr. Ku came in for a second to see the baby for himself and congratulate us! I’ve never felt a more incredible feeling; to finally see our baby, a real live baby with a beating heart. It is indescribable.
Mark and I could not stop smiling from ear to ear. We got a few print outs of the sonogram pictures to take with us and I immediately set them as my new phone background! Our whole family had been so excited for us, but at the same time very cautiously optimistic. We couldn’t wait to send them the pictures so they could all breathe a sigh of relief with us. Dr. Ku said that I had now “graduated” from Dallas IVF and I could make my first appointment with my normal OB.
Thank goodness we got amazing news or our Hawaii trip would have been a depressing one. We could go enjoy our vacation and relish in the fact that I had a little life growing inside of me. It was a great trip! When we got back, it was time to go in for my first appointment and sonogram with my regular OB. Once again, I was so excited to be getting to see the baby again, but I was still so nervous and hoping everything was normal and healthy. Every time I get to see the baby it’s like the first time and its just so exciting to see the changes and how it grows from one visit to the next. My doctor said everything looked on track and healthy and that my baby was even an “overachiever” because it was already measuring a few days ahead! Healthy baby! That made me so happy. I was pretty lucky that I was able to have a few extra visits and more sonograms than normal because I was in the high risk category. They wanted to keep a closer eye on the baby. This was very comforting and reassuring to me as well. I was getting spoiled being able to see my baby so much! It looked more and more like a baby with every visit and the features were starting to get more defined. The baby was kicking and punching like crazy in one of the sonograms and it was so cool to see it moving inside me like that.
The weeks went by and finally I was at my 12 week appointment. I was so anxious to finally share our secret with the world. I asked my doctor if I could shout it from the rooftops when I left that day, but she wanted me to wait a few more weeks just to be certain we were in the safe zone. I was a little disappointed, but that was the right thing to do. We scheduled our appointment for 3 weeks later and we got to see the baby one more time. Everything looked great and I was still measuring ahead so she gave me the go ahead to announce our special news!
We announced it via social media on April 15th, the day before I was 15 weeks. I hesitated to press Post for a few minutes. I couldn’t wait to share our news, but it felt so weird. It had been our special little secret for so long and maybe I just didn’t want to jinx anything. I took a deep breath and posted. It was such a relief to finally share this with family, friends and fans. We had been so open about our struggles so we knew all of our friends were going to be elated for us. Shortly after, the congratulation messages and happy texts started rolling in. It felt amazing for everyone to share in the excitement with us.
This concludes my Worth the Wait in Gold series. I first want to thank all of you for reading and following along in our journey. I also want to thank you for each comment and message; I read every single one of them and while this was not easy to share our struggle, it reminded me exactly why I was doing it. I felt called to share this from very early on and my whole purpose in opening up about our journey was to bring light and hope to a very dark subject. I wanted to show that you are NOT alone and that there are happy endings! If anything at all, I hope I gave one person a laugh, some hope or support no matter what storm you may be going through; whether infertility, misscarriage or any other tough life situation.
I can't put into words how excited I am for baby Caldwell's arrival and to introduce him/her to y'all in a few short months! I will forever be changed from the last couple of years. I may be left with a few new scars, but I will wear them proudly. I can say that God has truly changed me forever and absolutely for the better.