Today is my 35th birthday. I have written before about reasons this day is so hard for me so if you already know about them, feel free to skip this post.
First of all, I'm 35. I don't mind aging. If I was a mother, 35 would just be a number to me like any other. But I do mind turning 35 without children. Everyone can say, "Oh you're still so young!" but they say this when they already have 3 kids by this age. I just never thought I would be here at 35. I always imagined myself with at least 2 if not 3 children by now. These things are so hard to understand.
Not only am I feeling sad about being 35 without becoming a mother of living children yet, I'M 35!!!! If you are in the infertility community, then you know what this number means. You know that once you hit this birthday, you are no longer considered "young." You are put into the advanced maternal age catergory at the clinics. Now I'm not suggesting that at 35 your eggs are finished but it definitely puts you at greater risk. After starting treatments 5 years ago, one of my goals was to be pregnant before this dreaded category. But once again I am reminded that God is in control, not me. I hate that. ;)
The worst part about my birthday is 6 years ago today I found out I was pregnant for the first time. I was ready to start a family about a year prior to this date so when Brad finally agreed I was ecstatic! I stopped taking my birth control pills right in the middle of the pack (which I why I actually ovulated on time like a normal human being). When it was time for me to start, I didn't. Surely we didn't get pregnant the first month we tried. On the morning of my 29th birthday, I decided to take a test. I don't remember why I had hpts at home but I guess I was prepared, just in case. You can imagine the shock on my husband's face when I showed him that positive test. We were both in disbelief. Could it really be this easy?
I called my sister-in-law, Michelle, and she brought me several more tests to school early before my students arrived. She brought my niece along and when she saw the test she told her, "E's going to have a baby!" I was so excited! I couldn't wait to tell the rest of my family.
Because it was my birthday, we decided to tell my parents and Brad's parents and sister at a birthday dinner at our house for me. I know what you're thinking. Why would we tell people so soon? What if something happens and it doesn't work out? Back in the days before pregnancy loss, Brad and I really felt that when people got pregnant, they had a baby. Sure we knew sometimes it didn't work out but that wasn't going to happen to us.
After supper and cake, I opened my presents. I saved Brad's for last. He got me three onesies with some prenatal vitamins. Everyone just sat there for a few seconds, not really understanding what that meant. Suddenly Brad's sister, Julie, screams out, "She's pregnant!" It was one of the happiest moments of our lives.
Sadly, the happiness didn't last. We said goodbye to our first son, Grant Alexander Davis, on April 11 before we could even make it to an ultrasound. That day we also lost our innocence about what really happens when someone gets pregnant. We have had two more pregnancies since that first one. We still tell the day we find out but we no longer believe pregnancy ends with baby. I'm not really sure if it ever will for us. I know God will allow us to be parents one day but it may not be with a pregnancy of my own.
My birthday marks 6 years of this journey. We would try for a year on our own with no success. (Why isn't it happening? It was so simple the first time???) We tried rounds of Fremara, no success. Finally a pregnancy with a Clomid IUI. We lose Caleb Bradley after hearing a slow heartbeat several times. Four more years of 10 Clomid/Injectable IUIs and 3 IVFs later we get pregnant with Allyson Paige only to lose her as early as we did Grant. I think you can see why this birthday signifies the beginning of a lot of heartache for us both.
Although it is a sad day, I still have hope. I spent the first two days of my spring break getting blood work done to send to the reproductive immunologist in California. We had almost everything already done with our consultant so there were just a few tests left to do. Hopefully, they can figure out the mystery of me and why my body keeps attacking my embryos, some before they can even implant. Hopefully April 3, 2014 will actually be a happy birthday for me like it was 6 years ago. I still have faith that He will turn my mourning into dancing....In His time.
"I still believe in Your faithfulness. I still believe in Your truth. I still believe in Your Holy Word. Even when I don't see, I still believe." -Jeremy Camp