Guest Post: Judy & Tim’s Story

Judy is a long time friend of mine. We met at church back in 2009. She was the first fellow infertile myrtle I met on this journey and has been such an encouragement to me. She’s been my prayer warrior, example, confidant, and sister in Christ through my toughest years. She shares in my sarcastic sense of humor (which I LOVE!) and as I read her post submission, I found myself giggling, crying, and nodding my head in agreement shouting “YES!!!” at so many of the details. I believe you will be doing the same, perhaps even with eyes wide open and arms raised high as mine were!

I am so excited to share her and Tim’s story because they offer a very unique view. They’ve completed their infertility journey and can offer us the vantage point of being on the other side of it. Their story touches on so many facets of infertility including the many procedures, financial aspects, how it affected their marriage, and how they ultimately came to the other side of it.

Tim and Judy, thank you for being our friends on this path. Even though you are done with your infertility journey, you’ve willingly come into ours and were {& still are} willing to relive the pain in order to help others like us out. May the Lord bless you! We love you and your children are so precious to us!


View More: http://faithphotography.pass.us/mustianfamily
Photo Credit: Ashley Duke, Faith Photography

When Tim and I were in our infertility journey, people didn’t talk about it. The web was hardly a thing and there certainly wasn’t a Facebook, blogs or Google. Yes, I realize I have just dated myself! Would those things have made it easier to open up? Probably not. People still don’t talk about it today. Why?

Resolve was certainly a big help in the journey, allowing us to meet other “1 in 8” couples, but it wasn’t the same as being able to share openly with those closest to us. We were ashamed. Why were we ‘broken’? Why did other women seem to get pregnant so easily? God, why is this happening to us?

We had our plan. After marriage, we’d start trying to conceive at the 2-year mark. Easy! Well, we learned pretty quickly (about 6 months into TTC) that you don’t give God a time box. He has His own time.

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After 6 months of trying, we were already frustrated. My ob/gyn referred us to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). She’d given me Clomid for a couple cycles, informed me that I had PCOS and let me know that my uterus tilts way back, which might cause issues if I was to get pregnant. Ok, thanks.

That first meeting with the RE was both exciting and daunting. We were given a laundry list of everything that COULD be causing our infertility and asked, “so, where do you want to start?” Our answer was “Ummmm…”

I remember the conversation with the RE about possible endometriosis. Back then, there was no way to diagnose it without surgery, but based on my lack of intense pain during my cycles, he surmised I probably didn’t have it. But, we decided to go with the surgery, because we really wanted some answers. Low and behold, I had endometriosis…and bad! Hey, I even have a video of the procedure! Ok, all joking aside, we were shocked (including the doctor). He cleared everything up with laser burning/cutting… it looks like a Star Wars video. After healing, we were ready for the next thing on the list. Of course, all the while thinking after each procedure that pregnancy was surely right around the corner.

Somewhere in the midst of it all, Tim had his testing done as well, so we knew there was an issue with sperm count/motility. At this point we had three strikes (PCOS, endometriosis, and male factor). What to do next? More tests, of course!

There’s the anti-sperm antibody test, which led to a prescription of antibiotics for both of us. There’s the hysterosalpingogram test (HSG test). No, the dye part was not fun, nor was the cold metal table you have to lay on for this x-ray. Then there’s the post-coital test, oh joy! For the uniformed, let’s just say it’s a bit humiliating when the doctor says to have intercourse and then come to our office so we can do a trans-vaginal ultrasound to see how things are working out. Really? Oh yeah. And… gross.

Kids
2015 Photo Credit: Missy Glave, Missy Glave Photography

You may wonder how I can remember all of this, but no matter the time, infertility hits you hard. It’s not something you’re going to forget and some (like us) live with it their whole lives. The one thing we thought we could easily have just isn’t there. For Tim and me, our faith kept us strong throughout, but we still had tendency to question God.

So, what would be next in our infertility roller coaster ride (as I referred to it many times)? Financially, we knew we couldn’t afford IVF. IUI was a much less expensive option to explore. We set the schedule for the first IUI and used a high dose of Clomid for that cycle to get things going.

For each cycle, there would be two daily inseminations to be sure we ‘surrounded’ the expected ovulation time. Two days in a row, each cycle, I had to go in for the procedure. The doctor said it was generally a 12hr time period each month where pregnancy could occur, so inseminating two days would hopefully cover it. Then, we waited.

The first cycle was unsuccessful and the RE suggested putting me on Pergonal (which is the same as the Menopur that Jil used to prepare for IVF egg retrieval). So, we planned our next IUI. Pergonal, when given to someone that has PCOS, can cause you to over produce follicles. Our RE explained this to us and we went ahead. Tim, who is no fan of needles, had to give me daily shots of this medicine. I had to be closely monitored so the doctor could see if it was working and to take measurements of follicles being produced. Which meant, yay, more trans-vaginal ultrasounds! Every other day, while I was on the medicine, I had to go to the doctor’s office for this. At some point, I jokingly told Tim that it seemed this doctor was seeing my ‘area’ more than he was. I was trying to be funny but it was truly heart breaking that this was the situation we were in. The Pergonal effects on my body weren’t fun either, but I was willing to push through, for the ultimate goal.

FullSizeRender-2After a few days, the doctor did the IUI inseminations and then we were waiting again. Again, it was not successful so we planned for the third series. We would use the Pergonal a second time and again I’d go through all the monitoring. This time was different though. I started feeling more pressure earlier on. I was producing a lot of follicles. During the week of monitoring, I also had a baby shower to attend.

Now, let’s stop right there. An infertile going to a baby shower? I certainly didn’t usually go to these things. But this was my best friend from college and I felt I needed to go to the baby shower, which was 60 miles, one way, from my house. Let’s just say that Pergonal decided that was the day to do a wondrous thing in my body. God definitely got me back home that day because I was doubled over in pain, attempting to drive home from the shower. The next morning I was in the doctor’s office where I found out that I had at least 40 follicles in each ovary! Normally, an ovary is about the size of a walnut, mine were grapefruit size! Ouch! We did still end up doing the IUI for that cycle, which was again unsuccessful.

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Photo Credit: Missy Glave, Missy Glave Photography

After experiencing that pain, I’d had enough. I was ready to pursue adoption because Tim and I wanted to be parents and we’d reached the place where the biology wasn’t the most important thing. I should tell you now that, before Tim and I married, when I was in a Marriage & Family class at VCU, I had to write a marriage contract. We were already engaged so this was an easy assignment. In the part, we wrote about family planning. We mentioned going the adoption route if we are unable to conceive! What did I say before? God’s plan, His timing. God knew before we were married that adoption was in our future and we are blessed to be Tyler and Kendall’s parents.

Tyler

Our doctor always said that he would never tell us that we were ‘infertile’. He was there to help us through until we had success. I appreciated that. Labels can be hard, but they don’t define who we are inside. Yes, we are 1 in 8 and yes, I still fantasize at times what our biological child may have looked like. But, I’m a mom and that’s what I wanted. That’s what God wanted. Tim and I adopted each other when we married and then we adopted two children. We are family (you can sing it, it’s ok!).

One thought on “Guest Post: Judy & Tim’s Story

  • August 29, 2016 at 5:55 PM
    Permalink

    Jeremiah 29:11

    I know you can’t imagine life without Tyler and Kendall! You are all so very blessed.

    Good job Tim and Judy!

    Reply

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