Thursday, October 29, 2015

how the brady's make a baby {part 3}

Ok, so THIS is really why I decided to start blogging again. As some of you may have guessed we are at it again, trying to bring another little baby into the world. This time however is much much more complex of a journey to get that sweet baby for our family. In-Vitro in and of itself is such an emotionally, physically and financially draining experience even if it works. I can't imagine the pain that comes from going through that process and not having success. My heart sincerely goes out to all the families that are struggling to create the family that they have always wanted, whether that is through fertility treatments, adoption or foster care.

For us, we have chosen IVF as our means to expanding our family once again. The only problem for us was the finances. After I had Perry I knew that there was one more person that was supposed to be a part of our family but I knew deep down that it would be a lot of years down the road. I kept feeling like if there really was someone else waiting to come to earth, Heavenly Father would provide a way. I had a lot of faith. Brett and I talked for two years about different ways we could do IVF. Save for years and years, finance the expense, even ask for donations or do a fundraiser. In the end none of those options seemed to feel right. My faith was still strong but I kept feeling like we couldn't wait around for some kind of money to just fall into our lap. "Faith without works is dead", right? 

It was about a year of serious discussions between Brett and I and nothing was happening. Brett was convinced that our family had to be complete and I knew there was one more. One day we were at Grandma's pool and I had this crazy thought. What if I carried a baby for someone else? After-all our situation is male-factor so I knew my body could accept an implanted embryo and I knew what I was getting myself into because I had done it twice before. I could earn the money to do IVF AND I could help a family bring their own child into the world. It was a pretty incredible thought, one that I knew just didn't pop into my head for no reason. I felt like it was an answer to my prayers. Without telling Brett I started to look into the process. I wanted to be well informed before I brought up the idea to him. We had just moved into our new house and I found out that there was a neighbor of ours who had recently carried a baby for someone. That would be the best place to start because after all, how do I find someone to carry a baby for? I didn't want to use an agency because that would be an additional cost for the family, and this process is extremely expensive as it is. I got my neighbor's number and with all the nerves in the world called her. She happened to have her mother watching her kids and could come over right then. She was just the sweetest and answered all of my questions. There was a women she knew who was looking for someone to carry for them. Maybe this was all meant to be! I decided it was time to talk to Brett. After all this wasn't just going to effect me. It would be a big decision for both of us to make.

At first Brett was pretty hesitant and knew that there were a lot of risks with having a baby and that he would have to be by my side while there was someone else's child in my womb. It was a strange thought and one that took some warming up to for both of us.   

My neighbor lined us up with the couple, who lived out of state. We went through all of the extensive legalities that come with this process, went through all of the blood work and physical exams and got to know this couple. This process took about 5 months. We flew to their city in October 2014 and met with their doctor. There was something that just didn't feel right but I kept pushing it away throughout our trip. Their doctor examined me, did ultrasounds and did blood work on Brett and I. He brought us into his office to interview us privately. He kept pushing that he recommended we sign off on multiple reduction in case I became pregnant with multiples. Basically abort a perfectly healthy baby just because of the risk that comes with carrying multiples. There was no way I was allowing that to happen in my body even if they weren't my children. I made myself perfectly clear to him and he still insisted that we discuss this option with the intended parents. He also wanted us to consider abortion if the child had some kind of disability or genetic disorder. All of this talk just made me sick. Especially because at the time our family was loving on our special needs niece Brooklyn who was such a blessing in my life. We went to lunch with the couple after our appointment and talked through both of our feelings on these subjects. I left feeling heart broken because I knew I couldn't compromise my morals. They dropped us off at the airport and I just broke down in tears. Brett and I both decided we did not have the same beliefs when it came to these matters and decided to go our separate ways.

Back to square one and months wasted. I met with a few other couples over the next 6 months. Nothing fell into place, nothing felt right and we were left with no one in sight. I was really hoping that things would fall into place and that I would have that peace that I was longing for. I kept saying the whole time that it just had to feel right. I didn't want to force anything just because I wanted to hurry up the process. In June of this year, we all of a sudden had three couples who wanted us to carry for them. We had met two of them and the other wanted to meet with us but they lived out of state. I felt really good about one particular couple that we had been to lunch with but she was waiting to hear if her sister-in-law was going to carry for her. The other two couples seemed to be wonderful people but I felt a connection and peace with this particular couple. I had learned to not get too excited until all of the details were worked out. I was very upfront with my beliefs and morals as well as what I was wanting from the family I was going to carry for. All of our values lined up perfectly. A few days passed and I hadn't heard anything. I then got a call from Anastasia and she asked me to carry her baby.

This is Brady, (I know right, ha) Anastasia and Anorah. Anastasia was blessed to carry their beautiful three year old daughter herself. After many years of infertility and several losses they became pregnant and she was able to carry full term. I was glad that she had experienced pregnancy and childbirth herself. I loved being pregnant and giving birth so much and I was so happy that she had that experience. Last fall she became pregnant once again but had to have an emergency hysterectomy when her fetus implanted in her cesarean scar and her uterus ruptured. She almost lost her life. The doctors were able to save her but not her uterus. That's where I come in.

In July we started to really move forward and after a month of legal work and many prayers that the judge would sign off, we were given the go ahead to start the IVF process. I started my belly shots, all of my medications and later intramuscular injections. I never had to take those when I did IVF. Seriously ouch!! Big ol' needle in my butt. Every single day for 10 weeks! I thought the belly shots I had to do were bad. The process is just a bit different because they are not stimulating my ovaries. They have to prepare my body a bit differently. Did I mention that I hate needles. Yep, I hate them! Brett was so great and we learned that he has a crazy steady hand. He jokingly considered changing careers to anesthesia, haha. My kids loved the whole process and would always want to hold my hand and "help me be brave". I had multiple blood draws that Perry came with me to. If you saw my Instagram video or snapchat of Perry saying she wanted to be a phlebotomist, that is because she talked to the girl drawing my blood every time and she told Perry that is what she did. It is pretty cute that she still remembers how to say it and knows exactly what they do.

Anastasia's eggs were extracted from her ovaries and fertilized. 5 days later one little tiny embryo was transferred to my uterus.

10 long days later Anastasia called me with the best news. We're pregnant!! Due May 10th and we are all ecstatic that this whole process worked! I'm a little over 12 weeks now.  

Unfortunately when I was on my girls trip down in St. George two weekends ago I started to bleed and cramp pretty badly. I was devastated and was so worried I was miscarrying but my girl friends were so supportive and took me to the ER. My Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt and Uncle, who live in St George, came to the hospital and my sweet Grandpa and Uncle gave me the most promising blessing. Thankfully that calmed me down because I was a wreck and I spent 7 hours waiting to be seen. I just wanted to hear a heartbeat. I didn't want to worry Anastasia so I just waited until I knew more and had answers before I called her. Thankfully there was a very active baby and strong heartbeat when they did the ultrasound. The following Monday an ultrasound at the fertility clinic showed that I have a complete placenta previa, meaning the placenta is completely covering my cervix. We are all praying it moves so I don't have to be on pelvic rest (which means its difficult for me to teach at Xtend Barre) and it also means that I would need to have a c-section.

I sent this picture to Anastasia after I had called her to tell her what happened. Lovely picture I know. 7 hours in the ER will do that do you.

I'm so grateful we were patient and waited for the right couple. They are a beautiful family and we have grown to love them. Perry and their daughter Anorah are best little buddies and love when we get together. You may be wondering how we have explained all this to our children and it really has been very simple. We are honest with them about every single thing. Steele knows about uterine lining, periods, eggs, sperm, embryos, placentas, contractions and on and on. He is a very well informed 6 year old! He is so inquisitive and is constantly asking questions about what each medication does and how it makes me feel. They know the baby in my belly is not ours and that we are helping Anorah get a baby brother or sister! That we will hopefully be able to have our own after this baby is born and that means this whole process has to be repeated. They were pretty cute one day and brought all of our baby stuff up from the basement, including all the baby bedding, carseat and clothes. It pretty much made me sob but I reminded them that this baby has to cook for a long time and then I have to wait for my body to recover and then start it all over again. I think their sense of time is a little skewed. I am grateful they are so understanding and excited about the whole process. 

Thanks for reading about 'how the Brady's make a baby'. Here are a few more pictures of our journey! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

our new life

This post has been long over due. I wanted to revamp my blog and start documenting life again. It's taken me a while and as you can see it's not quite there yet but I need to get this all written down. I have missed blogging so much and feel like I have missed out on journaling our lives. So here is a little update on us.

We moved into a new home over a year ago and have been loving our new area and life. The house we found checked our three main criteria. Location, yard size (so many homes are build extremely close together in our area and we really wanted a good size backyard as well as side yard) and an open floor plan. We searched and searched as we had been living with Brett's parents for a year. We looked at buying an older home in a good area and renovating the property. We quickly found that to do that we would be paying far more than what was in our budget. We also knew that building a new home would end up costing more than we wanted because as Brett would say "you can't say no to all those nice high end finishes!" and it was true. We both knew we would break the bank building. When we found our home it wasn't this overwhelming feeling that it was the right one. It was an Ivory spec home and checked off all three of our stipulations but I was only hesitant because the kitchen wasn't white. Silly now but at the time I kept thinking, if we are going to buy a new house we might as well build. In the end, after looking at building in this area and a few other spec homes we decided that it was our house!! Once that decision was made it was easy to become over the moon excited to call this place home. We moved in March 2014 and slept our first night on the floor with no beds, furniture or blinds. It was the perfect first memory in our home.