Holy transition period, Batman! Here I sit surrounded by boxes, luggage from my last trip to Michigan and school books that need my attention immediately. Add in four pets and a husband that drives me crazy and keeps me sane simultaneously. Tyler and I are in the midst of an unbelievable transition period in almost all aspects of our life. Here is the back story:
Tyler and I met in 2003 and got married in October of 2010. We lived about 20 minutes apart in High School and ended up working at the same Domino’s Pizza. We quickly became close friends, almost everyone we worked with, our families and many of our friends tried to tell me that Tyler and I should date. I could not believe that such a wonderful man cared about me in that way, and as he is extremely shy and never expressed his feelings things stayed at “just friends” for years. After High School I moved from West Virginia to Michigan (where my family is originally from) and we maintained our friendship. In the winter of 2007 Tyler came to visit me in Michigan and it seemed we were finally moving forward; due to an injury, a snow storm, and a misunderstanding it was quite possibly the worst visit of all time. For some reason that crazy man was willing to try again, Tyler returned for another visit to Michigan in the fall of 2009. This time we were finally in the same place at the same time and we finally admitted what everyone around us knew, we were in love. Things progressed quickly once we were finally open and honest about our feelings. We began dating and a few months later I moved back to West Virginia. Then in October of 2010 Tyler made my dreams come true when we got married in a small ceremony. Thus our little family began.
I have always known that having children was going to be a challenge for me, I have never had regular cycles and my Mom struggled to have me and my sister Chazlynn. In the spring of 2010 I made an appointment with my doctor to discuss the plans Tyler and I had for starting a family. Becoming a Mom is the one constant dream I have had in my life and Tyler was anxious to know the joys of fatherhood as well. The visit with my doctor changed those plans dramatically. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), one of the leading causes of infertility in women. My doctor gave us the contact information for a world renowned infertility specialist and I clung to hope like it was a life raft. We began treatments immediately, which involved daily medications for me as well as driving two hours every other day to be monitored. My body does not like to release eggs during the normal course of a menstrual cycle. My ovaries begin to form the eggs and then hold on to them like they are prized jewels and not the missing ingredient needed to make a new Rudisill. We did around three months of treatments when I broke the first time. Nothing was working, I did not like our medical team, every failed cycle broke my heart and we were in the middle of a huge disagreement with my in-laws. All of which made us decide that we needed a break to identify our goals and try to enjoy being newlyweds. Shortly after our break I started experimenting with herbal supplements to try and regulate my cycles. This worked wonderfully at first, my cycle regulated and in the summer of 2011 I was able to say the words I had been dreaming of my whole life, “Honey, I am pregnant”. That moment will forever be etched in my mind, I was so sure that my prayers had finally been answered and that I was going to be a Mom. Our joy however was quickly followed by heart break when two weeks after I found out I was pregnant I lost the baby. Words cannot describe the heartache that followed, the loss was so early in the pregnancy we had not even announced it to everyone. I felt betrayed by my body in ways I still am healing from. Tyler was a rock throughout the experience and his love, our family, friends and God are all that kept me whole. We took a deep breath, prayed and moved forward. In September of 2011 I had another early miscarriage. Each time we lost a baby I felt my heart break deeper. I could not come to grips with my body’s seeming unwillingness to carry a baby to term.
In the spring of 2012 Tyler and I decided we were ready to try treatments one last time. Tyler was always a great support for me during treatments but since he is as fertile as a man can be he did not personally have to go through many of the treatments. We began the medications and, this time, daily monitoring (only an hour away this time) to prepare for an IVF cycle. I am fairly certain fertility treatments are some form of torture at least that is how it seemed to me. My body does not handle the medications needed for an IVF well, I was sick the entire time. Additionally, the emotional toll is impossible to describe. Every day I had to inject myself with medications and drive an hour to the doctor’s office to see if it was working yet. Nothing is simple with my body so the medications did not work as planned and the doctors were beginning to question if they ever would. Then miraculously the medications took off and my body became an overachiever in the egg making department. For those who are unfamiliar with IVF, the eggs are then removed surgically and fertilized in a lab. Due to lab error all of my husband’s sperm died before fertilization and we had to race two hours away to get another sample there in time. This delay caused over half my eggs to die and the remaining few were then fertilized. My heart broke over this loss but I was sure our child was coming from those remaining eggs. One by one our embryos died and only one was left by the time it came time to implant the embryo. Our embryo implanted, our bank account laughingly empty and our hopes high we had the longest two week wait of our lives. We would soon learn that this was another loss and the embryo was unable to implant fully.
Tyler and I then had a long heart to heart and decided that although we could continue trying to conceive a child naturally, we both felt our family building was meant to come from another avenue. Adoption was always a part of our family plans, we decided to skip to that part and bypass the emotional and physical pain of fertility treatments. We also discussed what needed to happen in our lives to prepare us for adoption: I needed to graduate with my teaching degree and we needed to buy our first home.
Picture of our embryo- Fall 2012
Where are we now:
We found our dream home, a charming Cape Cod in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. It has three bedrooms, a garage for Tyler’s Camaro (very important) and a fence for our dogs Lolli-Pop (a Schipperke) and Snowflake (a Peekapoo). We are packing away and getting ready to move next week. As an Army brat I am used to moving and I could pack a house in my sleep, Tyler has never left the county where we currently live West Virginia so he is having a new adventure. I am also finishing my last semester of class work and I am preparing for my student teaching in the fall so I can graduate in December. We welcomed our first Nephew last week, my sister Chazlynn gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and named him Micajah. My entire family lives in Michigan and I just returned from my trip north for the birth. We have two beautiful nieces as well; Jocelyn and Payton who live a few miles away from our current home, and will only be forty minutes away once we move.
What will this blog be about:
I found through our family building journey that there is little to no information or support for couples who decide to forgo treatments and embrace adoption. This blog will focus on us trying to build our family and our home. You will find information on adoption, adoption expenses, home making (decorating, cooking, projects, etc) and the occasional educational tip or story. We may not be building our family in the traditional way but it is sure to be an adventure, an adventure you are invited to join.