Anniversary Letter from Dave

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Dave wrote a letter to our future child and framed it for our anniversary. He said I could share it on the blog:) I am so lucky to have his support.

April 28th, 2016
Dear first baby boy or girl of ours,

 if you are reading this with full comprehension and developed cognitive abilities, then you have to be minimally a teenager by now, or close to it.  I am writing a “blog post” for your mommy’s (or mom if you’re too cool for mommy) website…www.theborrowedbump.com….Check it out!  It’s all about you and the work your mommy did to bring you to us.  Yes, it does take 2 (you’ll learn more about that soon), but it really isn’t a fair distribution of responsibility.

I will get into the “work” (understatement of the decade) and much more in just a bit, but let’s preface this first installment from your daddy.  This is technically a 4-year anniversary gift to your mom. Yep, no jewelry or perfume or a much needed trip to Mexico, but instead a letter that will help our baby (you) understand, from your dad’s perspective, just how selfless, sacrificing and unduplicated your mom truly is.  I hope by now we have helped instill in you a sense of how important God is in your life.  If you ever had a doubt, just read this and take a look at your mom…people like her don’t just happen by accident.  You see, just like you, your mommy is one of those extremely rare and exceptional creations that God crafted for many purposes…creating YOU was one of these.

Let’s begin with how I met your mom, Ashley Jane Miller.  It was February of 2005 and a friend of mine from work told me she had a friend she went to college with that she wanted to try to set me up with.  I was happily obliging this “Group date”, as she called it, to happen.  Your mom didn’t share my same enthusiasm.  Your mom (now) is the most loving and friendliest person I know.  But, she had her guard way up!  She pretty much kept her back to me the entire night and I’m pretty sure she was still dating some other super lucky guy.  Well, the night waned on and by the end it was pretty obvious this wasn’t going to go anywhere…for now.

Fast-forward our lives 5.5 years, we have both toiled through tough relationships. Btw, all relationships have struggles…even the best.  When you’re with the right person though, you fight and work that much harder because it is worth it.  Both your mom and I are thankful (gulp) for these people because they helped bring us back to each other.
It was August 2010, and a completely different friend from my work place tells me she knows a girl that comes to her spin classes (these are probably an exercise of the past now) that she is just certain I am supposed to meet.  I told her, “Great, who is it?!”….”What?! Ashley Miller!?” I said back.  “You have to be kidding me.”  Yes, that’s right, God is either hard at work, or really just has a wicked sense of humor.  I accepted the former, and pursued your mom like it was my job.  Your mom still had the Great Wall of China built around her.  I accepted the challenge this time, laid my past and my faults out on a silver platter for her to see.  After a few months, your mom accepted that God was at work in “Our” life.  It truly is a story that not many have to share.  8 months after meeting again, April 23rd, 2011, I sent your mom on scavenger hunt through the moments of our lives we will share and ended at the altar of your mom’s hometown church in Kearney, NE. This was a Top 3 day. Marrying her and your birthday are the other two.

Let’s talk sacrifice and work.  This is one of my favorite poems that I came across years ago and I believe your mom’s will to have you is mirrored perfectly in this:

But to every mind there openeth,

A way, and way, and away,

A high soul climbs the highway,

And the low soul gropes the low,

And in between on the misty flats,

The rest drift to and fro.

But to every man there openeth,

A high way and a low,

And every mind decideth,

The way his soul shall go.

One ship sails East,

And another West,

By the self-same winds that blow,

‘Tis the set of the sails

And not the gales,

That tells the way we go.

Like the winds of the sea

Are the waves of time,

As we journey along through life,

‘Tis the set of the soul,

That determines the goal,

And not the calm or the strife.

-Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Let me begin this last section with explaining the massive difference that the effects of this grueling journey has on your mom and I. This can be hard to clarify in words because it sounds as though I don’t care as much as your mom.  We were both in this process together, but the massive brunt of it falls on the female.  The surgeries, the trials, the diets, the meds, the injections, the acupuncture, and most of all the feelings that a woman innately experiences when they slowly learn that their body cannot do what most other women can naturally do…produce and carry their own baby…all create an unfathomable burden and sadness on the female.  I mourned for her and us all along, but it was physically and emotionally impossible for me fully comprehend and experience all that she went through.

I’m your mom’s biggest fan.  Your mom is a fighter in all the best ways.  Stubborn as hell at times, but let’s focus on the multitude of the aforementioned best ways!:)  She got knocked down I don’t know how many times.  Too many to list, but between our disappointing miscarriage (this is your little ladybug sister) in the beginning of our fertility journey, to her diagnosis of Asherman’s syndrome (this caused her uterus to develop scar tissue and depleted uterine lining), to several failed IVF (Invitro Fertilization) attempts, to week-long hyperbaric oxygen therapy trials and many other disappointing Dr appointments.  Your mom and I, emphasis on your mom, got the sh*t beat out of her, for lack of better words.  Unfortunately, there was a recurring theme of that terrible feeling of ultimate disappointment and let downs that overshadowed so many of our days.  It was so hard because we are all taught in various ways in life that if you want and work for something bad and hard enough, you will get it.  Ultimately, yes, it all came to fruition with you!  I would watch your mom be crushed, beyond imagination at times, and continue to get up and keep up a fight to get to you.  She would take an ounce of hope and turn it into a ton of faith. Through a very selfless gestational carrier, we were blessed enough to be able to work with, we were finally able to bring you into the world!

The process of learning to let go and let God became the ultimate lesson for us to embrace.  Similar to how a blacksmith uses fire to temper steel, God used this journey to strengthen and temper our marriage.  For so many other unfortunate couples, they let it get the best of them and gave up.  Had we let ourselves go down that path, you wouldn’t be reading this now.  We love you more than words can say and we would do it all again…together…just to have you. We love you and I love you, Ashley Jane! Happy 4th anniversary!

All My Love,
Dad

Next up… IVF Round 4

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Tomorrow we will start our 4th round of IVF. Invitro Fertilization, is where you are pumped with hormone shots, while your eggs grow in your ovaries, and once they are mature, the doctor surgically removes them, fertilizes them, and the embryologist watches them grow in their lab. Once they grow to 5 day blastocysts, we do genetic testing (they take a small biopsy from the embryo) and await to see how many embryos have the perfect number of chromosomes. It’s a super fun process. 😉

You may be confused or, maybe even be excited, thinking I still have a chance to get pregnant. Nope, that’s not why we are doing IVF. We will be doing many more rounds of IVF this year (watch out if you are around me, consider this your warning,) and banking embryos for our surrogate. We do have one frozen now, but we would like more ready to transfer to her, so we don’t have a long wait once we are matched. It’s pretty interesting as I am now being treated as an egg donor at my clinic. They have to screen me and make sure I am meeting FDA requirements since my eggs will be going into another woman.

One of my favorite things to do (this will show you that I’m crazy) right before my IVF cycle is to organize all of my drugs! I did that this morning, and it gives me such a sense of accomplishment. Weird, I know, but you would just have to be there. I’ll post a picture of my set up!

Right now, so many of you are asking what you can pray for. Please pray for our sweet surrogate. She may only be at the beginning of this road, and wondering what she is truly getting herself in to. I am sure it’s something she has thought of for a while, and maybe just recently made the leap, applying to our agency. I can’t imagine the scary feeling she must feel, wondering if she is doing the right thing. What a sweet soul she must be. I think of her non stop and wonder what she will be like. It’s seems like a long wait, but I’m so anxious to know more, and cannot wait until the day our agency shows us a match. She could be the turn of our story. I pray for her as she considers carrying a child for someone she has never met. It gives me chills just thinking of it. Please help me and put her in your thoughts. I am sure she can use them, whoever she may be. 🙂

 

Why Surrogate

If you haven’t followed our story for the past few years, it may seem odd to you that we have decided to use a surrogate to carry our baby. This isn’t how we wanted our story to end (or begin,) but after years of struggles, we have decided that this is our best option. One thing I do want to point out is that we will be using my egg and Dave’s sperm, so the baby will have our genetic make up. Back when surrogacy began, it meant that the woman carrying your baby, was, more than likely, using her egg, and the father’s sperm. So, the term for someone who carries the intended parent’s egg and sperm is called a gestational carrier. So, we are using a gestational carrier, but I say surrogate to keep things easy.

I became pregnant in 2014.  We got to hear that wonderful heartbeat at 8 weeks, and I’ll never forget at our 10 week ultrasound she said, “Yes, the baby has grown, but unfortunately its heart has stopped.”  I immediately had a D&C (surgery to remove the baby.) We did genetic testing on the baby to find out it was 46XX, and that made everything more real. A girl. It was obviously an emotional and a terrible time for us, but we assumed we would get pregnant easily after that because it only took six months of truly trying to conceive this baby. We were so optimistic, yet so naive. Unfortunately, the doctor didn’t get the placenta out, and worse, she didn’t realize that for another two months. At that time, the placenta had very much attached to me. So, surgery #2 happened to remove the placenta. Again, we thought, “voila, this is it, we will be pregnant in no time!” Sadly, I didn’t get a period again, and after basically turning into a “Google Girl,” I continually begged my fertility specialist to take another look because I thought I had Asherman’s Syndrome. She laughed, and said there was no way.

Asherman’s Syndrome is very serious, and the doctors don’t talk to you (well mine didn’t) about the risks of a D&C. Asherman’s typically occurs after extensive damage to the uterus. It is scar tissue, and without having it removed, it’s unlikely for an embryo to implant and for a woman to become pregnant. I want to shout to the world… “If you ever have to have a D&C, and I pray you don’t, please know the risks!!!!!!” There is a 25% chance of being diagnosed with Asherman’s Syndrome after a D&C, yet, so many people aren’t aware of this condition.

After four more months of fertility, absent periods, obsessions with Google and begging my doctor, we decided to get a second opinion. It was the best thing we ever did. We went to Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine and Dr. Debra Minjarez was absolutely phenomenal. She took one look in me, and immediately let us know that I was scarred and had a zero percent chance of conceiving a child. Here we had been spending thousands of dollars on fertility each month in Omaha, and it never would have worked. So, onto the THIRD surgery…. ahhh!!! Dr. Minjarez was able to remove all of the scarring, and said 95% of the time, the uterine lining will return. Sadly, we tried every crazy thing (tons of drugs, hyperbaric oxygen, acupuncture, vitamins, fertility yoga, fertility massages, shopping, lots of wine …hahah… the list goes on) possible to get my lining back, but no such luck.

After two years of fertility, we have learned, that either I will get pregnant with thin lining (it does happen… just not as likely, but there is always hope, right?!) or we will use a gestational carrier to bring Baby Klein to us. We transferred a normal, genetically tested embryo in October, and the embryo didn’t end up attaching to my thin lining. After that, I kept thinking, had I transferred that embryo to a woman who could carry, I would be holding my baby boy in 2016. I’m trying not to be so selfish and give our future babies the best chances of coming into this world. And, this so happens to be the best route.

Please reach out to me if you ever have questions about Asherman’s Syndrome, miscarriage or a D&C. I would love to spread awareness and have this happen less and less. Wow, this was a long post, and too many facts for my liking, but we want you to know why we chose this path. I have met many “thin lining friends,” and that has helped lessen all of the pain.

Here is a link to the Asherman’s Website
http://www.ashermans.org

Announcement from the Klein’s.

After years of thinking on it and writing out my story I have decided to start a blog. This way I can keep our friends and family informed on our crazy ride! We are thrilled to officially announce that we have decided on a surrogacy agency and submitted our application! We feel anxious, scared, crazy, and mostly excited for a new path. The longer you struggle on one path, the more attractive the other road looks, and we have come to that fork in the road where the next path seems more appealing that what we have. The process is much like adoption, and it’s a long waiting game. Our agency, The Surrogacy Center, in Madison, WI told us that the process is typically 15-18 months from application to birth! This means, we could have a baby in our arms by the Fall of 2017! After this much of a wait, that seems unreal and amazing. Our next step will be going to Madison, WI in May, where we will do our psych evaluation (4-5 hours!!!) and meet the team that is matching us. Then, once they find us a match, they will call us, show us her profile, and we will go from there.

The detour to our bump has been nothing short of heartbreaking. But we truly feel that this is where the road turns; this is where we find our hope.

Dave has been amazing though all of this, and has fought this fight right alongside me. Through the bumps in the road, I have grown stronger, and can honestly say that I’ve never been more proud of myself. I have had plenty of days where the tears just won’t stop and the pain in my heart is unreal, but I have also learned that I have more people on my side than I could even imagine. If prayers were the only thing we needed to have a baby, we would have enough babies to fill this house, but I have learned over time, that God has a different plan. I’ve learned instead of asking WHY WHY WHY, ask HOW….. how can I use this to make a difference? How can God use me and my story to help someone else? I have been so passionate through this journey about helping other couples who struggle with infertility. Unless you have struggled, it’s hard for you to fully understand. And, if you have struggled, I am so sorry. I know the pain down deep in your heart. I would take it away if I could, I really would. I wouldn’t wish infertility on anyone in this world. Things like this don’t make sense, and we may never have an answer of “why,” but we will move forward and I promise everything to my heart, that I WILL make a difference. My detour will help someone, I can guarantee that.

I hope you enjoy my blog! I will be using this to keep you all updated. Thank you for your love and prayers.

The Girl That I’ve Become.

 

It’s hard to explain to you
the girl that I’ve become
This chapter in life has changed me
more than any other one
It’s ripped me into pieces and left
me lying on the floor
It’s taken away my pride
It’s stripped me to the core
It’s left me feeling empty
only a broken heart to show
It’s hurt my heart and spirit
more than you could ever know
I’ve been negative about this life,
something I’m not known to be
I’m overwhelmed with bitterness and fear
and consumed with jealousy
The tears roll down my face
Another month gone by
The ending doesn’t make sense
and I wonder if God even hears my cry
But the girl I’ve become is stronger
than the girl I used to be
I’m not even sure the girl of the past
would even recognize me
I’ve fought so many sleepless nights
but managed still to smile
This girl that I’ve become
will be here for a while
No where in my story will they
ever say, “she decided to quit.”
Because I’m stronger than that option
And, oh, my fire’s been lit
With my head held high and fists in the air
I will continue this bumpy fight
I’m not sure how my story will end
but I know it will be alright
One way or another
my baby you will be
you’ll be worth the longest fight
my pain will be set free
The courage I have gathered
has kept me standing tall
The girl that I’ve become will continue to stand
no matter how many times I fall

My Baby You’ll Be

To my unborn child,

One day you will see how hard we fought to get you. I have never, ever in my life fought so hard for something. I won’t give up on you, because I do know that you will be worth it. I can’t wait until the day that i see your sweet face and hold you in my arms. I will rock you each night, remembering my fight, and knowing you were more than worth every single tear.

I have cried so many nights longing for you. I have had days where I couldn’t get out of bed because all i wanted was you. I love you more than anything, and I have yet to even meet you. I promise to give you the best life possible, and I can guarantee you will feel loved. More than loved. I often wonder what you will look like and what will you be like.

I do not know how you will make it to me, and I definitely don’t know when. You may be carried by another woman, and, my sweet baby, that is okay. I will be here for you, patiently waiting, and will get to you as soon as possible. I can’t wait for your laughter to fill our home. You will be beautiful.

My second fertility surgery the nurse said to me, “Honey, if you want to be a mom, you will be.” That statement angered me. How did she know? I was scared at that point and that was almost two years ago. But that advice has stuck with me in the hurdles. I will be a mom. It may not be the way I pictured it my whole life, but I will be a mom, and I will love it. We are so ready to meet you now, but God has other plans. I will trust him knowing that one day he will bring you to us.

We love you so much already, and I can’t wait for you to know your daddy too. Oh, he really is amazing. He has fought so hard for you, and held my hand each day. He has given me shots, dried my tears, and stuck with the crazy me. The crazy me that just wants you so badly. He will be the best dad ever, and will love you more than life as well. We will keep waiting. We love you Baby Klein.

Love, Mommy

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Another Year Failed. 12.30.15

I Failed Again

Yesterday I counted, and we have been trying for a baby for 1,187 days. That’s a lot of painful days. We are two days away from 2016, yet fighting the battle we began in 2012. I will say, 2015 was no where near as painful as 2014, and just for that, I am thankful. Looking back on 2015, here are some things I learned.

I learned that sometimes even the greatest doctor in the world cannot heal you. I’m still glad that we found CCRM, and sought out the best opinion in the country. But still, they couldn’t undo what has been done to my body. They couldn’t make things right. We can officially set aside every experimental option for thin lining, as i have now tried most of them. None worked, but at least we know.

I learned that I am stronger than I ever thought. I’m proud of myself for all that I have learned and the challenges I have faced. If you would have told me 1,187 days ago that the journey would have been this long, I would have gladly passed, but I am still standing tall. Probably taller than I was when this began. I have learned new terms and met many new people, but I am still me.

The girls that grew up with me, are truly some of the best girls in the world. They care and they hurt for me. Two of them became pregnant with their second babies this year. They struggled telling me, but they did tell me. They cried when telling me the news. It’s always a crazy awkward moment when this happens. It’s awkward for everyone; me and them. They’re scared to tell me because they want it for me so badly. They want me to join them in motherhood and share in their joys. Does it hurt a bit everytime? Sure it does! I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. That doesn’t mean that I’m not happy for them, it’s just to say that I really want that for us too. So many girls struggle with finding real, true, honest friends. I have the best ones in the world. I can promise you that.

Surrogacy is as intimidating as it sounds. This year, I have become more comfortable with talking about using a gestational carrier. It is such a mountain, i really don’t even know where to begin with this. I know I need to get more serious, as we do have it in our plans, should our current plans fail. I have read different blogs and even had a conference call with one lady from Pink and Blue agency in WI. She was fantastic! She did put many of my fears aside and explained to me many myths about gestational carriers. They are married women, who had easy pregnancies, are done having their own children and want to give something back to someone while making their financial situation a little better. She said most women will say that the best moment for them is the time they find out they are pregnant, and the moment they see the intended parents’ face as all of their dreams come true, and the baby is placed in their arms. I think we could be as involved as we wanted, and today’s technology will sure help the situation. We can face time during ultrasounds or whatever we choose. I could barely say the world “surrogate” last year, but it has become part of my vocabulary in my world of fertility. I’ve learned to keep in mind that I have one end goal- to be a mommy. If this is the way we will get there, then we will do it. We will try a few more times of IVF transfers on me, and if we continue to fail, we will move on to using a GC.

I can build a friendship without ever meeting someone. I have made a few friends this year that have really gotten me through my struggles. It sounds so crazy, but they have stuck by my side and kept up with all of my appointments. They get my pain and celebrate each success with me. These girls give me hope.

I am one of the luckiest girls in the world. Truly. I have the best husband ever, by a long shot. He has taken so much care of me, and stuck right by my side. Whether he is making me laugh, drying my tears, shooting me with a needle, or helping me “forget” my problems, this guy never lets me down. He’s so cute and has learned right next to me in this struggle. I could never do this with out him, and I thank God everyday for him. I have an amazing family, puppy, friends, job, house, neighbors….. I mean, the list could go on and on. Sometimes it’s so hard to focus on what you DON’T have, and lose sight of what you do have. I have definitely let things slip and had that happen to me. But with a little kick in the ass, I set myself straight! My life is pretty damn awesome. I am so blessed to have what i do have, and I will continue to fight for what I don’t have.

I am fairly certain, that we are closer to the end than the beginning. We have a pretty good plan, and I hope that in 2016 either I’m pregnant or we have chosen a gestational carrier to carry our child. I pray so much that this is our year. I feel silly even saying that, as I have said that the past three years. But, a girl’s gotta hope! I refuse to lose that. I will hope that 2016 is OUR YEAR! Cheers!!!

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