Me and Lowell on our honeymoon, November 2009, we went to the coast for a few days, we were on the beach and we decided it would be cool to record a video for our future kids. Just saying hi and that we love them. We continue making these videos over the years.
You can see the video here
We always knew we wanted children, but for the first few years the plan was to enjoy marriage and grow together. So we did.
In 2012, when we were more stable financially we knew it was time to start trying. We weren’t too worried the first 6 months, we believed it was going to happen soon. Except it didn’t.
Every month, there’s those days when you don’t want to think about it too much, but you can’t help yourself. What if it happened? What if I’m pregnant? How am I gonna tell Lowell ? Should I call him if he’s at work, or wait until he gets home and hide the “bun in the oven?” That great anticipation was only met with disappointment and confusion.
I honestly don’t know where I got the strength to start hoping again every month. Well that’s just an expression. Looking back now, I know that only God alone could’ve given me the courage to keep trying and not give up.
You would think that after a while, it becomes easier. But it doesn’t . I never imagined it would get even worse in the years to come.
In 2015 after ultrasounds, lab work, painful testing, they found something wrong on Lowell’s side and doctor recommended we try IUI. At the time, our insurance covered it, so we did two rounds, both unsuccessful.
It hit me really hard. Food had no taste anymore, tears would appear out of nowhere. I was so sad I’m pretty sure I stopped seeing colors.
Soon after, Lowell lost his job and he went through a surgery that would hopefully improve our chances of becoming parents. You look at men and they take their most pride in their children and their careers. Seeing him get hit so hard, yet go through all of it with such dignity and courage, made me realize even more how wonderful of a father he will be. He never stopped being silly, enjoying life and taking me on walks and snack stops.
I remember sobbing one day. Lowell asked me what’s the matter. At first I couldn’t pinpoint it. Then I realized I couldn’t see it anymore. I couldn’t even imagine being pregnant and having children. My brain was incapable of it, my hope was gone. All the ups and downs, left me dry and scared. He hugged me and said : “It’s ok, baby. I still see it, I see it for the both of us.”
In July 2017, I was at a woman’s shelter with some friends from church, having dinner and playing with the newborn babies. On my way home I realized my period was late, so I stopped at the pharmacy and got a test. It was positive. We couldn’t believe it. After a 5 year of struggle, it just happened.
While we were still trying to fully realize it, a few days later I had to rush to the emergency room with terrible pain. By the time I got to the hospital, I felt better, and I thought it was probably one of my old stomach problems. It was too early for anything to show on ultrasound, so they sent me home.
A week later, the pain returned. Sharp pain on the left side, unable to move, followed by severe cramping that spread all over my abdomen that wouldn’t go away, and bleeding. I knew something was wrong. We rushed to the hospital again. When the doctor asked me what are my symptoms I just cried, unable to speak.
While I was aware that problems with a pregnancy can happen, never in my anxious fears did I think it would happen to us. Not after all the heartache and disappointment we went through. After all, it was a miracle, surely we’ll have a healthy baby.
But life doesn’t work that way. The pain didn’t go away this time. After waiting and testing, they finally spotted something growing in one of the tubes. I needed emergency surgery, the diagnose was ectopic pregnancy. They had to completely remove the tube.
I tried my hardest to hold it together the first week. Crying was only causing more physical pain. What are you supposed to do after something like this? There’s no manual. What I knew was that I didn’t wanted any additional pressure so I just allowed myself to cry when I felt sad and enjoy life when I felt happy.
Someone asked recently: “If it didn’t work till now, don’t you think it’s time to move on?”
First of all – I can’t. Believe me, I give up every month for about two days, and then my heart desires it even more. Second - Not until I tried everything I could.
You would think our troubles were over, but every period became a painful reminder of those trips to ER. I didn’t know what was going on. A year later, a doctor finally agreed to do a diagnostic laparoscopic surgery. I postponed it the most I could, but even with painkillers the pain was so intense, the very same day of the scheduled surgery, I passed out on the bathroom floor. The diagnoses was endometriosis. While some of it was possible to remove during surgery, the treatment for it is hormonal treatment that completely stops your periods for a while. Another treatment option would be pregnancy. Seriously, they say a pregnancy could cure endometriosis.
So at this point, it’s either hormonal shots to put me in temporary menopause or hormonal shots that could help me get pregnant. While we are not ready financially for IVF, and we always tried to avoid being in debt, we think this is more than worth it.
And while there are no guarantees that it will work, Lowell and I will continue to have a soft spot for children, be involved in charities that brings a smile to their precious faces, and even adopt.
We went for our first consultation in L.A. this week and the total price with all the tests and medicine, rounds up to $20,000. I got really sick after the surgery, possibly an intolerance to an antibiotic, and as soon as my doctor clears me, we are going to start treatment.
This infertility business is no walk in the park, and it’s not easy to put it all out in the open for everyone to know. But we do hope our story will encourage someone else in their journey. Our heart goes out to all of you who can relate to our pain.
While a donation would help us financially, we appreciate all the kind words, love and support we’ve been receiving. You can say a little prayer for us, share this post, and give us a hug when we meet.
World, get ready for baby Newton !
Cristina & Lowell
A note from my journal
May 27, 2018
" I feel as though i’m not in a mood to speak a word,
even though my hurt is far from silent on the inside.
Another day going to bed mute.
Tears don’t come down when i need to. They have a mind of their own.
Folding laundry - here they come, vision blurred once again.
Tears falling wherever they please.
But i keep on folding, i gotta keep going. I can’t give up.
Test was negative again. I just stare at it. Unable to react anymore.
I lay my head against the bathroom wall, my mind blank, unable to even cry.
I stopped asking :"how many more times? "
I’m afraid of the answer.
No it does not get easier. I can never become a pro at this.
They say it makes you stronger. Bent down on the closet floor,
Holding my head. Where is the strength?
- “What were you expecting?” says the voice. “Don’t you feel dumb again for hoping? “
- No, i had doubts, but seems like even that glimmer of hope i had this month got squished and caused such disappointment.
I wish nothing more than to be able to run to my husband with a positive pregnancy test.
For him to touch my belly once again and say silly stuff to our baby. "