The Hardest Post I have ever written Expanding our Family
I’m not sure how to share this, to be honest, or where to even start. This is something I’ve not felt ready to put out there, or to sometimes even say out loud. But I know that in the past, sharing my unique and personal story has always brought upon more love and blessing than it has pain. So here it goes.
I guess I should start by sharing one of the biggest ways my disability/paralysis impacts my life and why it’s brought us to this next chapter in our lives (if you’re not aware of my condition, please feel free to visit ‘A Life Modified’ on my blog HERE). Due to the permanent and invariable level of nerve damage I suffer from, I experience severe, chronic nerve pain 24/7. My level of nerve pain is rare and one that modern science has yet to find any workable solutions to ease or (God wiling) eliminate this type of pain in the few people that suffer from it. Unfortunately, this is not for lack of trying, we’ve experienced many failed attempts and intense surgeries over the years with hopes of any sort of variance in the condition I have, all of which have brought about no change or a worsened condition.
In efforts to live a somewhat normal life, I have no choice but to take a daily medication to help ease the pain, so that I can try to live the best life I can. Before I go any further, I want to be very clear when I say how blessed I feel in my current life. My husband, my fur baby Toby, my clients (my friends really!), my family, my girlfriends, and all the incredible humans I’ve had the great fortune of meeting, have brought me an immeasurable amount of joy. I am grateful for each one of you.
With that said, two years ago Agustin and I began thinking about starting our family. Of course, our first course of action was to visit a high-risk pregnancy specialist who could accurately shed light on what this journey may entail. The most exciting, was that because of the type of medications I took, I COULD in fact carry a baby on my own. Yes, it would be difficult and very physically taxing, but doable and most importantly safe for our baby. I had one of those moments where the world around you goes silent. I embraced those joyful words, and while hypothetical, I imagined for a moment carrying this little baby, feeling the baby grow and preparing for parenthood with Agustin by my side. Too soon after, sound and emotion came back, when those words were followed by ones I was not emotionally ready to hear. While I could technically carry a baby, because of the hormonal changes that will inevitably occur month by month, there was a probable risk that not only will my nerve pain increase, but that it could and likely would permanently remain this way.
I heard the doctor, but I think with my overwhelming excitement and how REAL it became that I could be holding my vary own baby in my arms in the not too distant, allowed my mind to not fully consider the very real effects this pregnancy may have on my body. For anyone that knows me, I don’t take no easily. :)
Fast forward two beautiful seasons of weddings (shout out to all my amazing brides!!!), we decided this last Summer to start trying for our baby. Consequently, in the exact month we were to start trying, my nerve pain noticeably increased, for reasons we are still not aware of. After multiple nerve pain attacks (that my amazing husband has always helped me through), he shared what was on his heart. He expressed to me how hard it is to see me in this type of acute pain, especially with it being so often this last Summer. He couldn’t imagine me enduring an even higher level of pain, especially on top of caring for a newborn. As painful as it was to listen to these words, in both my head and heart, I knew he was right. Every time over the years we have attempted exploratory surgeries or medications, it had never panned out, not once. I’ve sort of excepted I will likely always be a part of the 0.01% of people that do not benefit from these types of procedures. I always keep hope in my heart that this will change in the future, but with such a big decision on our plate, and another human to consider, we had to look at the reality of the situation.
So in July 2017, Agustin and I made the decision and accepted that we will not be carrying our own child. I won’t be feeling my baby kick for the first time, or see my belly grow as we enter each stage of growth. It’s not the only part of parenthood, and actually just one portion of it, but I have been learning to give myself grace. To give myself the time, space, and more importantly the permission to feel sad. But I also have hope. I have faith that God has a plan for our family – even if I don’t know what this is just yet.
As of this week, we decided we are ready to explore the world of Infertility options, Adoption, and a lot of heavy choices ahead.
I know this is a lot to take in, and I’m so grateful for the family and close friends who have supported us these past couple of months. But I do believe in the power of community. So here is the beginning on our journey of expanding our family.
Photo Credit:Tonie Christine Photography