Friday, June 29, 2012

The First Call

I was down in Malibu, CA at The Biggest Loser Resort for work back in December when I received a call from a friend who I had recently met.

She warned me that what she wanted to ask me was out of the blue and kind of personal, and apologized for being so bold, then asked me if Jason and I had considered adoption. My heart started pounding and I told her we had just signed up for our first orientation. She told me that her cousin was 7 months pregnant and came to her house in tears telling her that she was considering placing her baby girl for adoption. This friend of mine, who I had honestly only met once but we connected well, thought of us and told her cousin that she'd call us to see how we felt about it.

It was strange how excited I got about the prospect. It seemed that the feelings that I initially felt toward adoption changed in the exact instant that it became a true possibility. My friend told me that her cousin would call in the next few days. I spent the next few days thinking of little else besides this baby. Didn't I want a break from trying to have a baby? Didn't my heart need time to heal? That went right out the window and I started doing what I always and can't help but do, and that was hope.

She never called. I prayed and prayed that she would but she never did. My friend was the messenger and would update us of her cousin's latest feelings on the situation. She was wishy washy but at one point she had firmly decided on placing her with us and was not going to go back on her decision. In the end she backed out and I found myself hurting and in tears again. I knew I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up, but it turns out that I don't have much control in that area. But what I took from this experience was that I was elated at the idea of adopting a baby. The whole experience truly did change my heart and I knew that I would love a baby the same whether it came from me or from someone else.

I decided it really was time for an emotional break before getting back on the horse. I gave myself six months and then committed that I would go through IVF one more time with our one remaining frozen embryo.We would also go to our adoption orientation and get started down that path because I understood that the average time to actually get chosen to adopt is 2-3 years.

In the meantime I signed up for my first half marathon to give me something to train for and focus on. During this "break" I wanted to prepare my body and heart for a baby. But apparently if I really wanted to take a break I should have shut my phone off completely. Two weeks later, on January 19th, I got another phone call. My mind and heart had already changed. This call changed my life!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In Just One Year

It's been over two years since I blogged. I think it's time I start again. I used to blog, and if you are a reader that is returning then I thank you. I'm sad I didn't start sooner, but how about at least a quick recap, eh? And for those just joining me for the first time, I'm glad you came. I apologize in advance for too many punctuations in all the wrong spots. 

Being a contestant on "The Biggest Loser" was quite life-changing. It was harder than I ever imagined and in ways that I had never imagined, but all in all I am so grateful for the experience. I lost 106 pounds and experienced so much self-discovery. It was no secret that my motivation to lose weight was to be healthy enough to have a baby, and Jason and I had continued our trying since I had come home from filming in January 2011 with no result. So in August I met with my first real fertility doctor, who I was not impressed with, but fell in love with the second one I met with, Dr. Eva Littman from Red Rock Fertility Center. She was amazing and gave me so much hope. Because my last pregnancy was ectopic and resulted in the removal of one of my fallopian tubes, I learned that if I were to get pregnant on my own, well it would be a miracle, but if I did then there is a 75% chance that it would be ectopic again. Not what I wanted. We laid out al of our options and with the help of this incredible doctor we decided to start our first cycle of in-vetro fertilization, or IVF.

I was so hopeful and excited! The process was long and invasive and at first I was scared of the shots, but those became cake the whole experience was not nearly as bad as I had heard. I spent a couple months injecting hormones, taking pills, getting blood drawn, scheduling, etc. I'll never forget the moment I heard that it didn't work. It felt like my heart stopped and I wanted to throw up. Dr. Littman was stumped as to why it didn't work but was ready to start again. We had 5 successful embryos and put in two, which meant that we still had three frozen. I didn't want to start again. It was so trying physically and more so emotionally but although I didn't want to go through it again, I knew I could. So we started over, first with birth control to regulate me, then pills, three shots a day, creams, blood work, the whole bit. This time my chances were way better because we didn't have to worry about the egg retrieval, which meant I could take an extra hormone that would make my lining more lush and inviting for these little embryos. My hope of having a child on my own significantly plummeted when I got the call that it didn't work again. There was no explanation why, it just didn't. We had one more frozen egg and Dr. Littman said we could put it in if I was ready. That was just it, it's not that I wasn't willing to try again but I wasn't ready right then. My body needed some time to recover and my heart needed to heal. I hadn't been able to exercise for four months and with that and the hormones and stress from IVF I had already put on 30 pounds since my finale. I knew that this time I really couldn't do it again and chose to take a break.

Jason and I started talking about adoption. To be totally honest I was upset that adoption was going to be our only option. I always wanted to adopt but I was sad that we would never get to see what we would create. We signed up for an adoption orientation and the next available was a few months away, which was fine because I wanted to give myself a break from the stress of trying to become a parent anyway. I never got that break. In December I got a phone call that changed my mind and my heart. More on that next time.