Thursday, March 8, 2012

Guest Post: Infertility Issues and a Miracle Baby

I'm happy to introduce you Tammy Hemmerling, the author of Lucky Emeralds Reviews blog.
In this post, Tammy shares with us her struggles with infertility, several fertilization attempts, depression, marital problems and a miracle baby. I'm sure you will love to read it as much as I did!

Thank you Tammy for sharing your beautiful story and giving hope to mothers facing infertility!

 When I was 16 years old, just a sophomore in high school, I had a terrible time with cysts on my ovaries. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome was what my doctor told me. He also told me I would never have children. Now, that's a tough thing to hear when you're only 16 years old! By then I had already envisioned my life. I would go to college and get a degree in Early Childhood Education. While I was in college, I would meet my future husband. After college, we would get married and I would be working as a 1st or 2nd grade teacher. We would start our family right away, I was planning on 2 or 3 children at the time. But the doctor was telling me that my dream wasn't meant to be.

I went on with my life, going to college and meeting the husband. I decided to drop out of college to get married when I was 22 years old. At that point my new husband and I had talked about children and the problems that I had keeping me from having them and decided together that we would see every fertility specialist we could find until we had a child! We were very determined to have children together!

We gave it a year to try on our own, and when nothing happened, we made our first appointment with a fertility specialist that was recommended by our family doctor. When we went to that appointment, my husband and I were both tested to see who was fertile and who wasn't. I was also put through several very invasive tests to see where my problem was located. The doctor suggested we try Intrauterine Fertilization where they would take my husband's sperm and fertilize my egg inside my uterus. We tried that way 4 times over the course of 5 years. It was rather expensive for each fertilization so we were only doing one once we had saved up the money. Our only other option was In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) where the doctor took my egg and my husband's sperm and tried to join them in a petri dish to create and embryo and then implant it back into my uterus with the hope that it would stick and grow into a viable pregnancy. We tried it once and once again, it didn't work.

At that point, I gave up. I went into a deep depression and my marriage started to suffer. Eventually, after 9 years of marriage, we divorced. I went into therapy and started taking antidepressants and started to feel better. I had blamed myself for not being able to do something that women were supposed to do! Something women had been doing for hundreds of years, most of them with no problems at all! I had also unfairly blamed my now ex-husband. It was a big mistake.

Not long after my divorce, I met another man, fell in love, and married again! He knew from the start all the problems I had gone through having children and was very supportive. I had given up any hope that it would happen anyway. 3 months after we got married, I started feeling HORRIBLE! I felt like I had the stomach flu and was vomiting day and night! After a few days of feeling badly, my husband said, "What if you're pregnant?" I laughed it off and called my doctor for an appointment. At my appointment, the doctor checked me over and asked me all the routine questions, one of them being "When was your last period?" My periods have always been irregular due to the cysts so I just told her it had been a couple of months ago maybe. She decided to draw blood to test my blood count and do some other tests and sent me home with some nausea medicine.

2 days later, my doctor called me, which I thought was strange since normally her nurse would call and give me test results, not her personally! She said, "Tammy, I have your test results and I happy to tell you that you are pregnant!" I was stunned! I just stood there silent with my mouth wide open! I had to have looked like an idiot because my husband came over to me looking concerned. I thanked the doctor and hung up. Then I looked at my husband and tried to talk but nothing would come out! He started freaking out a little and made me sit down. After a few minutes, I started to cry which freaked him out even more! I looked up and choked out "I'm pregnant."  He let out a big yell and started jumping around like a madman grinning from ear to ear! All I could do was sit there and cry! My dreams had finally come true, but I wasn't out of the woods just yet. I still had to carry this baby to term! The thought of a miscarriage crossed my mind and weighed heavily from day one.

As days passed, then weeks, then months, I started to feel a little better and not be so worried that I would lose the baby. I started to enjoy being pregnant! I ate anything I craved without worrying about calories! I enjoyed when my husband would rub my belly and try to talk to the baby through my belly button. As my belly grew, and I felt those little flutters and then big kicks, I was so happy and started buying unisex clothes and blankets. I had my first ultrasound at 20 weeks because they considered this a high-risk pregnancy due to my history of infertility and also my age. I was 33 years old at this point. That was when we heard our baby's heartbeat for the first time. We were ecstatic when we heard it and we left the office crying tears of happiness! I was doing great and the baby too! At 26 weeks, we had another ultrasound and found out we were definitely having a boy! He wasn't shy at all and gladly showed us what he was! LOL Life was great!

A week later, my husband was at work and I was at home resting and watching some TV when I started feeling pains in my back and left side. It was like a cramping pain and over the course of a few hours, the pains got unbearable! It would come and go every few minutes and with me being a first time mom, I had no clue what it could be! I called my doctor and she told me to go to the emergency room at our local hospital and she would meet me there. I had a friend come pick me up and headed to the hospital. After I was examined, the doctor said she was pretty sure I was in pre-term labor and we needed to get it stopped with some medicine. I was admitted and had an IV started. They started giving me a medicine called Terbutaline. It's supposed to stop pre-term labor. By this time, my husband and mom had gotten to the hospital. I was almost inconsolable. This was what I had worried about for so long! It was happening! What if they couldn't stop my labor and my son would have to be born at 27 weeks??? I just couldn't fathom the thought at that point! I knew it wouldn't be good for him to be born that early! I ended up having to stay in the hospital for 5 days on the medicine. It wasn't pleasant at all. Terbutaline has strange side effects. It made me very jittery. I trembled all over and had hot flashes all the time. It made it almost impossible to sleep so by the time I was able to go home, I was exhausted! Once I went home, I was taken off the medicine and everything was fine! For about 2 weeks that is. I went into pre-term labor AGAIN! This time I was in the hospital for almost 2 weeks! I was 30 weeks along at that point.

Over the next 5 weeks I was in and out of the hospital 4 more times. It seemed that I lived there almost! I took the Lamaze classes offered at our hospital while I was in the hospital! At 35 weeks, I was home again when the labor pains started yet again! I was so tired of doing this all the time! I sent me husband off to work and made my way to the hospital yet again. My doctor arrived and it all seemed like deja vu. They did an ultrasound and realized that my son's heart rate was lower than it had been. My blood pressure was higher than it should have been. A lot higher. My doctor was concerned about pre-eclampsia. She came in and said, "Tammy, I really want to get this baby delivered today." It scared me to death because he would still be 5 weeks early, and I didn't have anyone at the hospital with me! My doctor said she wanted to do a C-section since my son's heart rate was going lower and lower. So I got on the phone and called my husband and my mom and told them to get their butts to the hospital like
NOW! I was having the baby in the next hour! You can imagine their surprise!  It was craziness in my room for the next hour! The anaesthesiologist had to do my epidural and the nurses came in and out doing their thing. My husband showed up first looking like someone had punched him in the stomach several times! My mom showed up soon after and ended up being of great comfort to me since she had 2 C-sections herself so she was very reassuring. Once I was wheeled into the operating room, things seemed to go very quickly! It was only a matter of about 10 minutes when I heard my son cry for the first time. My husband and I looked at each other when we heard it and immediately started crying. The doctor pulled the curtain down a little and showed us our son for the first time! That is a moment I will never forget. He was beautiful! The doctor handed him off to a nurse and they cleaned him up and surprisingly he was breathing very well on his own! Once they cleaned him up and swaddled him up, they brought him to me. I was still laying on the table, but the nurse placed my son right up to my cheek. I kissed and kissed him over and over and told him in a whisper, "I've waited a long time for you, and I love you to the moon and back." They let my husband hold him and it was such a beautiful sight to see my husband holding his son. All he could do was stare at his son and cry! They took our son from the room and my husband went with them. I had to stay in the operating room because the doctor found a hernia while he was delivering the baby and he wanted to go ahead and fix it. So it was almost and hour before they got me back up to my room and my husband was able to hand my baby to me to hold for the first time. At that moment I knew that everything I had gone through had been worth it. My husband and I had discussed names on and off throughout the pregnancy and when I was sitting there holding my baby, I knew what I wanted his name to be. I looked at my husband and said, "His name is Jaden Riley." We had both liked that name so he didn't argue.

All the years I had waited for this baby and all the problems and bad feelings just melted away in that hospital room with my Jaden in my arms. I was finally at peace and I have thanked God every day for this little miracle. Jaden is 4 years old now and the light of my life! I haven't even had the urge to try for another baby. At my current age of 38 I'm afraid I would be asking too much from my body. Every day since Jaden's birth and every day for the rest of my life I will tell him the same thing I told him the day he was born. "I waited a long time for you, and I love you to the moon and back."

Tammy Hemmerling
author of Lucky Emeralds Reviews

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  1. What a beautiful story! I'm so glad that you have your wonderful son, and he was such a miracle!

  2. Tammy's story touched my heart as well!

  3. Thank you so much! My son is the light of my life!

  4. That was beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!

  5. Just stopping by to make sure I'm following everything for your blog. Thanks for having such a great blog.


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