Cole Henry Brinton
I wanted to take a minute and write down the story of how Cole Henry Brinton became a part of our family. After a few years of trying we knew it was time to start taking other measures. Dr. Nance, my regular OB/GYN, started me on clomid which is how I got Isabel after six months on it. Well we did that and nothing so the doctor order me to go into the hospital and have a HSG test which basically they shoot dye into your uterus and tubes to make sure there are no obstructions. He said they usually came back normal but it was the first test they run since it's usually the quickest at finding a problem. Well I went in expecting to have a quick in and out. The radiologist said he would only need to be taking three films and it would be over. Well of course that's not what happened. He began filling my uterus with dye and it would not enter the tubes. In other words, Ouch! This causes you to start having major cramping and I wasn't expecting to be so uncomfortable. Normally it just exits out the tubes but in my case the tubes were blocked. Both, completely. He was forcing it so hard the dye started to come back out so after about twenty minutes and 12 films later he got a little bit to go through one side but once that happens it will go through the path of least resistance and there was no chance the other tube was going to get any fluid through it. After the test was sent to my OB I received a call and he told me I was the text book case of why they do that test and referred me to a fertility specialist. He takes 3 months to get into and so that was a bummer. Once I met with him, I remember him telling me my mindset needed to change. I was still in a bit of denial that I had problems and felt a little aggressive going to a specialist. He said since they were able to get a little fluid through one of the tubes he would try IUI first and place the sperm next to the opening. We did three rounds and even after taking a lot of hormones my follicles weren't ever a good size and I never really had good chances going into them. (10% was what he estimated). So after that was a bust he said the words IVF. They were the three little letters I never wanted to hear. Why? Because I hate shots more than anyone I know and I was already having a hard time with trigger shots doing IUI and blood work. I couldn't be excited about it and yet it was inevitable. It was probably good that I was years into this process and basically had heard the exact opposite outcome on every test and IUI round so I knew it was basically my last option. A big thanks to Scott who promised me he would do all the shots because I honestly would not have done it if I had to poke myself. Well I had the genius idea that maybe if Scott came in my room when I was asleep I wouldn't feel it and might very well sleep through all of the anxiety. Probably one of my dumber ideas I've ever had because I couldn't fall asleep and then as soon as I heard him crack the door to go mix the shots I panicked and was a complete wreck anyway but in our injection class they said to do the shots at the same time every day so that the levels were as even as possible. This meant we would both get up in the middle to the night for one month and I was wide awake for every single one and had the worst time falling asleep because I had such anxiety. But we did it and then came the time to see how many eggs you get. The way IVF works is they retrieve the eggs after overstimulating your ovaries and then they go in and poke a hole and suck them out. They put you under for this surgery for obvious reasons and when I woke up I was in so much pain. I mean I was so swollen before the surgery I couldn't even walk normal but this was just a joke. I felt like someone had taken a cheese grater to my insides. I had a hard time walking and stuff because the bouncing would sting. But they were able to get 20 eggs so I felt hopeful. Well they basically fertilize all 20 and incubate them and see how many have divide to be over 6 cells after five days. At that point, they freeze the ones you aren't implanting in you and destroy the ones that didn't make it to the 6 cell cut off. They call you a few times to tell you the status and day 4 I had a total of 2 eggs reach viability and that they were sorry I didn't get more. They told me that the next morning the would need me to keep my phone on me because they need a verbal confirmation that they can destroy the ones that didn't mature. I was completely bummed. Given that most girls get 5+ and they are older I thought for sure my chances were good and I'd get a decent amount. But if you have a 60% chance with each implantation the odds were I was going to get 1 baby after all that. So the next morning was Sunday and I kept my phone on so I wouldn't miss the call. They called me during Relief Society and got a big surprise. They told me that one egg had reached 6 cells through the night and that although it wasn't the best quality it was worth freezing. See, they rank your embryo quality. T1, T2, T3 and T4. 1 being the best and 4 being the worst that they end up destroying. I had 2 T2's and none of mine were ideal but I got a T3 out of nowhere and I was soooo excited. Little did I know what would come of that little 6 cell embryo. So my doctor said it was best to do one egg each round and that it was better odds if we could afford it. So we did the best one first. You wait and then come in for blood work to verify results. It was a big fat negative. Which basically meant the next cycle had a lot riding on it since it was basically the only other decent embryo. Well after shots and implantation and bed rest and yada yada the results came back and pregnant!!! However, things took a turn when at my six week ultrasound they were taking measurements and the heart beat was slow. (about half of what it should be). This was seriously shocking to me and probably the hardest obstacle I'd hit in the whole process. The technician told me my baby had about a 50/50 chance but I could tell in her voice it was worse odds than that. I was instructed to come back in one week and they'd look again. This time the technician looked and she looked at me and stood up and came and gave me a hug and said "I'm so sorry." I'm not normally a cryer but I couldn't help it. It was out of my control and I had done everything I could and nothing. After this I was instructed to go off all the drugs I was on and let it miscarry. Well because of all the hormones the baby was lifeless inside me for four weeks and still not passing since my body basically was still pregnant from all the hormones. That's when the doctor recommended dilation and curettage where they basically remove all the tissue and clean it out since it wasn't miscarrying on its own. After this I had to wait 2 months to let everything flush out of my system. The doctor said he'd like to meet with me and go over some things. I went into that appointment and he sat me down and went over numbers. Basically he told me that I was his longest patient who was still not pregnant. (Not that I was the hardest patient, just that even those worse off than me had moved on to other options like surrogacy and egg donors) and he said that basically we'd been doing this a year on top of the other years I'd done with my OB. He said that I was in the .002 percentile and that most girls would be pregnant by now. This didn't make me feel good and I drove home feeling like I needed to decide if I was going to force this and do IVF again or concede and look into adoption. Scott felt like he wasn't up for adoption and so I just looked at my two babies and felt like it wasn't the family I envisioned but I was so glad I got at least two children and I was going to have to accept that the big family I envisioned wasn't in the cards. The doctor suggested using the third embryo and then decide so I complied but honestly, did not have anything invested in it. It was probably the lowest expectations I've ever had going into it and I had resorted to the fact that I was just going to get this over and done with so I wasn't paying to freeze it every year and then take a major break. Well to my surprise it took. I'll spare you the details, but 40 weeks later I delivered a 10 lb 13 oz miracle baby that wasn't supposed to even make the cut, and somehow grew to be my biggest baby. The doctor found out after he was delivered that there was a true knot in the umbilical cord, something he sees maybe once every 1-2 years and he said he was so glad that a baby this size didn't have complications from it and that the outcome could have been much scarier. I feel like we overcame the odds together and he's been the happiest, healthiest baby. My mom says he seems like he's so happy because he feels lucky to be here. Well I think it's me who feels lucky he's here. I'm writing this 8 months later so I'm sure there are details I'm leaving out but I wake up every day feeling blessed and know he was meant to come to our family. It was a long and expensive and stressful road but I'm glad it ended on a good note. I hope that more good surprises are in our future... Love you Bubs!