The following is a continuation of the story of how my wife Kolette and I went from making the decision to have a family, to finding out what that would require, and eventually successfully through the in vitro process.
The decision had been made. Kolette and I were on the same page and prepared to move forward. We were excited and I thought somewhere in 2008 we would begin finding out more about what the process entailed.
At the time our good friends the Cranes were in the midst of the in vitro process themselves. In the past we would casually ask them about how the process was going for them and what they were doing. Now, I noticed a difference in the questions Kolette was asking and in the seriousness of those questions. She was no longer just asking casual questions to be nice, she was on a fact-finding mission.
Kolette found out everything about the process, the cost, the clinic they used, and the doctor they chose. I think from the first time we heard about Dr. Heiner and the Reproductive Care Clinic (RCC) in Sandy, Utah we felt good about working with them. I liked that we were getting information but felt we were simply preparing ourselves for moving forward sometime the following year.
I was again reminded about the way Kolette makes decisions. She spends a lot of time deliberating and discussing but once she’s decided–she’s done; and she had decided that she was ready to move forward now. I too was excited about everything but the “now” part. I didn’t feel well at the time and my poor health kept me from wanting to move ahead with the same vigor.
In June of that same year a bug bite had given me a septic bursa in my left elbow. I had a minor surgery and a few “in office” procedures to rectify the problem but still didn’t feel well.
Even though I was wondering when the right time to actually move forward was, Kolette knew that the right time was now. I’ll never forget the day she returned home from visiting the RCC with the pile of paperwork requisite to begin IVF. I asked her if we needed to finish the paperwork to start next year. She told me we didn’t need to finish the paperwork to start next year, but instead the paperwork was to start the process immediately.
I told her of my concerns about my health and we sat down to see if we could resolve them. As we spoke, Kolette brought up the fact that although I was experiencing a little health “hiccup” 2007 was the first year that I hadn’t spent a night in the hospital and my health was generally as good as it’d been since before the accident. Looking at things through this perspective instead of viewing them through the pain and lack of strength I was feeling helped me get squarely back on board. With concerns resolved we continue to move forward.
Before we even began we knew our situation was unique. I don’t think that we realized how unique until we began to fill out the paperwork. The majority of the questions didn’t even apply, or required answers longer than the page the question was on. We provided the best information we could and then, in order to paint the most accurate picture possible, we attached a cover letter that went through the specifics and complete detail of our medical, social due to the fact I was a quadriplegic and had such extensive surgical and health issues over last 10 years.
With the paperwork submitted the next step was to meet with Dr. Heiner. We set the appointment and waited for the day to arrive. Finally we found ourselves in his office hoping to qualify for a chance to try and have a family.
The nurse brought us back to Dr. Heiner’s office and invited us to sit across the desk from the doctor. Dr. Heiner, who had already completely reviewed our paperwork, looked up and asked us one question. He inquired, “How do you keep the faith?” I can tell you with complete certainty that of all the questions we expected this was not on the list. We replied, “”We just keep going and watch for the miracles that happen along the way.”
Then he asked us what we do when we don’t get the miracles we want. It was obvious that he was asking a question generally with reference to our lives, and specifically with reference to the miracle we were there to inquire about. In response we told him that we believed if we watch closely enough we could not only see miracles consistently happened but we could see how those miracles were right for us. He smiled and asked us how he could help us see if we could make this miracle happen.
It was at that moment Kolette and I knew we were in the right place.
We asked our questions and sure about the direction we were moving signed up to be a part of his next “batch.” At the RCC they put each doctor’s group of patients on the same schedule and call it a “batch.” That way everyone is doing the same things at the same time during the course of one cycle.
Kolette began what was required of her to get us in this batch. There were shots to help her ovaries provide more eggs and hormones to increase her uterus’ ability to capture the fertilized egg. None of it was fun but all that was necessary and Kolette move forward with her usual positive outlook.
Then, just before Thanksgiving 2007 we found out that my elbow wasn’t healing. In fact, things had gotten worse; much worse. I was going to require an additional surgery and six weeks of hospitalization. On Monday after Thanksgiving I was admitted. In my first week at the hospital my one surgery turned into two and I contracted MRSA (a type of staph infection).
We had to postpone our place in the “batch” and the concern I had before about whether or not we were ready “now” because of my health was heightened times ten. 2007 was supposed to be the first year since 1997 where I didn’t spend a day in the hospital and now here I was three weeks into a six-week stay.
I began to be filled with all kinds of self-doubt. I began to wonder if my health would ever allow me to be a dad. Frustrated, tired, and sick of being sick one night in tears,I shared my fear with Kolette.
Ko slid next to me in my hospital bed, put her arm around me, and began to gently talk with me. She spent an hour telling me about how she believed in my ability to be a father. She spoke to me about how this issue with my elbow was different from my previous health issues, how it could happen to anyone and wasn’t just another extension of the car accident. She reminded me of how good things were in our lives and how much more present I was able to be in our life together.
In an hour I became sure of two things. First, that we should be a part of Dr. Heiner’s next “batch” and second, that I had married an incredible woman.
(To be continued in “The Cole Creation III”)
PS I hope to be able to post on Tuesday but am going in for minor surgery on my hand, and so it may be Thursday or Friday before I’m able to post again. Thanks for your continued support.