Friday, March 9, 2012

Our Family's Legacy...One Year Later

This day last year at about 11:30 pm (CST), I received a called from my brother informing me that my Granddaddy had died.  He had recovered nicely from a major trauma and had been in rehab building strength for a few days.  Unfortunately, the stress was probably too great and he passed away in his sleep that night.  It was truly the worst night (and next several days) of my life.

Our Granddaddy was our family legacy.  He modelled faith in God, dedication to and love for family, good character, humility, hard work, honesty, and respect for all people regardless of their backgrounds.  He enjoyed his family, UGA and CCHS football, playing golf, working hard, and fishing.  He was a wonderful listener and great confidant.  He didn't always tell me what I wanted to hear, but he had a very gentle way of telling me what I needed to hear.  And... I'm proud to say that I listened and took every ounce of his advice to heart!  On the weekend before he died, I was off and decided to drive to Moultrie to visit him.  He was still in the hospital, though he was beginning to walk.  His mind was perfect.  He and I had several hours together that Sunday morning before I left.  We talked about my practice/business, Adam, and our plans to start our family.  He knew we were having fertility issues and he told me that he supported us 100% in whichever route we needed to take (though he shared our feeling towards adoption).  Basically, he encouraged us to spend wisely...but to spend if that's what it took to build our family.  He knew we were doing IVF.  It certainly wasn't something he understood the fine details of, but he certainly understood its purpose and our needs.  I would love to have had him to share the events of last year with...and I'd certainly welcome his advice and insight as to what we now face. Frankly, I miss my Sunday phone calls and visits to his and Grandmother's house...regardless of whether advice was needed or not! 

I see my Grandaddy's photo as I walk into my medical office each day.  I also see the photo of he and my Grandmother that sits between my office and Dad's office each day.  I'm so thankful that we still have Grandmother, and sad that he's not here anymore.  I think about Grandaddy on Friday nights during the fall, UGA football Saturdays (oh...the fond college of which involved a young punk and a gun), Sundays at Dairy Queen or Pizza Hut, every time I see a Captain D's (the location of my preschool "dates" with him), and our Saturday fishing trips (also used to weed-out useless boyfriends)!  Frankly, it's rare (if ever) that a day goes by that I don't think about Grandaddy in some way.

I think when a 34 year old professional married woman remembers her Granddaddy almost every day and misses him this much an entire year later...he must have been someone really special!  I know that Dad, Mom, Leslee, Trey, Grandmother, and my extended family feel the same love and sense of loss.  He really raised a spectacular family that continues to succeed in our lives and careers.  I just hope he gets to "see" us from above and continue to be proud of the lives we live...thanks to him!

L.R. Dampier Sr., we miss you tons!  Your 89 years will live for generations to come, and that's something very few families can be proud of!  Thinking of you a little bit more today and loving you always, Cinda.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

What I'd Give to be "Normal"

Some of you are aware that we have been undergoing a 3rd IVF cycle over the past several weeks.  We've been a tad "quieter" about it, as we wanted to see how we would handle things...  Our cycle started on January 6 and ended today.  It was totally different, and required 7 weeks of drugs (not including months on birth control pills, high dose Folic acid, aspirin, and prescription prenatal vitamins).

On January 6, we signed the usual 20+ forms and legal paperwork.  Our medications were shipped ($2400 worth, which was actually cheaper than we had planned for thanks to some help with insurance) and arrived on January 13.  The injection protocol began on January 16 and ended on February 28.  It included 3-4 shots per day.  To say that the cycle was aggressive was an understatement. 

In total, this one round included 103 injections/blood draws, 4 ultrasounds, 1 procedure under anesthetic, and 1 embryo transfer.  My abdomen and hips resemble a war zone and will take a few weeks to return to a normal color.  I believe we made 8 trips to Nashville as well, though it feels like so many more!

On February 19, we transferred 3 perfect Grade A embryos.  It was my sister's 32nd birthday and the due date (if we had twins) would have been October 17.  This happens to be Adam's upcoming 40th and my Mom's upcoming 60th.  Seemed like great signs!  We thought that with the new year, a new protocol, a great lining, great labs, beautiful embryos, and perfect dates...we were certain to succeed!

While we've pretty much known since Tuesday, today was the official beta HCG test.  Sadly, the result was 0...literally.  It's heart-breaking for sure.  To add icing to the cake, we've seen 2 pregnancy announcements, 2 birth announcements, tons of photos of other peoples' babies, and countless comments and complaints from/about pregnant women...all since Tuesday.  I am even the only "failure" on my entire infertility forum this about being at the bottom!

I know nothing in life is guarenteed, even when everything is practically perfect.  This cycle is certainly proof of this!  We did manage to freeze 9 embryos this round, though feel that 3 of them may not be as healthy as we would like.  Despite being heart-broken, I suspect we'll try again in June and hope for the best. 

It's amazing how unfair life is.  We paid over $75k in taxes this year to support unemployed women having as many babies as they want.  We provide them free everything (carseats, formula, coupons, healthcare, food stamps,etc).  Sadly, Adam and I get to support these women AND have had the additional "privilege" of spending thousands of dollars just to try have a baby!  

For those who get pregnant without all of this, be VERY thankful.  You can't start to imagine how miserable this process is for couples like Adam and I.  There are no "easy" fixes or answers, and we are a serious challenge for any infertility clinic. 
The whole process just seems so unfair...I guess life is.