This post is a very personal post...but I feel like it is important to share some of the struggles that Cody and I have been going through. Most of the time, people keep things in that are personal, touchy subjects. You never hear much about problems, crisis, struggles, heartbreaks, etc. until you are telling someone else what you are going through and they, in fact, have a similar story. All of our family and extremely close friends (also family) have been praying with us and supporting us every since we found out some potentially disheartening information back in June. We have undoubtedly had God, our amazing family, precious, dear friends, and the power of prayer on our side these past several months. But, I didn't want to blog about this until I talked to Cody and made sure he was comfortable with sharing our news on my blog. He was totally on board when I asked him...for the same reasons that I want to share it with you too. We both just feel like we could be a testimony and inspiration to other people who are going through similar circumstances so that they know there is hope, but mainly to come to know that God will never give you anything you can't handle and will bring such glory and joy in the most fearful and questioning of times.
When Cody and I first got married...well before that really...we had the "baby" talk. We both agreed that 5 years was a good time to seriously think about starting to try to get pregnant. Cody would be 30 and I would be 27, we would be more established, have had time to travel, update our house, and just be together as a couple...and spoil our 3 precious dogs completely rotten! Anyone that knows me, knows that I was not so "gung-ho" to have babies and be a mom. I've just never been very maternal and I've definitely never had that longing to be a mom like a lot of other girls experience. I love kids, especially my family's and friend's kiddos. But I would cringe, literally cringe when we would be out eating, in church, at a grocery store, etc. and parents would let their kids scream and cry and act like little tyrants. It usually made me feel like my feeling about having my own kids was affirmed that it was not a good idea because I didn't want my kids to act or be like that. Cody, on the other hand, has been ready to have babies for a long time and has been patiently waiting on me. He's an amazing man and will be an amazing daddy. He never once pushed me or pushed the subject. It would come up in conversation occasionally, but it was more just conversation on how we want to be as parents, how we would decorate a nursery if it was a boy or girl, etc. So, in the last 4 1/2 years, Cody and I have completely updated our house, gone to Vegas, L.A., Riviera Maya, Jamaica, mini trips to Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, weekend getaways with friends and family, I got my Masters, Cody's gone on some pretty awesome hunting trips, we've laughed, dreamed, played together and sporadically and randomly done impulse things, and our 3 dogs think they're humans! On March 1, 2013 we will have been married for 5 years! They flew by, but I can't think of one thing I would change or give back a single moment with him, our 3 lovies, and our friends and family.
All that to say that my feelings have completely changed in the past year and a half. It's been a slow change, but I know it's because God has been preparing my heart for the day when Cody and I would find out we were pregnant and have nine months until a precious little one was ours. I know a big part of the reason I've changed, other than by the grace of God, is because of how precious Cody has been and because of all the praying my family and friends have been doing. They all know me so well and know how I've felt for most of my life about being a mom and they also knew that I would have to do some serious changing before I was ready to even consider starting to try. Don't get me wrong, I still go back and forth occasionally. But I've done a complete 180. So, for me, I'm probably as ready as I'm ever going to be.
Last year, around our four year anniversary, we really started talking about "our plan." Which is really funny when you think about it because it's never really "our plan." God is always the one in charge and it is our job to be in prayer all the time that we are following through with His plans for us and that His will be done...not ours. Which is super hard...especially for control freaks, type A, OCD personalities like ME!!! Since we had kinda made a "plan," and the next year would be our 5 year anniversary, we decided to start taking some initial steps to start getting ready to try. The first thing that we needed to do was for me to change doctors. My doctor was only a gynecologist, she stopped delivering babies back in the early 90's. It was hard for me to change doctors because she was my mom's doctor and had delivered both me and my brother, Michael. Needless to say, I wholeheartedly trusted her. However, I had no doubt on which doctor I was going to switch to when the time came. Dr. Tadvick was the first and only choice that I had for who would be my doctor when it was time to change. Even though it was hard to leave my other doctor, I wasn't a bit nervous when I first walked into Dr. Tadvick's office. Most of my girlfriends go to him and I have heard nothing but amazing things about this man and what he does as a doctor and as a spiritual leader...this man has been given some amazing God-given spiritual gifts.
I made an appointment in the spring to go see him in June. This was just a consultation type visit, since my normal appointment wasn't for a few months later. One of the things that Cody and I had talked about when we were more serious about trying and when I switched doctors was to just do some initial testing to make sure both of our levels were normal. We've had some friends go through heartbreak and struggles when trying to get pregnant, so we just wanted to see if there was anything that was red-flagged for our levels and stuff before we spend years and years trying when something could have been caught in the beginning. Plus, I had been on the pill for about 9 years, and my body fat percentage is really low. Needless to say, I hadn't been regular (I hadn't really had one at all), going on 2 years. So, when Cody and I went in for the appointment, we talked to him about "our plan" and the concerns we had about me and my regularity and just doing some initial testing to jump the gun if anything was seriously abnormal.
Let me tell you, I am SO glad that we decided to do some testing. When we told Dr. Tadvick we both wanted to do some testing, he didn't hesitate one bit, but he did say it was a little abnormal that Cody wanted to get tested too. Most men just wait until it's been awhile for trying when they decide to give a sample and have it analyzed. The testing they did for me was just normal thyroid level testing and then my progesterone level. My progesterone level was low, but only because of being on the pill for so long. He gave me some medicine to jump start my body and everything has been fine ever since. Unfortunately, we didn't receive such good news when it came to Cody's analysis. His count was really low, but the scary thing was that the motility rate was less than 1%. Obviously, something was very wrong, but we didn't know what.
Dr. Tadvick referred us to a Urology/Fertility specialist in Frisco. His name is Dr. Jeffrey Buch and he is another amazing, world renowned doctor. Cody and I made an appointment to go see him in July so that we could figure out what was going on with his body. The minute we got to Dr. Buch's office, we felt so comfortable. He takes his time with you, explains everything in detail, and doesn't act like your crazy or stupid if you ask questions. During the appointment, we found out that Cody has what's called varicocele, which is like varicose veins that prevents the blood to flow properly. After we found this out, we were at first taken aback. Whenever you first think of male infertility, your initial thoughts automatically go to IVF...or mine did anyways. I just never really thought there was anything that could be done for male infertility until it affected us and Dr. Buch explained everything there was to know about varicocele. Thankfully, it can be reversed through surgery and it has about a 66% chance of improvement. There are three different surgical procedures that can be done to correct the vericocle, the one Dr. Buch was going to perform on Cody was the bilateral varicocelectomy. So, the next step for us was to see when it would be best for Cody to have the surgery.
We got home and started looking at the calendar and talking about what would be best for Cody and his work schedule. Since they aren't very busy during the winter months, you can't really get up on a roof to measure it and your roofers can't roof when it's cold, so we decided that December would probably be the best choice for us. It would also be good timing for me because I would be getting out of school for two weeks and would be at home for him if he wasn't fully recovered yet. When we called the doctors office to schedule the surgery, they had December 12th open and we took the 2:30 pm time. Since his surgery was on a Wednesday, I took off from the 11th at noon and didn't go back to school until the following Monday. Leading up to the surgery, we were both really at peace with how we felt things would go. There was a chance Dr. Buch would open him and wouldn't be able to repair anything. But, we had been praying against that with our family and our Life Group...so we felt confident that Dr. Buch would be able to perform the surgery and fix the vericocele in both sides. But, when it came time for the surgery and they were taking him back to the OR, I got really nervous. There are so many things that can go wrong and I just let my mind get the best of me for a little while. The surgery was supposed to take about 2 1/2 hours and I bet I looked at the clock every 10 minutes there for awhile. I had brought my iPad and watched a movie that finally helped to pass the time and before I knew it, Dr. Buch was coming around the corner with a big smile on his fact. My heart started beating a mile a minute because I could just feel that everything had gone perfectly and he was ok and out of surgery. When he came over to me, he told me the exact words that I had been feeling. There were no complications and he was able to remove and reverse the vericocele on both sides...and he finished about 15 minutes early! We were walking, slowly, back to the car out of the hospital around 6:00 that evening. Bless his heart, he hadn't been able to eat since the night before. Thankfully, we ate at BJ's with Amie and Ryan and he got a large pizza that kept him pretty full through the morning of his surgery...but he was starving by the time they were wheeling him back. So, the first thing on the agenda was to grab some dinner. Jason's Deli sounded good to him, so off we went. We didn't eat there, we went in and got the order to go and took it back to the hotel. From that moment on, we were on the road to recovery.
We left from Frisco Thursday morning and headed home and from Thursday to Saturday, Cody stayed in our bed unless he absolutely had to get up. He did try on Saturday to sit in the recliner in the living room, but it wasn't at all comfortable to him, so he moved back to the bed. By Sunday, he was feeling so much better and was up a moving around. I actually needed to go to Albertson's for a few groceries to make dinner and he wound up coming with me, just to get out of the house and walk around for a bit. I know he was so glad to be up and moving around. He was walking around pretty good for just having surgery 3 days earlier. From Sunday on has been a smooth, upward climb. He went in to work for a couple of hours every day that next week, went hunting about a week after the surgery, and felt pretty much back to normal about a week and a half following surgery. The one thing that was hardest for him during his recovery was that he couldn't work out...and even when he started back he had to take is slow and easy. There would be no dead lifting 400+ pounds, overhead squatting 200+ pounds, bench pressing 300+ pounds, etc. and really no CrossFitting unless it was just body weight WODs. His first day back at the box was the first day back to school for me, January 7th. He took it slow the first week and has increased the intensity from there every week. This week he is back to lifting the RXd weight for the WODs...but still no maxing out. He feels better and better everyday...sometimes we both forget he just had surgery 6 weeks ago! We go back to Dr. Buch on March 25th to see if the surgery has worked. He will check his levels, his count, and most importantly, the motility rate. After that, we go back in another 3 months, so sometime in June...a full year after we first found all this out. God has taken such good care of us during all of this and our family and friends have been right by our side praying for us and with us. We are truly blessed and so happy to be on the road to recovery. We feel confident that when we go to the Dr. in March, everything will be normal and God will have healed him and we can move forward with plans to expand our little family of 5!
"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord." ~ Isaiah 66:9