I realize with over twenty seven posts (and counting) that you have to love to read to fully understand our journey so here is a quick timeline to make it all clearer. I am a 5th grade teacher and there is nothing greater than a graphic organizer to organize what you are reading!
November of 2004: Nathan and I marry.
2007-2009: we struggle in our marriage, but realize God has put us and kept us together for a reason. Those years are painful, but were necessary to prepare us for what lies ahead. Our commitment and focus to each other is stronger than ever, God has worked on us individually in so many ways and our marriage is better than we ever thought it could be…much better then before!
May 2010: Our renewed sense of commitment and the fact that Nathan is now thirty encourages us to get off birth control and have a baby!
August 2010: we go on a vacation to Grand Cayman to celebrate our end of being just us two!
March 2011: my complete blood work comes back that I am anemic (hint 1). Each vial of blood is used to check for certain things and this vial was checking for cholesterol and my red blood cell and white blood cell count.
May 2011: I begin taking Clomid to make a stronger egg despite ovulating (they checked my day 21 levels) and continuing regular cycles. Nathan learns through a sperm clinic that he is not the reason we can’t conceive, but all my hormone levels show everything is normal. We never checked more into my blood work.
July 2011: We take a vacation to Cozumel to celebrate with Clomid we will definitely become pregnant and to celebrate that I can still drink and go scuba diving…while the rest of our friends are burping babies–we can still go on vacation!!! (this trip was my way of getting back at infertility)
May-October 2011: Clomid stops my cycles and Progesterone is needed to restart them three times (remember I had previously had perfect cycles!). I also have the worst side effects ranging from depression to fatigue.
November 2011: go to the rheumatoidologist to report symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: weight loss, fevers, joint pain, fatigue. He draws eight vials of blood one week followed by five more the next week. He is testing for antibodies and a titer count that shows signs of an attack in your body.
December 2011: Diagnosed with SLE Lupus. The doctor says my symptoms are mild, I am in good shape, but the blood numbers are as bad as they get.
February 2012: My gynecologist warns me to not get pregnant with blood work at these levels then goes on to report all the statistics for women that get pregnant with Lupus during a flare. The statistics include 30% chance of a birth defect and 30% chance I could die while giving birth. 25% chance of my baby having congested heart failure and 100% chance of this being a high risk pregnancy that will likely include bed rest towards the end. Remember, all of this is not definite, but likely since the worst time to get pregnant is in a flare.
February 2012: We learn my FSH level is around 12 which means my ovaries are failing. We learn (from the Hematologist) that my anemia is created by the Lupus and the only thing that will fix it is medication for the inflammation, but the medication would mean no baby making.
March 2012: I choose to see a Reproductive Endocronologist (sp?) to explore my options anyway. We learn my my FSH level has jumped to 15 which means pre-menopausal. My estrogen levels are at the menopause level already. ( I am now seeing four specialists and all know their personal practice, but three of the four know little about Lupus-very frustrating!)
April 2012: We learn I have lots of eggs and all of them are healthy, but all the bloodwork continues to show Premature Ovarian Failure most likely due to an autoimmune disease (aka Lupus).
May 2012: We apply to an adoption agency and attend our oriention, group study and get accepted into their agency. I get on Predisone for the Lupus which means I am accepting that I may never get pregnant since the medication is not recommended if you are trying to conceive. I figure I need it.
June 2012: We take another trip to Cozumel (we say our last hurrah of being just us two…but you know how that goes) to celebrate hope from a challenging year. I have never needed a vacation more and it reaffirmed a promise we made in our marriage: in sickness and in health.
We attend our interview and set up a home study date and get a large pile of paperwork to complete. We start the payments toward the adoption and begin our Adoption Profile that the birth mother will see. I begin taking Plaquenil which is strongly discouraged during pregnancy. My most recent blood work shows the prayers and medicine are working because my anemia is gone and my hormone levels are back to normal.
July 2012: After hours of work, our baby book is completed!!! Our life as a couple summed up in twenty four pages. I am avoiding the summer sun due to the disease, love sleeping in and resting, and the medications have taken away the fatigue. Attending a Bible Study where God is preparing my heart for this journey and reminding me He never left me and His promises are true.
August 2012: ALL paperwork is turned in and our home study is complete. We have done our part the rest is out of our control. We go on another mini vacation to celebrate our success of hard work. The praying continues as we look to the future.
September 2012: Waiting with a purpose. Praying for our future family and for our ability to accept infertility.
November 2012: We learned we were chosen, but they were not serious about adoption. So, we continue to wait and prepare our hearts for the day we get the call.
Later in November 2012: We get the call! Callen Ryan will be born on December 10th (or sooner). We meet the birthmom and get to touch him moving around in her belly…he is a big boy that makes her very uncomfortable, but she is carrying him so well.
December 10, 2012: Callen Ryan Tyndall is born at 2:40 pm in Houston, Texas. He weighs 9 pounds and 15 ounces; measure twenty inches long with a head of fifteen inches. We are thrilled.
December 12, 2012: The papers are signed allowing us to breathe a sigh of relief that we will be able to take him home and being our lives as a family.
January 7th, 2013: First post adoption placement meeting at AIM adoption agency.
February 4th: Second adoption meeting and dinner with the birthparents.
March 12th: Third adoption meeting and dinner with the birthparents.
May 20: Final home study and fourth meeting with the agency.
June 1st: Adoption picnic and final meeting
June 14th Adoption Day!!! Callen is ours forever!