Sunday, April 22, 2012

Keynote Speaker

We had a break between our volunteer duties at the Resolve conference (see the last post), so we were able toe catch the keynote speaker.  I noticed that the speaker happened to be the volunteer coordinator for the event and thought that was great--I had been communicating with her about our volunteer shifts, she was down to earth and appreciative.

The first speaker welcomed everyone to the conference.  She talked about the benefits of the conference, what it meant to her, and clearly could relate to all of us.  She commented that the volunteers were all in lime green shirts, and that hopefully some of them would be in lime green shirts volunteering someday....the volunteers were the people that :resolved" their infertility journey and were giving back.  Interesting.  I guess in a way, we feel "resolved", not finished, but resolved.

The keynote speaker got up and told her story.  I had tears streaming down my face, so did many others in the room.  Jamie was choked up.  Probably because many parts of her story were OUR story.  The ultrasounds, the bad, bad ultrasounds of babies that are no longer living.  Hearing people tell you "It's probably for the best" when you can't even defend yourself because you are overcome with grief.  Finding out that the baby you miscarried is perfectly healthy.  Knowing that your body somehow failed your baby, even though you want nothing more than to carry your baby to full term.  Scared to try to get pregnant, scared to try not to.

She had three miscarriages.  All were very similar situations to ours.  She did IVF 6 times.  I can't even imagine.

She had the same blood work done that I did after my third miscarriage.  It came back with the same results.  Nothing wrong.  But like me, she KNEW something had to be wrong.  Why else would you not be able to carry multiple pregnancies to term?  She ended up working with a Reproductive Endocrinologist in Chicago.  One easy blood test showed that she had an elusive autoimmune disease.  It was challenging, but through IVF she carried two children to term.

Don't panic, people, we aren't rushing out to do IVF again!  But, someday I do want to talk with the RE that specializes in autoimmune disorders in Chicago.  It does bother me that I don't know why we've had the losses, but also important is that I think that something isn't right with my body and I think it's important to do what I can to make sure I stay as healthy as possible.  I owe it to Jamie, our little man and any future kiddos we are blessed with.  With her disorder, she needs to take an aspirin daily to help prevent blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.  So simple, but it could save her life.

After the session the conference attendees went to their breakout sessions.  I was helping to track how many  attendees were at each session, when I got done I found Jamie visiting with the keynote speaker.  It was so nice to visit with her one on one.  Very inspirational.

When I was listening to her speech, I thought that maybe one day I'd take the time to write out our whole story (of course without the grandiose ending that I'll have to add in later).

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