Thursday, December 31, 2015

Miracles Do Happen

As 2015 comes to a close, it's only fitting that this be my final blog post.  This blog started as a way for me to share my knowledge about health with other people. Over time, it became my outlet for my frustrations with infertility.  For those that have read my previous posts, you got a very up close and personal view of my emotions surrounding my desire for another child.  

Being told I had less than a 1% chance of getting pregnant again, Tom and I looked into adoption. We didn't share that with many people.  After two years, it didn't seem like it was going to happen and we were tired of holding on and feeling the heartache.  Somehow, along the way, it had put a wedge between us.  Infertility is a very lonely place and can have a very negative effect on your relationship if you are not careful.  

In February of this year, we decided being a family of three was our fate.  We finally let go of any hope.  Deep down, I still felt like our family was not complete, but I finally stopped "trying".  We started focusing on each other again and honestly....somewhere along the way, we fell in love...again.

 Marriage is hard. You have to work at it.  And if you are distracted by other priorities, it's easy to forget how much you love that person.  IF you're lucky wake up one day.  You realize how much you have been neglecting each other and you work at it again.  You smile again.  You enjoy each other's company again.  
You start living again.

By June, we were stronger than ever as a family.  Life was busy...but it was good.  

We were then blind sided with the greatest gift we could ever hope for.  We were asked to adopt a baby.  The birth mom came to us and asked if we would adopt her unborn baby.  She was due November 25.  

We spent a lot of time talking it over.  So many things could go wrong between June and November.  She could change her mind.  What if the baby doesn't bond with us?  There were a lot of questions and concerns.  Ultimately, we decided it was 100% worth it.

Lucas James entered this world on November 30 surrounded by a handful of people that love this little boy more than he could ever imagine.  The doctor handed him to me first and I was able to sit skin to skin with him on my chest.  He was perfect.  Ten tiny toes.  Ten tiny fingers with the longest nail beds I've ever seen on a baby.  Beautiful, pink skin.  Perfect, red lips.  When he cried, I lost any sense of control and let my own tears fall.  He was the missing piece.  My heart was full.  

Tom and Lyla were able to meet him soon after.  I don't think I stopped smiling that entire day.  Nothing will ever be able to take away the amount of joy I felt that day.  It was the greatest feeling I have ever experienced.  We had a son.  And he was perfect and loved and the most amazing gift. 

Luke has been home for about one month.  Newborns are tough, so I won't say it's been perfect.  But I wouldn't trade a second of it. Watching my daughter hug and kiss her brother brings me to my knees at times.  Watching my son fall asleep on my husbands chest as he lays on the couch softens every tense muscle in my body in an instant.  I've gone through so many emotions over the past month, but the greatest is joy.  Pure joy.  I've never been so incredibly grateful for anything in my entire life.  I want to pinch myself at times because I know what happened was a complete miracle.  The stars had to align in just the right way for everything to work out the way it has.  Life is so precious and so fast. You better believe I'm taking the time to enjoy every moment these days.  
Miracles do happen....
Luke is ours.

Photographs by Beth Fletcher Photography

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it...” N. Sparks

I originally wrote this in July 2013.  Time has healed, yet little instances happen in life that sometimes bring all the emotions front and center.

I've debated writing about this topic for a long time on this blog.  Is this something I want to share with people that know me as Dr. Bozovich?  Why not?  It's not embarassing.  It's not my fault.  It's just a sad truth that I have come to accept recently and maybe writing about it and sharing my story, I might be able to move on or even help someone else in a similiar situation. 

When Tom and I got married, I told him I didn't want children.  He was fine with that, even though when we first met, he talked a lot about having a son to coach.  As the years went by, he let go of that and decided a life with just me was OK. 

Somewhere after our third anniversary, I changed my tune.  I wanted a baby....maybe more.  After many, many talks, we decided together that we should start a family.  Lyla Ray was born less than two years later. 

Getting pregnant with Lyla was a breeze.  We started trying and got the positive pregnancy test the very next month.  I don't know why I ever thought I didn't want children.  Lyla has brought more love, warmth, emotion, and happiness into my life than I could ever have imagined.  When she looks at me with those enormous, blue eyes, I feel true innocent love and my heart warms.  She is everything that is right and I wish I could just hold on to her tight and keep her right where she is.  If I could freeze time, I might try.  But then I think of all the experiences she still needs to have and I know she must grow up and I must be a bystander.  All of this has become even more real to me in the past few months as I realize that I will never experience these moments again. 

I thought once Lyla was three, we would have baby number 2.  Lyla will be three in a couple of weeks and I'm not able to have any more children.  There are options, but they are extremely expensive, time consuming options that still only have a 10-15% chance of success. 

This is where I was torn.  I want to give Lyla a sibling, but I also don't want to miss out on her life right now.  If I were to do the IVF, donor egg, and whatever else they suggest, that is precious time I am spending away from my blue eyed, curly blonde.  I don't know how I'll respond to being on multiple hormones and I would rather not turn into Mommy Dearest. 

Through many tears and late night talks, we have decided to be a family of three.  Three is good.  My heart absolutely breaks for those that are forced to be a family of two or for those women who can not experience a pregnancy.  I was lucky.  There are a lot of people that don't even get the one chance I was given.  Somehow, this little girl has magically come into our lives and has brought so much joy.  These things make it hard to be sad, but the reality is, I am.   

It's hard to walk past our third bedroom some days.  I still have a lot of baby things to give away or toss out.  But I'm not quite ready.  I'll do it in my own time.  I've felt more emotions in the past few months than I ever thought possible.  From deep sadness to rage and anger and even numbness.  At times, it almost felt like I had lost someone very close to me. 

I get asked a lot when we are going to have another baby.  It's an extremely hard question to answer because I don't want to lie, but I also don't want pity.  I don't want to hear about everyone's story of how they know someone who was told they will never have a baby and then they stopped stressing and it happened.  I know this.  I understand this better than most people on the hormonal and biological level.  I understand that I still have a chance - less than 1% to be exact.  If it happens, I'll be over the moon, but the reality is that it most likely never will and I must move on with the life that I have now. 

Which brings me to the point of this post.  In roughly 5 months, I will run my first marathon.  If there is anything in this world that can help clear my mind and help my thoughts sort themselves out, it's running.  So for the next 5 months, my focus is on marathon training and living my life.  Being the best mother, wife, friend, and doctor that I can be.  It's time to take control of my life again and not let this Premature Ovarian Failure ruin it.  I can't beat it, so I might as well accept it and do something I never imagined myself doing. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How's Your Running, Doc?

I get asked a lot about my running.  I've been very quiet on the subject over the past year because I didn't really know what to say.  I'm not sure I completely understood what was happening until this past Sunday. 

I was supposed to run with some friends at the Dunes on Sunday morning.  There was a chance of snow or cold rain.  Last year, I would have been excited to run in the snow and would not have cared if there was a little rain.  This past Sunday, however, I woke up to a little girl asking if she could snuggle with me.  It was 5:50 am.  She crawled into bed.  I checked the weather on my phone and complained that I didn't want to run in wet snow.  I curled up next to Lyla and my husband and knew there was no chance I was going to run. 

We stayed in bed, talking until Lyla realized she didn't have a princess dress on.  She ran in her room, put on her dress and started blaring Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" from her radio.  I looked at my husband and we smiled and then started cracking up laughing. 

There is a constant challenge in life called balance.  Every decision, every action, every reaction has an outcome.  That outcome, regardless of what it is, will shift the balance.  For every potato chip I eat (and lets face it, I don't eat just one), there is an outcome of hydrogenated oil and fat in my body which increases my sluggishness and decreases my ability of buttoning my favorite jeans.  For every mile I run (and let's face it, that has been minimal over the past year), there is an outcome of increased endorphins (aka: happiness) and decreased time with my daughter. 

After I trained for Tecumseh and ran the hardest race I have ever encountered, I felt amazing.  I felt like I could conquer anything and immediately wanted to start training for Tecumseh 2014.  But, life has other plans and my balance has been tested and manipulated into a woven mess over the past 12 months. 

I have struggled, sometimes on a daily basis, with my decreased training.  At first, it was due to an injury after running Indy Mini back in May 2014.  I let myself take some time off to allow my muscle to heal and then it became increasingly harder to "get back out there". 

I found other ways of working out and I enjoyed them.  However, I missed running at the dunes.  I missed my running friends.  I missed the sound of the lake at the end of trail 10 or on the ridge of trail 9.  I missed the sand, the roots, the sweat, the air, the aches, the feeling of complete exhaustion.  At the same time, I gained snuggle time with a blue eyed, curly blonde.  I heard infinite giggles and watched my baby turn into a creative, smart, and hilarious little girl.  I saw my daughter's face light up every time I told her it was "Mommy-Lyla Day".  I was given the strongest hugs little four year old arms could give me.  My heart grew and stopped at the same time on multiple occasions.

Watching your child grow is the most beautiful and heart breaking event in any parent's life.  There is pride in watching an individual emerge from those chubby cheeks and clumsy hands into a little person that understands feelings and all of a sudden can write their name.  There is also great sadness when you realize there will come a day when that little girl will be a woman and will drive away to find her own adventure and place in this world. 

I don't regret the time I spent training for Tecumseh.  I also don't regret not running much over the past year.  I'll continue to run 1-2 times per week early in the morning before the sun and my daughter rises, but the Dunes will have to wait.  We will meet on occasion, but there is no urgency.  Running will always be there...Lyla at age 4 will only be for a short time.

For now, my balance in life is tipped heavily to the needs of my blue eyed, princess loving, Taylor Swift singing, little girl.  In the end, I'll never regret that decision, no matter what the outcome.