race for parenthood 2015-11Orange Team: The Barretts

Our Story, as told by Crystal:

Josh and I met in middle school, the 6th grade to be exact.  We started dating our 8th grade year and were high school sweethearts, graduating in 2002.  Five years later we got married on June 9, 2007.

In September of 2010 I had to undergo an exploratory laparoscopy and was diagnosed with Endometriosis.  Endo what? That’s what I said.  I had never heard of Endometriosis before.  Endometriosis occurs when cells from the lining of your womb (uterus) grow in other areas of your body which can cause pain, heavy bleeding, bleeding between periods, and problems getting pregnant (infertility).  “Infertility” was one thing I never imagined I would have to deal with as no one in my family had any problems conceiving.  That’s when we decided that it was time to start trying for a baby.  After 3 years of trying naturally, not including the few years prior to my diagnosis, we decided it was time take the next step.  After several tests, including an HSG test that showed my tubes were not blocked, my OBGYN diagnosed us with infertility caused by Endometriosis and part unexplained infertility.

In 2013 we decided to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist and went through 2 unsuccessful IUIs (Intrauterine Insemination), first round with Clomid and the next with Gonal-F, an injectable, followed by several mid-cycle ultrasounds and the “trigger” shot that induces ovulation.  Unfortunately, we were unable to continue with a third cycle as I had cysts that needed to go away before starting another.  I continued to have horrible periods with increased pain and other complications so after taking a break we decided to see another recommended specialist and take a different approach – natural family planning for fertility purposes.  In my case this is a healthier way to try conceiving with my health issues.  October 3, 2014 I had a second  laparoscopy to confirm the return of my endometriosis, cysts, scar tissue, a hemorrhagic cyst within one of my ovaries and that my tubes were not 100% clear.  I will be due to schedule another surgery before year end to take care of the findings which are possibly interfering with my fertility as well.  Without having the third surgery it puts me at a higher risk of ectopic and/or miscarriage and continued infertility along with the horrible symptoms of Endometriosis.

It has been an emotional and financial roller coaster but I can say that this is just a curve in the road that has made our relationship stronger.  We would love for our prayers to be answered and have that little miracle to share all of our love with.  We both love children so much that it would just be a dream come true to enjoy a little one of our own.

After reading about the Race to Parenthood I was encouraged by last year’s teams to share my story.  We are so grateful for being chosen as a featured couple for the 2015 Race to Parenthood and for all of our family and friends who have supported and continue to support us.

Update January 4, 2015 : Where do we start? New year, new beginnings! Third surgery seems to have been a success! Endometriosis, including scar tissue and adhesions, was excised (cut) from my abdominal and pelvic walls, ovaries, bowels and intestines. There have been a few setbacks but the latest has all been good news. With all the new medications my hormones are where they should be and we are able to start trying again! Some additional meds along with follow up ultrasounds and bloodwork in the next few weeks just to confirm we are on the right track. ~ C&J