This has been one incredible year for Monica and I! I have said this every year since we've been married, but this year really was the best one yet! Here's a look at all the stuff that has happened in our amazing lives in 2012! If you see something highlighted blue, it will take you to a blog post about the topic!
January: We were supposed to start IVF but decided to push it back to March or further so we could have spring babies. We were still working hard at our Total Money Makeover journey of being debt free!
February: This was actually a very scary month for us and our family. I had to be admitted for 2 weeks of IV's. I had never felt that sick. It was a HUGE reality check. My PFT's had hit an all-time low. This was the first time I ever had gotten emotional about my CF since "growing up." The night before I was to go to the doc and be admitted, I actually lost it a little. Monica and I were sitting on the couch, just snuggling and talking. I had a moment where I let fear sneak in. I had been wheezing for a couple days, which I had never had happen before. I was coughing up ridiculous amounts of secretions, and feeling very crummy. I got scared. I started wondering how long I would actually have here on Earth. I knew I wasn't dying or anything, but began to really think about how long I actually would have. The thought of leaving my wife a widow is incredibly scary, and we were going to be going through IVF later in the year. This month brought many challenges. My relationship with God was strengthened. My relationship with my wife was strengthened. I had to overcome several mental & emotional hurdles that I had never encountered before. My cousin who was 3 was in the hospital and had to be intubated for respiratory problems. He was in the hospital for close to a month if my memory serves me correctly. It was a scary, challenging month, but we made it through by the grace of God and came out stronger on the other side!
March: Monica and I began running in late February after I was finished with my IV's. I was determined to change my lifestyle and make it a habit to exercise regularly. Monica and I started this blog in the month of March! I went to my sister's work, a daycare in Springfield, MO, where they held a CF Mini March, it was a blast! I admit I was fighting back tears seeing all these kids and workers do so much to raise money to fight CF! I celebrated my 28th birthday this month, I'm getting old :)
April: I had the privilege of getting to speak at the Missouri State Respiratory Conference about CF. It went phenomenally well and was a nice weekend getaway for Monica and I! We were going to start our IVF journey this month but decided again to push it back a little further after we calculated the due date if it worked. Might I add this was very difficult for Monica. She was very eager to start the process so we could begin our family. Especially after the month we had in February, but we kept praying and felt God would direct us to when the right time was.
May: In May I started taking Hypertonic Saline. Most CFers already took this medication, but I had not yet been put on it. I asked my physicians about it and they said yes you should definitely start taking it. They hadn't yet put me on it, out of worry that I adding another med would cause me to drop in my compliance. I began taking it though and I'm a believer!
June: This was the BIG month! Monica and I began our IVF journey! Monica started taking the pills this month, and the journey was off! We had received all the meds and had scheduled two vacations back to back to help lower our stress levels as we endeavored on our marvelous journey! On our trip to Florida Monica and I went to Universal Studios where I got selected to be a participant in their Fear Factor Live show! It was just like the real thing and very cool! I also was asked to talk to the kids of Barnes-Jewish Hospital workers on their annual Kids to Work Day. It was awesome getting to talk to all the kiddos, hanging out and letting them try on the vest and take some normal saline treatments!
July: Monica and I were enjoying our summer! We were still going through the IVF process, and Monica had started taking shots this month. We were having fun swimming and hanging out with friends! My brother-in-law was in town from med school so we did our usual tradition of chopping down a dead tree! It was a good, relaxing month!
August: On August 1st, Monica's estradiol levels were off the charts, over 3,000! Her egg retrieval was August 2nd where they were able to retrieve 14 eggs. Twelve of those eggs were able to be fertilized and 6 had made it to the following day! We started her progesterone shots that same day. Two days later and it was time for the REALLY BIG day..... embryo transfer! I gave another presentation about CF in Cape Girardeau, MO. A buddy of mine had gotten on board the running train with me and we were running 3 days a week, and I posted my fastest 5K time to date of under 30 minutes. After a very long 2 week wait, we received the phone call of a lifetime! We found out we were PREGNANT! Words we never thought we would hear! It was the best day ever! God is good!
September: We had our first ultrasound at 6 weeks. We found out that we were going to be having TWINS!!! We got to hear both beautiful heartbeats! It was another of many monumental days in 2012! I had made a new pal at work, and took him fishing with me and some buddies. I had purchased a morphsuit and had some fun trying to scare Monica in it! My buddy Matthew and I were continuing to run 3 days a week and had a very memorable run in a monsoon!
October: Monica and I made the BIG NEWS public announcing our pregnancy and shared a video of our IVF Journey! We had our 10 week ultrasound where we saw our twins move for the first time! Monica and I participated in the 9th annual Second Wind Lung Walk to benefit those who have had lung transplants. We had a lot of family and friends come out with us to support both us and the cause. I posted my fastest 5K time yet of 26:55. We started posting pictures of Monica's belly growth, starting with her 14 week pictures.
November: We had our 16 week and 18 week Belly pics posted! Monica and I were off to New Orleans, LA for 5 days where I was speaking at the AARC Congress, which is the national respiratory conference. We had a great Thanksgiving spent with our families!
December: We showed off our Christmas lights. We took pics of Monica's 20 week and 22 week pregnant belly. We had our 20 week OB appointment where we got to see our little Baby A and Baby B for the first time since 10 weeks! We threw a Gender Reveal Party where we found out we were going to be having 2 Boys!!!!
It has been a great year! I can only imagine what next year will have in store for us as we look forward to the birth of our baby boys! 2012 has been one GREAT year full of blessings! Thank you to all who have endured my long-winded posts and continued to come back time after time to follow our journey through this thing we call life! I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and a very happy, safe and healthy 2013! Love you all!
- Jeremy, Monica and The Boys!