Since I was just a little girl, I dreamed of marrying my Prince Charming and having lots of kids. Particularly, five. I’ve always had this picture in my head of Christmas morning breakfast with cheerful little faces gathered around a breakfast table in their pajamas. When Sean and I got married, we had no doubt about our dreams to raise babies together. After we closed on our first home on our one year wedding anniversary, we were ready. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen as easy as we thought. The months came and went and nothing. Despite careful planning, I was just not getting pregnant. At this point, I had researched way more than any normal human being would want to know about fertility. Deep down, I knew that it wasn’t a timing issue and something was not quite right.
A few weeks later, Sean and I sat in a doctor’s office hoping for help and that it would be the reassuring answers we wanted to hear. We had searched online for a good doctor to start with and chose one based on his online bio that indicated his top interest was infertility. At the end of the appointment, it was decided that we would try our first round of Clomid. Over the next month, we waited anxiously, hoping that this was the solution. My doctor was sure that I’d ovulated and lit up with excitement when he showed me the number of follicles hanging out in my ovaries during an ultrasound at the end of my cycle. I remember looking at him thinking, “he looks so excited but he’s wrong…. something is not right”. I knew in my heart that this month was no different than the others we had planned so carefully. The next day when my progesterone level came back, it was confirmed that I had definitely not ovulated. I remember him looking at me as I sat there and I could see the concern on his face. We continued on with new hope each month. I changed my diet, my hygiene products, took vitamins and did everything we could think of to make my body as healthy as possible in addition to fertility medications. Sean visited a fertility specialist and was tested as well to rule out male infertility. The months passed in slow motion as I took more medication and went in for uncomfortable ultrasounds every other day to monitor follicle size. I can remember so clearly sitting in the car with Sean at the pharmacy after picking up my prescription and nervously giving myself an Ovidrel shot in my stomach. I’m a nurse, I give people shots every day without hesitation… but it’s different when it’s you. I had many follicles, a few would grow to the right size but then not release as they should. We waited and prayed, hoping that with a trigger shot, our problem would be resolved and I’d finally ovulate. This month brought disappointment for us though, and we picked ourselves back up and pushed through. We continued for several months back and fourth to the doctor for ultrasounds, changing medication dosages along with a month off after I developed a huge cyst and wasn’t allowed to continue stimulation. I’ll never forget sitting in a cold doctor’s office with Sean, sobbing as the doctor looked us in the eyes and told us that we had exhausted all the options he could offer. He quietly said, ” I think it’s likely that IVF would be the best option in your case”.
At this point, I was emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausted. A total basket case. I cried all the time. My heart sank each time I walked through a store and saw a pregnant mama or the sweet baby clothes hanging in the baby department. It seemed like each week another friend announced their pregnancy. I was excited for them but so broken at the same time. I just couldn’t understand. At this point, I was starting to feel unstable. I couldn’t think about anything but the fact that I might never get to feel a baby kick inside of me and that those dreams I had carried since childhood may be just that… dreams.
Sean was heartbroken too. I’m so thankful for his strength in our marriage because he was a complete rock during these painful months. We were both absolutely devastated, but he held on. Without him wrapping his arms around me and holding on tight, I’m not sure where we would be. Each doctor’s appointment, each negative pregnancy test and each painful hurdle, he was there. It was such a dark time and I imagine I was tough to love at moments.
A few months later, we sat in the waiting room of a fertility specialist we had heard amazing things about. We nervously anticipated what he would say and how much it would cost. Sean and I both had great jobs but the cost of infertility is enormous and we were trying to wrap our minds around how we would pay for it. Dr. Lee was kind and gentle, he smiled at us and offered us hope. I remember my eyes welling up with tears as he looked at me with a smile and said, “ You are in your twenties, healthy, and the perfect age to carry a baby. We will help you get pregnant”. He did an ultrasound at that appointment and as he pointed to the strands of follicles that covered both ovaries without any fertility medication in my system, suggested that it was highly likely I had PCOS. After a long appointment, we left there with a prescription for a new medication and a schedule for our first round of IUI. Fast forward a few weeks, I was blessed with a new job I had been praying for and still experiencing the toll this journey had taken on me emotionally. Sean and I collectively decided that we needed a break from trying. Infertility is tough and I was at my breaking point. It’s so easy to allow it to consume you. We knew that the Lord had a plan and that it was far better than ours but our vision was becoming blurry in the midst of heartache and so we stopped. We stopped everything. We took a break so that we could remember what we did have, each other, our marriage and so much more. Sean and I fought this journey together alone with the support from only a few close friends. Not because we didn’t trust our families and others, but because we were so broken and it was painful to even get the words out. It all felt light a cruel nightmare. My parents have been present in everything all of my life, solid and faithful. I knew I needed to tell my mom. I remember calling her and trying to tell her the things that had unfolded over several months but I started crying and couldn’t even get the words out. I remember Sean taking the phone from me and telling her as I sobbed in a ball on the couch. Then I shared with my sisters. They were so kind and supportive and it meant the world to me. I’ll never forget my sister standing in my living room, she looked at me and said, “You know, if you want to do a surrogacy, I would be your surrogate”.
I was still broken but it took some of the weight off my shoulders to let it out and to verbalize what was happening. I tried my best to focus on my new job, and forced myself to pass the tiny baby clothes as I strolled through Target. I can’t tell you how many times I heard from people, “just stop trying and it will happen” or “it will happen when it’s meant to”. They were all comments said with pure intentions but so hurtful. If you’ve walked this journey, you probably would agree that it’s not just that easy.
At this point, we began to seriously consider adoption. I spent hours researching agencies and began sifting through papers as the agency packets filled our mailbox. I remember crying as I stared at the cost for each agency and thought to myself, “why is it more expensive to adopt a baby then to abort one?” We poured over the cost of IVF versus adoption and decided which would be best to save for.
About two months after discontinuing all medication, I sat at my desk at work, surrounded by sweet elementary kids asking for band aids and needing a little TLC. I thought to myself, “gross, I feel like I’m getting sick again”. I was so tired and my whole body ached. You know, that flu like feeling that takes over your entire body. I reached over and grabbed a thermometer from my desk. No fever but definitely a temperature higher than my normal. I had the most far fetched thought…”what if my temp is up because I’m pregnant?” I quickly reminded myself not to be cruel, not to get my hopes up and offer myself false hope. I knew my body was not capable of pregnancy with medical intervention, so how would I be pregnant without it? Something in me told me to stop that day on my way home and grab a pregnancy test. I felt guilty as I checked out at the register. Sean and I had agreed no more testing. I was obsessed y’all. The amount of stark white pregnancy tests I had taken was insane and there were tears that followed each time.
I knew I was risking big disappointment taking another. That night, I discreetly peed on that pregnancy test and sat there confused as I held it up to our vanity light trying to distinguish if it was a faint pink second line or if I was overthinking it and just hoping it was. I tucked it away in a drawer trying to figure out what to say to Sean. I finally worked up the courage to tell him I had tested again. We examined it together and Sean was convinced that there was just no way it was a true line. So, I took another right then and it was stark white like the thousands of others I had taken.
I had trouble moving on from this though and the next day I stopped and bought a few more. At this time, Sean was working nights while I worked days. I came home, took a test and could hardly believe the sight in front of me as I stared at two blatantly pink lines. How? How was I pregnant?
I was flooded with what felt like a million emotions. I remember the exact moment, standing in the middle of my quiet hallway, staring at those two pink lines. In that moment, I prayed that I would never forget our journey and that each day that we looked at the face of that sweet growing baby we would be reminded of how faithful the Lord is. I wrapped the test with the miraculous two little pink lines in a special box and gave it to Sean when he woke up. We were both in total shock and made phone calls right away to get labs drawn and confirm my levels were where they needed to be. I took more pregnancy tests than I can count as I struggled to accept that this amazing miracle could actually be happening inside of me. I was also terrified knowing that such a delicate process could be taken away at any time. I was monitored closely those first several weeks as my levels fluctuated and I started progesterone supplements to help support my pregnancy. I savored those months as my sweet miracle baby grew in my belly, as I felt his tiny body move. It was a total dream come true as I experienced those moments we had prayed and pleaded with the Lord for. We encountered a few scary moments during my pregnancy. First, at 14 weeks when I was experiencing severe abdominal pain for a few days and then fainted at customer service in Walmart of all places. Then, again around 35 weeks when I started to experience cardiac issues. After being home for a few weeks and wearing a very stylish heart monitor, I was induced at 37 weeks when his movement started to slow down and my amniotic fluid levels were lower than desired. I was blessed with a great labor experience and our lives were forever changed when we saw our precious and healthy Graham Wilson. There is absolutely nothing like being a mom. I am forever grateful for this precious gift. Since then, our sweet Harrison Tate has also joined us and his story is full of God’s grace too. I am forever changed by our journey and although it was grueling, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I am thankful for the perspective it gives me when I look at my sweet babies. It has changed who I am. On those days when parenting is tough and I feel like I’m not good enough or strong enough, I stop and remind myself of how wanted this was. How I pleaded with the Lord for this and how He chose ME to be a mama.Share on Facebook