“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
A question we often ask little children. There’s usually a lot of answers like policeman, fireman, ballerina, and princess. However my answer was always 2 things. I wanted to be a writer and a mommy. As I got older dreams of being a famous writer faded but I never wavered on being a mom. From an early age I was more of a nurturer. When my little brother would get turned away from sleeping in my parents bed, he just came to his big sister’s room. When he couldn’t sleep at night because our parents were going through a divorce, I would scratch his back and comfort him until he fell asleep. It’s just how God made me. A care taker.
Fast forward to getting married at 23 and being a mom was now a dream that would be coming true very soon! I couldn’t wait for the growing bump, the nursery, the stroller shopping, and the precious moments of excitement with my husband. He would kiss my belly and feel the kicks with me. It would be nothing short of blissful ♥︎
We decided to wait a couple years to enjoy married life as just the two of us and to save up for a house. We wanted to be smart about starting a family. The house came and we decided to start the process. After almost a year I finally got the positive pregnancy test. Phew! I was relieved that we were able to get pregnant because after 11 months of trying I was starting to worry.
After just a few days, the relief went away and fear settled in. I was spotting and it wasn’t going away. I became sick with worry and called the Dr.’s office several times to try and get in. I needed them to tell me everything was okay and I was worrying over nothing. I needed to hear a heartbeat. They kept telling me it was too early and I’d have to wait. The ultrasound appointment finally came and I just knew that it would make me feel better. I would see that baby on the screen. I was sure I was worrying over nothing.
However my fears came true that day. No baby, no heartbeat. Go home and miscarry they said. Call us when it’s over. I was in shock and terrified. How could they be so cold? To them, I was just another patient. Just another woman miscarrying. To me, this was a nightmare and I had no idea how to handle it. When would it happen? How would it happen? How painful would it be? Both physically and emotionally. Would I know when the baby passed? My head was swimming. I wanted to scream “NO! You’re wrong! This is my baby, my dream come true. You have to stop this.” Little did I know, this would be the first of many heartbreaks to come.
To make a very long story a little shorter, that miscarriage ended up being a molar pregnancy. In a molar pregnancy the tissue that’s meant to become the placenta overgrows, becoming a mass of cysts. In some cases there is no accompanying embryo, while in other cases, a partially formed fetus is present. This is called a partial molar pregnancy. According to the Dr after doing a D&C they determined it was a partial molar pregnancy. Because of the rapid growing mass of cysts they had to scrape out, I was at risk for the cysts returning and developing cancer. We ended up at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center to resume treatment. They were able to treat me with weekly shots of a low dose chemo medicine. Once I was cleared, we were ready to put it behind us and get pregnant again. This would be a distant memory and I was determined to make it a distant memory as quickly as possible.
Fast forward to 8 months later and we started seeing a reproductive Dr. to see if some fertility treatments were needed. I hadn’t had a cycle in 8 weeks but according to all the pregnancy tests, I wasn’t pregnant. He put me on Clomid and we did some IUI treatments (IUI stands for Intrauterine Insemination).
No luck. I eventually found out I have PCOS. I went to another Dr. and tried more IUI treatments. We ended up doing 7 IUI’s all together. Nothing.
Well, it was now time to talk about IVF.
Oh boy. The big guns! Wow, we really thought we’d be pregnant by now. Were we really discussing IVF? We also talked about adoption. We went back and forth. What path do we take? We landed on IVF and sought out CCRM. This is a reproductive center in Colorado that is one of the top rated in the nation. Their success rates are very high! Women come from all over, even other countries to seek treatment from them. And they were right here in our own backyard.
Once we started the IVF process, we were overwhelmed but full of hope again! Our baby dreams would finally be coming true! We went through the endless tests, the medications, the hormones, the copious amounts of money. It was all going to be worth it though when we heard that heartbeat and felt that baby growing!
Prepping for my IVF retrieval
We had the IVF embryo transfer and waited 9 days for the results. The call came and the nurse said, “Congratulations! You’re pregnant!”
Sweet relief and ecstasy filled my body. This was it! All our heartache had come to an end. We entered the ultrasound room at 6 1/2 weeks pregnant, so eager to see that sweet baby. But instead, we were told there was no heartbeat. The baby had stopped developing.
We were shocked and confused. So confused. Why was this happening? The Dr. said it was a fluke. The eggs were healthy and I was pretty healthy. Besides the PCOS, there was nothing else that seemed to be in the way. After some more testing, they did find that some of my numbers were off in my blood. My blood was thicker than normal. So I was put on strong blood thinners. 2 shots in my stomach everyday that left nasty bruises. We crossed our fingers hoping this would be the answer. We did the IVF process 2 more times. Each time being told I was pregnant. And each time the ultrasound revealing no heartbeat.
I never blamed our CCRM Dr. He, unlike many other doctors we encountered, was very compassionate and sensitive with us. We knew he wanted us to be successful and grieved with us when we weren’t. He was knowledgeable, careful, and very good at his job. I would recommend him to anyone seeking treatment! In fact he and his wife went through IVF to conceive their own children. He understood the difficulty and the heartache.
I can’t tell you how devastating it is each time you get the negative pregnancy test or the news that the fertility treatment failed. It just screams failure at you over and over. And my sweet, strong, stable husband didn’t deserve this. He wanted to be a dad as badly as I wanted to be a mom. I kept thinking, “if he had married anybody else he’d be a dad by now. Hell, he might be a dad to 3 or 4 kids by now. But instead he got the short end of the stick. He got me.”
I felt shame, rejection, grief, failure. I had sacrificed so much and done everything in my power to make this happen. But still, here we were. No baby.
I had even held on to my faith, to God. I just knew if I kept trusting God and doing the right christian things, He would bless us. Everything I had believed in and been taught in church was all crumbling. My world was crumbling.
Our friends and family stood by while we went through each miscarriage, each failed treatment. They prayed for us, they cried with us. They even shouted angrily at God with us. I remember thinking God doesn’t care about me. I’ve dreamed of being a mom my whole life and He keeps ripping it away from me. Why would He do this if He loved me like He says he does?
Within a week I had 4 (not 1 but 4!) incredible women come to me and say they felt God telling them to offer surrogacy to me and my husband. They wanted so badly for us to be parents and didn’t understand why this was happening to us. But they knew God had given them the gift of fertility and that He wanted them to offer it to us.
BAM! There it was. I felt it clear as day. This was God telling me, showing me, that He did indeed love me and care about me so very deeply. He put this strong desire in me to be a mom for a reason. He had plans for the future of our family.
My beautiful, compassionate, amazing, selfless, Christ-like, and dear dear friend Liz is now carrying our baby. She has been sick and nauseous and tired beyond belief carrying that little miracle and yet she still shows nothing but happiness to do it. The connection we have is unexplainable. She is giving my precious baby life! Something I could not do. It is a gift we will never be able to repay to her. She is a true example of Christ’s sacrifice for all of us. A gift we will also never be able to repay.
After 6 years our baby dreams are finally coming true. We’re having a baby boy! And that little boy will be loved so deeply and so gratefully. He will know how much he was prayed for and desired. He will know it took a whole village of people to get him here.
And he was always part of God’s plan.