1 Samuel 1:27

photo credit: Konstantin Lazorkin via photopin cc
photo credit: Konstantin Lazorkin via photopin cc

On January 26, 2011, I found myself sitting at my desk for over an hour, trying not to stare at the phone. What is it they say? “A watched pot never boils?” I had told them to call me between 11:00 and 12:30 since that was my off-hour. I told them they HAD to call me during that time, as that was the ONLY time all day I wasn’t with kids.

They promised they would call me.

By 12:15, I still hadn’t received the call – and I really, REALLY had to go to the bathroom. Really! But I WOULD NOT leave my seat until that phone rang. At 12:28, my phone rang and the caller ID indicated this was the call for which I’d been waiting. At 12:32, I called my husband while simultaneously hitting “Send” on an email that had been sitting in my draft folder all day; the email was to a few close friends who had also been awaiting the call. The email simply read, “1 Samuel 1:27.” The phone call to my husband was just as short and sweet, mostly because my 6th hour class was filing in the room.

The road to that day – that moment – was 10 years in the making: and let me tell you … every second that we waited, every tear that we shed (and there were millions), every prayer that we said was worth it. And then some.

I have written and rewritten our story in my head a thousand times over. There is SO much to share.

Infertility is … heartbreaking. Life-altering. Painful. Lonely. And until it has happened to you, you have no idea the depths these emotions can reach.

Our infertility journey began 12 years ago. After a few months of trying to get pregnant on our own, I pushed my doctor to move forward with some testing. Call it instinct, intuition, whatever … I KNEW something wasn’t right. And it wasn’t.

Although many of our tests came back “inconclusive,” we were told that we would probably have a very difficult time getting pregnant on our own. We had the perfect storm of minor issues – things that alone wouldn’t be much of a problem, but combined would equal reproductive disaster.

As is my nature, I hit the internet. I researched. I read blogs. I bought special bread. I changed my diet. I became obsessed – and along with that, unbearable and depressed.

Suddenly, everyone I knew was pregnant. Every day, the mailman brought me another baby shower invitation or birth announcement. Everywhere I looked … pregnant women. Amidst all of this, we had tried two rounds of IUI (intrauterine insemination), both of which were unsuccessful. At this point, we decided to give it a break. I know my poor husband was lost as to how to help me, all the while dealing with his own emotions and frustrations about our situation. Infertility takes its toll on a marriage; even the best and strongest marriages are not safe from its wrath.

I hate to say it, but we I gave up. I don’t know if my husband gave up, too, because we just stopped talking about it. We went on with our lives … our marriage … but we stopped talking about having kids. For me, I just resigned myself to the fact that we would not have children. I sought counseling to deal with the grief. I will never forget one counseling session in particular … I was sharing with my therapist that I felt we would likely be a childless couple; she told me “I didn’t want it badly enough.”

I never went back.

A couple of years went by. We “embraced” being childless. We ate out … a lot, we went on vacations, we slept in, we spent entire weekends on the couch watching movies. And then one spring day, as I was wandering through US Toy in search of decorations for our upcoming STUCO mixer, my husband called me.

“Are you sitting down?” he asked.

“No, I’m shopping.”

“Do you remember last year when I told you about Tom and his wife?” he asked me.

“Sure.” (This is what I say when the answer is really “no,” but I don’t want to argue about why I don’t remember something a year after the fact.)

The conversation continued, and this is what he shared: a year earlier, my husband had been on a road trip with a coaching colleague and his wife. As they didn’t know each other well, the conversation turned to us and why we didn’t have children. Almost a year (to the day) later, that same coaching colleague and his wife approached my husband and shared with him that they had thought about us often and prayed about us over the course of the last year – that God had placed it on their hearts to help us. They vowed to do “whatever it takes” to help us become parents. They offered spiritual, emotional, and financial support for our journey to become parents. When we had all but given up on ourselves, God’s plan for our family had been in the works all along.

The remainder of our journey was not without more tears, setbacks, and frustration. I learned how to give myself shots … lots of shots. We endured two canceled rounds of IVF (in vitro fertilization) while all the drugs that come with IVF left me feeling …well, just UGH for the better part of 5 months.

Although our first 2 rounds of IVF had been canceled and our chances at a successful third round weren’t looking too promising, we decided to just go for it and see what happened. What happened was nothing short of a miracle. We went into an egg retrieval HOPING for 4 or 5 eggs. We got 9. NINE! Our doctor literally high-fived me in the recovery room. Four days later, four of our “children” had survived the entire process and were ready for a chance at life.

In a small room, feet in stirrups, eyes on a video monitor, we watched and prayed as 2 tiny embryos were implanted. Weeks later, we watched a different video monitor and prayed for 2 tiny (but strong) heartbeats – and they were there. Finally, we had our happy ending. Yes, we still had months of pregnancy to endure and were not naïve to any number of things that could go wrong – but in that moment … all the world seemed to stand still while the possibility of our future was displayed there on that video monitor.

We were going to be parents.

I'm Cali. I'm a wife, co-parent, and mom of twin boys who are soon-to-be 6, as well as brand new step-mom to 3 young adults who are 19, 16, and 14. I was born and raised in the Northland, and I can't imagine living anywhere else...unless you were to offer me a beach house, or a villa on the coast of Italy or France. I have been a public educator for 21 years, and I currently teach middle school, which I truly believe is the very best age in all the world. I enjoy reading, cooking, and traveling, and I believe ice cream is an acceptable meal any time of the day. I drink entirely too much diet coke, and my floors are rarely clean. I joined the mommy-club later in life after an 8 year struggle with infertility. I've decided being an "old mom" is a pretty great gig.

3 COMMENTS

  1. wow…it sounds sort of just like us! we have 2 miracle 2 yr old boys too! just brought tears to my eyes! we tried for 7 yrs and then poof! pregnant! my docs always said, once you got pregnant once, your body just knows what to do and you’ll have no problems on the next tries. then 4 yrs and nothing. 1st round of in vitro, 12 eggs survive, implant 2, the next day the other 10 are dead and nothing to freeze, 6 wks we see a yolk sac and no heartbeat ever developed, then my body wouldn’t pass it, and at 11 wks (after 5 more weeks of ultrasounds with no heartbeats and each week seeing it get worse and worse) we had to go do a D&C. that night, snowpocalypse hits our area. great! next round of in vitro 3 eggs survive. doc says they don’t look good, don’t count your eggs, should we put in 3 (3rd one looked even worse) and hope for the best…not what you want to hear after tons of shots in your rear from a massive needle. my doc at this point says he has no idea after looking at my eggs how we ever got pregnant on our own with our daughter. in his words, she is truly our miracle. so you can imagine our surprise when at 6 wks we (as in me and my dad because my husband was working out of country) go in for an ultrasound, see 2 egg sacs AND 2 strong heartbeats! it was a long road, with 5 weeks of bedrest, boys born at 28 wks and being in the nicu for 9 & 10 weeks, but worth every bit of it. and you know, as I sat in the hospital on bedrest, every time the boys were having breathing issues, i would just try to calm myself through prayer. and you know what, it worked! having fertility issues, we (and i am sure you) had heard it all…
    ….maybe you’re not doing it right (um, ok, we are both science majors, we know how it works)
    …you just need to stop trying (because that automatically changes your problems, right?)
    ….maybe you need to adopt. lots of people get pregnant once they get a baby home from adoption (yes, because every adoption comes with a “get pregnant free” pill!)
    but it was only when i just put it in god’s hands that he gave me exactly what we needed. god knows, if the boys would have come before our daughter was potty trained, she may have never been potty trained! they were so much work that first year…and absolutely worth every minute!

Comments are closed.