Soon after I met my husband we had the conversation about kids. For me, children were non-negotiable. I had also always wanted to adopt and knew that the man I married had to be on the same page. Lucky for me, he has a big heart and felt the same way. After dating for 5 years we decided to tie the knot. A healthy marriage has been very important to us, so we wanted to take the first year without even trying to have children working out all the fun new marriage situations. A year later, our journey begins.
The doctor tells us to give it a year of trying and see where things go. A year of negative test after negative test comes and goes. So begins our journey of doctors, vitamins, medication, and needles. God’s timing is perfect. Our first step was to simply see a fertility doctor. I will never forget that ultrasound. It took the technician just about a minute, and then she left the room saying she would return with the doctor. There I was sitting in the ultrasound room by myself knowing something was off. I came in not even expecting to see a doctor and here I was waiting. She comes in and escorts me to a small room that was clearly an old exam room where they replaced the bed with a small table and a few chairs, with a box of Kleenex sitting on the table. The worst goes through my mind. The doctor tells me I have Endometriosis. A term I have never heard of. She draws pictures and writes down terms I can Google. I sit there in shock. She sends me on my way with a referral for a specialist.
It, of course, takes months to see the specialist. When we finally get to see the doctor it is a whirlwind of information, pictures, and more things to Google. Our first step is a series of vitamins and supplements. 6 months...nothing. We add a few more and some medications along with a class my husband and I had to take on natural family planning. This class includes follow up visits with the clinic along with going in for ultrasounds during each phase of my cycle. I began to feel like I lived in doctor's offices. Six months of that and...nothing. At this stage, my pain increases so much that we opt for surgery to remove the endometriosis. Through surgery, we discover I have stage 3 (out of 4 stages) endometriosis. We successfully removed my pain and I was given a new regimen of vitamins, medication, and supplements. At one point, I was taking about 13 pills a day. The doctor gives us a max of 6 months.... still nothing.
I knew God’s timing was perfect, but I truly began to feel defeated and hurt. I was tired of all the doctors appointments, timed intercourse, and the pills....gosh I hated all those pills. I hear about a program on the radio called Safe Families for Children. Essentially this program was a temporary safe place for children in the community to stay while a family life crisis was resolved. This was just what I needed to boost my spirits. It seemed like overnight, but we became guardians to two beautiful girls for the next 3 months. Our house finally felt like home with each room being filled with the sound of children's joy and laughter. Then came two beautiful boys and another little girl. Our home longed to be filled with children running and playing. Our hearts ached when there was silence. I repeated to myself, God’s timing is perfect.
We go in for another evaluation and our doctor simply tells us we can try some more expensive medication (hundreds of dollars not covered by insurance) or consider alternate methods. My husband and I always said if we got to the point of needing in vitro fertilization, we would begin to research the adoption process instead. Our surgeon tells us this is a big decision and we shouldn't give him an answer now, but go home and pray. In the meantime we find out we are one of the lucky few and my husband’s insurance will cover in vitro fertilization (of course only after you jumped through the required hoops). My husband and I go home and turn on the tv looking for something light-hearted to ease some of the stress and heartache. We turn on one of our current favorites: Fuller House. Spoiler alert: it just so happens to be the episode in which Stephanie Tanner finds out she can't have children and Becky takes her to a specialist in which they find out about IVF. As the Tanner family always does, they rally around her and Stephanie is finally on the road to getting her baby. I look over and my husband has tears streaming down his face. I am in complete shock at this first sign that he too is aching. I knew all the baby showers and birth announcements were hard on me, but I hadn't completely considered the effect it would have on him. He says to me, “I think we should try IVF. If we have the option we should.” So begins the shortest part of our journey. God’s timing is perfect.
We work with the insurance company to come up with a plan. There is really only one approved clinic nearby and we start off on a new journey with new doctors. Lucky for us, our surgeon was so thorough that we were able to skip many steps and jump right into our new regimen of ultrasounds, doctor's appointments, classes, and shots. We finally get the call that we are cleared for egg retrieval. God’s timing is perfect. A few days later we get the call that we have 3 beautiful fertilized embryos and prepare for our transfer. So begins the dreaded two week wait... God’s timing is perfect.
I know I couldn't handle one more negative pregnancy test after all we have been through, so we decide my husband will get the call from the fertility clinic with the pregnancy results. When I come home from work my husband is completely speechless and all he can do is point to the dining room table, I find a cake that simply says “Congratulations”. I ask, “Does this mean it was positive?” All he can do is nod yes. The happiest of tears fall and we have never been more thankful for God’s perfect timing.
After 4 years of trying, 40 weeks come and go with all the ups and downs and unknowns pregnancy has to offer. Now I sit here waiting in labor and delivery for my little bundle of joy to arrive. God’s timing is oh so perfect.