I have prayed every single day for this moment. I’ve also wrestled with sharing our personal life on social media, but if our story can give someone out there hope, it will be worth it because I know we are not alone. If you read on, you will see the miracle is in the details.
Our journey to starting our family hasn’t been easy like for most people. It’s actually been one awful roller coaster ride we have been wanting to get off. After one year of trying on our own, we were referred to the best fertility doctor in Austin and learned from all our tests that we had “infertility” and a 1% chance of conceiving without treatments.
So, we did what anyone does with a poor diagnosis—we fought back.
I never dreamed that at my first visit to that office at just 32-years old, I would learn my eggs were like that of a 40-year old’s for no reason other than “bad luck”. I never would have thought I would spend month after month over the next three years to face seven fertility treatments, three surgeries, and three miscarriages. I never would have imagined I would go through IVF and fail at it—three times. IVF is mentally, emotionally, financially, and physically exhausting. It’s having the strength to walk back into the doctor’s office every other day, failed treatment after failed treatment (feeling like a failure as a woman) for more lab work and ultrasounds, giving yourself three shots a day, taking hormones, and undergoing a painful procedure for the chance of having a baby.
But as a woman, you do what you have to do to fight for your family.
IVF is an overly expensive game of dice that leaves a couple’s hearts broken and lost when it doesn’t give you the child you hoped for. How could the most expensive, evidence-based scientific treatment not work on me? I’m healthy. How can I not carry a baby? The doctor actually sat us down and told us, “I’m sorry, you can probably mourn the loss of having a big family, but I can probably get you one child”. That felt like a knife in my chest. But we kept fighting and believing one day it would work and God would one day give us a child.
Right after my third IVF and my third pregnancy loss this past April, my mom sat with me and told me, “Jess, I know you’re hurting sweetie, but trust that God has a plan for your life. I really believe God wants to show you He can do it—I think you’re gonna get twins.” Even Jake’s mom would tell us all the time to pray and have faith God is going to come through for us. I would disagree with them while talking about what the doctor said and reviewed all my failed treatments and explained how I needed to meet God halfway and keep trying.
Two weeks later, my mom passed away suddenly in May, and at that point, I had lost all strength. I was devastated and lost. My mom was my biggest supporter in life and through my fertility struggles. The thought of going through it without my mom seemed impossible and I was too exhausted to fight anymore.
So, I decided to let go and let God. So, I prayed. BIG. And I cried a lot and prayed and got down on my knees begging God for a baby. Begging Him to heal me, asking for a miracle. This was certainly not my first big prayer, but it was by far my most desperate. I asked Him if He forgot about me—it certainly felt like it.
Well, believe me when I say God will speak to you in many ways if you pay attention, and finally, He sent me a long-awaited messenger just two days later.
Jake’s aunt approached me on the 4th of July and told me she knows this is “strange” but she had a Word from God for me. It took me by surprise because we don’t know one another well, and we have been very private about our fertility struggle. She told me, “God told me to tell you He didn’t forget about you. He is going to open your womb this year and you will have a daughter. She even gave me her name, Hannah, which in Hebrew means “you have been favored by the Lord with a child”. She gave me the Bible verse, Luke 1:45, which says, ”Blessed is she who believes that the Lord’s word to her will be fulfilled”. She anointed my uterus with oil and prayed over me and I cried like a baby. You see, I needed to hear back from God. I was at the lowest point in my life.
So, Jake and I just decided to believe it and we were going to show God our faith that we believed He could do it. We prayed every night over my belly, “God is faithful, our baby is coming. You will do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. Thank you, Lord for our baby.” Our family even started putting baby onesies and pink décor in the room we always imagined would be for our baby. Showing God our faith.
I tell you the truth, the very next month, I had my FIRST ever natural positive pregnancy test! I immediately cried and was shaking because how could this be? I only got pregnant with fertility treatments and only had a 1% chance of ever conceiving naturally. I’ve done the most expensive, evidence-based, scientific medical procedures available and they didn’t work.
We went in for our sonogram to not only find one heartbeat, but TWO strong healthy heartbeats and TWO babies, conceived naturally! Twins!?!? What!?! Everything so far about this pregnancy has been “perfect” and “measuring beautifully” and well that’s NEVER happened to us before. How is this possible?
You see, I don’t know what you know about God, but let me tell you He can come down with all His grace with one point of his finger at an impossible situation in your life and handle it. He can make a way where there is no way. He has the final say and authority over our lives, not the doctors and not anyone for that matter. He took that 1% chance and did the impossible—TWICE—and I am committed to thanking and praising God for our answered prayer just as long as I begged Him for it—over and over and over again. Because these babies are living proof that God does the impossible. That He still performs miracles. That He redeems grief and heartache. And just when you think He’s finished, He throws in one more extra, surprise miracle for good measure!
To top off the miracle, our doctor told us our 40-week due date is exactly the day of my mother’s birthday. I know the first thing my mom asked God for when she got to heaven a few short months ago was if we could please give my daughter and son-in-law a baby. (How about two?) I know it’s her way of letting me know everything is going to be alright. I believe with all my heart my mom and God are sending these babies to us and we are forever grateful for these blessings.
I can’t believe I am saying this, but we are going to be parents! The Smola twins are arriving March-April 2020!
Please feel free to share our story. 1 in 8 couples struggle to have a baby and 1 in 4 have a miscarriage. But it feels like 1 in a million when it is you. It’s awfully lonely and no one talks about it. If this story can give one couple hope, then we feel it is worth it.
This post originally appeared on the author’s Facebook page