My husband was previously married and had a vasectomy at 22 years old. When we got married, he wasted no time to get a vasectomy reversal, so that we could start a family. The surgery was not very successful and we ended up doing a procedure called TESA and MESA where the sperm is harvested directly from the testicles and epididymis.
Thinking that we had all we needed, we sought out an infertility clinic and started our first IVF cycle in 2004. Unfortunately, I didn’t get pregnant — not the first, second or third try. We were devastated and heartbroken and thought we would never be able to have a baby of our own.
Fortunately, we found a gifted urologist, who performed a second vasectomy reversal. In a nine-hour procedure, he was able to connect the cauterized parts and reestablish a pathway for the sperm. Six months later, we received good news that we could try IVF again with fresh sperm in hand.
I got pregnant on my fourth cycle! We were elated and celebrated every day of my pregnancy.
The day we decided to announce we were pregnant – 12 weeks and 4 days into the pregnancy – I suffered a miscarriage that left me devastated and sad.
I became depressed. Every time I saw a mother with her belly it tore my heart out. Every time I saw a mom scold her child, I wanted to scoop the kid up and give hugs.
A year later we tried a fifth time and nothing came of it, so I decided I would take a break, focus on my life, my work and my family that I already had.
Two years later, the wish for a child, one that I could hold, hug, and kiss as many times as I wanted, one that nobody could take away from me, became bigger and bigger.
It consumed my every thought. I wanted a baby and I wanted it more than anything.
People tried to tell me that I should relax and a baby would come or “just” adopt a baby as if that was easy. Adoption is a beautiful process, but it wasn’t for us.
These people just didn’t get it.
Their well-meant comments just made me mad and angry. What these people failed to realize was that back in early 2001, my husband and I had been given custody of his almost three-year-old daughter. Her biological mother gave her away because she didn’t want to raise the “Devil’s child.” I raised this little girl as my own until one day 9 months later, my husband was briefly detained for kidnapping. Her biological mother had changed her mind and called her Congressman. My husband was a soldier in the United States Army and a congressional investigation was opened only to be closed a few days later after we could provide the necessary custody paperwork.
However, in late September 2001, a judge in Montana decided that despite the child being happy, healthy, and well taken care of, she should be returned to her biological mother immediately because the judge “felt uneasy about the child living with a German step-mother while her father was serving in a highly deployable Special Forces unit.”
Giving her back and knowing what circumstances awaited her, sent me into an emotional tailspin. I was angry beyond anything I could possibly put into words. Therefore, when I say I wanted MY baby, I wanted a baby that nobody could take away from me. A baby that wouldn’t tell me one day, “I need to find my ‘real’ mom!” I wanted my baby that I could call my own forever and ever.
We contacted the fertility clinic again and set up yet another (my 6th) IVF cycle. I got pregnant and miscarried at 6 weeks and 2 days. Six months later I was back at the clinic trying again. And miscarried at 5 weeks and 4 days.
My husband and I received genetic testing and were told we were healthy and compatible. The reason for my recurrent miscarriages remained a mystery.
I had no words. No thoughts. No solution. No more money to try again…
But I had a motorcycle and a piano and decided to sell both of them immediately. My husband negotiated the fee with the clinic and with a last ditch effort, we tried again.
It was my 8th IVF cycle and my ovaries were hopelessly overstimulated, to the point my trusted doctor told me he had great concerns about transferring any embryos in the following days. I insisted we give it a try, should the genetic test reveal a healthy embryo.
17 eggs were removed. 7 developed far enough to get genetically tested. 1 embryo was completely healthy and transferred.
My pregnancy was terrible. I had to give myself two shots a day until week 36. I had to take several oral medications that made me nauseous. I got carpal tunnel in both wrists. I retained water and looked like a balloon. My blood pressure was sky high and I was labeled with “white coat syndrome.’ I ended up with pre-eclampsia and was induced with a Bishop score of 3. I labored without pain meds for 30 hours and didn’t progress one bit. I asked for a break and didn’t get one. I asked for food and didn’t get any. Finally, I begged for a C/section and was told I couldn’t just have a C/section just because…
Nothing, absolutely nothing went my way or the way I imagined it would be when I would finally have my baby.
I ended up with C/section later that day and a healthy baby boy.
And coded the next morning because of complications with the preeclampsia. I lost one hour and 25 minutes of my life. I have no recollection of it, but I do have one perfect little dude.
Now if you think the story ends here – you are wrong.
The beginning of September my husband innocently ate a spoonful of peanut butter. It made me sick to my stomach. The next day I bought a pregnancy test. It came back positive the second I peed on it and I about had a heart attack.
I had a blood test the same day confirming I am pregnant and an ultrasound the next day showing a perfect little heartbeat.
And all of it for zero dollars… the completely natural way and I still don’t know how that happened.
After 16+ years of marriage never once watching out, 2 vasectomy reversals, 8 IVF procedures, 4 pregnancies, 3 miscarriages, 1 rainbow baby, I am here to tell you: God is a funny guy with a great sense of humor. Just when we thought we had it all figured out… here comes a curve-ball:
Our miracle is due in May 2017.