As I sit here typing this, I am going back and forth from glancing at my computer screen, to looking at the baby monitor showing my beautiful 7-month-old miracle sleeping soundly and ever so sweetly in his crib. My new motto in life is, “Never, EVER give up. Miracles DO happen”.
As a child, I always wondered what my adult life would be like. What would my husband be like? And what would my kids look like? How many would I have? And would we all live happily ever after? Even as I entered my teen years, it was always in the back of my mind. Little did I know the incredible journey I had ahead of me. So young, so naive. Yet, so incredibly lucky. And I didn’t even know it yet.
I grew up in Southern California and met my wonderful husband Ryan in 2000 when I was 15 years old. We were very best friends and completely inseparable. We married in 2006, at the ages of 22 and 26. We were so young and yet so very excited to start a family. I went off of birth control in 2006, right after we were married, and we were hoping to become pregnant soon. We kind of thought it would happen right away, like it did for everyone else. But it didn’t. Pretty soon, years were flying by and all of our friends and family were having babies. Everywhere I looked someone was getting pregnant and having a baby shower, preparing for their little bundle of joy that was created out of love. A gift from God, made special, just for them. I really struggled with not being able to fall pregnant. I felt defective. I felt like a failure to my husband, and a failure as a female in general. God made women so we could procreate and carry babies, and my uterus was bunk. It just didn’t work. And it was a VERY hard pill to swallow.
I had testing done, and more testing, only to find out my thyroid was fine, my tubes had no blockages, I ovulated normally, and my hormones were completely balanced and on track. Finding out nothing was wrong was, in a way, a relief, but at the time, I looked at it more like a terrible burden since I felt we would never get to the root of the problem. During all of this testing, more time went on…..dragged on. I found myself turning into a very bitter and unhappy person. I felt so awful when I would find out someone was pregnant. I tried to be happy for them, but I just couldn’t be. And that really made me feel even worse because I knew I was a good person inside. I am a Christian woman and carried a great deal of guilt around on my shoulders for the pain that others’ happiness brought me. My husband swore that he was happy with me even though we couldn’t get pregnant. And that he would still be able to live a happy life, childless, as long as I was in it. Although, I knew that he very much wanted kids. But he loved “me” first. And he always tried to remind me of that. My sweet, sweet husband. My rock. He was trying to un-break my heart for me. But he knew deep down the only thing that would truly make me happy was to someday have a family of our own. It was something I longed for. Something I was determined to have. Someday.
We moved to Central California in 2013 and we started to really settle down. It was a place we wanted to raise a family and we were very happy in our new town. I found the best infertility doctor in the area and proceeded to seek treatment with him.
After running a bunch of tests, it turned out that my husband was a superstar in the sperm department, and the Dr. diagnosed me with endometriosis. (Based on a CA-125 blood test and my symptoms of painful heavy periods and infertility all of my life). He advised that IVF would really be our only option, as we only had about a 2% chance of getting pregnant with IUI. And he couldn’t recommend that we try going that route based on the numbers. I was shocked when he told us that IVF was our only option. It took a bit for it to sink in but once I accepted it, I was excited at the thought that this could possibly work. We had to seek out financing and basically have another car payment every month, but we were still so grateful for the opportunity. We ended up with 15 eggs retrieved in November of 2013. 13 mature, and 12 fertilized. ALL 12 made it to day 5 which, was amazing according to my Dr., and they were all very high grade. We froze them for my body to heal a bit and did our first frozen transfer in January of 2014. It failed. I was shocked and so, incredibly heartbroken. The Dr. was so baffled as to why it didn’t work. I was only 29 and he said everything was perfect. He was so shocked that it didn’t take. Then we did a second transfer in April of 2014. Failed again. I was devastated beyond words. We decided to take a break from IVF and took an 8 day cruise to Alaska with another married couple who were good friends of ours. I desperately needed this trip for my mental health. When we returned I was considering surrogacy, and going back and forth on if we should try a 3rd transfer with my bunk uterus again, or if we should use someone else’s. All I wanted was to give my children life, and if I couldn’t do it, I was willing to unselfishly let another woman have my pregnancy experience. My kids had a right to be alive just as much as anyone else’s, and I was willing to fight for them. I told my Dr. that I needed him to dig DEEPER, and that I just knew in my heart there was something wrong that we were NOT finding. He ran a few more blood tests and it turned out that I tested positive for thrombophillia. A blood clotting disorder. PAI-1 and MTHFR type A. I will never forget the voicemail he left me with his findings (and I still haven’t deleted it; it changed my life forever). He said “Holly, I think I’ve found it! We are going to treat you with heparin blood thinning injections and I think you will greatly benefit from this treatment.” I cried and thanked God. I knew in my heart that we’d found the problem. Apparently my blood clotting disorder was keeping implantation from occurring, for all of these years. Both in natural conception and IVF.
We went for a 3rd frozen embryo transfer on September 10th, 2014 while doing the heparin injections. 2 days before my 30th birthday. I took a pregnancy test on the 6th day post transfer and got a faint second line. For the very first time in my life! I woke up Ryan and screamed…”AM I CRAZY?!?! DO YOU SEE THE SECOND LINE?!?!”. He said he saw it but not to get too excited until I had my beta and the nurse called me with my results. So I rushed into the lab, feeling a feeling I had never felt before. I was pregnant! It WORKED. The nurse called me to ask where Ryan was and to have him call her. She wouldn’t tell me why. Needless to say I was freaking out, so I called Ryan to tell him to pull over and call the nurse right away. She told him that the beta was positive and congratulations, that we were pregnant. As I’m sitting on the couch crying and praying that all is ok……..he finally comes rushing through the front door with a dozen pink and white roses and tears in his eyes and said, “It worked babe! You are pregnant!” He was so choked up he could barely speak. We hugged in the living room for about 10 minutes straight and just cried, and cried. And prayed, thanking God for our miracle.
Our beautiful, perfect miracle baby boy, Hunter James, was born on May 22, 2015 at 10 pounds, 14 ounces, via C-section. He is everything we ever hoped for and so, so, so much more. Our lives were complete. Finally. My heart was whole. I was whole. My family was whole. And it was the most amazing feeling ever. We were so very grateful to God for the blessing of this beautiful child.
We have been living a wonderful life, and enjoying every moment of raising our son and watching him learn and grow. He just turned 7 months old today. We have been praying at his bedtime prayers for a few months now that God will one day bless us with a sibling for him, in God’s right timing. My husband and I both had a sibling growing up and we wanted our son to have that same experience. A friend to grow up with. To love.
On November 30th, 2015, I found out I was pregnant! Via natural conception. When I saw that second line I literally dropped to my knees in my bathroom while my baby boy napped in the other room, thanking God and praising Him for this miracle. I was completely blown away. And so was my husband. I told my IVF Dr. right away and he immediately put me on blood thinner injections to sustain the pregnancy. I’m almost 8 weeks along now and am still in shock. We still can’t believe it. But Christ can do all things. ALL THINGS. I have no explanation for why I got pregnant naturally, especially after 8 years of infertility, other than it was God’s will. There is no other explanation. (Getting goosebumps yet??)
We are so incredibly blessed. I still have a long way to go with this pregnancy, but I truly believe God heard and answered our prayer. He is such an incredible and awesome God. And I am forever thankful for all He has done in our lives. We as a family, are whole. And I couldn’t be happier.
So please, if you are struggling with infertility, NEVER GIVE UP.
PLEASE keep fighting. Please keep praying. Know that God has a plan for you and one day it will all fall into place. I never thought I’d be saying this, yet here I am.
Miracles DO happen. Everyday.