When I met my husband Matt, I had about 3 semesters left to finish my college degree. Although I was living back in Albuquerque at the time, I knew in order to finish my degree most quickly it would mean me going back to Oklahoma to finish off where I had started. I knew as our relationship progressed that the long distance thing was not ideal and, knowing I wanted to be engaged sooner than later, I did NOT want to take any more time than I absolutely had to!
So, for my last semester at the University of Oklahoma I received special permission from the Dean to take my remaining 30 credit hours in one semester to finish in December. I had NO life outside of school for those few months as I lived, breathed and literally dreamt of classes, papers, exams, studying, and homework. I finished all of it and even ended up making the Dean’s Honor Roll that semester!
Matt had proposed during that crazy semester, in November, just before finals, which of course meant I was totally packed up and driving back to see him the moment I finished my last exam!
As soon as the holidays were over, I jumped straight into planning our wedding.
We picked a date in April, which meant a lot of rushing and hurrying to get everything done in time.
By the time the wedding was over I was having some health issues in my stomach. Come to find out I was developing some ulcers from stress and needed to slow my life down in order to not make things worse.
At that time my husband was a youth pastor, and I worked part time at a spa/salon. We spent quite a bit of our time around the high school and middle school kids from the church and I was in no hurry whatsoever to have a baby. I definitely wanted kids “some day,” but would often joke that I had waited my whole life to get married and I had NO desire to share him with anyone, including a child.
That mindset lasted a couple of years. We enjoyed traveling together, having friends over, playing Frisbee and taking walks in the park, and indulging in quiet naps on Sunday afternoons.
One day, as I was driving on the highway, I happened to see a billboard with a picture of some hands holding a baby. Almost instantaneously my hearts desire changed and I began thinking and dreaming of starting a family. In the weeks that followed it was all I could think about and my thoughts became not just a far off “someday” dream, but a very immediate longing.
The conversations between Matt and me about having a baby began shortly thereafter, but it took quite some time for us to be on the “same page.” After a number of months, he finally came around. We stopped all methods of prevention and thought that within a few short weeks we would be announcing the grand news of new life on its way. I could hardly contain my excitement about it all! I was so hopeful and so (surprisingly) ready.
One month turned into two, then three, four and so on…..after about six months we began charting and trying to learn ways to not just avoid preventing, but to actually “try” to have a baby.
Another year passed, and still no baby. We began to talk to my OB about what might be wrong. She then sent us to a midwife, then she referred us to a fertility specialist who then referred us to a clinic. Ironically, the clinic that we ended up going to ended up being the exact same company that had put the photo with the baby up on that billboard, which is weird how that came back full circle.
We went in for the first consultation and were accepted with the clinic right away. The testing began that next week. I started taking Clomid (a pill commonly used as a way to overproduce eggs in the woman’s body to increase the chances of conception), but my body responded to it like someone going through menopause. The night sweats and hot flashes, nausea, and headaches were a drain, but we kept pressing on. After another year of multiple fertility treatments, and a ridiculous amount of further testing for Matt and I both, we were finally told the devastating news that we would, and I quote, “most likely never have any children” of our own. We were given less than a 3% chance after all of Matt’s tests…and when mine came back it dropped that percentage to less than 0%.
That phone call came one evening just before we were to have some friends over for dinner. Minutes after I hung up the phone our friends walked in the front door. I couldn’t in any way contain my despair. I cried the “not pretty” cry as they hugged us, prayed over us, and tried to comfort.
I was absolutely heartbroken.
It seemed as if everything around me went dark after that call. The regret of ever having joked about not wanting kids haunted me. The doubt that crept in that it was somehow my fault consumed my thoughts. I felt angry, but I didn’t know who to be angry at. Mostly, I was overwhelmingly, uncontrollably sad.
After a few days of confusion, not sleeping at all, and a whole lot of weeping, my friend came over to see me one morning. I had to apologize over and over because as she and I were talking I needed to excuse myself and continue leaving the room. I wasn’t leaving to cry, rather, because I had a terrible bloody nose! In passing, as I was again apologizing for walking out of the room, I had mentioned that I’d had a number of bloody noses that past week and didn’t know what was wrong with me. They came out of nowhere and were consistent, so it seemed rather odd. I had chalked it up to the heartbreak I was going through, but my friend mentioned that she had just recently read an article that said sometimes bloody noses can be a very early sign of pregnancy.
In my mind, I can remember thinking “please don’t tell me that, there’s no way, not for me,” and I politely blew it off…but the comment stuck with me. The next few days were the same. More bloody noses. I couldn’t shake what my friend had told me that morning. I happened to have a home pregnancy test and decided to take it. Up until this moment I had never had any test come back positive…every test I had ever taken was a definite, for sure, no-guessing-needed negative. But this time there was a very slight, almost non-existent, tiny, ever so faint, could hardly make it out, thought I was crazy, pink line. I quickly called my friend and she came over as fast as she could get there.
She looked at the test and literally had to move it under the brightest light we could find in order to see the line I thought I had seen. It was so faint that both of us thought we might just be imagining it.
Rather than get my hopes up I called my doctor and requested a blood test. He obliged, but more out of sympathy than actual hope. I believe he understood my desire to need to know. So, I went to the lab, had my blood drawn and tried to put it out of my mind. They said by that evening they would call with the results.
We were supposed to be leaving town that afternoon though. Because of the devastating news about never being able to have own our children, Matt had booked us a weekend getaway in the mountains at a cabin that had no phone access whatsoever. And yet we were now supposed to be waiting on this phone call! We decided to stall, and to stay in town and plan to leave after the phone call.
Evening came. No call.
We ordered pizza. No call.
We rented a movie. No call.
The movie ended. Still NO call.
Now, close to midnight, I gave up hope and started to get ready for bed. I was frustrated because it was too late to leave for the cabin, so I left the room to go brush my teeth.
As I shut the water off, I heard Matt talking to someone. I stopped all movement as quickly as I could to eavesdrop in on his conversation. Seconds later he was walking in to the room and motioned that it was finally the doctor!
But, all he said on his end was “uh huh.” “Uh huh.” “Uh huh.” He had a blank stare as he looked at the floor. No emotion. No response. Just a simple “uh huh” and then paused for her to talk more. I watched every move he made as I tried to read from his face any single bit of information he might have been hearing.
The call ended. By this time I was sitting on the bed, now looking at the floor, with that same old familiar knot in my throat and the same hot, sad tears bubbling up. Before he spoke even one word I said, “I know. You don’t have to tell me. I know the answer is a no…”
Yet, he didn’t respond. He just stood there. He reached for my hands and just waited for me to look up. When I finally did, he just kept staring at me. No smile, not one expression. Just staring at me.
Finally he spoke. “Meg…you’re pregnant.”
But, I didn’t hear him rightly. I looked down, trying hard to not cry. I had heard him so many times tell me that I was not pregnant. I knew the drill.
Yet, ever so gently he lifted my chin to look up at him once more and he repeated it again.
“Meg, you’re pregnant!”
This time I saw a slight smile breakout and his eyes start to glisten. And I replayed the words slowly in my mind.
I stared at him for what felt like an eternity trying to figure out if this was the worst joke ever or if he really, truly was telling me the truth.
He didn’t crack. He didn’t take it back. He knelt down and hugged me and said it again and again, each time with a little bit more excitement, “Meg, YOU’RE PREGNANT!”
It finally started to sink in a bit and I was in shock! I went from ‘sad crying’ to smiling to all out laughter to ‘happy crying’ in a matter of a minute! I cannot explain the joy in those moments that followed! It’s incomparable!!! We hugged each other, laughed and danced and then just kept repeating it to make sure our brains were getting it.
We finally calmed down a bit and I asked him about every detail of the conversation with the doctor.
She was the on-call doc that night, not my normal doc, and she didn’t quite have the same excitement that my normal doctor would have shared had he been the one giving the news. Her tone was dry, almost felt like she was bothered, and although the news of me being pregnant was wonderful she said that my hormone levels were extremely low. She told my husband that I would most likely not be pregnant for very much longer and anticipated a miscarriage shortly thereafter.
Well, that could have put quite the damper on our little party….
Yet, in that moment we chose to celebrate. For that moment we rejoiced! We called every family member and close friend we could (at 3 am.) and woke them all up to share in the good news! I told them all that the risk was high, but said, “today I’m pregnant and today I’ll celebrate. Should that change I’ll grieve then, but for now it’s time to rejoice!”
The next day we ended up still going on our trip and I slept most of the time at the cabin. It was the sweetest time away together with no interruptions and some of the deepest sleep I’d had in my entire life…I’m assuming partly because my soul was so at peace, and mostly because I was PREGNANT!!!
As we came back into town we began sharing the news with everyone else we knew. It was incredibly exciting to get to watch others around us be just as thrilled as we were!
Our fertility doctor called a few days later and he said that he saw the results come in from the pregnancy test. Based on our previous tests he said that he had no idea how “it” happened but that he was very happy for us! He also felt compelled to tell us that he agreed I had a very high likelihood of miscarriage. He also said that he still agreed with the original diagnosis and that WHEN we miscarry his advice to move toward adoption still stood.
I listened, but didn’t want to let go until it was officially time to. The days went on. One week turned into two and then three…and I stayed pregnant! The pregnancy itself was awful, filled with quite a bit of sickness, multiple hospital visits, difficult to find heart beat scares, and many medications.
But she continued to grow regardless! Yes, I said she!!!! When we found out “it” was a SHE I about lost my mind with excitement.
The delivery was far from ideal…just terrible…more on that another time…but in June of 2006 we delivered our miracle baby princess.
As I held her tiny body, and looked at her sweet, swollen face only minutes after delivery, I knew that every second of pain that it took to get to that point was all worth it.
I wouldn’t wish infertility struggles on my worst enemy, but I can also say with full confidence that I wouldn’t trade those challenging days for the world. The joy that came from such pain is indescribable and inexpressible. When God chooses to bring life from death, to birth beauty out of ashes, to shock everyone by bringing life to a barren womb…there is a soberness, a sweetness and a joy that absolutely cannot be matched.
Meet my princess…my miracle…my sweet Kate.