Did I just say that?! SURE DID! We are pregnant!! My heart literally swells every single time I say those words. This post is LONG overdue, as I am almost in my 7th month of pregnancy, but better late than never right? I wanted to create a space where I can write out our entire journey, and give other women a place to feel like they can relate. So here it goes, the good the bad and the UGLY!
Once David got out of the military, we knew it was time for us to start "trying" for a baby. You hear all of the stories from other women, social media, and books about how you have to be SO careful because pregnancy happens easy... Welp, not for us. After about 5 months of trying and tracking my cycles, we were still not pregnant. I researched EVERYTHING. I knew that ovulation happens during a certain time, I knew the tips and tricks, I knew what to look for when I was in my "fertile window", and still nothing. I began taking ovulation tests EVERY month. Our master bathroom quickly turned into a laboratory. After realizing that my cycles were regular every month and I was getting positive ovulation tests and still not getting pregnant, I knew something was up. Here's something odd for ya.. ever since I was in high school I had this weird little voice in my head telling me I wouldn't be a mom. I have no idea why, but it was there.
Anyhoo, after a year of this we decided to get some help. I visited my OBGYN, and she decided to have my husband sent for a sperm analysis. Once we got the results, everything looked great except for morphology. Which is the shape of his sperm. After seeing this, my OBGYN said that getting advice from a fertility specialist would be in our best interest. This is the part where we were sent to Shady Grove Fertility and introduced to Dr. Anish Shah. LIFE CHANGING MOMENT. We had our first consultation with Dr. Shah, and we began months worth of testing. Blood test after blood test, genetic screenings, and then the painful HSG procedure. The best way to describe this is the feeling of hot oil being poured into my uterus for 90 seconds. OUCH! After almost passing out, I heard the news that my right tube was blocked and there was evidence of Endometriosis. Cue the tears. Dr. Shah explained to me what that meant, and how it is affecting our chances. He suggested we move forward with IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) as our first step. I was placed on clomid (fertility medications) and we attempted 2 IUI procedures. After 5 months of this with no luck, it was time to look for a new plan and path. We knew that this meant IVF. Shady Grove sat with us and explained the entire process, financial commitments, stats, and expectations. We were ready to go for it. After 18 months of infertility, we began our journey with IVF. Medications were ordered, payments made, and procedures scheduled.
Shots, shots, shots, and MORE SHOTS. This part was tough, but honestly there was a burning passion inside of me to be a mom that nothing was going to stop me. Not even these stupid shots. We had our egg retrieval on February 2nd (Super Bowl Sunday!) and after waking up from anesthesia, the physician told me the news that he retrieved 27 eggs (The medication in the shots makes you go into overdrive on eggs)!! GREAT NEWS! I went home and recovered from the surgery, and the waiting game began. The eggs are then placed in a petri dish with my husbands sample and thats where God comes in. We waited to see how many embryos were created. We got the call 5 days later that out of the 27 eggs they got, 24 were mature, and 17 fertilized! THANK YOU JESUS!!! Overwhelmed with emotion, we celebrated and cried but knew that the hard part was yet to come. Next it was time to watch the embryos (fertilized eggs) grow and see how many make it to day 5 and day 6. When day 5 and 6 came around, I was told that 14 embryos made it to blastocyst (the while stage of development). This was by far the best call I have ever received (besides when they told me I was preggo!). This was such a blessing, as most women are lucky to get even 5 embryos make it this far. WOW GOD! Next step was our genetic testing of the embryos. We decided to do this step for multiple reasons, which are very personal to us. We got the call then that 8 out of our 14 embryos are genetically normal and we are good to go for a transfer.
After starting a new cycle and beginning a new set of shots, we quickly approached the time of transfer (although it felt like an eternity). On March 9th, 2020, we transferred 1 beautiful day 5 embryo and our world changed forever. I have never prayed harder in my entire life. Normally, you are told to wait 14 days and then go in for a blood pregnancy test. But HELLO, no way. Only 4 days after our transfer and on my 28th birthday I took an at home test and it was POSITIVE!!!!!!! Our dreams came true. All because of trusting our Lord and Savior and never losing hope that he would not forsake us. This journey to motherhood was excruciatingly difficult, lonely, and painful. It is not easy and IVF is hard, but we made it. Every single day that passes I pray over our little GIRL and pray that she knows how much she is wanted and loved. My heart will NEVER be the same. We cannot wait to meet you in November, our sweet girl.
mama + dad
as I opened it and swept off the dirt that was covering the letter (no joke), I see that he wrote he made a friend. He wrote how he met this guy while waiting for the phones to make his 1 call, and told me that he and his wife were being stationed at the same place we were. He wrote down his name and I was over the moon. I quickly got on the Facebook page and wrote, "To whoever belongs to Michael Towery, our husbands have become buddies and I just wanted to reach out and let you know that your husband now has a new friend". Quickly there after, Corrine wrote me back and claimed that mysterious friend as her husband. The rest is history and God intentionally placed our lives together and formed this lifelong friendship that I will cherish forever.
Corrine and Michael are now expecting their first baby, Sweet Norah James, and we are beyond thrilled for them. This is such a blessing and they are going to be the best parents. Their silliness, love for each other, and unifying faith is going to mold that baby girl into an exceptional woman. Seeing Corrine with that belly brought tears to my eyes, because I feel like it was just yesterday we were sitting around drinking wine and talking about the days when we would all become parents.
As I cover Corrine and Mike in prayer, I hope they realize the amount of love coming their way. I will forever be thankful for this beautiful friendship we have, and cannot wait to tell Norah all of our memories.
photos by @laurengracephotog