Eighteen

I laid on the cushy, paper-lined table staring up at the wooden seagulls dangling from the ceiling. What was that thing they were hanging from, anyways? A giant mobile for adults? I have to say that it was indeed soothing to me. There was something about the way the air from the air vents hit the wooden birds just right so that they appeared to float on the breeze. I laid there for quite a while, self-conscious as I was completely nude beneath the paper-thin gown. The room was freezing, the paper gown did nothing for my figure, and truth be told, the nervous excitement coursing through me took me to the brink of slight insanity. Soon, a lovely older woman knocked and asked for permission to enter and I quickly felt very at ease. Her demeanor and the lilt in her voice made me feel at home. I excitedly tried to bare my belly for my very first ultrasound before realizing that it was nearly impossible to do in a gown. I mentioned as much and she replied, “Oh, it doesn’t go on your belly. It goes (cough, cough) there.” Yikes, welcome to the OB-GYN!

I have a habit (call it a blessing or a curse) of being slightly inappropriate when I’m nervous. I remember mumbling something about it being a welcomed surprise as my husband was out of town. God bless her, the ultrasound tech laughed and got to work measuring things and typing on her funny looking keyboard. My excitement started to diminish when I saw the look on her face - a look of sadness, almost pity. On the screen was what looked like balls of swiss cheese. Two perfectly formed circles with dark splotches all over them. She started using terms such as "PCOS" and she mentioned something about mine being a severe case. Her voice started sounding like the teacher from Charlie Brown. She was still droning on as she sat me up. I didn’t hear a word she said. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I came to the realization of what that ultrasound meant. It meant that my body wasn’t doing what God designed it to do. It meant that I had to tell my husband that I was “defective.” It meant that my dream of being a mommy wasn’t as obtainable as I thought. I was crushed.

Unfortunately, that was just the beginning of my journey. In total, I’ve heard the words, “Sorry, no eggs this month,” “Sadly, it didn’t happen for you this time,” and “You’re not pregnant” eighteen times. Eighteen. Eighteen times my heart skipped a beat. Eighteen times I walked through a lobby full of pregnant women trying to hide my tears because I didn’t want to diminish their happiness. While I was in the thick of my journey of infertility, all I could see was that I wasn’t getting what I wanted. Looking back now, I see God’s perfect timing.

For eleven months I took Clomid and Metformin, participated in timed, spontaneous-free “fun” with my husband and my body still deceived me. Frustration was taking over and trusting God wasn’t even on my radar. But God’s a funny guy sometimes. On our wedding anniversary trip to Vegas, the airport lost my luggage with my fertility medication in it. I was so upset and those free drinks were calling my name. Guess what? What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. A month later, while my students worked independently, I got a voicemail that I was pregnant. 

I. Was. Pregnant! 

During that year’s struggle, God was working His perfect plan. I needed to get healthier to carry a baby. We needed to sock some money away if I wanted to resign from my job so that I could stay at home. Lots of things needed to happen and align so that I could bring my precious Teagen into the world. God’s timing - it was indeed perfect.

His plan definitely wasn’t my plan. I never again wanted to hear “sorry, not this month,” but I did seven more times between my next two pregnancies. But again, His timing was everything. My husband travelled hundreds of days throughout the year and I believe that God knew when I would be able to handle another child. And He was right. Having a baby and a toddler wasn’t easy but I was better prepared than I would’ve been had it happened when we wanted it to. By the time we were ready to try for our third baby, my husband’s travel schedule had slowed considerably so I figured we had it in the bag. But again, things didn’t go our way. Little did we know that Weston would have complications and that it was almost essential that our kids were a bit older so that they could understand what was happening and why Mommy and baby didn’t come right home from the hospital. The timing was just right and we were blessed with well-adjusted little ones who loved visiting their baby brother at the hospital, and equally loved going home with Grandma while we stayed behind. Again, perfect timing.

 

My journey of infertility ended with three pregnancies and three incredible little boys. While it was difficult for me to hear “no” eighteen times, I know that I’m not alone. Many of you precious souls have heard that same answer tenfold. Some may just be starting their own path to motherhood. All I can offer is to tell you to keep looking forward and trusting our great God. Your journey is personal and will be unique to you. A few of my friends ended their journey with twins and triplets via IVF. My dear friend’s journey ended with two beautiful adopted children who are as much hers as my boys are mine. They just became a family in a different way. I know a sweet soul who is adopting from overseas to add to her already wonderful family. All of these journeys, while different, ended the same, with the creation of a one-of-kind family. If you’re going through your own journey of infertility, please know that God is holding you and your journey in His hands. Also know that if you’re reading this, you have a network of friends here at The Chase Is Real that are constantly praying for you and whatever journey you’re on. You’re loved, you’re prayed for, and we’re excited to see how God’s perfect timing shows up in your life.

Brooke is warrior mama to three rambunctious boys, wife to an honest, hardworking man, daughter to one of the greatest humans our great God ever created, and friend to anyone who talks to her. She's has been dubbed "the most inappropriate friend." She lives for a good belly laugh and to bring laughter to others - laughter feeds her soul. She loves the outdoors (not like hiking or rock climbing - she's not that cool - more like standing in the sunshine listening to nature!) and she finds God in the simple things.