I Praise You for I am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made - Psalm 139:14

Our Journey to Become Parents.....

 

Most women I know spend their entire 20’s trying hard not to conceive a child. They think that once they reach their 30’s, they'll be in a sweet spot in their career, gotten married, and then when they're ready, getting pregnant would be easy. I can say from personal experience, these were my thoughts exactly. I thought getting pregnant some day for me was going to be a breeze.

As a child growing up I had dreams of having a large family, with all of it coming together with ease. What I didn’t realize then is how difficult getting pregnant is for many women. We are not all blessed with successful, easy pregnancy stories. Many of us (more than we know) have experienced pain and loss, and have grieved quietly while trying to become a mother and grow a family. For some women, their dream of conceiving on their own never came true – many have needed help with infertility, some have undergone IUI or IVF to obtain pregnancy. Others have chosen not to undergo fertility treatments, but seek out adoption or fostering to adopt as an option. Others have given up entirely, and lost hope all together of having their own family. Whatever their choice has been, I know it’s not been an easy one.

My husband Mike and I are facing this exact decision. We would love to grow our family and have a third child, but we know we will have many challenges ahead of us, depending on which path we take. My pregnancy journey has been painful, and also a blessing. I have two children, Dominik (5) and Oliver (3). But I also have lost three angel babies along the way.

In 2009, I lost a set of twins around 8 weeks. Being my first miscarriage I was confused, and had no idea what happened. I immediately blamed myself for what occurred. I didn’t tell many people of our loss, as it was humiliating and I suffered alone. After a failed natural miscarriage, I had to undergo a painful D&C. Three months later, we were blessed with becoming pregnant with Dominik, who was born in September 2010 via C-Section.

About a year and a half later, Mike and I decided it was time to try for our second child. We became pregnant within one month of trying, but again experienced another miscarriage around 6 weeks of pregnancy, which resulted in another D&C. At this point, my husband and I were at a loss for words as to why this was happening. It was painful the first time we lost our twins, but the second time nearly killed both of us emotionally. I still remember how I was feeling when the ultra sound tech told me she couldn’t find a heartbeat. I was looking at the screen, with a blank stare and felt nothing, I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t talk, I was numb. I knew I was going to be faced with another painful decision about what to do next. Either wait weeks to have a natural miscarriage or have another D&C. I chose to wait, but again my body didn’t miscarry naturally so I had to undergo another D&C. Again, being that it was our second loss, we didn’t reach out for support to many people out of embarrassment that we were both somehow “damaged.” After this miscarriage, I buried my emotions and moved on. I’m not sure how Mike and I got through our second miscarriage being eager to try again to get pregnant, but we did. Two months after our miscarriage we were blessed with conceiving Oliver and gave birth to him in October 2012 via C-Section after a failed VBAC.

 

Mike and I had intentions of trying for another child in January 2015, but around this time, I was diagnosed with Stage 0 Cervical Cancer, which came as a complete surprise for the both of us. I was always on time with my pap tests, never missed an appointment, and only had a few abnormal screenings in my lifetime. Within a year from my last pap appointment, the cells in my cervix went from normal to the stage right before invasive cancer. I was shocked, extremely disappointed, and scared. My OB-GYN called it “aggressive,” and she was shocked at how quickly it spread in the small amount of time.

Cervical cancer is typically a very slow-growing cancer and normally takes years to spread. Again, I grieved alone, only reaching out to a few close friends about what I was going through. I had to quietly come to terms with the painful surgery ahead, which involved removing a part of my cervix where the cells were located. There were risks involved with the surgery, infertility, scarring, and having an incompetent cervix (which meant being unable to sustain a pregnancy to term). I knew, like the last two miscarriages I experienced, I didn’t have a choice, the only option was to move forward with the surgery so it wouldn’t spread further and become invasive Stage 1 Cancer. The surgery itself wasn’t painful, but the healing process was, emotionally.

At this point, after suffering alone with so many disappointments and loss, I decided there had to be a better way to face these life experiences. I wasn’t one to sit and feel sorry for myself, nor did I want anyone else to feel sorry for me. What I really wanted was to find inner peace, and I found that through prayer. With prayer and faith, I have learned that I can live my life without fear, and hand over my painful experiences into the hands of someone who understands, God. With him by my side, I have help with talking through tough decisions and I don’t have to go through difficult experiences alone. I would never take back anything I experienced – it’s my journey and has made me into a better person, but it took me a while to get where I am at today.

Mike and I have a tough decision ahead. We would be blessed to have another child. Some have asked us, “Why do you want another child,” “why put yourself through any more pain” or “why do you need more children?” My answer to those questions is that I know we were always meant to be a family of 5, we have so much love to give to another child, we WANT to grow our family, and we believe that’s the path God wants for us.

Mike and I decided there are two ways for us to have another child. The first would be to continue to try naturally to have a baby. There are some obvious drawbacks to that decision. So far, we have been trying for four months to conceive without success. We know that we can achieve pregnancy on our own, because we have gotten pregnant four times already, however there is a chance since my surgery four months ago that we may not be able to get pregnant again on our own. We know we are also susceptible to miscarriage and there appears to be a pattern of miscarriage prior to every live birth we have had. I will also have to undergo a third C-section. I have already had two C-sections, and two D&Cs. At what point do I say enough is enough or just keep trying?

We are also exploring the option of fostering to adopt a baby. I think it would be amazing to be able to provide a loving home to a child in need. There are so many children in foster care that need loving parents. Mike and I would make amazing foster parents. Our family has the love to give and the finances to help a child. With fostering, you may have to “foster” 3-4 children before you are able to find the one child that is destined to become yours. The thought of growing attached to a little one and then having to give them up over and over again three or four times would be difficult. Is it more difficult than having experienced our own loss? I'm not sure. These are the questions Mike and I are facing.

We plan to attend a foster care orientation in the next few weeks to explore our options and educate ourselves. We know there is a plan in place for us to have more children, we just don’t know which path is right yet. Mike and I will be praying about our concerns and questions, and we know those will be answered and come to light in time. I plan to continue to post our challenges and experiences with trying to conceive and our journey through foster care.

I hope these posts bring inner peace to others, that your not alone, and you don’t have to face your fears yourself. We would love for you to follow us on our journey and to support us with our decisions. This journey will be exciting, and full of ups and downs. But we can’t wait to begin!

“And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” ~Mark 11:22-24

~Jaclyn


1 comment

  • My heart absolutely breaks for you, and your strength gives me hope. It’s a very personal, lonely kind of grief. http://www.curiousandfanciful.com/journal/carrying-on

    Katrina

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