One of the biggest dreams I’ve ever had, was to be a mother. From a young age, I dreamed of having my own babies to nurture, educate, and fill my heart with joy.
As soon as Scott and I got married, we began trying to get pregnant. We didn’t worry when it didn’t happen for the first few months, but after about six months, we started to get concerned. Scott called his doctor and I made an appointment with my OBGYN. We both had some tests run, had in-depth conversations with our doctors, and were told that we were both two healthy people that shouldn’t have any trouble getting pregnant. “Relax,” they told us. “Don’t stress- it’s not uncommon for it to take a year or longer.”
Well, after several more months of negative pregnancy tests, lots of tears, and heightened anxiety, my doctor referred us to a fertility specialist. We met with him in July of 2019, and after further bloodwork, it was determined that I have DOR (diminished ovarian reserve). There is no explanation for my condition other than it could be hereditary, or it could be caused from toxins found in household cleaning supplies, certain chemicals in foods, or even beauty products. The only thing we knew for sure, is that getting pregnant was going to be much more difficult, and time was of the essence.
Our doctor quickly started me on fertility medication and gave us a pretty strict plan to follow. After more testing, more bloodwork and more negative pregnancy tests, we were told that IVF (in-vitro fertilization) was our only hope. We were crushed. The nurse gave us the news, left the room and I started sobbing. Sitting there in my paper gown with my husband holding my hand, I couldn’t have imagined getting worse news. Instantly my mind started to race. How will we afford this? How will I ever be able to give myself shots? What if I can’t give my precious husband a baby? Why is it so easy for so many people and seemingly impossible for us? Why, Jesus, why?
A few months later, we found a wonderful clinic and were on our way to Barbados for our first round of IVF. I was sick and uncomfortable from all of the medications that I was injecting into my body, but hopeful. We were praying for good results from our first round and were praying that it would be the only round necessary.
Long story short, we ended up with one genetically normal embryo. Knowing that we wanted to have more than one biological child, we decided to go back for a second round, while my body was still (hopefully) producing good quality eggs. Scott wasn’t able to accompany me for our second round because of work conflicts, so my mom offered to go. She and I had a really special week together on the beautiful island. I showed her our favorite restaurants and beaches and even enjoyed a guided island tour, in between appointments at our clinic.
Our second round ended up giving us the exact same results as the first- one genetically normal embryo. I was so relieved to have one more embryo. One more little life that we created together and one more chance at becoming parents. My mom and I prepared to leave on February 18th to head back to Oklahoma. Our embryos were safely stored in the freezer- waiting for Scott and me to come back and transfer them whenever we are ready.
Our plan for February 18 was to fly from Barbados to Toronto, where we would stay the night and then fly back to the US the next day. Upon landing in Toronto though, I got the worst call of my life. Scott had suffered a heart attack while he was teaching a night class, and was in the ICU, unresponsive.
Everything went black. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing on the other end of the phone. How is this possible? I just talked with him a few hours ago and everything was fine! There’s no way in the world that this is happening.
My mom sprang into action and got our flights changed as quickly as possible. We were able to fly out several hours before we were scheduled to, so I could get to my husband. I made it to Scott on February 19 and he stayed on life support until February 21st.
As I held Scott’s hand and sobbed my way through my goodbyes, I promised him that I would carry on with our dream. I would continue with IVF on my own, and would do everything in my power to have healthy pregnancies and raise our babies to know what an incredible man of God their father was.
On August 31, 2020, I will be back in Barbados to transfer our first frozen embryo. My emotions are all over the place. I’m terrified it won’t work and I’ll lose our baby. I’m hopeful that God will give me the desires of my heart and bring this little miracle into my life. I’m anxious about raising children on my own and I’m angry that I have to. As I prepare my body for more shots and medication, I’m also making sure to prepare my mind and my heart the best I can.
A verse that I have found to be a powerful reminder of God’s faithfulness is Isaiah 43:2 (NIV):“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
These past several months I have felt like a battered ship, barely staying afloat. But I have also felt God’s hand. I have felt like the dreams I had and the love that I had finally found, was snatched from me, way, way, way too soon, but I have also felt God’s loving arms around me. As I enter into this next chapter in our fertility journey, and the next chapter in my story, I pray that I continue to feel God calming the waves of anxiety and keeping the flames of despair from burning me. I pray that God hears my cries and brings this miracle baby into my life.
Photo by: The Big and Bright
Sarah, my heart is aching for you, but so encouraged by your faith through the hardships you have been through. I’m sure it must have been difficult to find the words to write this blog post. Thank you for having the courage to share your story with us!
Your courage is an inspiration. Thank you for allowing us in to your story. Praying for you!
Praying for you and your little one ❤️
Thank you for sharing your story and heart with us, Sarah.
Sarah writing this and sharing it with us is the most amazing thing to me. ‘Thank you‘ isn’t enough. I’m praying that exactly the right people read this and are blessed. Knowing you has been an incredible blessing to me. Love you girl.