At this point, I’m sure I’ve grabbed your attention and you are wondering what significance the numbers above mean…..Let me explain:
This is the number of days, weeks, months, hours, minutes, and seconds Jessica and I have prayed for something we felt was so far out of reach for us, but came so easy/naturally for others. I listed the timeframes, all the way down to seconds, because when you long for something so bad each second goes by like its weeks or even months.1 in 8 couples are affected/faced with infertility. Unfortunately, Jessica and I are 1 of the 8. Infertility was always something I never even thought about and would even pass off thinking “this would never happen to me.” Infertility is something that comes in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, backgrounds, gender, etc…infertility doesn’t care who you are, or how much money you have or don’t have, or if you have an education…infertility is scary.
When Jessica and I got married we always knew we would wait around year to get pregnant and start our family. Little did we know, God had a different path for us. After trying to conceive for around a year, we decided to talk with an OBGYN. At that point, the doctor explained to us about infertility and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). The doctor ended up prescribing meds to Jessica; at that point we kept trying. Again, nothing happened. What made matters worse is that the doctor lost interest – we were devastated. At that point, we tried another doctor. Again, same results; lots of meds and a doctor that lost interest. We had it engraved in our heads that we weren’t going to be parents but we knew we didn’t want to give up and knew we served a God who creates miracles.
This leads me to our current OB. We finally found a doctor that seemed interested in helping; we were extremely ‘stand offish’ at first, due to our past, but we just kept praying and hoping we finally found a doctor that had our interest at heart. Dr. Nilson worked for months with us by prescribing meds, ultrasounds, several appointments, and I should say…more meds. We had several failed timed intercourse & IUI and Dr. Nilson was still willing to continue month in and month out to help us conceive but he knew we longed for a child and with each passing day, week, month, and year it was taking a heavy toll on Jessica and I.
Dr. Nilson took the time to explain his personal background on having his children. He mentioned In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and that his children were IVF babies. Since we have been trying to conceive for so long, of course we knew about IVF; we wore google out. But, we knew IVF wasn’t an option due to cost, insurance not covering (I’ll come back to this), having to drive back and forth to St. Louis for treatment, and most of all not knowing if it was something God would want us to do. All the costs associated with this includes; hotel, gas, food, meds, egg retrieval cost, embryo transfer cost, and I’m sure I’m missing more. The reason for St. Louis is because Dr. Nilson gave us a recommendation for Dr. Ahlering and had an established relationship with him (I’ll get to more of this later). And lastly, we decided to consult with Pastor Rob who definitely put our mind at ease and ensured us that this is in no way un-Godly. So now I’m going to fast-forward another 6 or so months….
After praying our hearts out about IVF, sacrificing, saving, and more praying, we decided to take a leap of faith and start the IVF process. We saved just enough to get us started, with some financial help from family and friends. We went as far as finding a bank that would loan us the remaining funds for IVF (yes, banks do this). But wait….just as we took our leap of faith; God showed his faith. Jessica’s place of employment got acquired by a company located in Illinois. I’m sure I’ve lost some of you by now, and I’ve told you I wore google out; well, I wasn’t lying. When I found out that Jessica’s insurance was going to come out of Illinois I knew that Illinois was a state that was required to offer benefits to help patients with IFV. We finally started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s fast-forward to the IVF process….
At this point, we had so much respect for Dr. Nilson that we knew we wanted to use Dr. Ahlering at MCRM Fertility (MCRM). We scheduled a phone consultation with Dr. Ahlering and instantly knew he had our best interest at heart. When we started IVF we are around 4 to 4½ years into our infertility journey. Dr. Ahlering, Jen A., Lindsay V., and the whole staff welcomed us with open arms.
Jessica starts all her meds for the egg retrieval; which includes, several rounds of abdomen shots (Jessica has a huge fear of needles) and oral meds. After weeks of meds we go to St. Louis for the actual egg retrieval. Dr. A was able to get a total of 19 eggs. Of the 19 eggs, 13 of those actually fertilized. We opted to do genetic testing; after genetic testing, we had a total of 6 genetically chromosomal normal embryos.
After a couple of months, we were then ready to do the embryo transfer. Jessica starts more meds to prepare her body to take on the embryo (I’ve never seen a women with the ambition and drive that Jessica had). We go back to St. Louis for the actual transfer. As you can imagine we were ecstatic; we were finally going to be able to have our little miracle.
Unfortunately, the first embryo didn’t plant and we weren’t pregnant. Devastation once again gloomed over our household. But….not all hope was lost as we still had 5 frozen embryos that could be transferred.
After a couple more months passed, we decided to do another embryo transfer. Again, Jessica starts meds and then we go to St. Louis for the transfer. We get a phone call around 2 weeks after the transfer and we hear the news that we’ve been waiting to hear for what seems to be a century; YOU ARE PREGNANT! Our prayers were finally answered. A few days later Jessica goes to the doctor’s office to give blood. Everything appears to be normal. A few more days pass and Jessica continues to go back to give blood which is done routinely. Unfortunately, the results didn’t give us good news. We were told that Jessica had a chemical pregnancy and again, we weren’t pregnant.
We’ve made it this far and had so much hope and faith that we knew we weren’t going to give up. That sure doesn’t mean that though didn’t cross our minds though. Anyway, a couple more months pass and Jessica once again starts meds to prepare her body for another transfer.
This brings me to today:
After years of trying to get pregnant, 4 different doctors, several rounds of failed timed intercourse with meds, a failed IUI, two failed embryo transfers, lots and lots and lots of prayer & support from family and friends….we finally are able to see and hear our little 12 week miracle inside of momma’s tummy.
Today, I don’t tell you our journey to get likes, comments, a GIF, or an emoji.
I tell this to the broken hearted that is currently facing the battles that Jessica and I have fought. I tell this to the future mom that cry’s herself to sleep every night wanting a child to hold or who holds back the tears as she gets another baby announcement, or a gender reveal announcement. I tell this to the future dad that doesn’t know what else to do; that holds his wife not being able to provide what they both long for. I tell this to the couple that says “this time next year we’ll be holding our miracle” but doesn’t get too. I tell this to the couple that doesn’t have the courage to tell their infertility story (it’s ok, I’m a private person too. Writing this took lots of guts.) I tell this to the couple that deserves to bear a child.
I tell you to embrace every moment of ‘your’ journey and continue to be faith filled. Because of this journey we call infertility, Jessica and I have a better marriage, we have found a strength deep inside each of us that we didn’t even know was there, and most importantly we are both closer to God both spiritually and emotionally.
My prayer for each person facing the infertility battle is for God to give you comfort, strength, and the drive to never give up. Don’t count God out. He may by silent for a season, but his promise will be fulfilled. From the rising of the sun to the setting of the same, the name of the Lord shall be praised. Your miracle is coming….
Please feel free to share or forward to anyone you might know needing to hear these encouraging words. Reach out to Jess or I if you want to talk or just need someone to listen.
“For this child I have prayed” 1 Samuel 1:27
MILA ROSE CLEMMONS – COMING JUNE 2018