Friday, May 6, 2005

How Katie and Owen Came To Be

Kevin and I were married in January of 1997. We have always loved children and have always wanted children of our own. We finished college and got our start in life; then after two years of marriage we felt that it was time to grow our family.

We began trying to conceive our first child in November 1998. We were so excited! Because I have six siblings I knew that it would be no time before I got pregnant.

The excitement soon gave way to worry. Although we thought that something must be wrong, we were advised that it is not uncommon to take up to a year to conceive a first child. We had also heard that the doctors usually won't see you until you have tried for a year and then they usually suggest charting (which I was already doing, so I would be "one up" on that doctor!). After the first full year, I made an appointment with my OB/GYN to see if he could help us.

The OB/GYN ordered routine exams for Kevin and me. All my tests came back fine. Kevin's test came back with slight problems. So that was it! The OB/GYN referred Kevin to another doctor and more tests were run. The results came back the same and the doctor said Kevin would need surgery.

Then providence stepped in. The doctor that Kevin was seeing dropped our insurance. We had to find another one and when we did, he was wonderful! He was very thorough and insisted on having Kevin do more testing, which ruled out the surgery. We were thrilled at the good news, but also devastated because of all the wasted time. Plus we were now back to "unexplained."

So in January of 2001, over two years since we first began our journey, we were finally sent to the fertility clinic. We then both went through a huge battery of tests, all of which came back normal. The RE gave us a 1% chance of conceiving on our own. We were almost at the three-year mark, and nothing wrong had been found. Our final plan was to try a cycle of 25mg of Clomid to see how I responded to a lower dose; then I would have a laparoscopy. If I wasn't pregnant by January 1st, we would give up the dream of pregnancy and pursue adoption.

I never got to that laparoscopy. I took a home pregnancy test on September 7th, and it was positive. We couldn't believe it. But our joy was short lived. On September 11th (that famous day of the terrorist attacks), I got the horrible news that the baby would not live. That was one of the worst days of my life. I was in the waiting room when someone rushed out and turned on the TV. We watched in horror as the first tower was burning. As the nurse called me back and told me that my beta levels were going down, she was looking over my shoulder. I remember her saying, “Oh, they just hit the second tower!” That whole day seems like a dream now.

It took three more weeks before I actually lost the baby. That was probably the most difficult time of my life. Kevin and I simply cried and wondered what to do next. But God and time heals everything. So in November I finally had my laparoscopy, along with a hysteroscopy and a D&C. That was it. There was not one more test that could be done on either of us. That in itself was a true victory.

Then, on December 21st, 2001, I found out that I was once again pregnant. Of course, I had the fear (and signs) that I would again miscarry. Then at 17 dpo, my hCG levels were 880. Two days later, at 19 dpo, they were 2454. We were so thankful! We did nothing different than we have done for the past 3 years.

Katie was born on September 1st, 2002. She is the joy of my life.

When Katie was 11 months old, I found out that I was pregnant again – this time it was just so easy! I announced my pregnancy to Kevin and to my family at Katie’s birthday party. But once again God decided that it was not meant to be, and we lost that baby on October 3rd, 2003.

For fourteen months we waited and prayed for a sibling for Katie. It was much different this time. Yes, Katie made things easier. I had a child to hold and love (and she is so sweet!). But the main reason that it was easier was because of all that I learned when trying to conceive Katie. I learned that God is in control. He has already blessed me far beyond what I deserve. I knew that if I never had another child, I could rest in the promise that He knows what is best for me. On my bad days I still doubted His plan, but inside I knew that He is wiser than I am.

And once again, God has blessed us. Owen Michael is due on July 13th of this year (2005). I do not know at this point if we will be blessed with more children. I struggle with the fact that it does take a long time for us to conceive, and I have a very hard time with my pregnancies. It isn’t much fun to throw up all day and night for 20 weeks, or to be on IV fluids just to live. But I still see children as a wonderful blessing and hope that I am able to be a godly mother to the two He has entrusted me with at this point. Soli Deo gloria!

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