Those of you who know our story and have been along on this journey with us for a while now know the following;
We’ve been married 9 years.
We spent the first 6 years of our marriage trying to start a family without any luck. Four years into that process we finally shared our story publicly and decided to seek help from doctors, while continuing to share along the way.
We had two embryos left from our first egg retrieval after our miscarriage, so we planned a Frozen Embryo Transfer for that July and gave ourselves a month to take a break from it all as we prepared for the next step. During that time we saw lots of signs that kept telling me this time it would work. I saw a double rainbow that Mother’s Day of 2015. It was just days after I found out I would miscarry our first baby, and somehow it gave me so much hope for the future that we would have a rainbow after this storm, and in this case – TWO rainbows.
On our trip to Carmel, CA for a wedding we had a doe and two fawns literally following us around town. We saw them in one part of town in a parking lot and woke up the next day (on the total other side of town) to find them standing across from our AirBnB staring at us as we got up to leave for the day. It was so odd and yet very peaceful to have these little twin fawns following us right before we were set to transfer our last two embryos.
As most of you know – the story ended with our frozen embryo transfer working and bringing us our two “little buddies” (as we called them during my pregnancy) – Gabriel & Micah.
Since then we’ve had COUNTLESS people ask us if we planned to have more kids, which is kind of hilarious (and really frustrating) when you struggle with infertility and have never been able to PLAN for anything in regards to your family before. We always just kind of smiled and told people we were happy with our two miracles.
The truth is – we didn’t plan to do IVF again and didn’t have any embryos left to transfer. James really didn’t want me to do IVF again because (something many don’t know) – is that I actually donated eggs to a couple back when James and I were first dating (so I had already gone through all the meds/hormones & egg retrieval process before we did it for ourselves. Oh the irony!!). He didn’t like the idea of me putting my body through that for a third time and honestly, I couldn’t imagine going through all that again with two little insanely BUSY kiddos at home. So we always said we would just leave it in God’s hands, and it would take a miracle (quite literally) if we were to have anymore kids.
Well, this spring, after really longing for more kids since we had the boys, I finally came to the point where I was at peace where we were. I was so grateful for Gabriel and Micah and could see our life of adventures ahead of us. Life was starting to feel more manageable and settled (after the pure insanity that is life with twin babies!!) and I was looking forward to having a sense of normalcy again. Micah was finally out of our bed (he had been co-sleeping with me for the last year) and life just felt like it was settling down.
As we came to figure out (and have learned throughout our ENTIRE MARRIAGE) – when we make plans, God laughs.
We got the absolute surprise of a lifetime in May.
My period was late, but I’d only had it back for 4 months or so at this point so I figured it was just weird from adjusting to the new normal. But I figured better to be safe and have James buy me a pregnancy test. I absolutely assumed (as always) that it would be negative and so I took it about 15 minutes before I had to leave to shoot an engagement session.
I peed on the stick, left it in the bathroom and went about my way getting ready to leave for work. As I was passing the bathroom to get my shoes on I remembered the pregnancy test and popped in to confirm it was negative and toss it out.
But it wasn’t negative.
Instead, it said in bold letters: “Pregnant.”
And then I nearly passed out from the complete and absolute shock of it all. (We had not been trying, or planning… or hoping even – as I mentioned. We were infertile as far as we knew – from the past 9 years of experience – and so this was the absolute surprise of a lifetime, and if I’m being honest – was far from ideal timing, which we later realized.)
I stood there frozen saying, “Oh my God.” over and over again. Then I walked out of the bathroom with the test held out in front of me and my hand over my mouth. James was at the back table and the boys were playing by the piano. I held out the test to him and said, “I’m pregnant?!” (as if it was a question). He got the HUGEST grin on his face and let out a BIG belly laugh. (One of my favorite things about him.) Micah and Gabe sensed the nervous/excited energy in the room and started to squeal, laugh and run around the room. hahaha.
It was easily the most surreal moment of my life.
Then I had to hurry up, pack up my gear and get my butt out the door to that night’s engagement session. (At which, a family of FIVE DEER walked literally right through the middle of our session. The deer paused off to the side of us and then made their way through the area we were shooting in – leaping over a little creek and right through some photos with my couple. OF COURSE FIVE DEER ARE GOING TO WALK RIGHT THROUGH MY SHOOT JUST MOMENTS AFTER I FOUND OUT OUR FAMILY IS EXPANDING TO A FAMILY OF FIVE. OF COURSE.)
When I got home I realized I better look up the due date, which turned out not only to be not exactly ideal (it would affect some of our winter weddings) – but it also was the exact same due date of our first ever pregnancy that I miscarried. I didn’t take this as a bad omen, I just took it as another strange, meaningful, beautiful sign… truly. (Maybe I’m weird.) Just all of this was too weird to make any sense of it.
And so here we are… working our way through a “normal” pregnancy (meaning I don’t get to constantly see doctors, which I actually miss). And rather than share the entire journey publicly from the beginning, it was nice to have this be our own little happy secret for a while.
We had our first ultrasound a couple weeks ago (which felt like we had to wait FOREVER to get to that point), and saw a healthy heartbeat and ONE baby (*whew) growing right on track. Now we are just awaiting results of the genetic blood work, which will tell us of any abnormalities and also what the gender is. (We would love all your prayers for a healthy baby – of any gender!! – if you would be so kind as to pray for us.)
My due date is January 2nd (so I’m 12 weeks along now) and I have been feeling pretty good this time around! The symptoms are much less than they were with TWO babies in there, so that has felt more manageable. However, I have been insanely tired and have been showing much sooner (mainly because even when I wasn’t pregnant I had to work at holding my “mom belly” in so I wouldn’t look 4 months pregnant all the time)! haha.
And of course – we are SO SO EXCITED. It almost goes without saying – we see this as an absolute miracle and gift from God that we never in a million years anticipated. WE ARE SO THANKFUL! (So many grateful tears lately!)
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Lastly, I just want to say one last thing before I hit “publish” on this post. And that is… if you know a couple struggling with infertility, please don’t feel like you need to share our story to give them hope. In all honesty, SO many people told me about other couple’s “miracles” when we were in the throws of our journey – and while I was happy for them, I never thought it was our reality. And in my darkest days sometimes I just found the stories really difficult and heartbreaking because IT WASN’T US. You know? Let them know you are praying for them/thinking of them/sending them all your good juju and that you are there if they ever want to talk about it. And my goodness, please share that you know of a wonderful secret/private support group they can be a part of if they would like (and have them message me so I can add them).
And if you are in the midst of struggling yourself: please know you are not alone. And if you need – please find hope in our story for yourselves, and believe that there is a plan ahead for you. While it may not make any freaking sense right now and makes you just want to shake people – someday it will all seem clear as day.
From Mother’s Day in 2015 – emotionally drained from my first ever miscarriage after 6 years of trying to build a family.
To Mother’s Day in 2016 – cuddling two tiny newborn miracle babies.
To Mother’s Day in 2017 – chasing two crazy 1-year old twins.
To Mother’s Day in 2018 – chasing two crazy 2-year old twins (lol), with the surprise of a lifetime growing in my belly…
I never could have dreamt up any of it. And in reality – God’s plan is so much better than any I had tried to imagine up myself. XOXO