As our pregnancy with our baby girl “B” comes to a close, I wanted to rewind a bit and share the winding journey that led to this sweet moment in our lives. Partly, because I want to be the type of woman who allows her story to be a page in another woman’s survival guide and partly because I want to have this journey down in black and white. So, that when I need a reminder of magic and grace, I can reread our story and remember…But, God.
Mike and I decided to start trying to start a family back in January of 2017, January 14, to be exact, just shy of my 26th birthday. After being married for a year and half and together for what felt like forever, we thought we were ready for the next step. And what better way to celebrate this momentous decision than with Mimosas and Tiramisu, two of my very favorite things…
Little did we know, that the starry-eyed kids, pouring champagne and making life-changing decisions on a cold January night were years away from seeing that dream come to fruition. Days and months went by and still nothing. We went to countless doctor’s appointments, and did 3 rounds of Clomid before we were told, “There’s nothing wrong with you, go home, have fun, you’ll get pregnant sometime.” So, we did; we went home, we had fun, and still, no baby…But, God.
Fast forward two years…this January (2019) we decided, ‘That’s it, we just want to be parents, who cares if they are biologically ours or not?’ See, most people don’t know that before Mike and I even met we both felt called to adopt a child(ren) someday, and shared that with each other very early on in our relationship. Naive and in love, we thought that we got to call the shots on the “order” of our children and we chose to have biological children first. Until we didn’t. For my 28th birthday, I got a tattoo on my forearm that says, ‘But, God’, because that was the anchor that held me in the months and years of lost hope.
In February of this year, we reached out to a friend of ours who had success adopting through The Children’s Home in Pittsburgh. After a few glasses of wine and a thousand questions, we left her house feeling even more confident than before. ‘This is our year, we are going to be parents and it’s going to be great.’ After reaching out to The Children’s Home, we were told that the next orientation would be in March, so we signed up and with anticipation waited the few weeks for the first meeting. At that orientation, we were given our folder of paperwork, so that if we chose to pursue adoption through them, we could get a jump start on it right away (honestly, such a God-send, because the paperwork is no joke and takes a lot of families months to get through). We were then told that the first round of classes were starting the following weekend or we would have to wait for a Summer session. Woh. But, God…without much back and forth we decided that the time was now and we were going to take the steps that we needed to to pursue this dream.
Many, many full days of Saturday classes, CPR certifications, mandated reporter training, and mountains of paperwork consumed the weeks following that orientation. By April, we were assigned to the Social Worker that we wanted (again, God) and started our one-on-one meetings with her, covering every topic from our childhood, to our marriage, to our finances and our sex life. No stone is left un-turned when you go through this process. The question, “What will you do with this process if you should get pregnant naturally?” was posed. I had to laugh, ‘Really, do you think that’s something that we need to worry about? We’re here in this moment, doing all of this work because we couldn’t get pregnant naturally in almost 2.5 years, and now at the tail end of this process we are going to magically get pregnant?’ Probably not. But, God….
May 23, 2019, just 8 days before our home evaluation to wrap up our adoption certification, our lives changed forever. I had missed a period (happened before) and was more tired and hungry than usual (but, not enough to notice), so Mike told me to take a test. After going through the disappointment and the heartache 27 times before, I was not chomping at the bit to take another test and be devastated all over again. There was no way, we were almost certified to adopt, this was the plan. But, God…
I conceded and took a test before my shower that night, thinking, even if I was pregnant, there is not way my HCG levels would be high enough at 7 PM to be detectable. But, I did it anyways and low and behold, two pink lines awaited on the window sill when I stepped out of the shower. I ran down the steps, soaking wet, in my towel, and out onto our deck, where Mike was barbecuing, and said, “WHAT is this?!” To which he said, “I don’t know, what is that? What do the two lines mean?” We spent the rest of the night in total shock and disbelief. But, maybe it was a fluke, my mind raced. So, Friday morning came and I took another test. This time, the lines were darker, so I called and scheduled my blood test for that afternoon to check my levels and see how far along I was. By the time we knew we were pregnant, I was already 7-8 weeks along and her due date? January 13, 2020. When I say that the fact that her birthday is estimated to be one day short of 3 years since that initial glass of champagne and bites of Tiramisu, one day is not lost on me, I mean it. God is always on time, my friend. Let me speak to your tired heart, whether it is about becoming a Mama or not, God is always on time. We can plan, and plan, and plan, and still at the end of the day, our faith may be tested and our timing may be ignored, but God’s plan for us is greater than we could ever imagine.
So, our plans shifted; we tried to get pregnant, didn’t, tried to adopt, didn’t, but it ultimately brought us to this place, awaiting this specific sweet baby girl. The last 2.5 years broke us in every sense of the word; I spent many days wearing a mask in public, keeping my story from my closest friends and family, going to countless baby showers for other people, and crying myself to sleep (I thank God for my husband, he has been my rock, especially the last year). Just know, that if you are on a similar path, you are not alone, there are a lot of us out there who have experienced similar pain and confusion on our journey to motherhood. 1/8 couples in America experience infertility, often times unexplained. But, God…
**Special thank you to Lauren from Lauren Wagler Photography for these amazing shots, we can’t wait for her in-home newborn photos!
My biggest piece of advice to others would be; don’t assume that you know what a couple is going through, or what the woman sitting next to you at church or at the local coffee shop is swallowing to get through the day. Be mindful, think before you ask. If they’ve been married for a few years, don’t assume that they haven’t been trying, that they haven’t experienced the worst loss, or that they even want kids. Show grace and understanding to everyone, because just because people carry it well, doesn’t mean it’s not heavy.
For now our adoption process is on hold, until baby girl is at least 6 months old, per our agency, and we are looking forward to loving on her, getting to know her and each other as parents. We see our future full of kids, both of our bodies and of our hearts and we are so thankful that despite our heartache and wrecked plans, we can say with confidence (and you can too), But, God…