Maybe it’s just because I’m a goofball, but making kids smile is something that has always come naturally to me! I come from a big family and it was instilled in me from a very young age that family always comes first. I’ve been looking forward to meeting my own little ones for as long as I could remember! And Kaelyn… Well, let’s just say, she was BORN to be a mama!
At my kindergarten graduation, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I proudly announced “a mommy!” I grew up playing with dolls, dreaming of the day I’d have my own real baby. I even dressed up like a mommy one year for Halloween! As I got older, I was the go-to babysitter of our church, and worked in daycare. I loved getting experience that would help me know how to be a good mama to my own babies.
We always knew that kids were extremely important to us. In fact, we talked about baby names well before we were even engaged. And… had already decided on our favorite names!
Just a few months into our marriage, I was already begging Tommy for babies! Even though we hadn’t been married very long, I already had strong baby fever! We decided it would be smart to wait a little longer for several reasons, but just before our first anniversary, we were ready to begin trying to expand our family. I was SO excited!
I, on the other hand, was a little nervous. At the time, I was stretched about as thin as I could be working 2 part-time jobs and running my own business. None of which provided our own family insurance. I really wanted to have my crap sorted out, as far as what I wanted to do with my life for a job, before we welcomed a little “pooper” into the family.
As the months went by, we saw many negative pregnancy tests. We started to worry that something was wrong. We had a doctor’s appointment after 6 months of trying to see if we could catch any issues early on, as I had some concerns that I wanted to bring up, and a gut feeling that something wasn’t quite right. To our disappointment, doctors don’t really want to look into anything until after a full year of trying, especially since we are a young, healthy couple.
When you are struggling with infertility, things that make most people smile become painful. Seeing birth announcements, families goofing off in public, and even Mother’s/Father’s day. We don’t tease couples about having kids, because you never know what someone is going through. We’ve been there and it doesn’t feel good. Infertility is a painful and lonely road.
After a year with no success, we went back to the doctor to get a few tests done. The results were not what we were hoping to hear, but not knowing the extremity of it, we were still optimistic. We were referred to a specialist and were ready to get some answers and find a way to make this happen! Unfortunately, that doctor was about to give us some heart wrenching, devastating news.
I remember sitting in the doctor’s office when he said it was very unlikely that we would ever have our own biological children. This was NOT what we were expecting to hear! Devastated doesn’t even begin to describe all the feelings we felt.
After many tears, prayers, and serious conversations, we decided to try going to a fertility clinic, to see if they had any other options for us. We had an amazing doctor there that explained to us that we actually had a much better chance of pregnancy than we were lead to believe, but that our only option was IVF (other than a miracle from the Lord, which we completely believed could happen then, and still believe could happen in the future!!)
For most couples, IVF is the last resort. Needless to say, we were nervous, but thankful that we at least had a chance. But we also knew that this difficult journey was only just beginning. We took some time to study the pros and cons of the process, to figure out if we could ethically take this road as a Christian, and to pray for the Lord’s best for our family.
In Vitro Fertilization is a lengthy, invasive procedure. For us, it involved pills, multiple shots daily, frequent 6:30 am monitoring checkups, a painful egg retrieval, an embryo transfer, and then a couple more months of shots and pills. It was not a fun experience, but we are extremely thankful for it!
On Thursday, April 5th, 2018, we went to the clinic, full of nerves, excitement, and anticipation. One of our embryos was ready to be implanted! We got to see a picture of it, which was SO cool! This is one of the highlights of IVF- we got to see our baby at only 5 days old…no one else gets to see that! It looked like a tiny, little blob, but it was the cutest little blob we had ever seen! It was a quick transfer into my uterus, and then we waited…longest 9 days EVER!! It’s really hard not to analyze every twinge, cramp, and possible pregnancy symptom, but I tried to stay busy, and not get my hopes up. IVF often does not work the first time. Saturday morning, April 14th, just a couple of days before our blood pregnancy test at the clinic, we decided to take a home pregnancy test. I knew I was far enough along that it would be accurate, and finding out at home with time to process would give us time to grieve if it did not work, and time to celebrate if it did!
Yeah, patience is not our strongest quality. So, the time came to take the pregnancy test. We planned to wait and look at it together, but again, someone just couldn’t wait for me to check the stick. I stepped out of the room for two seconds and heard a squeal. Kaelyn had looked before the time was up and the lines were already showing that she was pregnant! After the initial, “Hey, ya turd, you were supposed to wait for me!!” I was overwhelmed with excitement! The Lord continued to provide in the most remarkable ways!
“Every good and every perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17) Hopefully, as you read our story you noticed the theme of “thankfulness.” While going through this season of trial, we did not always see the good. But God is faithful. Through the pain, he has brought joy. Not just because He has given us Rylan, but because He has showed us that His plan is infinitely better. We hope that by sharing our story, we can be an encouragement to many others who walk through dark days.