When you are a little girl your favorite pastime is day dreaming about who you will be when you grow up. I dreamed about the man I would marry, the type of home we would live in and the babies we would have together. As the years went by my dreams always changed but the one thing that was consistent were my dreams of having a happy life full of laughter and love.
Of all the scenarios I dreamed up, I never imagined that when I grew up I would have to seek a fertility specialist to help my biggest dream come true, that after years of trying I would think becoming pregnant was no longer a option, that I would actually become pregnant just to have that dream ripped out of my hands, that I would bury my first son Noah, that trying to conceive after loss would consume whatever happiness I had left and that I would actually get pregnant again………
I met my husband Michael in March of 2006 at a birthday party, when I met him I would have never imagined that he would be the one I would spend the rest of my life with. We were married in May of 2007 and a few years later in 2009 we decided that it was time to try and start a family.
I have always struggled with PCOS but was never aware that trying to get pregnant would become an issue. Our initial meeting with the specialist left me down in the dumps thinking there was no hope and it would be best to give up on this dream I had held for so long. Over the next 2 years I felt myself slipping away and turned to food for happiness, those choices only took me further away from starting a family. I gained a lot of weight and I remember waking up one day thinking “what have you done”, I was the heaviest I had ever been weighing 327lbs.
In that moment I knew something had to be done, what I had been doing would not work and I would never be a Mom if I didn’t change immediately. I started doing a lot of research and after prayerful consideration I decided to have lap band surgery in 2011, this was a life changing decision and I have no regrets. It wasn’t a magic pill by any means and losing weight took a lot of work but I was able to successfully lose 100lbs and start pursing that dream once again that I had let fade away.
In 2013, a new improved version of me scheduled a consultation with a new specialist at a new location. We left that appointment feeling very hopeful, I finally felt like all my hard work just might pay off. The dr suggested that we start with the basics and try “timed intercourse”. Not much had changed in regards to my PCOS so they decided to start me on Clomid to help jumpstart my ovaries and then once the follicles (eggs) were ready we would go home and well you know, do what married folk do. We tried this process in April of 2013 with no luck and then again in May of 2013. We also celebrated our 6 year anniversary that month by flying to Yellowstone to stay at the Old Faithful Inn. I will never forget finishing out the two week wait and taking a pregnancy test on the side of the mountain and getting that positive, it was the happiest moment of our life. Seriously, who gets to tell their kid that they found out they were expecting on the side of a beautiful mountain in Yellowstone National Park celebrating a 6th anniversary? It was as if what was happening was more than I could have ever dreamed.
Little did I know that the happiest moment of my life would end a few short months later, I was left broken and devastated. That same dream that I had been grasping onto had faded away before our eyes in a way I could have never imagined. At 15 weeks we found out that our sweet boy, Noah Michael Bell, had left us. The following day August 14, 2013 will be a day that I will never forget. It is a day that is forever etched into my heart as the day I painfully said hello and goodbye to my first child, my precious son, my baby, MY HEART.
Most of that day is a blur; I can remember bits and pieces of his delivery. I remember arriving to the hospital to be induced, I remember the gut wrenching emotional and physical pain that came along with every contraction until he was born sleeping. I remember leaving the hospital the next day feeling shattered, confused, taken back, helpless, hurt and so many more emotions that I can’t even begin to describe… I wasn’t quite sure of anything in that moment other than the cold harsh truth that my son was no longer growing safely inside me and his soul had went to be with Jesus.
Of all the things I can remember, there is one thing that stands out to me the most and that is God’s overwhelming sense of peace. I have never felt so much sorrow and peace at the same time; it was something I would never forget and I knew in that moment that my life had been changed forever.
As much as I wish there was, there is no such thing as a one size fits all grief shirt that you put on to guide you thru the emotions you suffer after loss. Over the next year I would find myself facing every emotion imaginable. My faith was stronger than it had ever been after losing Noah, I knew deep in my heart that God had a purpose for this, one I couldn’t understand but there was a reason and I needed to trust in that. Even though my heart knew this that didn’t stop the devil from trying to tell me otherwise and at times I let him win. I found myself angry and bitter that this had happened to me; I found myself jealous of others and even avoided celebrating with friends who were expecting because I felt that it wasn’t fair that they were so happy while I was so deeply hurt. I also found myself angry when I would have a good day because that meant I didn’t care about him anymore; after all how could I possibly be happy again? After time and prayer I slowly felt myself coming around, I began to feel happy again. They always say time heals all, well it doesn’t but time does help ease the sting and gives you the opportunity to learn how to live life after loss. In March of 2014, 7 months after loss, we decided we were ready to start trying again.
Infertility is never fun, it’s not something you desire and it’s not a challenge you welcome but it happens. Trying to conceive after losing Noah was much harder than I could have ever anticipated, we tired the same treatment plan as before for 3 months with no luck. Your body has a cruel way of making you think you are pregnant when you aren’t so every negative test I seen was like losing all over again. In June, our Dr suggested we attempt Insemination (IUI); this consisted of my husband giving a sample and then inserting it into the cervix with a small catheter. We just knew this was going to be it, this month we would see a positive- we were wrong. We repeated this same cycle again in July and were prepared to do so in August but my body decided to develop a cyst which required birth control for 1 month before proceeding. September came and I was over it, I can remember yelling saying this is it God. I was tired of trying, I was tired of being let down, I gave it to God and was prepared to move on. This dream I had been chasing had already taken the best years of my life and I was ready to settle down and enjoy life; a life without fertility medicines and mood swings, a life without monthly let downs and high medical bills. At the beginning of October we completed our 3rd IUI, I will NEVER forget the joy and relief I felt on October 18th when that digital test my husband was holding said PREGNANT.
I am currently 21 weeks and cannot explain how ecstatic I am, I am so very thankful for everyday that God allows us with this blessing. I have struggled with fear this entire pregnancy and have moments of weakness but God always scoops me up and reminds me that he is in control and has always been in control. He has been so very faithful to me; he has given me peace when I needed it most and strength when I felt the weakest. I am still clinging to his promise and trusting that his will is what will be done and no matter what happens I will have him to fall back on. There is no greater comfort than trusting in Jesus.
Crosby is growing and the Dr says he is right on track and couldn’t be any healthier. He started kicking Feb 4 which was Noah’s due date; Thank you God for lining that up, every kick is so reassuring. We are getting ready to decorate the nursery and in 4 short months our sweet boy will be in our arms. I look forward to so many things with him, but most of all I cannot wait to tell him about his brother and everything his Mommy and Daddy did to have him. There is no doubt this child will be loved!
Thank you for taking the time to read my life story, every experience has made me stronger and will make me a better Mother. If you are reading this and would like to discuss further I am an open book. I love to listen and would love to encourage you if you are struggling with infertility or loss or whatever it may be. I wish you the best of luck and pray that all who desire sweet babies can become mothers.
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
All my love-