Each week, I’ll share the story of a mother. Not just any mother, but a mother that surpassed the odds, a mother that overcame, a mother that didn’t give up, a mother that believed that the Lord had plans for her family. These are the stories of mothers after infertility when her precious miracle entered her world. May these stories inspire you, give you hope, and encourage you to keep believing for your miracle.
I WANT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO THIS WEEK’S FEATURED MOMMY MONDAY. MEET TRICIA SCHNOOR. THIS IS HER STORY:
Like many couples, we started trying for a baby soon after our first anniversary. No one in my family had ever struggled with infertility and I was never close to anyone who had. We figured I’d be pregnant within 2 months. But that didn’t happen.
A year later, we were looking at perfect lab results for me and a semen analysis order. Allan’s results were devastating. While he had the swimmers, a majority of them were damaged (poor morphology). We were soon shipped off to a urologist to be treated for varicocele. The surgery was successful (temporarily).
Later I was diagnosed with endometriosis through an exploratory laparoscopy.
Before we could receive treatment, we had to address a lump I found on my breast.
This was especially scary because (1) a very close family member had just been diagnosed with breast cancer that year and (2) the physician who reviewed my mammogram and ultrasound had me sit down and told me that according to his professional opinion, it didn’t look good and I ought to prepare for bad news from the biopsy. After a particularly complex and painful biopsy, I passed out during the “soft” mammogram…but the results were cancer-free and we were cleared to start fertility drugs!!
Clomid gave us 3 beautiful follicles but paper thin uterine lining.
Letrozole gave us very little response.
The leap to injectables was a strain on our finances. We paid for a round and my parents paid for a round. Both were perfect: perfect sperm, lining, and mature follicles. BFN (big fat negative).
We then took a 3 month trip to Thailand with YWAM to train as missionaries for longer term missions trips. This was during the peak of the Zika scare. We were signing up to be banned from treatment for at least 6 months after being stateside IF we were zika-free…. or never doing treatment again if either of us contacted Zika.
We returned to the states both convinced IVF was our next step…in 6 months of course.
We attended a local ministry’s infertility awareness event (Baby Steps by Sarah’s Laughter babystepsfunrun.com). The event includes raffles for IVF and family grant giveaways.
We had a picture perfect experience with our IVF. 13 eggs retrieved, 9 fertilized, 5 frozen, and 3 PGS determined viable.
Our miracle son, Isaac David, was a result of our first transfer.
We returned to our fertility clinic for a second transfer and were overjoyed to have another success. Our second miracle baby (girl) is due in early January 2020.
It ended up taking 5.5 years to conceive Isaac. Our current pregnancy has been a rollercoaster with a very large subchorionic hemorrhage that has caused lots of bleeding, bedrest for several weeks, and weight lifting restrictions. It felt like our first time around, the struggle was getting pregnant and this time the struggle is to stay pregnant.
But God has shown Himself present and faithful in every season of our walk. His faithfulness may not look like we want or expect it to. It may be shown in His comfort amidst the devastation or His grace in allowing us to hold out for His perfect will and timing. But He is so good and truly has our best interest and His glory in mind.
Thinking back on our journey, I remember a heated discussion in our kitchen circa 1 year TTC when Allan told me he was uncomfortable with any unnatural means to conceive, which meant no drugs and definitely not IVF. It was torture to be on two different planets of perspective and conviction. He had bundled some bad theology on faith at the time and later matured in that area in God’s timing and way. But I learned I cannot ever change my husband or his beliefs. Trust me, I tried. I was willing to do anything and everything to have any baby. God gently and slowly chipped away at Allan’s heart. When we returned from Thailand, Allan was actually the one who was pushing harder to do IVF. God changed his heart to His will….but that transition took over 4.5 years.
The best decision I made in our whole journey was to attend a support group. It made a world of difference to be surrounded with new and close friends who were experiencing the same things and to have an opportunity not only be encouraged but to reach out and support someone else.
God has redeemed every tear. They’ve been traded for laughter and joy. Infertility changed me. I still have scars. I still wince at many of the triggers that got to me before becoming a mom. But I’m a different mom because of the struggle.
I’ve been covered in poop to my elbows, and laugh because this is a moment I prayed for. Not every time, but often when I am up in the middle of the night rocking my miracle son, I smile and thank God for the opportunity to lose sleep for this reason.
These are the beautifully messy days I begged God for and I tear up daily at the magnitude of His grace and mercy to change our story.
And I praise God that he has such a unique journey for each of my infertility sisters as well. He has a plan, even when all seems hopeless.