Jeremy and I feel so very blessed to be a part of such a wonderful miracle. Our journey to starting a family has been a long one. It started in 2007 when I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This is a disorder in which you do not ovulate or only ovulate a few times a year. We had been married for 2 years at the time and had been praying about possibly starting a family and this diagnosis meant we would most likely need some help getting pregnant. We weren’t too concerned because the doctors were saying all I probably needed was a few rounds of clomid and we would be pregnant in no time.
We decided we would wait a little while before starting any treatment because we thought it might happen naturally.
In the summer of 2008, I had surgery for pain I was having and I was diagnosed with stage II endometriosis. Again, we were told this could have an impact on us having children. As the doctor put it, “Allyn Ann has 2 strikes against her, good thing you are ok Jeremy.” The doctor also told us the 12-18 months after the surgery, I would be my most fertile. We decided to take the plunge and the doctor’s advice. In January of 2009 we started Clomid.
The first month I was so excited and nervous. I just knew we would be pregnant. Well…many weeks later, we realized I did not even ovulate on that dose of clomid. It was devastating. I worried that nothing would be able to make me ovulate. What if we never got pregnant? The anxiety of infertility really set in. Thankfully the next dose did make me ovulate and I was well on my way to pregnancy, or so I thought.
At the time Jeremy was traveling for work, so I was planning flights around my cycles. If you know Jeremy then you know he LOVES to instigate. When I would visit, Jeremy called me his “One Flight Stand.” Looking back this was a very fun but very crazy time in our lives. In May of 2009 Jeremy was selected to open his own Chick-fil-A Franchise. We were praying about several different locations and we had settled on Orange County California. Once I moved to California my first mission was to find a new doctor in California. We resumed treatment and added in inseminations with some acupuncture.
After 10 medication cycles that included 5 inseminations and another surgery for endometriosis, we were not pregnant. This was devastating to us and we realized that we would need IVF. We had been on this journey for over 2 years. I was exhausted from all the disappointment and depressed because it seemed every time I turned around, someone else was pregnant (usually by accident or it was the first month they tried). I did not understand why God was not choosing to give us a baby.
I was blessed by the fact that I worked in infertility in Mississippi and had great friends/doctors there. After some prayer and discussions, Jeremy and I decided we would go back to MS for IVF. Dr. Randall Hines and his staff were wonderful to me. They had very high hopes for a successful IVF cycle and pregnancy. I flew to MS in June and had my egg retrieval. They got 21 eggs! All was looking great. Then next day we got some not so great news; Only 11 of the 21 eggs fertilized. We were extremely discouraged but I knew 11 embryos were more than enough. By day 3 we only had 5 embryos left and they were looking ok. We were praying for a blastocyst (the best embryo) transfer on day 5.
I will never forget showing up to Dr. Hines’ office that day and him telling me that there were NO blastocysts. We had 2 embryos left and they did not look the best. I would have them transferred and pray for a miracle. Several days later we were notified that our miracle did not happen. After discussions with my doctor, he told me that the embryologist was worried about my eggs. They did not look right and he thinks that is why I did not have any blastocysts. Now, I was facing a whole new battle: I may never have a biological child. Jeremy and I were devastated to say the least. The only way I could function was to have a plan. I needed a plan.
I talked it over with my doctor and decided I definitely needed to do another cycle of IVF. I know, having worked in the field, that anyone can have a bad cycle. Through much discussion, we decided to change everything up for the next cycle to see if we had a different result. We changed doctors, labs, protocols, and our expectations. We knew that the same thing could happen so we went in with a different mind frame.
We decided to go to Dr. James Lin in Irvine, CA. Dr. Lin and his staff were amazing to me. I could not have picked a better office (other than Dr. Hines, of course). We started medicine again the beginning of December and were nervous about the egg retrieval. We wanted to know if my eggs looked better. The day of the retrieval they got 23 eggs! And the doctor thought they looked ok! We were thrilled. Then the next day we got the bad news: My eggs were not normal and many of them “shattered like glass” when they injected the sperm. Once again, I only had 11 fertilize. We went from such a high to such a low. I remember just laying in bed sobbing over the fact that I will never be pregnant. We got the news that by day 3, I only had 2 embryos left. They would transfer them that day. We went for the transfer, I was on bed rest for several days, and we prayed for a miracle.
Our pregnancy test was New Year’s Eve. I knew the news was going to be bad. My phone rang. It was Dr. Lin. I think I went into shock because he told me I was PREGNANT!! The only thing was, my numbers were a little low and we would need to watch them closely. Of course, we were over the moon! We couldn’t believe it. God worked a true miracle in our lives. I was still nervous about the pregnancy proceeding but Jeremy showed such great faith. He said that this was a miracle that God had done and this would be a healthy pregnancy. Well, my numbers went up beautifully and a few weeks ago- we saw the heartbeat. What a MIRACLE! We are beyond amazed at what God can do. We feel this is our testimony and we need to share the great things God did and is still doing in our lives. Even when we lose faith, He does not lose faith in us!
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; Make known among the nations what He has done.”
1 Chronicles 16:8