It was 11:00 PM on March 6th, 2014. I remember feeling anxious, excited, overwhelmed and everything in between. At 12:00 AM on March 7th, I was scheduled to be induced which would mark the beginning of a journey into the unknown. As Jerome and I walked out of our little two bedroom apartment to head to the hospital, I remember telling him it would be the last time it would ever be just the two us. Our lives were about to change forever. That day would be the end to a very long trying journey to motherhood. One that was marked with miscarriage, infertility and depression.
Before I get into how I became a mother, I’d like to note that anyone who knows me knows that I am completely transparent. I don’t have much of a poker face so even when trying to hide my truths, it somehow reads on my face. I’m also a firm believer that God allows us to go through certain things so that we may be able to share with others in their times of need. Our truths should not always be so tightly guarded. Some people enter our lives because they may be going through the very same thing you’ve gone through. You may be their only hope or witness to Christ.
So… let’s now rewind to September 2009 as I get into a complete truth moment. It was almost a year after graduating from college and Jerome and I were dating long distance. We had spent nearly every single day together from the moment we met in college and now we were miles and miles apart trying to make the most of our situation. I would drive up to visit him when I could and he would do the same. In September of 2009, while living at home with my mom and was barely making enough to live on my own working in my very first job out of college, I found myself pregnant. I was DEVASTATED. Our relationship was becoming strained from the distance and neither he or I could support a child. Where would we live? How would we make ends meet? I was also always a church going girl who loved Christ. I was so embarrassed and so ashamed.
About a week after getting confirmation from the doctor that I was indeed pregnant, I began what seemed to be my period. Only it became stronger and more intense than usual. I thought maybe I’m one of those women who would experience bleeding throughout pregnancy. But the bleeding only got worse and worse until I realized I was experiencing a miscarriage. I found myself devastated yet again. I thought God was punishing me for my acts. Just as I had come to terms with our new reality and decided I would do any and everything to provide for our child to be, it all ended so suddenly.
After the miscarriage, our relationship changed for the worst. We experienced some ups and downs which eventually led to a breakup. Shortly after our breakup, and trying to live our lives without each other, life brought us back together. Jerome and I married in June of 2011 and were happy about starting our new life together in Tennessee (we relocated from Virginia and Maryland for a big job opportunity for Jerome). We didn’t waste time after getting married to begin discussing our plans to start a family. This time around we were actually prepared and trying but it didn’t happen as fast as we thought it would.
After the first year of marriage of “trying” we figured maybe we just hadn’t gotten lucky yet. It wasn’t until the second year that we began to question whether something wasn’t quite right. I went to my doctor with our concerns that after a year of trying, we weren’t pregnant yet. She began running multiple tests and ordered ultrasounds which led to the discovery of my PCOS (Polycsystic Ovary Syndrome). If you’re not familiar with PCOS, which I wasn’t, it is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of whack causing problems with your period and making it difficult to get pregnant. Because the hormones get out of whack in women with PCOS it can effect your ovulation. I was definitely not ovulating.
When I got the news about my PCOS I didn’t know what that meant for us and our future family. Were we even going to have our own family? The chances of a woman becoming pregnant with PCOS are possible but very slim. My doctor prescribed Metphormin which is a drug used to treat diabetes patients but also works to help women with PCOS. This led to GI issues that I learned to just deal with for the sake of getting pregnant. I spent months on Metphormin while also working to control my weight through exercise and eating healthy on occasion. The constant disappointment month after month led to resentment, anger, depression, worthlessness…. you name it, I felt it.
I watched others around me conceive and have children but nothing was happening for me. We prayed, I pleaded with God, cried and did it all over again but nothing was happening. I wanted to be happy for others around me but I was hurting inside. I felt like yet again God was punishing me for our disregard for Him earlier in our relationship. Somehow, I felt less of a woman because my body wouldn’t do the one thing that makes me a woman. And even worse, I felt like a disappointment because I knew how much Jerome wanted a family. Through all of my negative feelings towards myself, I decided to continue pressing forward attempting to turn my health around.
In the latter part of 2012, my doctor decided to add Clomid, a fertility drug, into the mix along with the Metphormin. It was our last resort. By that time, I was more serious about my health. I had a good exercise routine and I was careful about my diet. But still nothing. My faith wavered back and forth. One moment I had faith that God was in complete control and things would happen in His time. In the next moment I felt He had forgotten about us. We completed our sixth round of Clomid, which was the last, and still nothing. I continued to press on by working out and eating right. I even started dropping the pounds, but still nothing.
It was the summer of 2013, and Jerome and I had traveled to Vegas for a conference that we received THE call from my doctor’s office, which would be a huge turning point in my faith. It was her nurse calling to give me the news that my doctor had referred us to a fertility clinic because she was all out of answers. After hanging up the phone with the nurse, the fertility clinic called right after to schedule a consultation. I remember not even finishing the conversation and politely asking the woman on the other end of the phone if I could call her back at a later time to finish setting up the appointment. As I hung up the phone, I very calmly told Jerome that that was it. That we would finally just trust God. We enjoyed the rest of our vacation without giving any more thought to the news my doctor gave us.
Upon returning back home from our Vegas vacation, I started feeling different. Something in my body was changing, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Two weeks later, Jerome had to travel back to Virginia and I felt an inkling in my gut to take a pregnancy test. I wanted to sneak and do it while he was away because I didn’t want him to feel the continued disappointment that we’ve always felt after testing. Much to my surprise, this time was different. Within seconds I had finally gotten my big fat positive! Tears of relief and joy flowed from my eyes and praise flowed from my mouth. I immediately called Jerome to share this news which he was just as excited as I was.
During the first trimester of pregnancy we experienced some fears of miscarriage. I was put on bed rest for a short period of time but managed a pretty easy pregnancy throughout the remainder.
Fast forward to today and are our lives are so full with a beautiful two year old boy. I dealt with some postpartum issues right after giving birth that I was ashamed to admit then. I practically lied to my doctor when asked because I was ashamed to say that after the years of trying and begging God for a baby, I wasn’t sure if I was capable of caring for a child. A few people around me questioned my happiness and I denied, denied, denied. But the truth is, I was overwhelmed. I was fatigued. And I felt alone. There is no doubt motherhood is one of the hardest things a woman will experience in her life. It’s a constant battle of questioning and doubting yourself and your decisions while under complete stress and fatigue.
Looking back over the last few years, I know that God was only building my strength and character to become the mother Jaden needed me to be. Even through his toddler antics I can’t imagine my life without him. For me, motherhood is like a mirrored relationship of how God loves me. Through all of my tantrums, doubting and questioning, God remained faithful to me and loves me unconditionally. During this time, He was only preparing me to be the mother He needed me to be for Jaden. Had it happened when we were merely children ourselves trying to make a long distance relationship work or when I thought I was ready, I may not have been equipped mentally to deal with all that comes with motherhood.
Through this journey I have learned many things. My infertility journey taught me to be sensitive to others. Please don’t question a couple about when they’ll have kids. You never know what private battles they’re facing. My miscarriage journey taught me to have faith that things will always work out on God’s timing and not my own. And my journey through depression taught me to seek joy in God because the battles we face here on earth are only temporary. And even though we’re ready for number two, which has not happened for us yet, my past experience has taught me to just trust God. I hope my story can be an encouragement for anyone dealing with infertility or miscarriage. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have a re-commitment to God to trust His will for my life.