The Owens Family

The Owens Family

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I'm Ready to Tell You

If you were here with me face to face, and you took a good look at me you might notice something different.  If Paige was around, she would talk and talk and suddenly burst out saying, "Mommy has a baby in her tummy.  We are going to have a baby at our house."  I am sure you would wonder if you heard her right. Then I would probably look shy and tell you that it is true.  Because it is! Yes it is!  I wouldn't say anything more, but to tell you that Jake and I are overjoyed. I am sure you would be happy for us, because we have the best family and friends in the world.
But because you are reading about our WONDERFUL news, I need to write out my thoughts and feelings. It's something I feel I need to do as part of my personal healing.  I have still chosen carefully how to say what I feel.

We haven't made it a secret that Jake and I would love to add to our family.  It has been our priority and desire of our hearts, but at times we wondered if it was part of the plan for us.  After adopting Brielle, we had feelings that maybe there was still someone that should be here with us. We love Brielle and can't imagine life without her. She was always meant to be with us. But we didn't feel like adoption would be in our near future.  We love adoption. We would do it again if it would lead us to our child.  But this time Jake and I both felt like maybe it would be medical treatments that would hopefully lead to another pregnancy. We didn't know all the reasons why we should choose this way, but we were gonna go with it because we were both on the same page.
So we began saving. And worrying too.  IVF is scary and this time I would go into it with the full knowledge of the range of difficult possibilities. In the meantime, we treated Brielle like she was our last child and loved Paigey to pieces.  I tried not to put any deadlines on it and say, "It has to happen by this birthday, or by the time Brielle is this old."  I wanted the right time to open up.  But as we continued, it just never seemed right.

Jake and I tried to accept that 2 children might be our complete family.  I knew that we would be fine in the end. If that was the plan, then I could still "fill the measure of my creation." Do what I was meant to do. But when you suffer a loss, a part of you is missing and always will be.  I accepted that a long time ago. Then there came a point I felt so confused and down.  I felt no answers.  Nothing seemed right. I felt that maybe there was another child that would come to us but at the same time, Jake and I both didn't feel like we should attempt anything in the future. I didn't know how to move forward.  At one point I felt like I got a one word answer.  That word was, "Wait."

 We kept on saving and hoping that if the answer was no, maybe it would be yes somewhere in the future.  We even participated in an IVF 5K last year.  This 5K was a Footsteps for Fertility fundraiser for one couple to receive a free treatment from my Reproductive Specialist.  The lucky couple was not us.  We were sad for us, but happy for them.  I remember smiling through my tears when I saw Jake clap harder than anyone else for this couple that would have the chance to have a family.  But what about us?What now?

We were smack in the middle of all of this stress (including a few other small life changes) when it happened.....  I found out that I was pregnant.  After 10 years of marriage, 2 years of trying to find a diagnosis, 2 years of failed treatments, 1 IVF pregnancy, 2 failed IVF's and 1 adoption later. We found out I was pregnant.  This will make you wonder if we did do In Vitro.  I have jokingly wondered if I did do it myself, but it would have had to be in my sleep because I have no recollection of it.  I feel no bruises from shot marks.  I don't hesitate to tell you that we did not go to any doctors.  I think I would rather have you know. This was the most unexpected event that has ever happened in my entire life.  When I went to the Dr. to confirm my pregnancy, he laughed at me.  I was so stunned I could answer no questions. My hands were literally shaking. He told me to go home and let it sink in and then come back in a day if I needed to.

We are so happy to share our story. I could stop right here, and we could all just celebrate!! But a part of the reason why I wanted to write out my feelings, is so I can shape how I would like to react to comments I have already heard when I share my news. I have heard something like:
"You were blessed with a pregnancy because you decided to adopt.  I know of so many couples that adopt and BAM, and they  finally get pregnant. It happens all the time."

A)  This suggests that adoption is just another road to pregnancy. Adoption isn't the magic way to achieve a pregnancy.We are so happy we have experienced pregnancy.  But we can't imagine not having our adoption either. It makes sense to try to come up with reason why things like this happen, but in our case I just don't know the reasons. I probably don't need to know. : ) For every couple that has been able to conceive after adoption, I bet I know of 3 couples that have not had the same outcome.

I have also heard,
"I know of many couples just like you, that just stopped trying and stopped worrying and they were able to get pregnant."

B)We are living proof that just wasn't true for us! I can honestly say that we did not stop coping at any point in our infertility.  Because it is a real loss.  Just like I would grieve and move forward after losing a loved one, I have grieved over losing a part of me. The only thing I can control is my reaction to my loss. I hoped every day for healing and had faith that it would be complete someday.  Even if it wasn't in this life. The stress never stopped for one dayWe never stopped trying in our hearts. I would even go so far as to say that most couples with infertility will consider it to be a life trial.

This may sound as though I am being overly-sensitive. Please don't mis-understand. I just hope so much that I can help other infertile couples by sharing what I feel is sensitive supporting. I don't want to ever stop serving those in similar situations. I have made promises to myself and to God, and I hope to keep my promises by honoring what perspective I have been given.

One quick tip.  Sharing stories about other infertile couples doesn't help nearly as much as a hug and saying, "I love you guys so much." That has been a lifesaver for me.

The past months have been months of absolute gratitude.  It is a time I have held close and pondered in my heart.  I asked Jake when he feels like we will know for sure when we have adequately expressed our thanks to our Heavenly Father.  He said "I don't know.  We prayed for this to happen for 9 years.  Maybe we should thank him in prayer for 9 more." We have cried happy tears with our family and friends. We are anxiously hoping for the rest of the pregnancy to go smooth and safe for our baby.
I don't know why we have struggled with infertility and loss.
I don't know why we were blessed with healing from the infertilty.
I don't know if this is a temporary healing, or permanent healing.
I don't know why there are other deserving couples that cannot conceive children.

But this is what I know.

I know I am grateful and need to share my joy.

I know God is there and is very real. I know this not just because of the happy times, the miracles and the overwhelming joy that I have experienced.  I know it because of my personal pain, my doubts, my questions, and my quest for the truth.

I know that our loss deepens our life experiences and can give us each a rich and compassionate life.

I know that we ALL experience loss.  There isn't any use comparing the burdens of it.  We all go through it.  We all make mistakes in trying to love each other through the pain.  But love is more powerful than mistakes.

I know that my future has seemed unclear, and I may not know  at times what decisions to make for my best life. God asks me to take a step forward.  Just one little step at a time. I think he might even make allowance for us to stop and rest for awhile so we can continue later. That is what faith means to me.

And most of all, I know God made this happen for Jake and I.

I will forever praise Him for making me a woman, a daughter, a friend, a wife and a mother

Now for the fun part.

I am due in December.
We are having a boy.
I am in heaven and loving my maternity clothes, ice cream, cheese and crackers, and oddly enough-salads.
Yes, I am feeling good.  Just a bit sick in the beginning and the normal pregnancy feelings. I try not to complain.

And these are some pregnancy pictures.
The day I found out.  I am crying in this picture.

Enjoying my craving!