Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The story behind the picture... part 1

Last week, we shared some really exciting news. I have never been more nervous to press "publish" on a post! I'm not entirely sure why either- I guess we had kept it as our little secret for so long that it felt a little scary putting it out there for everyone else to know. Not to mention I was definitely starting to show, and my pregnancy brain was not processing that certain pictures like this one either screamed "that beer gut came out of nowhere" or "she's obviously pregnant." When Matt's sister's neighbor's husband (who we have hung out with maybe three times) asked them if I was pregnant based off of a picture he saw on Facebook, I decided it was probably time.

But I think I also knew that for some people, seeing that post would be another announcement that reminded them of something they hadn't been able to experience and really wanted. And that alone made me hesitant to share our excitement with other people.

It's a crazy stage- the whole trying-to-get-pregnant thing. And it's funny really because I, like so many other people, thought that we would need to be 100% ready to enter that new stage of life the minute we considered trying because it very well could "work" (as I've learned to call it) the first time we tried. Oh how cute and naive I was.

Let me first back up and say that when Matt and I got married back in 2007, we had dated for 6 years- half of high school and all of college. We had made a decision to not live together or do what people who are married or live together do. For SIX years. (Bachelor fans, we saved our "grown sexy" for marriage.) 

Needless to say, we were ready to make up for some lost time, if you will. (Sorry fam- just pretend like this is NOT awkward.)

So when the wedding day finally rolled around, and the honeymoon came and went, I actually had nightmares about getting pregnant right away. Yes, nightmares.

I wanted to enjoy being married. I wanted to live in the same place, get away on the weekends and do nothing on weeknights. I wanted to travel when we could and just enjoy the stage of being married without any responsibilities. I'm talking...we didn't even have a plant.

So fast forward 4.5 years. We were both feeling like we were ready to consider the whole "having a family" thing. We loved the time we spent with our nephews and friends' kids, we had been in our house for a couple of years (a house that had a designated "nursery" room the moment we moved in), Matt felt established with his job, we had saved, we had traveled... we had talked through everything (if you know us, you know that we talked.through.everything.), and we were ready.

Some people decide to do the "we're not NOT trying" thing. For us, we set a time frame for when the trying would begin. Yeah, there's nothing really spontaneous about either one of us- me, I can be rash, but spontaneous I am not. There's a difference, I promise.

Again, if you know me, you will not be surprised that I had the timeline down to a science. I wanted a Fall baby because if we had a boy first, he would have the advantage of being the oldest in the class (and as a teacher, I knew boys matured slower than girls and could struggle in the early-elementary years if they were the youngest). I also knew that my insurance would cover through the early Fall if I decided to not go back to teaching- not to mention that I would only be 5ish months pregnant at the end of the school year and would easily be able to take down my classroom and not feel uncomfortable being on my feet during those last few weeks.

So you get the point. We were ready.

Now fast forward. After trying for 6 months, I started to get a little impatient. We were clear-on-the-other-side of my perfect timeline, and getting pregnant during those months meant that we would be delivering during months that I in fact did not want to have a baby (oh it makes me cringe to write that). Matt, mind you, was ever positive and was constantly balancing out my psychoness (a theme in our marriage really) by reminding me that it sometimes takes a while and that we would need to be patient and trust in the Lord's timing for our family. In those moments I could feel God trying to unclench my fists and ask me to hand over control-- and it made me feel annoyed. (I'm a gem, aren't I?!)

I soon decided that there was a balance between trusting in the Lord's timing and being proactive (haha- translation, "how can I still try to take control of this situation?")

So I went to see my doctor and asked for his thoughts. He told me to try as hard as I could to not think about getting pregnant and give it a couple more months- then he would be happy to see me again and take a look at things.

I, of course, thought this would be the ticket. I saw the doctor, I was going to be more relaxed, hand things over, trust in God's timing... all that good stuff.

Two months later, I went back. I told him the "don't think about it" plan wasn't working.

At that point, he said he would take a look at my ovaries and make sure everything looked okay. After a few tests, I got a phone call with the results of my egg reserve count.

Egg reserve measures the "strength" of a woman's eggs, which directly relates to her ability to conceive with those eggs. This number can run anywhere from 0 to 20, with the average being between 6-10 and a strong number being between 11-14. After running the tests, they called me a few days later with the results.

My count came back at 1.06.

Ugh. That was hard to hear. But probably not as hard as the nurse saying, "I have seen people get pregnant with these numbers." Something about the way she said it sounded like she was really saying the opposite.

But I felt encouraged to finally have a "reason" and did feel hopeful that there were ways to work around a low egg reserve and help my body encourage pregnancy.

So they started me on a medicine called Letrizole- a milder version of Clomid, with lower hormones and a lower chance for multiples.

After two rounds, and who even knows how many negative pregnancy tests later, Matt and I got the best news of our lives.

It was 10:30 at night, after driving home from a long weekend in Orlando, when we saw what we had always hoped to see every time before...two lines. TWO LINES!

It was like that country song, "Laughed Until We Cried" -we tried so hard, we almost gave up hope... we danced and screamed and held each other tight.. we laughed until we cried. It really was one of the best nights of our lives.

That was May of 2013. We were ecstatic. We were hopeful. We were more than ready for what lay ahead.

God was not done teaching us and growing us, though. He had and will always have a plan that is better for us than our own, but not one that's void of heartache.

I'm strangely looking forward to sharing what we have experienced this past year. Writing this post with the honest feelings I had in those early stages shows me how much God has refined me through this entire process. And what I have to share tomorrow is such a huge part that change.

See you then.

(Read Part 2 here.)



  1. I love this post so much and I love how sensitive you still are to other women struggling to get pregnant. You are going to be an incredible mom and I can't wait to see you in that role! (And the bump pictures to come.) =)

  2. So brave and inspirational of you to share your story. I can definitely relate to some of it. "Let go and let God" is so much easier said than done. Again, so happy for you and Matt. I know you have been blessed and that little baby is lucky to have you two as parents, too.

    God is good!

  3. Oh Heather I dearly loved this. As a woman who went through 5 years of trying to get pregnant with countless tests, procedures and negatives results I can so relate to this. I look forward to hearing the rest of the story.

  4. I love this too! So grateful that you are sharing your could so easily be my story, or any woman. Looking forward to reading the rest of it!

  5. SO happy for you!!! I am messaging you on FB also! haha!

  6. Wow, thank you so much for sharing your story! I feel very similar to your feelings about the "perfect time" to get pregnant. I need to let go!

  7. Wow, thank you so much for sharing your story! I feel very similar to your feelings about the "perfect time" to get pregnant. I need to let go!