The views and opinions expressed by the author are theirs alone and may not reflect those of Recombine.
Eighteen months ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who was conceived through IVF after nearly a dozen unsuccessful fertility treatments.
Four months ago my husband and I grieved through an early miscarriage after we lost the last of our embryos in our second round of IVF. This led us to the decision to let go of trying to conceive, both naturally and through fertility treatments.
Then, two months ago, I got the biggest shock of my life when I found out I was pregnant.
I’ve daydreamed a lot over the past five years about what it would be like to get pregnant naturally or even by surprise. And now that it has happened for me, I can tell you that it is nothing like I imagined.
In my imagination, I would experience nothing but sheer excitement. I would weep tears of joy as I stared at my home pregnancy test. I would cleverly and romantically announce the news to my husband, who would shout with surprise and remark on what amazing news it was. We would share the news with family and friends in some creative way, and then count down the days until our baby’s due date.
In reality, I took a pregnancy test during a two-week-long visit to my parents’ house. My husband had taken our then 15-month-old daughter to the park so that I could sleep in after she’d woken up exceptionally early. I’d borrowed a dollar store pregnancy test from my sister and decided to take it while the house was quiet and I had some time to myself. Since it wasn’t unusual for my period to be late, and since I’d never gotten a positive home pregnancy without the help of IVF, I wasn’t expecting much. I probably wouldn’t have tested at all had it not been for the encouragement of my sister.
When I realized the test was positive, my mom had to physically pick me up off the floor. My first thought was, “This cannot be real.” My second thought was, “Oh my goodness; I’ve got to get my hands on a progesterone prescription ASAP.” When my shaking hand shoved the pregnancy test toward my husband’s face later that morning he didn’t shout with joy or leap up and down. Instead, he looked at me, looked at my mother, and said, “Whose is that?” When I told him it was mine he didn’t even believe me at first. We weren’t overjoyed, at least not initially, because neither of us could even believe what was happening. Joy and excitement have taken months to develop.
All those giddy, on-cloud-nine emotions that I’d imagined for so long have been slow in coming. They have had to fight against shock, disbelief, fear, and even guilt. Why me when so many other wonderful, strong, faithful women have been struggling for years and still have no babies to show for it?
Joy has finally conquered so much of our fear, but it has only been through much prayer and begging God to calm our anxious hearts. We have asked Him time and time again to replace our anxiety with His perfect peace.
And He has.
From our shock, disbelief, guilt and fear, He has brought joy and a peace that passes all understanding. He has brought forth life where science said there should be none. He has defied statistics and human reasoning. He is doing a new thing in our hearts and lives and reminding us that He is a God who brings beauty from ashes.
I am now 14 weeks pregnant, and finally, finally, my sweet surprise pregnancy truly feels sweet. The miracle growing inside of me has already changed my heart and challenged my faith. Though it didn’t begin the way I’d always imagined it might, pregnancy after infertility has become one of the biggest blessings of my life. No words exist to express my gratitude to my God for this new life. He does say no. He does take His time. And He does take away, but He also gives, and His gifts are always better than anything we could ever ask for or imagine.