A Guest Story By Nicole Sinclair
I meet my husband when I was 19 years old and married him when I was 22. When we married I was still in college and he was in grad school. During the time we were dating we had talked about having kids but knew we wanted to finish school before we started our family. We were both so close to the finish line in our education and wanted to make sure we crossed the line. Also, because we had dated for three years before getting married we were a little afraid of jumping the gun on anything. We had seen couples marry and divorce in those years and we had also seen couples rush into marriage and have kids. They were all so stressed out! Now I know other couples had more positive experiences and loved marrying early and having kids right away but they seemed to be the exception at the time. I also had a year of student teaching ahead of me. My now husband was pulling all-nighters in the lab often dragging himself home at 4 in the morning. I knew I wouldn’t be able to care for a baby, student teach and do it alone most of the time so we waited.
A year after we married we bought our first home. It was a cute three bedroom two bath home on a large lot with an excellent view of the mountains and the city lights at night. It was a perfect first home. The extra bedrooms we turned into an office/sewing room and a guest room with plans to eventually turn the guest room into a baby room. Time went on and I finished student teaching, graduated, and then my husband finished grad school. He worked a full-time engineering job and went to school full-time. If we would have had kids during that time I think I would have lost my mind! It was intense and we only had ourselves to take care of!
After we were both finished with school and didn’t have to study constantly we actually had free time for the first time in our lives together. I was teaching full-time at this point and my husband was working long hours starting to build his career. We had two dogs, a nice home, two new vehicles – everything a young couple could want. It was time to start our family.
Now, when I say it was “time to start our family” we had actually already thrown caution to the wind long ago and were just letting nature take the lead; not paying much attention to why we hadn’t become pregnant yet. After a while I started to think something surely should have happened by now… right??? I started to notice things. We were the only young couple at church without a baby. People our age had three or more kids already. And, what was with all the pregnant bellies around me for goodness sakes?! It was time to visit the doctor.
I made an appointment and went in to visit my regular doctor who referred me to a fertility specialist right away. She said there was nothing she could help me with. Enough time had passed and if I hadn’t become pregnant yet, I was going to need more help than she could give. So, off to the specialist I went. After what felt like a million tests and donating about a gallon of blood I was put on fertility drugs that did terrible things to my body and mind. Our roller coaster to hell had begun. Our life turned into calendar watching, charting temperatures, taking pills, getting injections, going in for ultra sounds, timing, mood swings, hope, disappointment, anger, and more doctor appointments than I can count. This went on for years until my doctor finally said my body had been on the highest dose of fertility drugs I could be on for too long and legally he couldn’t keep me on them anymore. I had one more cycle to go before we would need to decide what to do next.
I was mad. Why wasn’t my body doing what it was supposed to do? What were our options going to be? How much more money could we spend on this? We did look into adoption. We had friends from church who had adopted two adorable babies from China and another family was in the middle of adopting from Guatemala. The cost and legal paper work was more than I could handle in my current state. We agreed to finish the last cycle and take a break. We could decide later.
Our guest room had already started to be transformed into a baby room. There was a crib, dresser and rocking chair. I was just waiting to decorate and fill it up with fun baby stuff. I shut the door and didn’t go back in. I was done.
A few weeks after that last appointment I had to go in for more blood work and another ultra sound. We were told, as usual, that we would be called with the results. The phone calls were usually the nurse informing us that the last cycle was unsuccessful and we would need to come in again and start everything over for the next cycle. Then we got the phone call that changed everything.
I can’t remember why my husband was home but for some reason he was when we got the call. The nurse asked if we could both get on the phone which I thought was strange. Once we were both on the phone she let us know we were finally pregnant! I couldn’t believe it! I wanted to know how pregnant I was which made her laugh. What I really wanted to know was how far along I was. My mind was racing! I knew just because I had a positive pregnancy test the fertility specialist wouldn’t release me to my midwife. They had to be certain the pregnancy was viable. It was more waiting! We were so excited we called my parents and sister right away and went out to dinner to celebrate. Nine months later we welcomed our first son into the world. He was born with a ton of black hair and blue eyes which ended up turning brown later. He was perfect and healthy but most of all he was here. Finally.
I never would have dreamed my road to motherhood would have taken the path that it did. With my first pregnancy I was on bed rest (every pregnancy I was put on bed rest!) which was a pain but I didn’t have other kids to take care of so it was manageable. Between my first son and second son I lost twins early in my second trimester. When my second son was born I was 30 years old and was labeled as “advance maternal age”. I didn’t care because he was also perfect and healthy and here, finally. On his second birthday I became very ill and was hospitalized for over a week. (My illness and how my mom and sister stepped in to mother my boys would also be a great Mom story!) I couldn’t take care of myself much less my babies so they went to live with my mom for an extended period of time. I was mad, again! I wanted them home with me! That was the hardest part about being sick. I couldn’t take care of my boys.
Time went on and eventually we tried for one more baby. Again, I lost a baby early in my second trimester and then another. I was just about to give up when five years later I became pregnant with our third son. The doctors warned me because of my age I should undergo genetic testing. We did one round of it and then decided it was pointless. We would love whatever baby came our way. When I was 35 (old as dirt in the medical world to be having a baby) we welcomed a perfect and healthy baby boy… finally!
Written by Nicole Sinclair