Early in our marriage, like many newlyweds, we began talking and planning about our future children. We always wanted three or four little Weisingers. We loved the idea of a full house. We dreamt that retirement was us sitting on our front porch laughing over a lifetime of memories of our children and grandchildren.
At the ripe old age of 23, we began raising a niece and nephew. I often prayed that we would have children while they were living at home so they would grow to feel like siblings. However, as many couples discover, fertility is not something easily controlled. We were one of the 1 in 4 couples to struggle through infertility. For five years we tried alternative treatments like charting temperatures, herbs, diet changes, exercise, reflexology, and I even made an acupuncture appointment.
During these years, our niece and nephew moved out and the emotional pain of infertility and becoming empty nesters was overwhelming. I wondered if infertility was God’s way of saying I was not a good mother. I knew the biblical stories of Sarah and Hannah and that infertility was not directly related to being righteous, but I felt broken and condemned.
Over time, I felt God whispering promises to my heart, filling my heart with hope and encouragement. After five years of alternative treatments, we started working with physicians. We started with clomid and moved toward more progressive treatments until in-vitro was our only option remaining. Over the seven years of fighting infertility, my hope of children began to drain once again, this time, along with my bank account. I began working towards goals of a future without children. I began planning to start a business while I was undergoing rounds of in-vitro. I figured God was in control and he would fertilize one plan or the other.
To our surprise, we became pregnant with our son, Jack, after 3 months of in-vitro. Throughout my pregnancy, I praised God for this gift of pregnancy. I began to notice the provision God had provided to bring this little baby at the perfect time in our life. Once Jack arrived, I held him as much as I could. I was ecstatic to have this little bundle and a large part of me believed he would be my only baby. I held on tight and savored every snuggle.
After two years, we returned to the clinic to try for a second baby. We learned first-hand, that your fertility ages quicker than the rest of the body (each year older in age means significant reduction in outcomes). It took higher dosages of medications and I still produced less eggs, but after 2 months, I was enchanted to learn we would have a second baby. Again, I praised God for this blessing that I knew I was not entitled to, but felt abundantly blessed to have. I was overjoyed that my sons would have each other. It was a mother’s dream come true.
It was in our plan to return in another year, in what felt like greedy hopes, to try for a third baby. God had different plans.
Two weeks ago, our baby, Lincoln, turned six months old. Six months postpartum is typically a monumental time as it takes six months to start recovering from the sleep deprivation fog and begin the new normal. This time as I was coming out of my fog, I realized I was starting get a little chubby. One day, while driving my two-year-old home from school, I decided it was time to commit to an official workout program. I walked in the front door at home intending to get online and sign up for a program. However, the smell from my house made me take a step back.
I became so distracted from the smell, I spent the rest of the day trying to expunge the horrific smell from our house: cleaning out the fridge, doing laundry, taking out the trash. The next afternoon I felt overly fatigued. I reasoned that it must have been from all the work I had done the day before. Needing to rest, I sat down to watch an episode of Daniel Tiger with my two-year-old. I wept through the entire episode. I began wondering if I could be pregnant, but almost immediately dismissed the idea. After all, I had tried 9 years to get the babies I had and I had a baby in my arms.
It was finally Friday and it was date night! My husband and I had reservations to have dinner in Gruene. It was perfect weather for being outside, so we enjoyed walking around town, listening to music, and enjoying a little time together. As we passed the ice cream shop, I thought I was going to lose my dinner. The nausea waved so strongly I could not ignore it. I first wondered if I was sick, but I rarely get nauseous. I pulled my husband over to the side of the store and asked if I had ever been nauseous and not been pregnant. His eyes got huge as he slowly responded, “No, why do you ask?”
The next morning my husband took my 6-month-old to buy a pregnancy test and sure enough we were pregnant. We could not believe it! We reasoned we could only be 6-8 weeks pregnant and we began dreaming of Christmas pictures and a newborn dazzled in red. On Monday morning, I called our doctor and scheduled a sonogram for that afternoon.
Monday afternoon, our family of four, piled into the sonogram room, hoping the pregnancy was far enough along to see a heartbeat.
We received a giant surprise. There were no words needed from the physician. My husband and I have seen enough ultrasounds to clearly know what we were seeing. We did not see a little gummy bear with a flickering heartbeat like we were expecting. We saw two big babies. We saw 12-week-old twins.
We began to laugh uncontrollably. We had two babies conceived through in-vitro and we do not have twins in the family. We had a 2-year-old and 6-month-old squirming in my husband’s arms and we were now expecting twins.
After years of battling infertility, it still seems unimaginable for this to be our story. God remembered the desires of our hearts from all those years ago. He remembered those young 21-year-old newlyweds dreaming of 4 little Weisingers.
As we are approaching Mother’s Day, I realize there are women at different stages of this process; from wanting children, to expecting children, to maybe losing children. Regardless of where you are in this journey, God is the same. He can do the impossible and He has his own timing.
This Mother’s Day, I pray that women around the world feel embraced by God’s love. I pray that the world is reminded that God hears our cries, knows the desires of our hearts, and cares for his children.