(Brad & Celeste’s Success Story)

Our journey to finally bringing home our precious baby girl was not an easy one.  It was a 6+ year roller-coaster that ultimately uncovered strength, faith, and courage that Brad and I didn’t even know we had.  It included 4 surgeries, 2 pregnancy losses, countless procedures and trips to the hospital, what seemed like enough syringes to fill a semi-truck and so many needle sticks I felt like a human pin cushion.  But you know what?  I’d do it all over again if I had to.

Thank goodness we had Dr. Honea and her incredible staff at the ART Fertility Program of Alabama right by our sides every step of the way.  They became like family and we are so thankful for their love and encouragement.  Dr. Honea was a tremendous blessing to our family and literally a shoulder to cry on.

During our struggle to conceive, it seemed like every time we turned a corner, a new problem was thrown onto the growing mountain of complications that was making it increasingly difficult for us to have a baby of our own.  Endometriosis…check.  Bicornuate (abnormal) uterus… check.  Three blood clotting factors that meant twice daily injections of a blood thinner while pregnant…check.  Uterine polyps…check.  If I did finally get pregnant, I was counseled about being able to carry the baby to term, thanks to my uterine anomaly.  Yet, something inside of me would not let me give up.

It was a long road that included two years of intense fertility treatments and one that eventually led us to IVF, after three medicated IUI attempts.  Our fresh IVF transfer in April 2014 resulted in a biochemical pregnancy.  After all those years, I had finally seen a positive on the home pregnancy test, but it didn’t last.  We then had our first frozen embryo transfer at the end of May and saw a strong heartbeat at 6 weeks.  A few days later my worst fear was realized, and we lost that precious baby, too, due to a suspected subchorionic hemorrhage.  We were devastated.  At that point, Dr. Honea gently suggested that we may want to at least consider a gestational surrogate, given my fertility issues and because we still had 3 frozen embryos remaining.  I began to wonder if I would ever feel tiny feet fluttering in my tummy or hear the pitter-patter from those tiny feet as they ran giddily through our home.

Fast forward to November 2014.  Brad and I decided to give it one last try before moving on to surrogacy.  With this cycle, we chose to have another endometrial scratch procedure on Day 1, and also began my heparin injections earlier than we had in previous cycles. I also kept up my weekly acupuncture sessions with Martha Ivey.  We had our second frozen embryo transfer on November 4th and received the joyous news of a strong beat on November 13th.  We were cautiously optimistic.  And then on Thanksgiving Day, we had a scare that shook us to our cores.  There was yet another subchorionic hemorrhage, and I thought I was miscarrying again.  This is where our luck took a long overdue turn.

The day after Thanksgiving, we got up early and headed to Brookwood, passing all the Black Friday shoppers along the way.  I had a pit in my stomach and more tears in my eyes.  We got to the hospital and were quickly taken back to an ultrasound room.  As I changed clothes and put on the paper drape for the umpteenth time, I sat there and prayed.  I prayed fervently for a miracle.

A few minutes later the tech came in.  I held my breath.  I knew what was coming.

But what we expected was not at all what we saw.

A strong heartbeat.

There it was…our baby was okay.  She was a fighter.

Due to the subchorionic hemorrhage, I was put on strict bed rest through most of December.  After what felt like an eternity, our beautiful, healthy baby girl was born in July, and I cried 6 years’ worth of tears when I saw her sweet little face for the first time.  We had beaten all the odds.  We even made it to our scheduled C-section date at 39 weeks (due to a breech presentation).  It was nothing short of a miracle.

Throughout all of this, our faith never faltered, and that is what ultimately got us through the storm.  There was a point at which I realized that no amount of worrying was going to positively change the outcome.  This was all in God’s hands, and the minute that I truly gave it all over to Him is the precise moment that beautiful things began to happen.  I could see Him working in our lives, and I was in awe.

Dealing with infertility did teach me a valuable lesson.  It taught me not to take a single moment for granted.  Because of our journey, I’m reminded to cherish even the sleepless nights, and I treasure every single second with our Sweet Caroline.  And for that, I am thankful.

I am sharing our story with you because I want to give you hope and encouragement if you’re going through a similar battle.  Don’t ever, ever give up.  You will become a parent one day.  It may not be when or even how you expected, but the second your sweet baby is placed into your arms, the entire journey will make sense.  In that moment, you will suddenly understand with complete clarity what you were fighting so hard for all along, and it will all be worth it…every bit.

“Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.” – Romans 12:12

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