1 in 8 couples battle infertility. We battled, fought and won. Here's my story:
I always wanted to be a mother. So, when I got married in 2010, at the age of 23, we immediately began trying to conceive. Little did I know, we would have a long 5 year journey with infertility. We naturally conceived a baby in October of 2013. We were so excited, we told our entire family on Thanksgiving day. Everyone knew how badly we wanted to become parents and were equally anxious as we were. We received hugs, kisses and shared tears of joy. On December 5, 2013, I began having intense pains on my side. I thought it was the spicy food I had eaten for lunch that didn't agree with me. But as the day went on, the pain intensified. I was in Indianapolis, IN in training for my new job, it was snowing and I didn't know anyone. So I drove myself to the emergency room and had to be wheeled into the hospital; the pain made it impossible to walk. Once in the room, I was examined. Very coldly and without emotion, the Doctor said "Your baby is in your Fallopian tube, not your uterus. I'm going to prep you for emergency surgery". I didn't know what that meant so I ask a nurse nearby. When she began explaining that I would no longer be pregnant after the surgery, I blacked out and fell to the floor. When I woke up, I was hooked up to morphine to reduce the pain. After the surgery, I was told that my Fallopian tube had been removed and it would be difficult, if ever possible, for me to have a child. I had internal bleeding and was also told that if I hadn't come to the hospital when I did, I would have died in my sleep. I thank God I made it there and I am so thankful for my life. Once I finally got home, depression and grief set in. Not only was my baby gone but so was my joy, happiness, peace, and excitement. I remember locking myself in my office to cry, as my coworker had a baby shower in the conference room. I couldn't fake being happy and just didn't want to cry in front of everyone and distract people from someone else's joyous moment. My husband didn't know how to console me or what to say. He would sometimes say things like "you should be over it by now" or "how long are you going to cry about this". Honestly, his words hurt me and there was a strain on our marriage because of it. It wasn't until we sat down and I explained my emotions to him the best way I knew how, that he saw things from my side and was empathetic. I hung onto the very small amount of hope I had left because I knew God destined me to be a mother. We would go on vacations, happy hours and hang out with friends to try and distract ourselves but when we got home, the issue still remained. We never had an example of a successful marriage, we were young and people in our community don't speak out about infertility, infant loss and how to deal with it all. I felt the odds were against us and we were destined to fail at parenthood and marriage.
I felt alone and empty. I even felt less of a woman. I tried counseling and journaling. But it wasn't until I prayed and began venting to God, that I started to be able to climb out of depression. So for two more years after the ectopic pregnancy, we continued trying to conceive to no avail. That's when we decided to move forward with InVitro Fertilization or IVF. I was so excited! My husband was super supportive, verbally affirming me and encouraging me along the way. The IVF journey wasn't an easy one. We had weekly doctor visits, multiple blood tests, examinations, and appointments to learn how to appropriately take the medications and administer a series of shots at home. The first day, I cried out of fear before I had to give myself a hormone shot. I overcame that by thinking of one day holding my own precious baby and it worked! We continued through the IVF process and we were confirmed pregnant! I wanted to be excited but instead I got worried and fearful. Would this pregnancy end like the other?
The beginning of my pregnancy was wonderful. No nausea, no tiredness, no backaches, just perfect. When I got to 18 weeks, I began seeing a specialist doctor who shared that I have a "dynamic cervix" and would need to have a cerclage because I was at risk of having a miscarriage. So, we got the cerclage. I was placed on strict bedrest and was constantly told by doctors that my baby wouldn't make it to full term. Because I couldn't walk around or exercise, I developed gestational diabetes. I began to feel defeated. This time, instead of going into depression, I began praying and reading the word, reminding myself of miracles God had done in the past. It helped. Despite what the doctors were saying, and how I sometimes got a little worried, I had a peaceful pregnancy...at home, in the bed. I read any book on pregnancy, childhood development, parenting and breastfeeding that I could get my hands on. I wanted to prepare to be the best mom I possibly could.
When I reached 33 weeks, my water broke and I went into labor. However, I was at peace because a week prior, my baby was weighed as being bigger than average. Got to the hospital and immediately requested an epidural to alleviate contraction pains. After a while, a nurse from the NICU came to talk to me. She said my son would definitely be in the NICU for at least 2 months and would have difficulty breathing on his own so I needed to prepare for the worst. I got so sad, but, I remembered the stories I read about how Jesus performed miracles and I went back to my peace. After about 12 hours of chilling in the hospital bed, watching tv and eating Popsicles, it was time. I pushed 4 times and I met the most precious gift God had ever given me at 11:34pm on June 7, 2016. Solomon Leo Powell is a beautiful baby boy who weighed 6lbs 9oz when I first held him. He shocked everyone in the room to the point that they weighed him twice because "there was no way a a baby born at 33 weeks was that huge". God is SO good! Solomon was immediately breathing on his own, never needed oxygen, had absolutely no health complications and was as big as a full term baby. They nicknamed him Lil Sumo due to his size. In fact, that same nurse from the NICU apologized to me. He only had to be in the NICU for 2 weeks because the hospital doesn't release babies born prior to 35 weeks gestation. Sometimes I look at my son and just cry tears of thankfulness because I'm so grateful, happy and humbled. I will never forget the times that I could literally only imagine this day. No one can tell me what God can't do because my little family is evidence that He has done exceedingly, abundantly above all that I have asked or thought. I'm a mother.