Hi friends! I hope you all have had a good week. Summer is in full swing here in Chicago and it has been lovely. Also, I just have to share that this morning I woke up to a picture of my dear friend holding her son's hand for the first time in Ethiopia, so my heart is about to burst over here with joy over the faithfulness of our Lord. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Today's story is from two wonderful classmates of mine from Pepperdine. Dan and Betsy are Pepperdine sweethearts and the most fun and vibrant souls. I am so thankful to have reconnected with them recently thanks to The Baby Wait. We're trying out a new format today to change things up and going with an interview style with the two of them. Enjoy!
How many years have you been married and lived in San Francisco?
Dan: We have been married for 9 years. We got married right after college and moved to Boston for 3 years so I could attend law school and then moved back to California. We have lived in San Francisco for 5 years.
Tell me about the moment you knew you wanted to become a mother.
Betsy: I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I definitely wanted to go to college and afterwards I had a great job that I really enjoyed working at a non-profit that serves kids, but ultimately I’ve always wanted to be a stay at home mom.
Can you share some of the initial challenges of becoming pregnant?
Betsy: Right after we started dating, I had some health issues, and as a result, shortly before we got married, we were told that I had Endometriosis and we would probably have a difficult time getting pregnant. It was recommended that we should go straight to a fertility specialist when we were ready to start trying. So after Dan graduated from law school and was settled into a job, we found a doctor and met with her for the first time in January 2011. We spent almost a year doing tests and trying a couple of different fertility medications and nothing was working. In December we did our first embryo transfer for IVF and found out right after Christmas that it was successful and that we were pregnant. After the initial test, we had to wait a few weeks before we could go in for the first ultrasound where we would find out if there was a heartbeat. When we went in for that appointment, there was just nothing there. The doctor explained that I had miscarried and that it was common and that we were young and there was still a lot of options and no indication that this wouldn’t work for us. So we tried again with almost the exact same result and then again. At this point it was the summer of 2012 and we are going to be out of town too much to try another round because at certain points you have to be able to go in every day. And our doctor wanted to re-run some tests and do some new ones before we started again. So we took the summer off and in late August I had a test scheduled. Before they would do this test, I had to take a pregnancy test and mine was positive. All I could think about was the stories you hear about people who try so hard to get pregnant and then when they stop trying, they finally get pregnant. I went in for a blood test to confirm and when the doctor called with the results she explained that the levels were too low and I was miscarrying again.
How were you able to trust God in the middle of this difficult circumstance?
Dan: The doctors were actually putting a baby inside of Betsy and it seemed like there was no reason that it wouldn’t work. But science or anything we did couldn’t make it continue to grow, God had to do that. If it had happened any sooner, I think we would be tempted to say, isn’t science so amazing? But at this point we fully knew that only God could do this for us. We were praying about it constantly and started a fast that some of our family members and friends joined us in.
How did you make the decision to try IVF one more time?
Betsy: We decided that we would try one last time and would do everything that was within our control to make it successful so that if it didn’t work out, we could walk away and not regret that we hadn’t tried certain things. So I went in to the meeting with our doctor to go over the latest test results in November 2012 thinking that she was going to say there was still lots to try, etc, and I was going to have to tell her this was our last time- it was just too emotionally exhausting. Instead, she told me that the test results weren’t what she would have expected for what she thought was going on and that we there was nothing else she could do for us. There were other things we could try elsewhere, but they were very expensive and not medically proven and she wouldn’t recommend them. I asked her about trying one last time with our two remaining embryos and she said she wanted to talk through the whole scenario. She said “we know you will get pregnant and we know you will miscarry.” What was our plan from there? We had talked about adoption being our next step and she said she was fine going ahead with one last transfer if we would talk to an adoption attorney beforehand and find out all of our options there. I called and actually got excited about the possibility of adopting. I was still really hopeful that I would get pregnant, but a part of me also just wanted to get this last round over with so we could move on - I was just so tired of waiting!
What was it like the moment you found out you were pregnant?
Dan: We had the first positive pregnancy test the week or so before Christmas. We were going to be at Betsy’s parents when we would have been able to go in and hopefully see a heartbeat so we convinced the doctor to let us go in earlier with the understanding that it was too early to see a heartbeat. We just wanted to know if there was still hope or not. We didn’t tell anyone that we were going in for the appointment. We had been to so many of these appointments that had turned out to be so disappointing that it was hard to imagine it being any other way. The doctor turned on the ultrasound screen and said “do you see what I see?” We had seen literally a hundred ultrasounds at this point, but neither one of us could figure out what we ever looking at. And then she said, “here is baby A and here is baby B, or I guess I should say twin A and twin B.” We were so excited - neither one of us could stop smiling. We went back a couple of weeks later and were so nervous to see if there were heartbeats, but she turned on the screen and this time they had grown so that we could actually see for ourselves that there were babies. She pointed out the flicker of their heartbeats and we listened to each one. We knew from genetic testing of the embryos that it was a boy and a girl! And from there, we just kept getting good news that the babies were developing well.
How has your faith grown through this experience?
Betsy: Even though it was such a low point in our lives in many ways, it amazes me how evident it is that God had a perfect plan for us. Being pregnant and now having Jay and Lyla, I think, how could I have ever missed out on this experience, but I also feel so confidently that if we had adopted, I would feel the same way. That would have been God’s perfect plan for our family.
Dan: Looking back on this experience, it’s easy for us to see how God took care of us. We had insurance that covered our IVF attempts almost 100%. I had a great job, but was working so many hours. When Betsy was pregnant, I got a job offer without even looking and it lets me be at home with the babies way more than my other one would have. We had great support from friends and family. An experience that drives many couples apart, has brought us closer together. We came to a crossroad and had to choose faith. We like to say we prayed for a miracle and instead we got two!