In order for you to get a complete picture, I have to take you back.
Seven years into our relatively carefree marriage, David and I decided to start a family. After almost 2 years with no results, we visited one of the top infertility specialists. The news was not good. I had severe endometriosis resulting in excessive scar tissue which covered my reproductive organs. I went through 3 surgical procedures to remove the scar tissue. Despite the surgery, the scar tissue had ravaged my fallopian tubes. Fertility drugs and artificial insemination followed, but no success. No baby. After several disappointing rounds of treatment, we decided to give everything a break.
Then, it happened. I was pregnant! We visited our doctor after taking several home pregnancy tests only to discover that the baby was ectopic and had to be removed. We were devastated. When I felt symptoms of pregnancy return a few months later, I must have been in denial because I didn’t take a pregnancy test. Instead, I ended up in the emergency room with a ruptured tube resulting from another ectopic pregnancy. Soon after, David and I discussed our options with our doctor. My tubes were shot. I had ruptured my only working fallopian tube and now we had no chance to conceive naturally. Our only option to conceive was IVF.
Numb, I listened as our doctor explained the IVF process…. Expensive….. No guarantees….May take multiple rounds before producing results. We had no savings and lived modestly. The idea of saving thousands of dollars with no guarantee of success was too much. We had been through enough. So, we threw up our hands and gave the whole thing to God. Lord, if we’re going to have kids, you have to make it happen. We’re done. Amen. God was not done.
A few months later, David’s employer changed insurance companies. The new policy covered IVF – 100% coverage for one full round of IVF. Do you know how rare it is that IVF is covered by health insurance? It is almost unheard of. We were the only couple in the entire IVF program that had insurance coverage like this, but still no guarantee. Many couples have to go through the IVF process several times before successful conception.
That wasn’t the case for us. God gave us twins: Ryan and Reagan, the loves of our lives; our little boy and girl. I was 35 years old when we had the twins and still had 6 embryos which were frozen. Since we had our boy and girl, we had no intention of having more children and put the frozen embryos out of mind while we concentrated on raising our family.
Five years passed and the future of the embryos was still on ice. After telling my neighbor about the miracle of the twins through IVF, she indicated that her best friend desperately wanted children but due to health issues, couldn’t conceive or carry a child. After praying about it and talking to David, we decided to offer this couple our embryos. We felt that God had blessed us with two children and we wanted to help this couple have a family. The plan was complicated. We would provide the embryos, and our neighbor would be the surrogate and carry the baby. Upon birth, the childless couple would adopt the baby. We researched options for months to find an IVF and adoption specialist who would work with us, but no one would take this on. There were too many parties involved and the potential liability was too great for any attorney or IVF specialist to consent to the procedure. After exhausting every avenue, our sweet friends asked us to consider other options. I knew that God asked me to offer the embryos to this couple. The fact that this didn’t work out did not cause me to doubt that God had asked me to do this. God doesn’t always promise the obvious outcome, He just asks me to trust and obey Him.
Time passed. I hadn’t prayed about what to do about the embryos in a very long time, but I decided for our bank account’s sake, I needed to ask God about them again. We were paying a monthly fee to keep the embryos frozen. We had been doing this for almost 11 years and it was adding up. So one morning, very early, I prayed, Lord, what do you want us to do with these embryos? We are tired of paying for them every month. Please tell me who these embryos belong to.
I know God’s voice. He speaks to me all of the time. Not audibly, but clearly and purposefully in my spirit. He always speaks to me with total love and whatever He says aligns with His Word. Oh yeah, and He never says what I think He is going to say, and He typically asks me to do something I have no initial desire to do.
In that moment He spoke to me, “Beloved, the embryos are for you. There is a little child who has been waiting for you and David all of this time.”
Until that moment, I had no desire to have more children, but the seed God planted in my heart that morning started to grow, and I became cautiously excited. Thoughts swirled: God is doing something great; something for my good because He loves me. It may be a baby, or maybe He wants me to go through this for another reason, another result. It’s not for me to know right now. I just need to take each step.
The first step was David. I had no idea how he would react, so I just told him, ‘Honey, I asked God what to do about our frozen embryos and He told me that they are for us. What do you think about us going through IVF again and having another baby?’
David was so cool. “Well, if God told you to do it, I think we better do it.” He was willing to walk through this with me -such a brave and wonderful man.
Two weeks later, we made an appointment to see Dr. Vaughn and start the process. We had concerns about my health and questions regarding the health of the baby. Answers came quickly. I was healthy. If the transfer was successful, the baby would be the same age as Reagan and Ryan, so the percentage of possible birth defects were that of a 35 year old, which was the age I was when we conceived the embryos. The transfer costs were manageable. Every step we took presented no obstacles. Every door opened with relative ease. It was wonderful and scary.
Soon, we were ready for the transfer which, after all of the build-up, only lasted a few minutes. We were able to watch the whole amazing process. Ten days later, Dr. Vaughn called himself to tell me the news. We were pregnant. We set a record! We were having a baby from our embryos which had been frozen for over 11 years. Even though we knew it was a possibility, it took a moment for the amazing truth to set in. We are having a baby…
Little John David arrived on December 5th, 2012, healthy and beautiful…