I debated writing this post. Over and over in my head I composed and then deleted it. I worried about what people may think, what reaction I would get by really opening up. Something urged me on though. My heart is set on reaching out to others. To do so, I have to be real and I have to be me and show the good and the bad. So here goes...
Besides the obvious, Christmas Eve has a whole new meaning to me now. For the past decade, it has been a day that is filled with internal sadness and regret. Now, it is a day that is filled with hope and life and happiness.
A decade ago, Christmas Eve 1999, I miscarried for the very first time. I was young and didn't really have a relationship with Christ. My engagement to my high school sweetheart had ended and the last time we saw each other, well - I don't need to go into details. I didn't know I was pregnant until it was over. It was really sad and traumatic. I ended up having to have surgery. The doctor never told me why I miscarried. It would be been helpful to know. At the time, I didn't really think of that. I was upset but also felt a sense of relief. I wasn't ready to be a Mom, however, there was also no way I could ever end a pregnancy. I had disappointed myself and my family. They loved me and showed me unending grace. I never truly got to mourn that loss until much, much later. I still have the angel teddy bear my best friend and mom got for me after surgery to remind me of the precious baby that is in Heaven.
Fast forward to Christmas Eve 2006. Chip and I had been married for over a year and were actively trying to get pregnant. I had some female issues and suffered from endometriosis and some hormone issues. We were seeing a highly recommended Dallas-based fertility doctor. We were in Iowa celebrating the Holidays and I took a ovulation test. Go time. A few weeks later, I had my very first two pink line test. We were thrilled and told everyone immediately that we were pregnant. YEA! I read Guess How Much I Love You to the baby every night while sitting in my Grandma's rocker that I had been rocked in. I bought maternity clothes and a friend gifted me some of her old baby stuff. I was thinking about the nursery. Then, there was a snow storm. I was bleeding pretty badly. We went to the emergency room. We had miscarried. I had to do blood work to make sure it wasn't because of having a negative rH (it wasn't). More tests and heartache and then having to tell everyone that we had lost our baby. A friend gave me the book Mommy, Please Don't Cry: There are No Tears in Heaven. I mourned for the loss of this baby and the one I had lost seven years before. At least now my two precious angels had each other, I could picture my Grandma Water holding and rocking them as they nestled in her lap. I felt so lost. Did I deserve to be a Mom? God carried me through this tough time. My heart healed.
We took a break and saw more doctors. I got pregnant once more and miscarried very early in the pregnancy. We went to a really good doctor. We tried IUI three times with no success. We moved to Pennsylvania. We decided to try IVF. I went back to Texas for this. I had a peace in my heart. We got pregnant and they gave me progesterone supplements so I would stay pregnant. Hayden was a sticky baby. He grew and grew. He was healthy. I was induced on December 22, 2009. We left the hospital with our precious gift on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, 2009. God turned my mess into the most precious miracle. He wrote my story and wants me to use it to help others. I was such a mess for so long. Through the grace of God and the support of amazing friends, family, medical staff and a husband that will put most men to shame, I am a Mom. I was meant to be a Mom to Hayden. He is the baby boy we are supposed to raise. He is proof that God withholds no good thing to those who believe. Hayden gave Christmas Eve a whole new meaning and he helped completely heal my heart.
My hope and my prayer in writing this is that it gives you hope. God will turn your mess into a miracle. It's not an easy road. We're human and make mistakes. Jesus died on the cross for us. He shows us grace and extends us His mercy. The love He has for us is immeasurable. He's not done with us yet and our story, is truly a love story.