The Long Version

My husband, Tim, and I met in 1995 when I was just an 8th grader and he was a senior in high school.  Our parents had both decided it was time to find a new church and by the hand of God, both had chosen the same one.  I had noticed him right away, but he only noticed me for the first time when I wore my 8th grade graduation dress to church.  As I was walking down the aisle, he leaned over to his mother and asked “who is THAT?” His parents, who worked with the youth at the time, already knew me well and his mother promptly told him that I was one of their junior highers who just graduated.  Since he just graduated from high school, he quickly changed the subject.  I apparently I made an impression that day, though, because he can still tell me exactly what I was wearing.

A few months later, Tim started helping his parents with the new drama club.  Since I was involved in everything at church, naturally we started building a friendship.  His favorite thing to do was ‘pick on me’ by telling me all kinds of corny pick up lines.  “If I made the alphabet, I would put ‘U’ next to ‘I’.”  “Your dad must be a thief, because he stole all the stars and put them in your eyes.”  Very corny, but I loved it.  But, of course, I had to make a big fuss over it.  So I ‘complained’ to his mom one day and she gave me some advice:  She told me that the next time he gave me a line, to look at him straight in the eye and say “Someday we will make beautiful children.”  I thought it was a good plan, so I tried it.  Without batting an eye he replied, “Yes we will.”

Fast forward a few years of us just being friends because he was obviously too old for me, and now I’m 17.  He had been hanging around our house for a while because he was dry walling our basement – apparently a planned scheme to spend more time with me.  One day my mother had spent hours talking with him when I wasn’t home and at the end of the conversation she had basically given him permission to date me.  We went out that night, got married 2 years later (in 2000), and have adored one another ever since.

Since we got married young, we knew it was wise to wait to have children.  We thought 4-5 years was a good amount of time.  With all that was happening in life, it ended up being around year 5 before we stopped trying to prevent.  Then around year 6 we started really trying.  We were shocked that it wasn’t quite as easy as we had always thought it would be.  We finally went to a specialist.  They couldn’t find anything wrong except hubby’s morphology was quite low (2%).  We started with Chlomid and IUI – convinced that we’d end up with triplets the first month.  No such luck.  We finally moved from Chlomid to Follistim (still with IUI).  We got pregnant our first try!  Praise God, our long awaited child had come.  We told everyone – sure that God would never let anything happen to this child after everything we had gone through.  We went in for an ultrasound just before week 6 and everything looked fine.  No heartbeat yet, but it was a bit early so the doctor wasn’t worried.  Then we went in again around week 8 and received the worst news of our lives – no heartbeat, no baby, blighted ovum.  Devastated doesn’t even begin to describe how we felt.

We waited about a year before trying again, had one failed attempt and then got pregnant again (still using Follistim/IUI).  We lost that baby at only 5 weeks.  It took us another two Follistim/IUI’s before conceiving again.  By this point, we had learned not to get our hopes up, but we were desperately praying together each night.  First blood test was good, but the second came back a bit lower than desired.  I thought we had lost our third child.  But, the third blood test came back really good.  Next was the 6 week ultrasound – praise God, we saw a heartbeat.  Our 8 week ultrasound was just before Christmas and we were able to see and hear the heartbeat again.

We prayed each night together thanking God for such a wonderful gift and asking that He would continue to protect and grow this child.  On August 8th, Jessica May Karel was born.  It has been a long journey, but we finally have our beautiful baby that we had so casually joked about all those years ago.

In July 2011 we started seeing our fertility specialist again.  After two months of the same Follistim/IUI plan, we conceived our next beautiful baby.  At our 21 week ultrasound we found out that she had a problem with her heart.  We found out shortly thereafter that she has CCTGA.  You can read more about her story on my other blog (www.prayingformiracles.wordpress.com).  Alayna Ann Karel was born on May 25th, 2012 and is doing extremely well for such a rare heart condition.

We decided that we were never, ever doing fertility treatments again, but would have loved to have more children.  We said that whether it was through miraculous conception or by adoption, we would love to grow our family!  Well, in February 2013 we found out that we were very unexpectedly expecting.  For the first time in 12 1/2 years of marriage, we were able to conceive outside of fertility treatments and  Johnathan David Karel was born October 25, 2013.

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