A Wish & A Miracle

 

a miricle and a wish

Letting Go – A Wish and a Miracle

Life is crazy! Sometimes it throws in a twist so ironic that you can’t help but laugh, shake your head, and hold on for the ride.

My husband and I have struggled with infertility for more than 8 years. It was a roller coaster of doctors, injections, surgeries, emotional meltdowns, and years of hoping, praying, and waiting with no result. After trying everything, plus one failed attempt at IVF, we tried IVF a second time at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine. It worked! After six years of trying to have a baby, I gave birth to our son Hayden in October of 2013.

He is now a happy, healthy two-year-old and I am now just a regular, happy, neurotic mother of a two-year-old. There is something about infertility that makes you think that if your wish for a baby ever does come true that you will be so grateful and none of the normal motherhood woes will ever enter your mind. That is not the case…at least not for me. Motherhood can be hard. It is a blessing and a gift, but even though you wanted it so badly there are moments after you get it that you wonder what you were thinking. It is also interesting that after all the struggle and emotional turmoil of infertility, once you have that baby a lot of those memories and feelings of despair just disappear.

When Hayden was about a year-and-a-half we still had one embryo left at CCRM and decided we were ready to try for a second child. My husband, Tim, and I have always wanted two children, so we decided to go through IVF in Denver again. Everything went smoothly, including my mother flying in from Canada to help with Hayden while I was on bedrest, and in March we found out we were pregnant.  I was incredibly nervous and anxious about the pregnancy and would analyze and agonize over every test and number. Things seemed to be going along well, until they weren’t. We had an ultrasound appointment when I was 10+ weeks along and they couldn’t find a heartbeat. No more baby, no more pregnancy, no more second child.

It was devastating. We decided to take the summer to think about things. Were we prepared to start the IVF process all over again from the very beginning? Could we handle it emotionally, physically, financially? As the summer went on I talked about it and saw a counselor about it. I thought about how blessed our lives were with a happy marriage, a happy, healthy son, and a career that I loved and was eager to find more time to focus on. Life was good. We were good. On a weekend trip to San Francisco to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary (our first trip away from Hayden) we decided we were done trying. We would be happy and grateful for what we had and now we could move on to the next chapter of life.

Days after we got home we were preparing to have some friends over for dinner. Hayden was refusing to nap and after I tried to put him down for the 4th time, I slumped to the floor outside his room exhausted. I was so tired I could barely move…was this what it was like to be 38 with a two-year-old? If so, I was screwed! My mind flashed to earlier that morning when I had sneezed and got a shooting pain in my abdomen. I was late too; I was supposed to start my cycle on our last day in San Francisco, but it had only been a few months since the miscarriage, so it could be off…right?

I called Tim who was at the grocery store. “How would you feel about buying a couple pregnancy tests?” I asked, along with the beer and wine he was buying for our dinner party. He got the test, and 20 minutes before our guests arrived, I found out that after 8 years of infertility with only 1 remaining fallopian tube and 4 days after officially deciding we would not be having any more children, I was pregnant.

ultrasound

I am still pregnant and due to have a baby girl in late May. How can this be? Why now? What crazy timing? It took me a little while to wrap my head around it. After months of convincing myself that one child was good, maybe even better, we could get on with life, we could travel more easily, I could focus on my artwork again, I was sleeping again! I am now excited we got pregnant, still a little nervous, but excited. Our wish for one child came true and now a miracle is giving us what we’ve always wanted, two children. Somehow we will figure it all out, there will be challenges I know, but it seems it was meant to be.

Dealing with infertility is so difficult, and I feel deeply for all those who are going through it. There is so much pressure to think positively, to not stress about it so much, to let it go, which is absolutely impossible to do in the midst of it. But there must be something to letting it go, to truly finding peace with whatever happens, and finding happiness in what you have. Shortly after finding out I was pregnant we were watching the 1996 movie Swingers and I was struck by the scene where the main character Mike is getting advice from his friend Rob about how he has to actually forget about his ex-girlfriend before she will want him back:

Mike: Okay, so what if I don’t want to give up on her?
Rob: You don’t call.
Mike: But you said I don’t call if I wanted to give up on her.
Rob: Right.
Mike: So I don’t call either way?
Rob: Right.
Mike: So what’s the difference?
Rob: There is no difference right now. See, Mike, the only difference between giving up and not giving up is if you take her back when she wants to come back. But you can’t do anything to make her want to come back. In fact, you can only do stuff to make her not want to come back.
Mike: So the only difference is if I forget about her or just pretend to forget about her?
Rob: Right.
Mike: Well that sucks.
Rob: Yeah, it sucks.
Mike: So it’s just like a retroactive decision, then? I mean I could, like, forget about her and then when she comes back make like I just pretended to forget about her?
Rob: Right. Although probably more likely the opposite.
Mike: What do you mean?
Rob: I mean at first you’re going to pretend to forget about her, you’ll not call her, I don’t know, whatever… but then eventually, you really will forget about her.
Mike: Well what if she comes back first?
Rob: Mmmm… see, that’s the thing, is somehow they know not to come back until you really forget.
Mike: There’s the rub.
Rob: There’s the rub.

And of course, once Mike finds another girl he really likes who’s also interested in him, his ex-girlfriend calls. This is not the first story you’ve heard about this, so there really must be something about letting go, about truly being at peace with not getting what you thought you wanted that then tells the universe to give it to you? These are the things that make you smile, shake your head, and hold on for the ride. It can take a long time to get there, but once you decide to let go you can find peace with any result.

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30 Comments

Filed under Personal

30 responses to “A Wish & A Miracle

  1. Sandi

    Beautiful Truth, is it not the way. Love that Baby bump. Love you all.
    Thankyou for sharing

  2. Jo and Dick Walters

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Bernadette

    Thank you for sharing your real life story. Although, I didn’t have a problem getting pregnant, I had a different problem. I was bleeding heavily during my second pregnancy and my son was only 9 months at the time. I told myself if I miscarry it will be okay. I have Eric. We were not even planning the second one yet. But inside, I didn’t want to loose the baby. I already invested three months of morning sickness. It was frustrating, bed rest, hospital stays and then it finally stopped and I didn’t miscarry like they thought I would. My daughter was born and full term. I was told that it could happen again with my next pregnancy, so we did decided not to do it again. The decision was much harder for me than my husband but knew if I needed bed rest for the next pregnancy who was going to help me. I would have two children and my husband was a fireman and an electrician. He was gone so much. I didn’t have the luxury of a mother or aunt who could help me. Our family was like yours, a boy and then a girl. It turned out for the best and they are wonderful adults now. 29 and 28. I still worry at times for them but they are good people. People say ignorant things because if they have not experienced the difficulties they have no idea. Good luck and keep us posted with the good news. Your family is beautiful like your cards. Bernadette

  4. Susan

    I am so happy for you and your growing family! Peace, Susan

  5. Dayl Fredrickson

    What a lovely story, Sarah! So glad your wish came true…..it was nice of you to share it with us.

  6. Hey Sarah,

    I am a huge fan of your artwork and save all the photos you post on FB. I’m sixty years old. I run a private music school, Rum Tum School of Music, from Ashland, Oregon. I’m also a children’s book writer and I once contacted you about doing illustrations for one of my books. I am now launching a children’s book press called, First Star Books, which I can tell you more about elsewhere, if you are curious.

    I am replying to your story because my story so resonates with yours.

    Here it is:

    I was very slow to get pregnant the first time. So slow, in fact, that my husband and I decided to do the whole infertility work up thing, which was an emotional nightmare and made having sex a job, not an expression of love.

    After all kinds of tests and procedures, and after two years of trying, I got pregnant with our first child, a son, we named Joel. Joel is now 32 years old. What makes his conception relevant to your story is that we were planning a trip overseas to visit my husband’s sister in Italy if I wasn’t pregnant. I was either going to get pregnant by a certain month, or we were going to get on a plane and fly over the Atlantic. One, not both.

    As soon as we let go of the notion of conceiving, I made our plane reservations to Milan and that was that. We were going to Italy instead of becoming parents. Well, life made a u-turn. In the time between my booking the flight and our departure, I miraculously (so it felt) got pregnant. After all those sperm counts, temperature takings, and ultrasounds, I just, the old fashioned way, got pregnant. We were floored.

    As it turned out, I’d be in the mid-trimester on the trip, so we decided to go to Italy and be pregnant, both. A great decision.

    Time went happily by, with our baby, and we came to the moment when this lovely miracle child turned two. We wanted a second child. I, again, was infertile. We could not conceive. They call it “secondary infertility”, and I thought, “We can’t do this again!” But of course we often do what we think we won’t. Or, can’t.

    For one of my infertility workups I was having my fallopian tubes filled with dye and scanned for blockages. As it turned out, the process itself literally unclogged one fallopian tube, clearing an obstruction. A couple weeks after the procedure, I was pregnant. The act of diagnosing me ending up curing me. I had our second son nine months later.

    My boys are now 32 and 28. They are amazing people. I love them more than words can convey. They were so wanted, so waited for, and both, such a miracle of circumstance. I know my relationship with them is so close, in part, due to their tenuous beginning; their greater chances of not being conceived, than conceived.

    I just had to share my story. I’m so very happy for you and your husband.

    I love your artwork Sarah. I don’t know if you consider it illustrative, in the context of a children’s book, but just know I’m a fan, and also a friend of similar life experience.

    Cheers,
    Tish

    • Sarah Angst

      Thank you so much for sharing your story Tish! What an amazing journey! I do remember us talking about children’s books, and that is something I am still hoping to pursue someday. I will be in touch about your book press down the road and that idea seems more manageable 🙂 Best of luck with everything!
      Take good care,
      Sarah

  7. Dan

    Dear Sarah,
    Congratulations on your big/little miracle! Thank you for sharing such a deeply personal journey that deserves the light you’ve shed upon it. Indeed, many people will benefit from your insightful and caring reflections.
    I also like the Swinger’s quote; fantastic movie all around – especially the end scene in the diner!
    Dan Benot

  8. Susan Hurliman

    I feel it is always a brave act to share really personal happenings in our lives. I am so happy you trust your “readers” enough to do so. I am puzzled and frustrated by the irony that so often those that are prepared and equipped to welcome children into their lives have to deal with this issue. I am so happy for you to have this ending/beginning!!! Parenting is the most fulfilling, hardest job one can take on…preparing little people to be grown up people that will be able to walk into their own lives if we do the job of parenting reasonably well! Best wishes to you! I hope you can continue to find time for your art. I love so much of what you do!

  9. Kay Johnson

    Congratulations , Sarah and family. You story reminds me of a scripture I love….Jeremiah 29:11.

  10. Gigi D

    Congratulations!! There is something very true about letting go of expectations in order to have happiness, and something very true about happiness that allows your body to relax enough in order to function properly. I have heard your story many times from other women, but it is always a good story to hear again and again!!

    • Sarah Angst

      Thank you Gigi! It is such a great concept, just a challenging one to put into practice, but so worth it once you get there 🙂

  11. Nancy B

    So happy for you Sarah! Can’t wait to see the same photo plus one! May is a great month to have a baby. Spring birthday parties are the best. Good luck in the weeks to come. Sending blessings your way!

  12. Molly Steffes

    Thank you for sharing and congrats!!! Love your cards and more importantly your dedication to family.
    Sincerely
    Molly Steffes

  13. Donna Blomberg

    Donna Blomberg
    Congratulations! My favorite sister in law was born May 8th and it was also my aniversary. Thank you for sharing your story.
    Donna

  14. Rochelle Piehl

    Congrats Sarah!!! Much blessings to you and your little family. Its great hoe things tend to work out.

  15. Gloria Brush

    Sarah, what an amazing story you’ve made available to others. I’m so happy that things are going so well for you…I always knew they were with your art!

  16. Karen

    What a journey! Letting go is such an important life lesson over and over. Wishing you good health… And may is not far off! Thank you for sharing this story and your wonderful art!

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