My struggle with infertility was not an easy one. Actually if you ask me, it was downright unfair. As I look back on the experience I now realize it was all worth it. For me it started 12 years ago. My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for 3 years with no success and some very weird symptoms. On my husband’s side, he had what was called “unexplained” infertility. There was nothing that the reproductive endocrinologist could find that should have been causing his sterility. On my end, I had a semen allergy. So after several years of trying on our own, we decided to go through a procedure called an IUI or Intra-Uterine Insemination. Intra- uterine insemination involves taking semen from your spouse, or a donor, and injecting it into the uterus, during or close to the time of ovulation. Success rang our doorbell the very first shot and I was pregnant! Ecstatic, we went through the motions of a normal healthy pregnancy doing everything we thought was right, to care for myself and my little one’s growing body, until complications arose.
Pre-term labor, Pre-eclampsia and bed rest. I was put on medication to slow down and eventually stop the progression of my labor and it worked. I now know that something was seriously wrong with the environment my baby was growing in and she was desperate to get out. I went into labor on April 10, 2000 in the early afternoon at 36 weeks. Finally! I was far enough along to not have them stop the labor and I could have my baby. I went to the hospital and my whole world stopped. No heartbeat. They couldn’t find my baby’s heartbeat! My baby had died and my entire family was devastated. This was the first grandchild from my generation and everyone was looking forward to her arrival. So after 4 years of infertility testing, procedures, and successes, I still came home empty handed. My baby’s name was Mikayla Ahlan Mealing. We love her so much and we will never forget her.
I almost died giving birth to her because my blood pressure was out of control, and a clot had shot to my placenta. She had been gone probably for a day, and infection had set in my body. It was only by the grace of GOD Almighty that brought me through that. Still, our hopes of becoming parents were strong in our hearts and we didn’t want to give up. So after grief counseling and 6 months of rest we decided to give that IUI another shot. Success again! We were very blessed. This time around I had to take shots of Lovenox to prevent a blood clot forming, which was why Mikayla passed. It had been determined that I had a genetic disorder called protein s deficiency. Unfortunately, people usually don’t discover this condition until something catastrophic happens.
My pregnancy with my son was very scary. I had to take shots in my stomach several times a day, as well as other medications to keep myself and my baby healthy. We went to a fabulous perinatologist in the Denver metro area named Dr. Kent Heyborne. He and his staff made me feel completely comfortable and helped ease my concerns. My son Anthony Jalen Mealing was born on June 9, 2001 and we were very happy. Still the past concerns of losing my first child haunted me. We couldn’t bring my son home. He was premature and very little 5lbs 3oz’s. So once again I came home empty handed. I never thought my dreams of mother-hood would ever come true. My baby stayed in the NICU for 5 days. We were there by his side talking to him, holding him and singing to him. Then one day, while all by myself, I went to visit him and they told me I could take him home. Never before in my life had I felt such joy and fear at the same time. I was so happy I finally got my wish, I was a mommy for real. I cried with joy all the way home, with my sleeping baby boy safely snuggled in his car seat in the back.
What’s the moral of my story? Never give up. I now have two beautiful children, my daughter Denise Ahlana Galbreath was a complete surprise! No infertility treatment was necessary for her. I still believe she is God’s promise to me fulfilled, that I would have a baby girl eventually. I never stopped dreaming of becoming a mother and I never gave up trying. I know that I am supposed to be a parent, and I do my very best at being the best mother I can be. That’s my thank you to God for entrusting their little lives to me. If infertility issues plague you as it did me for such a long time; hold on to faith, and have patience. It will happen and you’ll be a stronger, better, more appreciative parent for having gone through it all.