Stay With God
By Jessica Dupre
I’m Jessica Dupre and this is part of my story. Infertility is one of the trials I have endured and overcome in my life. Thank you for the opportunity to share and hopefully tighten this network of women who are journeying through motherhood, or becoming a mother, together.
Before diving into details, I’d like to give you all a very brief intro so you can get to know me a little bit more. I was raised in TX, although I wasn’t born here. I went to high school locally and then went to Texas Tech for college. I met a guy there and thought he was the man of my dreams. I was married right out of college only to be divorced about four years later. Due to distrust and dishonesty, I had my guard up. God softened my heart and a couple of years later I met my now husband, Jeff. When I met him, he was a single dad with two kids, Collin 3 and Ella 18 months, and was living in his parents’ media room. My parents were super excited. I tell people that most women don’t get to see what kind of dad their husband is going to be, but I did, and it won me over. We were married in 2012 and I became a full-time step mom to Collin and Ella.
We began trying immediately for a baby, but it didn’t come easy for us. Through late high school and early college, I never had much of a regular cycle and when mine did come, it was very light and short. During this time, my thoughts were “Great! One less thing to have to deal with.” Never did I think it might have an affect later in life. Becoming pregnant at that time was the very last thing on my mind. Fast forward a decade and now the thing I could’ve cared less about was all I cared about. I was soon diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS. My OBGYN had me start on Metformin and Clomid after our first visit in our journey to become pregnant. After two unsuccessful months, I was switched to Femara. After two months on that with no success either, we were referred to a fertility specialist. I felt comfort in taking another step in the right direction, but already my hope was already starting to waiver. I could feel the toll that the hormones were taking on me.
I was feeling irritable and strained with all the pills I had to take and calculating fertility windows. I can also remember during this time that I was told not to do any jumping, bouncing or heavy pounding types of exercises as they could be too much during implantation and early pregnancy. This was another hard “pill” to swallow as someone who loves to run outside and even do triathlons. I felt like my entire point in life now was to be a viable host for a child to grow in. We spoke about options, including IUI and IVF and these decisions weighed heavily on me. We decided we would try more fertility meds, do more testing, attempt IUI a few times and if it didn’t work, take a break. We tried more aggressive fertility drugs, but again after about two months we didn’t have any success.
At this point, I had more invasive testing – bloodwork, saline sonogram and a uterine sonogram with dye. These results reveled that I had uterine polyps, which was a result of the PCOS and me not having regular cycles throughout my life. Although this wasn’t great news, it was fixable and I was grateful to have more of the puzzle revealed. Not only had I had issues ovulating but I also wasn’t able to support an embryo at this point. We scheduled a date for surgery, a hysteroscopy, to remove the polyps in my uterus. I can remember my light hearted Dr. telling me that we just had to “redecorate my womb” to welcome a baby. My surgery went well, but we had to wait a two cycles after the surgery before starting back up on fertility meds and attempting IUI which felt like forever. It’s ironic how time can seem to fly by when you’re not looking, but when you are, those days can feel like they will never come to pass.
Finally, we were ready to move forward with the IUI. By this point my husband had his sperm tested and they had scored an A plus. He was so proud that as a joke he displayed the test results in his office for weeks to come. By this point too, I was still feeling somewhat apprehensive, but mostly hopeful as it felt like a positive result was in our near future. I got back on fertility meds and FSH, and went back in for sonograms near my ovulation window to see if my follicles would be stimulated enough to release an egg. During the first round of sonograms I had good news that the meds were working but the bad news was that the hormones had worked so well that time, that it looked like my body would release more eggs than were hoping for. It hadn’t been enough previously and now it was too much! But the risk of my being the next “octomom” was too high, so we didn’t attempt IUI. We adjusted meds, another month came and went, and I was back in the office for my sonogram not knowing what the outcome would be.
I would always pray so hard on those days for positive news, and renewed hope and strength if it wasn’t. Finally, I was told that my body looked like it was ready and we could proceed with IUI. I was both excited and guarded, having been told that success rate was only about 10% – 15%. I went in for the procedure and can just remember waiting the days after, trying not to feel stressed or nervous, yet all I could do was focus on the date when I was supposed to go back in for bloodwork to see if everything had been successful. Eventually that day came too, followed by another short period of waiting. I can remember walking up to the elementary school that my two older kids were at when I received a call from the nurse. I was finally pregnant. I started crying, and the kids were confused as to why, but I immediately thanked God for His blessings. I then started changing my prayers for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child. Because of my age and being high risk, we went in for my first sonogram to monitor my progress at about 6 weeks, just a few days after Thanksgiving.
My husband and I were in the room when the Dr came in and said blood levels looks good, some were a little high, but that it wasn’t a bad thing. They started the sonogram and as I looked at the screen watching them my heart started to race. There wasn’t just one, or two, but three healthy embryos with strong heartbeats. I was overcome with emotion. This whole time I had been praying and hoping for one single and healthy baby and now I had three. I knew that God wouldn’t give us more than we could handle, but how in the world we be able to take care of three babies, let alone fit five car seats into any vehicle smaller than a 15-passenger van. I felt guilty for not being completely happy with my answered prayers and cried to everyone I told that day. I knew I had to be strong though for the lives inside me and thankfully had the support of family to reassure me that they would be my village to help raise these triplets. Two days after Christmas we went in for another sonogram to find out that one of our babies no longer had a heartbeat.
Now I was crying at the loss of a child and again felt guilty for wondering if it ever felt unwanted. Yes, I had two other healthy babies growing, but I still had to mourn the loss of what he or she could have been, something I still carry with me today. I ended up carrying the twins almost full term, but due to a rare complication called ICP, I ended up having them at 36 weeks. On July 3, 2014, I delivered a healthy daughter and son, Allison and Dillon, and life felt complete.
Waiting is one of the most difficult things to do; having patience for an expected outcome that does not follow our own timelines.
Looking back on all my trials with my pregnancy, it seems like everything went by quickly, but I know in the moment it most certainly did not. Psalm 27:14 (msg) says: Stay with God! Take heart, Don’t quit. Stay with God! He uses those quiet times of waiting and prayer to refine us and make us more dependent upon Him. Don’t give up friend, because God will never give up on you.