Saturday, July 19, 2014

IT'S A MIRACLE! By Lj Salceda Schroeder

(15 week sonogram of our baby.)

Lj Salceda Schroeder

"You have until the age of 30 to get pregnant. That is if you want kids, otherwise the chances are not in your favor." Those are the same words from two different doctors that I consulted when I was in my mid-20's. 

It was through a routine ultrasound for a urinary tract infection (UTI) that I "accidentally" discovered that I not only have a UTI but a more serious condition that I have never heard before: poly-cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). On top of that my uterus was also inverted. And if those weren't enough, I wasn't producing the right amount of hormones to regulate my monthly period, one of the symptoms of PCOS.  

I wanted to respond to the MD's: "How can I do that when I don't even have a boyfriend or a potential spouse in sight? I'm not sexually active nor do I have the intention of having a baby before I get married. I have always been open to adoption (and I still am), but it's not the same as having my own flesh and blood. You're not God, how can you be so cruel?" Sigh... 

"Ok, so I have a few years left, maybe I could still beat my body clock or mother nature. Is there anything I can do? What? How much will it cost? Why me?" More sighs...

The thought of not having biological child/ren after the age of 30 was disheartening to say the least. I can't imagine life without kids. I can see my dreams slowly slipping away. There goes my potential husband… There goes the essence of being a woman… There goes my lineage... Ouch!

I've known married friends who have struggled with infertility and although their marriages have withstood the test of time and nature, I've seen first-hand the plethora of emotions they went through as an individual and as a couple due to being childless. 

When I had my first boyfriend at 27, I was SO tempted to give in not just to lust but to the enticement of the devil. Sleeping with him might be my "only" chance of producing an heir to my earthly kingdom before my "expiration" date claims my reproductive capacity. Lol! It did cross my volatile mind! However, my faith in God or more like my mother's sermons prevailed. I realized that it is selfish of me to bring a life in this world for the purposes of satisfying my "nurturing/mothering" instincts or for the expansion of my family tree. Although those are valid reasons, but not substantial enough for me. I don't want my kids to grow-up without a dad like me and my brother. I want to have a solid lifetime partner in handling such a ginormous, yet fulfilling feat- raising a family.

After learning that PCOS can be managed and is non life-threatening if diagnosed and treated early, I've come to accept my condition albeit with reservations. While I was still dating John (now my husband), I was upfront with him. It didn't bother him that we might have to face the possibility of not having a junior in the future which was a relief. I'm grateful for supportive and encouraging friends and family as well. My mom even rebuked my "lack of faith," by saying, "Would you rather believe in doctors or in what God can do?" Maybe it was a little too in your face, FYI: she's my mom and she's a pastor. Not that I or she was discounting or undermining physicians' or medicine's capacity to diagnose and treat diseases or conditions, but she was trying to remind me that I have a powerful, awesome God. He has never failed me! (Most of the time, it's the other way around.)

To shorten the story, I met an amazing guy when I was near my cut-off age (two months before I turned 30) for potential child-bearing, got married (at 32) and relocated in the USA. It still took us more than a year (our first year we decided to use contraception since I didn't have medical insurance and a stable job then) before we intentionally embarked on the "baby-making" process. We have always been open about our desire to have our own kids. We weren't shy to ask friends, church groupmates, missionaries, even strangers to pray for us.  

April this year, I started having weird food cravings. I found my self day dreaming of all the sour soups (sinigang, sinampalukan, cocido etc.) from my native country. For days I told my co-teacher that I missed Filipino cuisine. She was very sympathetic since she is also from Asia. One afternoon I went home from work very nauseated. At first I thought it was food poisoning. But just to be sure I took a home pregnancy test (HPT) since my period has been late for more than a month which is not uncommon for someone who has PCOS.

(Different brands, the same result: all positives!)

A positive! Could it be real? I've done dozens of HPT's before and needless to say they all turned out negative. So I asked my hubby to get me some HPT's from the drugstore. When he got home, I intentionally hid the first test. I had to make sure before I break the news to him. So, I did one more. The same result: a +! Then another one, to be very sure. Three positives! Hallelujah!!!  

When I finally told John we were expecting, he could not believe it. He said unless a doctor says so he won't accept the HPT results, but he was happy nonetheless. (I know, confusing.) The very next day I called an OBGYN, made an appointment and two weeks after, the ultrasound showed we were 7 weeks pregnant! Hurray!

At the age of 35 by the end of this year, we are going to welcome our first baby- a boy. I am so grateful, over the moon and still in awe. A human being is growing inside of me. It's beyond comprehension at times. It's scary. It's exhilarating. Above all it's God's answer to our prayers. I will be a mom. We will be parents in a few months. For real! Let the journey of parenthood begin... 

(My favorite time of the day is when my husband prays over my bulging belly/our baby.)