Saturday, July 21, 2012

Stephanie: Determined To Be A Mom

No questions and answers today, rather a story. I asked my friend Stephanie to tell her story, and I will warn it is one of heartbreak and of celebration.
I met Stephanie when she was a student at Texas Bible Institute- Stephanie is full of life and fun! We were able to watch as Stephanie met the man that would be her husband- it was so special to see them fall in love and begin their life together.
When I first read the story you are about to read, I was overwhelmed imagining the difficulty. There is much to be taken away from what is written below, and I am so thankful that Stephanie (and Doug) was willing to tell their truth so that others can have hope…

"My name is Stephanie, my husband Doug and I will have been married for 4 years in November.  Before we were married Doug expressed to me how he wanted children, it was exciting to know that as his wife I would be able to give him his dream.  We talked about waiting until after our 1-year anniversary.  I began birth control and we were very careful. 
When the time came, I stopped the birth control and we did everything we could to conceive.  After a year of trying with no success, we decided to stop and just let it happen. I began to blame myself for not being able to give my husband what he wanted – that resulted in me locking myself away from him (I avoided letting him touch me or even have sex with me as much as possible) 
A few months later, in October 2010, we discovered we were pregnant.  We were overwhelmed with joy and couldn’t express enough thanks to God.  We were 12 weeks along when we decided to tell our family.  I was feeling great until one day at work I started to bleed and my mom told me we should go to the hospital and have it checked out. When we got to the hospital I told God whatever happens He is in control.  They discovered that the baby was only 6 weeks along, but my uterus was 12 weeks.  They could not find a heartbeat so they sent us home and told us to “let nature take its course”.  The day we miscarried was the worst day of my life.  It was so painful I felt like I was in labor.  When the baby passed, I caught it in my hand; it was so sad and I felt defeated by God and everyone in the world.  Eventually, I came back to reality we decided not to try again for a while.  BUT, we discovered in December 2010, that with no trying we were pregnant for the 2nd time.  It was VERY unexpected and part of me wasn’t sure I was ready to do this again.  I was so shocked; I took 5 pregnancy tests to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing, we gave all the glory to God.  We had our first OBGYN appointment in January 2011 that’s when we discovered that the baby had no heartbeat but the doctor was sure the baby was just too small to hear or even see one. So we waited 2 weeks and went back and that’s when we found out we lost another child. 
I felt like my life was over and I didn’t want anything to do with life or even God.  I stepped down from the praise team, from the youth and from all my responsibilities to do with the church.  I wanted nothing to do with God or the church.  I felt like God let me down.  I didn’t understand why ME or US in this case.  One day I was sitting at home in my own pity party thinking, I’m better than this.  So I got up and changed my mindset.  That day we decided to not try until we were ready and comfortable with the idea of being pregnant again. 
So in September 2011 we discovered we were pregnant again; a few weeks later in October 2011 we learned we had lost this little gift also.  My heart was overwhelmed with sadness and I was concerned that I would never be able to give my husband what he always wanted.  I felt defeated once again.  I told Doug that I was sorry; I felt like it was my fault because it was my body.  We once again decided not to try again; we were going to once again wait on God. 
In late 2011 we went to a high risk OBGYN she said we shouldn’t give up but maybe we should look into in vitro or something like that.  We decided for us this was way too expansive and we would just wait on God.  We had to completely give everything to God even the babies we lost.  We chose not to talk about the other miscarriages and just to put it all behind us.  I’m not going to lie, it was hard but we did it.  We decided not to be intimate with each other for a few weeks until we were ready.  So when the time came, we were intimate- just 1 time.  When God says it’s your time then it’s your time. 
On December 22, 23, 24 of 2011 I took a pregnancy test without anyone knowing.  When the first test came back positive I had to sit down because I just could not believe my eyes.  I called my mom and told her I was pregnant but couldn’t see how, we were intimate only once in the last few weeks.  She told me “Baby it’s a GOD thing.”  That’s when I knew this pregnancy was going to be different than any other pregnancy we had gone through.  I just knew God was in all this and it was only Him that could have made this happen. 
I held out telling Doug and the family till Christmas.  So, needless to say, it was a very exciting Christmas!  We had decided to not tell any other family or friends until we reached the “safe” point.  On our first OB appointment we were able to hear the heartbeat and it was in the high 160’s.  When we were 14 weeks Doug said I think it’s time to tell the good news.  So we did.  
This has truly been the biggest miracle and blessing we could have ever asked for.  We truly see why we have gone through this, Doug and I would not be the people we are today if we had not gone through what we went through.  I LOVE and respect my husband more today than I had ever thought I could.  He is my strong hand and I just know because of the man he is today that he is going to be the world’s greatest daddy any little girl could hope for.  We are truly blessed and with 5 weeks to go I feel love for this little girl like no other.  We can’t wait to see our AliMae Lynndi Billingsley. We wanted to give her a strong name so we named her after my grandmother who has passed away, Linda Mae Plaisance Cantrelle.  We are a close family and I have to think that she would be a proud great-grandmother."

Stephanie has agreed to do a follow up post after Miss AliMae arrives with tons of bragging pictures to go along. I ask that everyone who reads this will keep this incredible family in your prayers as they are about to embark on one of the best journeys ever…parenthood.

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