“14 years ago, on January 9th, 2004, my life changed forever. After years of excruciating pain and doctors saying it was the flu or a stomach bug, we finally had a diagnosis – Crohn’s Disease. I was rushed to CHOA where the doctors looked at my parents, and grandparents, and said, ‘We have no idea how this child is still alive.’ At that moment, the relief was greater than the fear. They were finally going to help me. They hooked me up to IV’s and gave me pain medicine, much needed fluids, etc… I cried because, for the first time in years, I wasn’t in pain. Lots of CT scans, test, and IV antibiotics to try and get the abscess in my abdomen, that was pushing on my spine, to go away. No luck and, two days later, I was becoming septic. On a Sunday morning, the doctors rushed me to the operating room – telling my parents they feared it would be the worst case scenario. My hospital room was full of more flowers and people than I can even explain. While I was in surgery, everyone stayed and prayed. Well, let me just tell you, this isn’t the only time I’ve seen a miracle worked in my life, but this was one of the biggest ones. 30 minutes into what they expected to be a 3 hour surgery, they were done. They called my parents and said it had been a better case than they had ever expected. They said I would have to get used to having a scar down the middle of my stomach and living life with a chronic illness, but I could live my life like a normal person for the most part.
Crohn’s Disease is a part of me, but it doesn’t define me. It has taught me about who I am and who I should be. It has pushed me to what I thought was my breaking point and showed me how strong I can be. It has made thankful for every healthy day I live and made my faith stronger than ever. It has made me disciplined and determined. It has also made my family closer than we ever thought we could be because no one really understands everything we’ve been through together.
After my first surgery, I adjusted to life with Crohn’s Disease. My mom read book after book on how I should be eating and what I should do to stay healthy and my family decided we would all do it together. My mom worked tirelessly to make sure I didn’t put anything bad in my body and it meant so much that my family changed the way they lived along with me. My parents never let me make excuses or feel bad for myself and I am forever grateful for that. I made straight A’s in high school and was a cheerleader. I went on to graduate with honors and go to GA Southern, which was my first choice school! I graduated in 4 years and kept my academic scholarships the entire time. Doctors would tell me things like I would never go to college, but I think that made me more determined to prove them wrong. So, after my second surgery at 23, when they told me I wouldn’t be able to have kids, I didn’t pay much attention. At that time, I was newly married to my high school sweetheart and we had been dreaming of our family and our life since we were 15. I just knew that, once I was better, we would be able to have kids no problem. I mean, I had seen God work miracle after miracle in my life so this would be one of them – I was sure of it. We wanted time to just be married so we didn’t start trying right away. We focused on my health and our jobs. We built a home and joined a small group at church. At 26, we both realized we were ready to start our family. The first month we started trying, we were pregnant! We were over the moon excited, as you can imagine. Our best friends were also pregnant and we were so excited to have babies the same age! We told our close friends and families and, soon after, we lost that baby. Devastated as we were, we decided to keep trying. We got pregnant so easily, but then, time after time, we miscarried.
We began going to specialists and they did, what felt like, hundreds of tests on both of us. It was determined that, because of my Crohn’s and my past surgeries, the babies weren’t attaching correctly or a blood clot was forming, which caused me to miscarry. The doctors felt that IVF was the only way to go. At 26, after just building our first home, the cost of IVF was daunting. So was the fear of the unknown. We didn’t know how hard it would be on my body or if I would still be able to work. We didn’t know if IVF would work for us at all! And what if I got pregnant with twins? That would make an already high risk pregnancy, that much more high risk. Time after time, God closed doors for IVF and time after time, I pushed the issue. I was determined that we were going to do this and it was going to work and we were going to be parents. During this time, God kept showing me amazing adoption stories and reminded me of when I was a little girl and he had laid adoption on my heart, but I kept pushing for IVF. As each one of our best friends became pregnant, I became more determined that God was going to work a miracle for us and I would carry our babies. I mean, why would God allow all 7 of my best friends to be pregnant at the same time when we were struggling? It just didn’t make sense.
Fast forward to now. I am 28 years old and we have been trying for over two years. Countless doctor appointments, blood work, medications, tests, etc… Wait, isn’t having a baby supposed to be fun? Isn’t it supposed to be an exciting time? That’s what I always thought. What I’ve realized over these past two years is that, no matter how determined I am, it is, ultimately, God who is in control of this situation. Of every situation. The specialists we have seen have given me a slim to no chance of conceiving and sustaining a pregnancy on my own. It’s hard. It’s hard when all I’ve ever wanted to be is a mom. It’s hard when I know what an amazing (and I mean amazing) dad Colton will be. It’s hard seeing my parents and family grieving along with us. It’s hard feeling like my body has carried me through so much, but, here I am, and I feel like my body is failing me. Girls are supposed to carry babies. That’s what we were made to do, right? It’s hard when all of my best friends were pregnant together and are now all new moms together.
But, along the way, I’ve also seen God’s faithfulness. I’ve seen God’s faithfulness in bringing new friends into my life. Friends I never would’ve cared to meet, to be quite honest. Friends who understand what I’m going through and who love me on my good days and my bad. I have seen God’s grace in the friends I’ve had for years. Friends who are pregnant, or new moms, and are in the happiest time of their lives, but still take time to check on me. To pray for me. To sit with me while I cry. To meet me right where I’m at. To let me be a part of their journeys and love on their little ones. Colton and I decided to do things we love so I started a new career in fashion and Colton started a woodworking business! We have gone on trips together and enjoyed being ‘Aunt Meg’ and ‘Uncle Colt’ to the fullest!
Exactly two years since our first miscarriage, we announced we were adopting!! God had done a huge work on both of our hearts over the past years and, after much prayer and God’s calling, we realized that was his plan for us all along! I can now, honestly, say I am thankful for the season of infertility we walked through because, if we hadn’t, we wouldn’t be adopting and my heart is all in!! I never, and I mean never, thought I would be at peace with not carrying our babies. But now, I truly can’t imagine our family being knit together in any other way! We are still in the adoption process and, let me just tell you, the waiting is hard and some days I get discouraged. But, this will be our first baby, so we are trying to enjoy each moment! We are doing things such as decorating the nursery and hosting fundraisers to help offset the cost of adoption!
I’ve learned that waiting seasons are hard, but they are always worth it and they make what is on the other side that much sweeter. I’ve, also, learned that the way God knits each family together differently is beautiful. I, honestly, don’t believe that God is trying to punish us when he makes us wait. I believe he is trying to refine us and give us the best possible thing at the best possible time because he sees the bigger picture. Although I am trying to enjoy each moment of this process, my heart is so ready to meet the baby(ies) that God intended for our family and the birth mama who will choose life and give us the greatest gift. Through all of this, I have realized that God is good all of the time and his mercies are new each day.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Megan Cape. Follow her journey on Instagram here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
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