Jake and I, Johnna, were married on July 2, 2011. I feel we are not your typical newlyweds, as we have encountered and survived many life changing events trying to fulfil our dream of becoming parents.
Let’s rewind a bit; Jake is from Houston, Tx, while I am a small-town girl from the Hill Country, Llano, Tx. After we wed, we moved into our first apartment in Katy, Tx. We were having a great time, enjoying our own place, new careers, and hoping to start a family soon!
Our lives quickly shifted in another direction.
Growing up I often heard everything happens for a reason. This was never so true. After only 5 short months of marriage on December 11, 2011, I was driving home from work, my husband not far in front of me, when I was hit by a drunk driver. After my car was cut open, I was rushed to the ER, where the doctors found something urgent in my CT scans. I was then immediately transported to the trauma center in downtown Houston. I had a fractured pelvis and suffered a severe concussion, but through all of this, the good Lord needed to show me something. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you.
During the CT scans, doctors found an aneurysm in my upper aorta which would require open heart surgery to replace an aortic valve and repair the aorta. On April 3, 2012, my husband kissed me on my forehead and waited 5 hours to see me. I can't imagine what he had to go through during that time. I am forever thankful and blessed to have him by my side.
Fast forward one year to post surgery. Jake and I were both living and working in Southeast Texas. He is an outstanding teacher/baseball coach and I am an Elementary teacher's aide pushing to complete my EC-6 degree. We were both ready to grow our family. I’ve always dreamt about my husband coaching our son(s) in baseball. At this point in life, I had completed my rehab and was cleared with the cardiologist who had said the valve looked perfect and did not see any reason why we could not start trying for a baby! A year had gone by. Nothing. After three rounds of Clomid; a fertility medicine that causes the pituitary gland to release hormones needed to stimulate ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary) our biggest fear had just become a reality.
We spent many days and nights asking ourselves what we were doing wrong.
Eventually, a good friend recommended we see a fertility specialist at the Center of Reproductive Medicine in Beaumont, Texas. We were hesitant because of the financial burden but we desperately wanted to do whatever we had to do to make us three. We made our first appointment and found that our diagnosis was dysfuntional fallopian tubes and low ovarian reserve. Not what we wanted to hear, but again God was telling us, or this time shouting to us, For I know the plans I have for you.
On November 20, 2014, during our Thanksgiving break, we scheduled a hysteroscopy in Houston and after my procedure headed back to Katy to recover at my in-laws. Looking back now, I see that God was really trying to gain my attention and redirect our journey. Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.
On the night of November 23, 2014 I fainted in the bathroom and Jake rushed me to the same ER I was admitted to 3 years prior. Hospital trips have become something he has grown use to, he also quickly learned how to sleep in waiting rooms and eat vending machine food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
While admitted we learned that I had lost over a liter of blood and had an emergency surgery with a blood transfusion to remove my fallopian tube; one of two tubes along which eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus. The surgeon, who prayed over me and saved my life, also saved my remaining fallopian tube. Three months of recovery and we were ready to try again! We were POSITIVE this would be it, we felt we were on the right path!
We were back to square one. I scheduled another appointment and it looked as though this would never end. My other fallopian tube had filled back up with fluid and could be a risk to the embryo if it leaked into my uterus, so we made the decision to remove the remaining fallopian tube, knowing that our journey to 3 would be impacted. Again, I listened to God and found faith in the scripture. I repeatedly told myself, sometimes forcing the words out of my mouth, God has a plan.
On April 10, 2015 they removed my remaining fallopian tube with no complications and at that point, our only option for conceiving a child of our own was IVF; a medical procedure whereby an egg is fertilized by sperm in a test tube. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus. After reaching IVF, we gained much hope from people we know personally who have gone down this path and succeeded.
On June 14, 2015, after emptying our entire savings and $25,000 later, we were FINALLY ready to start our first IVF cycle! Trusting God this whole time, we knew this was his plan and we were very excited! We had just bought our first three bedroom home, and picked out the perfect room that would soon become filled with a baby crib and baseball decor. After months of hormone injections, blood draws, and ultrasounds I was ready for retrieval. Due to my low ovarian reserve, the quantity and quality of my eggs were poor and unfortunately, our IVF attempt failed. They transferred the only two embryos that fertilized and not one of them resulted in a pregnancy. We had nothing left. We were heartbroken. Our insurance does not cover fertility treatments, only testing. The thought of having to pay for another cycle was unbearable. We had no idea how we would do it.
Here we are today.
We would love another opportunity at having a child; however we are faced with the reality of obtaining $25,000. We are asking our family and friends to help us reach our goal. Any help would mean the world to us because it will get us one step closer for a chance of growing our family.
Ways to help;
Prayer; there is power in prayer. Jake and I know this to be true as we have encountered many critical and life threatening situations. We would love to hear your prayers and words of encouragement.
Sharing; share our story with your family and friends. Sharing will help us cope with our situation and link us with other individuals who have already or who may be currently walking this path.
Monetary; monetary donations in any amount, big or small, will tremendously help us cover the cost of IVF and put us one step closer to making our family of 2 become 3.
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