We are so excited to finally spill the beans. I don’t know how people hold out from telling friends and family exciting news like this for so long!! We are expecting a Mini Pepper in December!!!! I wanted to document our story, because every time I think about it, I am reminded of God’s grace, mercy, protection, and generosity. I hope that our story will encourage some of you out there!!
About a year ago we decided that we were ready to make the next step in our lives. We had almost been married four years, and Talin was approaching the end of graduate school. We were so excited, and hoped that, like most everyone else we know, it would happen as quickly and easy as it could! God had other plans…. After a few months of not seriously trying, we borrowed a fertility monitor from a great friend, Mrs. Amy Fryar (Thank you very much!) We were so excited about getting that, and just knew that it would be our ticket to parenthood. God had other plans…. About 6 months after that, and after discussion with another great friend, Mrs. Caitlin Cousatte, we decided to talk to my doctor about further testing. It had been about 10 months, but we decided that we would just go for it. After only a few rounds of bloodwork, we found out that I have a very low progesterone level. It was explained to me by my wonderful nurse, Sylvia, that if your progesterone level is too low, you could have fertilization of an egg, but not implantation. The hormone, progesterone, is what keeps the uteran lining thick enough to support implantation. To support a pregnancy, your progesterone level must be at least a 15. Mine was a 2!!! So, I was put on a progesterone regimen, where I took a pill twice a day, starting 3 days after ovulation. If you start your menstrual cycle, you must stop the progesterone immediately because that will really get you out of whack!! But if you don’t start your period, you MUST stay on the medicine, and keep your hormone level up or miscarriage can occur. Low progesterone is one of the major causes of miscarriages, I found out!
The first cycle on the medicine, I did start my period. I was really sad, as I had been every time it happened over the last several months. It is so hard to explain the frustration that you feel when you are continually dealing with inability to conceive. It is one of the most heartbreaking and hopeless things to experience. I kept trying to tell myself that God’s timing is perfect, and that it would happen when the right time came along. I prayed constantly, but tried not to let it consume my every thought. I went through a few months there of being angry, especially facing the announcements of many friends around me who seemed to get pregnant so easily. It was a very selfish time for me. Talin was, and still is the most supportive, understanding partner I could have ever dreamed to have. He has been amazing through all of this. Let’s bypass the “dark time” and move on to the LIGHT!
On April 4, I started spotting again. I knew this was my cycle coming again, because it seemed the same as every time before. I remember discovering this at church on Sunday morning, and it was all I could do to hold myself together and keep my smile on. I went ahead and stopped the progesterone pills because my period had started. Talin was back and forth between Amarillo at this time, and it was always sad to say “bye” to him every Sunday afternoon. So, he left, and then I went on with life, went back to school, trying to be positive. About 3 days later, I started feeling like something wasn’t right. I was still spotting, but only spotting! I still hadn’t seen red, and that is abnormal for me to have 4 days of what I considered the “precursor”. I called my nurse, and she told me to take a pregnancy test and if it was positive, I needed to GET BACK ON THE MEDICINE. She kind of gave me a lecture that your cycle doesn’t truly start until you see red. Whoops!
Being true to myself, I decide that I will just wait and take the test in the morning. I AM AN IDIOT!! I thought that you HAD to take the test using your “first morning sample” or it wouldn’t be accurate. I also thought there was no way I was pregnant, and it wouldn’t register if I did it right then that Wednesday afternoon because that would just be too good to be true!! Of course I am trying to mess this up in any way I can, but GOD HAD OTHER PLANS!!!!
On Thursday, April 8th I woke up and took the test before I got in the shower to get ready for school. I KNEW it would be negative. I am not one for getting my hopes up, especially after all we’d been through over the last several months. I got out of the shower, and IT WAS POSITIVE!!!!!!!! I immediately got on my knees and cried and bawled and thanked God. I WAS SHOCKED! I called Talin, he was in Amarillo, sleeping away. He was SHOCKED!! We lived in a dream world for about the next 6 weeks which is up until NOW, because we still can’t believe it’s true!! So, anyway, we decided that we were going to meet in Plainview for dinner that night because we wanted to be together, so we met and ate at the Cotton Patch, and just stared at each other in amazement. I still think it’s a dream sometimes!!
So, this baby is a miracle in more ways than one… especially because I went off the progesterone medicine for 4 days in the most crucial time, and the baby made it through!! We know that this is ONLY because of God’s intervention. There were several times over the last year that we hoped to be able to tell our family and friends that we were having a baby, and those celebrations and holidays passed by.. But THIS could not have been more perfect. I am so thankful that we have such a loving Father. I know he has been with us, holding us through all of this. Even when I tried everything I could to push him away, he stuck with me and blessed me despite my ignorance and distrust in Him. What an amazing, forgiving, generous God!!!!!! We covet your prayers through this journey, please keep us in mind. I am learning to trust more, and to let go, but it is easier said than done.
We are blessed to have such a strange situation because of my progesterone regimen, I have been going to the doctor weekly to have bloodwork done. This is to make sure that the progesterone pill is doing it’s job. So far, it has been! My levels have been great! I have had some spotting off and on ever since we found out. This is another source of my anxiety, but I had a reassuring exam, and everything is looking great!
We had an early sonogram at 7 weeks, and we saw the heartbeat!! Fluttering away at 125 bpm. It was incredible!!
I guess from that moment on, we accepted this as “the real thing”. Then, at 9 weeks, we went in again because my wonderful nurse, Sylvia, wanted Dr. Lampkin to do an exam to see if he could find the source of the spotting. HE DID find it, and it is coming from an area OUTSIDE the cervix, which is wonderful news because it is not affecting the baby or coming from the baby or anything like that!!! Praise God!!! We also had another sonogram at that appointment, and everything looked GREAT! He/she was 1 inch long, and their heartbeat was running at 178 bpm this time.
Dr. Lampkin and Sylvia have been nothing if not a God-send through all of this. I thought I would drive Sylvia crazy calling her all the time when I am panicking about spotting, but she wants to know, and she always makes me feel better! I have been feeling great, which is another thing I have been concerned about because at first I thought that if you didn’t get sick, then it must not be a viable pregnancy. Fortunately, the Lord has sent SEVERAL ladies across my path who said that they weren’t sick at all and everything turned out fine. That was definitely encouraging!! I have had a little bit of queasiness, but no throwing up. I have been ridiculously exhausted at times, but they say that is to be expected. I guess I am one of the “lucky ones”! Correction, one of the blessed!
Every Due Date Predictor wheel is different, so we have heard dates ranging from December 13, 15, 16 and 18. We are going with the 15th because we like that the best. But OF COURSE, this is just an estimation! So that puts me at right about 11 weeks right now.
We decided that we would share the secret this past weekend, because everyone was going to be together. Talin was graduating from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and his Mom had been planning a graduation bash. But then we found out that some of my family wouldn’t be able to come to Talin’s party, so we had to alter our plans. My little cousin, the great Tyler Richardson, was graduating from LCU on May 8th. So, ALL of my Mom’s side was coming up to watch the monumental event. We decided that we wanted to break the news to my parents then because the family would all be together.
There was only one problem. My sister, the great Nicole Mahanay, was determined that she “would not come to Lubbock 2 of her only 3 weekends off of school and work!” How rude!! So, we started scheming on how to get her to come. I tried just telling her that she should come, then begging, without giving anything away. I really didn’t want her to miss this, and knew she wouldn’t want to either. Finally I convinced her that she needed to get on Skype because we were planning on pulling a small surprise 50th joke on Dad, and I wanted her to see what I bought for the occasion. We called her on a Saturday night, a week before LCU graduation, and she complained about me trying to get her on Skype!! She said “Can’t you just email me pictures of the stuff?? I need to study!” Always being difficult…. After much cajoling, we got her on Skype and told her that we didn’t want to show her 50th birthday stuff, but something else!! (I wanted to see her face when we told her!) She was so excited, but couldn’t scream because Mom and Dad were asleep. She decided she would come to Lubbock for LCU graduation after all!!
Fast forward one week, we have graduation, it is great fun! We hung out with the family all day, and then we were supposed to meet at our house for dinner and volleyball. We sent Dad and Mom to get the pizza so we could set up the house. We decorated a walker and got him an “Over the Hill” vest, and after he walked in the door, we sang and then I insisted upon a family picture:
It could not have gone more perfectly!! I will always cherish that moment as long as I live!
We were really excited to do something similar to Talin’s family at his graduation party. Unfortunately, events arose that didn’t allow everyone to be there, so we didn’t get to catch everyone at once, but it was still great! LaRhea was SHOCKED, and I still don’t think it has sunk in for her. It definitely hasn’t for me, so I’m sure everyone else is the same. Here is our video of us telling Talin’s family:
It is becoming more real now that we have “gone public”, but it still seems like it can’t be true, especially since I am not seeing any midsection evidence yet.
Please keep us in your prayers! It has been an amazing journey so far, but it is not for the faint of heart, I’ve decided. Join us in praying for a healthy baby and a successful pregnancy. We know that God is watching over us, and we are so excited to see what our future holds!!!
I will update after our 12 week sonogram NEXT WEEK!! PRAISE GOD!!!