Two Bright Lights

On a simple August day that would have been like any other day, our lives radically changed forever.

Many of you have read our story about infertility and embryo adoption. A brief summary is that Adam and I tried for over 3 years to get pregnant and eventually landed on adopting a set of five embryos to grow our family. A story I’ve never actually written out, even for myself, was the day we got pregnant.

We woke up super early in Waco to make it through traffic in Austin in time for our appointment. Not long into our drive, I realized we were going to be late. Not terribly late. But late enough. I told myself there was nothing we could do about it now. I should just keep drinking the gallons of water I had with me (a full bladder gives a clearer picture on the ultrasound) and chill. Chilling, though, was going to be hard.

We had been to the fertility clinic a number of times throughout the month for checkups. They checked throughout the month to make sure my body was responding well to all the medicine I was taking. So far everything had been right on track. This morning was just the same.

A nurse came in to double check my name, the procedure we were having, my medicine allergies, etc. And then a hilarious Chinese doctor came in named Henry. I will always remember what this man told us as he showed us a picture of the two embryos they were going to transfer inside me moments later – “I poked a hole in it with my laser.” We laugh about it now, but at the time we were both terrified! Earlier in the month we had agreed to something called “laser assisted hatching”. Because our embryos had been frozen for so long, sometimes the lining of the embryo can be difficult to hatch. And if an embryo doesn’t hatch it won’t implant. To help our little embryos along, our doctor recommended poking a small hole in each embryo with a laser. The medical terminology actually sounds much more benign than someone saying they poked a hole in my delicate embryo with their laser.

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Soon we shifted to the operating room. Everyone in the room made the day feel incredibly special. We had seen each person throughout the month, but that day we all felt like good friends. Our incredible doctor came in and described the procedure step by step. It all felt surreal and medical until the moment we saw our embryos. Two bright shining lights suddenly showed up on the ultrasound machine. It was prophetic in a way – two lights of great hope after years of so much darkness and disappointment.

In the middle of us both crying, our friend Henry hilariously made his second memorable appearance. The doctor waited until we heard Henry, with his extremely strong Chinese accent, yell back “ALL CLEAR” to let us know that the embryos had, in fact, safely made their way out of the tube and inside of me.

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We left the doctors office dazed. I was pregnant. I didn’t look any different. I didn’t feel different. The only way we knew I was pregnant was a simple picture of those two bright lights who we were praying were multiplying like crazy inside of me. Because we were in Austin, we went to a taco restaurant for lunch. I remember sitting down waiting for our food (because Adam wouldn’t let me stand very much), holding my tummy and thinking, “I’m pregnant. I’m finally pregnant.”

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It’s been a year since that simple, unassuming August morning. As I type this, our precious boy is napping peacefully upstairs in his crib. He laughs and coos at us knowing we’re his mommy and daddy. We’re utterly exhausted and beyond thankful for his light in our lives.

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