Not a Baby Story: Brian & Jen Edition
The day we met Brian and Jen, my husband put his foot in his mouth; making an offhand joke about the two of us struggling to have kids (an issue not yet on our radar). Turns out they had been trying for several years. But thankfully, since our friends have no memory of the incident, they don’t hold it against us.
It was 1999. Brian and Jen met in high school. Before they had even been dating a full year, Brian told Jen he was going to marry her someday.
Losing his dad at age 13 sparked a longing within Brian to be a dad. So early on, it was no surprise to hear him joke with Jen about having three or four kids.
When the pair married in 2006, they decided to wait a year before attempting to re-spawn. This January will mark the fifth year of their unsuccessful attempts. When Jen compares the time to a roller coaster ride, she’s not kidding. At first, the problem seemed to be on Brian’s shoulders. His were the test results to come back abnormal. He endured the internal agony accompanying the knowledge that he was unable to get his wife pregnant.
But all that changed on June 12, 2009. Brian and Jen each had an appointment with a different infertility specialist in a different city. Brian found out he was fine. Jen’s results came back right away too. Nonchalantly, Jen’s doctor turned the monitor screen toward her and said, “Your fallopian tubes are completely blocked and you’ll never be able to conceive naturally.” It was Jen’s turn to grieve.
Almost a year-to-the-day later, in June 2010, Jen went under the knife for exploratory surgery. When she came to, she could tell Brian had been crying. But the news was good. The doctors discovered that her fallopian tubes were completely open. The couple was told to go home and have fun.
And fun they’ve definitely had. But now, two and a half years later, they remain childless. They’ve seen a total of six different doctors/fertility specialists and heard many contrary opinions. Jen told me the last five years feel somewhat akin to a death. “You go through different emotions like denial, grief, confusion, shame, being pissed off at God . . . I mean, He could snap His fingers and we could be pregnant. But in my first month of trying, I started praying for God’s perfect will, not His permissive will.” She paused for a long moment before completing her thoughts. “I think we have good days and we have bad days. . . . But overall, God has totally sustained us.”
This past year, a group of high school girls stayed the night at Brian and Jen’s house. When asked about the most difficult thing she’d ever had to go through, Jen shared her infertility story. A 16-year-old girl piped up and said, “But Jen, you realize if you had a newborn, we wouldn’t be here now.”
Brian and Jen know their story is only a part of the big picture.
An aside: Brian & Jen just moved from Myrtle Beach, SC to Chesapeake Beach, MD, where Brian is on staff at Chesapeake Church. Jen is a Regional Director at CallSource. And Grey is the furry one on the left. Currently, Brian and Jen are giving the fertility meds a break. When asked about their next steps, Jen said, “Adoption or IUI are still possible. We could adopt, but we’ve been together since we were 16, and it would be awesome to have a piece of each other in a child.” I completely understand her sentiment.