Losing Both Fallopian Tubes
Isaiah and I began this journey in November, 2009. We had just moved from Pensacola, Florida so I could begin my internship at UAB Sparks Clinics for my doctorate program in Audiology. One night I woke up in excruciating pain. I thought it was indigestion, but Isaiah suggested we go to the hospital. With much hesitation, I went. We were met with news of “You’re pregnant, but it was an ectopic pregnancy and we have to perform emergency surgery right away to stop the internal bleeding and fluid buildup that’s collecting in your abdomen and around your lungs.” In bewilderment, all I could think was, “I was pregnant!!” Needless to say, we lost the pregnancy and my right Fallopian tube.
Fast forward to April, 2010. I began experiencing the exact symptoms I had back in 2009: symptoms of another ectopic pregnancy. I called my doctor, and she told me to come in right away. She began to monitor me for a few weeks, until she finally saw the heartbeat. I saw it with my own eyes, my baby’s heart beating! It was right there!! Unfortunately, the baby was lodged in my left Fallopian tube, resulting in another ectopic pregnancy, my second Fallopian tube gone, another failed pregnancy.
Looking into IVF
Devastated, Isaiah and I were told that the only option we had left was In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). I started researching this treatment and was devastated because, well, the cost was so expensive. We were barely making ends meet, not to mention I just had back-to-back surgeries. Secondly, I would have to subject my body to multiple injections and oral medications (I absolutely HATE needles). Thirdly, we also had to consider our age. We were both in our 30s, Isaiah in his mid-30s. Time was not on our side. So I began to pray, trusting the Lord that if this was the path He was leading us down, that He would make a way for us, physically and financially. Isaiah made the decision . . . we would just wait.
Hard to Wait
It was 2013. It’s hard to tell a woman to wait — especially when we have a natural desire for children. And boy, did I have the desire!!! Isaiah finally agreed to go talk to a Reproductive Endocrinologist Specialist (REI). We got our finances in order, and we began the journey of IVF. During the first process, the doctor was able to harvest enough eggs for fertilization, implant two fertilized eggs, and freeze the rest. I was so confident this would work and that we would be parents on the first try. August, 2013 through August, 2017 . . . we tried IVF four times. We lost a total of eight babies. Isaiah gave up. He said he didn’t want to do it anymore. He said the Lord had given us His answer. We just needed to accept it and move on. Even my family members told me that it was not in the cards for us.
My heart sank. I was in a great state of depression. I fell into a deep dark pit. I felt like the Lord left me, felt like He was punishing me for my past sins. I was angry, hopeless, distraught, and ashamed. I was so angry when friends and family members were getting pregnant, when their fertility journey was successful. People would even ask me, “When are you going to have a baby?” I got tired of explaining to everyone, especially in the African American culture, why I hadn’t had any kids yet and what I had already gone through to try to have children of my own. When people would hear just a snippet of my fertility journey, their response was often, “Oh, well, keep trying, you never know when it’ll happen” or “My friend had the same problem, and she ended up getting pregnant as soon as she stopped worrying”.
I began to isolate myself from everyone. I cried in private, all night long, every chance I was alone. I finally admitted to myself . . . I was infertile, barren. I would not be a mom. I wanted my babies. I wanted my eight babies from the IVF, I wanted my two babies from the ectopic pregnancies. I wanted my babies back. I cried out to the Lord and asked Him to come to me in my dreams, to tell me if I were to be a mother. In my dream, I took two pregnancy tests. Both were positive. I woke up and journaled everything, feeling reassured that the Lord would one day answer my prayer. Psalm 77 became one of the passages of Scripture that I leaned on for hope.
IVF One More Time
In May of 2018, Isaiah agreed to try IVF again. He said that the Lord told him to try one more time. I was ecstatic!!! We went to the REI doctor, and we began the process of harvesting more eggs. Yes, more shots, more oral medications, more poking and prodding. But I was hopeful because I felt this was the time. We harvested less eggs this time (assuming age was working against us) but were able to transfer enough and freeze a few. We transferred two fertilized eggs and then hopped on a plane to Hawaii for vacation.
I was feeling different by the end of the week, not my normal self, so I was anxious to take a pregnancy test. As soon as we got home, I bought a pregnancy kit. It only had 2 tests. I took the first one. Pregnant. I took the second one. Pregnant. My mind immediately went back to my dream, and I found my journal entry. Amen. That’s all I could say. The Lord fulfilled my prayer. I told Isaiah about it. We went in the next Monday to perform blood work, and sure enough . . . we were pregnant.
We lost Baby A around 9 weeks, but Baby B was thriving. My scripture memory during my pregnancy were these two simple yet profound scriptures:
“Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived.” ~ Genesis 25:21
“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” ~Psalm 73:25-25
They taught me that the Lord still answers prayer, and He is the only person that I can lean and depend on in every aspect of my life. I realized that the Lord was not punishing me for past sins. He loves me and has a plan for me. HIS plan is right and perfect. I just had to learn to trust Him. And HIS plan has perfect timing. The Lord allowed me to become a mom at the ripe age of 37 and Isaiah a father at the age of 45. Isaiah Owens, III was born on April 12, 2019 weighing 8 lbs. 15 oz. He is the apple of our eyes, our pride and joy. He has brought so much joy to our hearts. He has shown us the true meaning of trusting in the Lord with all our hearts and leaning not to our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). He is our “faith in the flesh”.
I truly thought infertility was my scarlet letter. But the Lord said “Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, you who have not labored with child! . . . Enlarge the place of your tent . . . lengthen your cords . . . for you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited” (Isaiah 54). He has answered my one heart’s desire, to be a mom. Though this child may be our only one, the journey to parenthood was well worth it. It is well with my soul.
Felicia Owens and her husband Isaiah are members of Briarwood Presbyterian Church and currently reside in the Irondale community. Isaiah is a professional truck driver for WCA Management. Felicia is an audiologist for Restore Management Services and UAB Hospital. They have one son, Isaiah Owens, III.