It is with great celebration and excitement that Jacqui and I announce that she is pregnant. This excitement is preceded by 2 years of sadness, a feeling of defeat, and grief that we have never before felt. This announcement is also preceded by a tremendous outpouring of love and support, and constant reminders that, in the face of pain and sadness, our Heavenly Father is truly a good, good Father.
I would like to invite you on our journey to parenthood…
January 2016 I was away at a ministers conference in Newport Beach, California. Jacqui came to pick me up… and by surprise, she handed be a bag with my favorite candy, Sour Patch Kids, a newborn onesie and a positive pregnancy test. We leapt for joy! It only took a couple of months to get pregnant! I was so excited that I couldn’t contain myself. Folks would come up to me and say “Hey Roy, how’s your day going?” (Just as normal people usually do.) I would answer, “Jacqui’s pregnant!!” Even though our closest family has struggled with miscarriages, we were over the moon with excitement and no fear.
President’s Day weekend hosts Highland Park Pres’ crazy fun Polar Bear Retreat. It was a blast! And even more fun because we knew Jacqui was pregnant. All 100 + kids and leaders knew…heck all of Dallas and our family probably knew we were expecting! It was a great retreat where kids came to know Christ and grew closer to him and each other. We were all on a spiritual high.
We all headed back to the church for parent pickup. Jacqui and I drove separately, so she decided to bow out a little early. As she stopped at the last stop light to get to our home, she felt an incredible pain. Jacqui made it home and into the house, she went to the bathroom.
There was blood.
Jacqui called me once, I didn’t answer because I was with parents. Several times later I answered to a call hearing the sobbing of a scarred wife who said, “Roy I’m bleeding I need you to come home right now!”
In fear and prayer, I sped home. Jacqui was in pain and bleeding. We went across the street to the emergency room, but they didn’t have an OBGYN. We got referred to another ER, but they were closed. So we went to Presbyterian Hospital and by God’s grace we were seen right away.
The doctor came in, turned on the sonogram machine, and we saw the baby’s sack. The doctor said he couldn’t tell if Jacqui was miscarrying just yet. He said it was hard to tell because even his wife bled throughout her entire pregnancy. He sent us home saying we were “at risk” of miscarriage and to see her OBGYN in a few days.
That day and night the cramping intensified, and the bleeding more heavy. We called her OBGYN that morning and they saw us right away.
The sonogram machine turned on, and there was no more sack. We waited for the doctor to confirm, that our baby had passed away. Bleeding would continue for a couple more weeks.
Before we left for Polar Bear, our sweet dog, Daisy Mae, passed away in the vet’s office from liver failure, we believe, caused by Pet Armor’s flea medicine. This was extreme grief, but the retreat lifted our spirits. Then we lost our baby. Two days later our second dog, Ella Bee, succumbed to the same liver failure and passed away. My mom rushed up to Dallas from San Antonio to be with us during these dark days.
All of this grief, while still trying to be a good husband, a youth pastor, and simply a believer in Christ. What a test… Jacqui and I were surrounded by death and pain at every corner!
God proved to be a good, good father even though at times we didn’t feel like he was good to us. Our small group community, church community, friends and family lifted us up in tremendous spiritual and tangible ways during this time. God’s goodness shown through them.
After Jacqui healed, we wanted to start trying for another baby. Except she had no cycle anymore. Another month went by and no cycle. Her OBGYN put Jacqui on hormones to force a cycle so she could ovulate. Still, no pregnancy. Jacqui would take a pregnancy test after pregnancy test. Not having a cycle would tell her she was pregnant with excitement, only to realize it was an imbalance in hormones causing no cycle…not a pregnancy.
Jacqui’s OBYN said she couldn’t help us anymore and referred us to Dallas’ top fertility specialist. This doctor and his team were superb. He was aggressive in his treatment and said his goal was to get Jacqui pregnant again.
The amount of blood work and testing Jacqui went through was unimaginable. Not only was it extremely expensive, but the pain of test after test was sometimes unbearable for Jacqui. As a husband you want to protect your wife and family. It was so hard to sit on the sidelines at every appointment, seeing my wife go through all the uncomfortable and painful poking and prodding.
But, Jacqui was a trooper. She faced the pain of testings and we did two artificial inseminations (IUI). We sat in the room as the doctor tested Jacqui after the second insemination. You see… when you are under the care of a fertility specialist, there is no surprise. Everything is calculated to the day. So..our appointment was set for the day that the doctor should be able to tell if Jacqui was pregnant. To our excitement…it was a positive test! Jacqui was pregnant! We held each other and wept for joy. God gave us another chance at getting pregnant even when we thought we couldn’t again.
Throughout the weeks we were cautiously excited. We cautiously told our closest family and friends. At our next week appointment the baby was looking good. We heard the heartbeat and could see it beating so fast! The following week we went for our follow up. This time our baby was measuring a week behind schedule. Our doctor said this wasn’t great…but not to fear. He set up our following week’s appointment. It was for my birthday, May 22. I begged Jacqui to move the appointment. I found out my father was going to pass away from injuries encountered in a car accident on my birthday and he passed 2 days later. I couldn’t have another dose of bad news on my birthday.
The date moved a couple for days after. The sonogram turned on, the baby grew, but there was no heartbeat. Our baby was now with Jesus and Baby Ziggy.
We wept. We wept and wept in the room. Finally got ourselves together enough to leave the room and reschedule our next appointment.
Jacqui opted for a surgical removal of the baby from her womb (DNC). This was scheduled for a few days later. Her own OBGYN did the procedure. This doctor is the sweetest, kindest doctor I have ever met.
Jacqui was strong. Stronger than I’ve ever seen her. Her spirits were up. She left to the surgery room, and I waited. I waited to see my wife who no longer had our baby inside her. The doctor warned me that, due to the anesthesia, Jacqui would be hyperemotional and sensitive. I found my wife weeping in tears in her hospital bed. She was beside herself, so sad that the baby was really gone. We held each other. Our friends and family loved on us.
Jacqui healed physically, and we continued to heal emotionally.
A few months later I accepted a call to be a lead pastor of a newly forming church in San Antonio. Jacqui and I took a short vacation before all the craziness to Puerto Rico. The second we walked into our Airbnb her cycle started all on its own! While, as the husband at first I was not too excited, quickly that was thrown out the window and we held each other with great excitement! This meant Jacqui’s body was starting to work properly on its own! We were given another chance all natural to get pregnant!
The house hunt quickly began so that we could be in the neighborhood God was calling us to. The very first house I saw was the one. Within a week we put an offer on the house in faith…and the owners accepted! 30 days later we were moving in the house on Thanksgiving week.
Sunday morning the POD was unloaded into our new house. It was a fun maze of boxes in our new home. Monday morning at 5:30am Jacqui woke up to get ready for work while I was totally asleep. She decided to take a pregnancy test…and it was POSITIVE!
Jacqui says that she looked at the test in disbelief. Could this really be? We have been under doctor’s care for a year to try and get pregnant and haven’t seen a doctor since we moved to San Antonio. How could I be pregnant? She pondered for an hour before waking me up. Jacqui came to the bed and said… “Roy…wake up…I gotta show you something in the nursery…the dogs messed something up.” So I woke up, discombobulated, and ready to get mad at the dogs. Walked into the nursery… and there it was. A little baby onesie and a positive pregnancy test!
We held each other, cried for joy, and prayed.
When you have had difficulty with pregnancies and fertility like we have…once you’re pregnant you see that doctor every week. Week after week we got to see our little baby grow and grow. We got to hear the heartbeat… and at our fourth week sonogram, our incredible doctor turned on the 3-D image.
WOW! Words cannot even describe to you the extreme joy that fills our entire spirit and being when we think of our little one.
Our first baby was called “Ziggy” our second was called “Embie” and this one is our little “Baby Bee.”
In our heart of hearts we believe little Baby Bee is growing healthy and strong. We believe we will hold Baby Bee in our arms and introduce this little one to the world. We believe we will see Baby Bee dream and accomplish those dreams… and that Baby Bee will live a long, healthy life all for the glory of Christ and the advancement of God’s kingdom.
Thank you for taking time to read our story. Thank you for praying for us and for celebrating the gift of life with us. We know we will see Ziggy and Embie in heaven one day and hold them. Perhaps my father who has already passed…perhaps he just wanted to experience being a Grandpa and hold his only son’s little ones before us.
Now would you join me in prayer. For all the friends and everyone out there longing to be parents. For those who go to doctor visits after doctor visits…testings after testings…bleak news after bleak news. Pray that they hold fast to the love and hope of Christ. When God created the world…pain was not his plan. But…now we have and experience pain. However, we know that God’s love is stronger than pain and darkness…and his light overcomes the darkness.
In Christ we hold fast.
Roy, Jacqui, our pups Finn & Topanga, and Baby Bee