Love, Epilepsy & a Baby

I am so pleased to bring you the story of another friend I met through the online infertility community. Years of being put through more trials than many can imagine has given her a huge tender spot in her heart for those that struggle with the sinkholes that pop up in life. In the midst of her own infertility struggle, she created an online Facebook group, The Infertile Christian, devoted to building community and encouragement. She is a precious lady, devoted wife and now mother to their little miracle. Please join me in welcoming Miki to ONSEL.

Jason and I married twelve years ago. Like everyone else, we would sit around and dream about our future. We named our children (at least one adopted), moved to exotic locations, accepted high-paying positions with Fortune 500 companies…we built amazing lives while sipping coffee in the early morning light. I mean, no one really sits around dreaming of medical complications, job loss, and infertility. Those are just the potholes which pop up in the road of life.

Or sinkholes, in some cases.

About three years into our marriage, I received a call from my husband’s office. They were saying he had had a seizure and was being transported to the hospital. I won’t go into all the sordid details over the next five years, but to say we ended up forgoing all those life plans for testing, medication, and one surgery then another. Our life became pre-epilepsy and post-epilepsy.

At the end of all the surgeries, we were left drained. Our bank accounts, our marriage, our desire for life were all tapped out. We had nothing left to give anyone, especially each other. I won’t dwell on this other than to say it is possible to come back from nothing. We had a wonderful Christian counselor who worked with us to get us back to who we had been before.

So fast forward two more years to 2012. We decided to take a trip to Puerto Rico to celebrate our anniversary. The year before we had spent the day telling each other how we weren’t really in love anymore, so making it one more year and actually loving each other at the end called for a celebration. We finally felt as though we were back to “ourselves.” We were no longer patient and nurse. I was once again a wife, and he was once again a husband. His seizures had also dissipated to about twice a year (down from 30 a day). One morning, while sipping coffee and staring at the waves coming in, I made the decision.

“I think I’m ready to consider starting a family.”

My husband didn’t wipe the smile off his face for two weeks. He was so ready to be a father. He wanted nothing more than to have a squishy, little baby in his arms. My first question was whether or not we wanted to go ahead and start the adoption process, or try on our own first. God had put the desire to adopt in my heart many years before I was even married. Once married, Jason also agreed it was a wonderful way to build a family. We sat down with our finances and quickly realized adoption was not in the cards for the first child. It was cheaper to try the old fashioned way.

Now, having been through all the medical issues we have been through, I knew having a baby at 33 was not as easy as having intercourse. I went to my OBGYN to make sure nothing was wrong in that department. I lied and told her we had been trying for several months with no success, as friends had informed me they wouldn't do anything until after 6 months (at my age) of trying had gone by. Anyway, she agreed to test my ovulation over the next couple of months. After seeing that I may not be ovulating well, she prescribed Clomid. The first month didn't work, but imagine my surprise when the second month did! I knew three days after ovulating that I was pregnant. I was so sick. On the ninth day, the test showed positive. I went to the store to buy onesies to surprise my husband. We were over the moon. We planned out when and how to announce it to our families. About 5 weeks in, I started having bleeding. They kept telling me it was normal and to go to the hospital if it turned red. On April 1st, it did. The doctor confirmed the pregnancy was not viable. No April Fool’s Day here. “Sorry, these things happen,” was the explanation.

I’m going to fast forward at this point, once again. I will spare you the needles, testing, medications, insurance, doctors, more needles, ultrasounds, more needles, porn in the guy’s room, insemination, money talks, and tears. I want to talk more about my state of mind during this time.

It was Christmas, the hardest time of year (other than Mother’s Day) for someone desperately wanting to become a mother. I was crying all the time. Everything I heard and saw screamed, “You aren't a mother,” in my head. I started seeking answers. That’s when I picked up the book, “Hannah’s Hope: Seeking God’s Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage and Adoption Loss”.

If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. I read that God isn't punishing us. He is weaving a tapestry and it wasn't our thread's time, yet. It wasn't about the perfect baby for me. It was about us being the perfect parents for the baby he NEEDS us to raise. 

Elizabeth and Zachariah had waited for years. They had given up hope for a child. Then God spoke to her and told her it was her time. They would finally be parents. She would give birth to the child who would help pave the way for the Savior of the world. John the Baptist did just that. If Elizabeth had had children earlier, she might not have had John. Or she might have been a different person who instilled different values in her son. As it was, it was God’s perfect timing.

I clung to this. I knew without a doubt it was all God’s perfect timing. We found out on January 4, 2014 that we would not be able to have children without going through IVF. Our previous doctor had failed to disclose that my husband has 100% abnormal sperm. The new Reproductive Endocrinologist was certain she could get 6-10 good sperm in order to fertilize my eggs for IVF. I knew then we were moving for adoption. We aren't opposed to IVF for any reason in particular. We just always knew it wasn't our path.

In March we met with an adoption attorney. We immediately started getting ready for a private adoption situation. We got home-study ready, made reference cards, set up a Google phone number, and told every person we know or came in contact with about our intentions.

Many times we would read about situations or agencies and wonder if we shouldn't just find more money to end the wait. To end the emptiness. Each time it came back to this: We knew we were on the right path and felt God was telling us to wait.I can without a doubt in the world say God told me it wouldn't be long and to be patient. My thread was almost ready.

New Year’s Eve took on new meaning. I was at lunch with a friend when a number came up I didn't recognize. It was a guy saying he had been shown our adoption page. His girlfriend was pregnant, but not with his child. He knew the best thing was for an adoption and had finally convinced her of such. They had met with an agency, but they were closed over Christmas so the signed paperwork was still on his coffee table. She was due in two weeks and needed to make a decision.

I quickly got my attorney on the phone. She called him from the closet of the house where she was attending a New Year’s oyster roast. She set up for us all to meet that weekend, six hours from where we live.

The next two weeks were a blur. I spent some time with the lovely birthmother while we prepared for the baby’s arrival. I was so hopeful, but I had heard all the horror stories. I knew there was some drug history and was concerned about what I might be signing up for.

On January 14, 2015 our son, Charlie, was born. I didn't care what might be wrong with him. I knew for a fact he was my son. I didn't worry about signing or revocation. God had been faithful. We had asked and He had answered. We had waiting and He had carried us through.

In one month, Charlie will become officially a Skelton. Right now, he is sleeping in his crib next to me. It still amazes me that God chose me to be his mom. I have a son. This is more than luck. This is faith, love, and trust. God has a reason He chose us for Charlie. I can’t wait to find out what wonderful things He has in store.

Miki Skelton (35) lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband, two dogs and two month old son, Charlie, who is their blessing and light of their lives. She is a Community Association Manager and volunteers with the Tybee Island Sea Turtle Project.

We started this More Than Luck series to share a variety of stories from others who at one time might have viewed themselves as the "unlucky." Like Jenny and myself, they didn't have the seamless transition they once hoped for into parenthood. But hindsight has afforded them the opportunity to see that the luck they once thought they were missing, was really the hand of God intervening in their life so that the timing and method in which their family started would be perfect for them. Instead of luck, we found God's presence in our lives, providing for us, comforting us, changing us, preparing the way for something that would redefine our definition of blessings.