“The Birth of Our Sons: Believe!” – with Debbie and Mike Goldstein

Debbie and Mike Goldstein return to High Risk Birth Stories after sharing their story of IVF and fertility treatments. In this episode, they share more about their second pregnancy and the births of their sons.

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Dr. Fox: Welcome to “High Risk Birth Stories,” brought to you by the creators of the “Healthful Woman Podcast.” I’m your host, Dr. Nathan Fox. “High Risk Birth Stories” is a podcast designed to give you, the listener, a window into life-changing experiences of pregnancy, fertility, and childbirth.
Debbie and Mike, welcome back. Last week, we had the awesome privilege of hearing your story of your journey to get to that heartbeat. And then the second story is from that point to your kids. This is where I come in. This is it. Right? How did you find us, by the way? I’m curious.
Mike: So, we get pregnant, and, at the Sher Institute, we hear the heartbeat. And we know we’re not the typical pregnant couple. So, we basically said, “Okay, we need to find the best doctors.” Like, now we’ve started, we’ve been in the marathon, and now we have to finish the marathon, and we…
Debbie: We need to get to that finish line.
Mike: We need to get to that finish life. So we need the best doctors, that can comprehend everything that we went over in our last week podcast, and understand it, and realize that we’re not the typical couple, and we need special treatment and care to get us to the finish line.
Dr. Fox: So, those people weren’t available, and you found me instead?
Mike: Exactly right.
Dr. Fox: Okay, fine. All right, that works. Okay.
Mike: So, we were recommended to MFM. And…
Debbie: From a colleague of yours.
Mike: From a colleague of mine, and it was just the perfect fit for us. And we could tell right away, since we’ve seen so many doctors, and we’re like, “Wow, this is where we need to be.” And now people that are coming from outside of the city, it’s not the best commute. But for us, at that point, we were like, “Like, who cares about all that? We need to see the best…”
Debbie: We’ve been to the city so many times, and it didn’t even faze us anymore.
Dr. Fox: Hey, I’m coming from Jersey everyday, so can you.
Mike: Exactly.
Debbie: Right, exactly.
Mike: So we were just saying, “We need to see the best doctors,” and we felt that at MFM, we were. And every visit was just very positive, and we’re happy where we were.
Dr. Fox: I remember our first meeting. I mean, I remember…
Debbie: You gave us our initial consult.
Dr. Fox: Yeah, I don’t wanna say it was like yesterday, because it does not seem like yesterday. It seems like a while ago, and it was about, I guess, two, three, years ago is when it was. But what was it like for you? You’re walking in, right? Because now you’re on the other end of it. You’re not in the fertility world. You are pregnant. It’s a whole new set of fears, and excitements ,and situations. You’ve never been here before. This is all brand new. What was that like, going through the beginning of pregnancy?
Debbie: I felt like I needed to be on top of everything. Because aside from going to MFM and experiencing what it was like to be pregnant, on Dr. Braverman’s end, I was also going for blood work every two weeks. And they would monitor me every two weeks and adjust my medication accordingly to my inflammation markers for all of my inflammation that I had, my endometriosis, and other problems. So, I felt like I needed to stay on track, I needed to stay focused. I couldn’t get too emotionally involved. And I refused to, because I know that at any second, I could miscarry. So I knew I needed to just remain focused on what I needed to do, and get my bloodwork done, go to my appointments, and just keep believing, and keep hoping that I remained pregnant.
Dr. Fox: What was it like for you, Mike?
Mike: For me, it was, to echo Debbie, we were going to MFM and we were also going to Dr. Braverman, and the thing that we knew was, the one thing we changed about our IVF was that we followed Dr. Braverman. So, we knew that he was one of the answers, and we knew that we needed a facility and doctors that understood that, and, which MFM did, and to work together with us. So we were seeing Dr. Braverman, we were adjusting medications, and with MFM, it was just a good synergy. And it was very organized, and we would just take it day by day. Every day pregnant…
Debbie: Everyday it was day by day.
Mike: …is a good day. Every day pregnant is a good day.
Dr. Fox: You guys were remarkably pleasant for people who had been through so much, I have to say, from memory, because people, when they’re terrified, you know, different people act differently with that. Terror is hard to predict how you’re gonna be. But I remember thinking, “Wow, you guys have been through so much, and you’re doing all this, and how hard it must be”. But you guys always had a smile on your face. And you always seem very appreciative, and pleasant, and happy, in a sense. I mean, I don’t know, was that a face you put on? Or was that genuine, in terms of when you’re in sort of day-to-day interactions with your doctors or your friends in that time? Because again, you have the terror and you have the joy, but you appear to be very positive. Was that real?
Debbie: Yes.
Mike: Yeah, it was…
Debbie: I think Mike and I are very down-to-earth. We don’t put a façade on. We wear our hearts on our…our emotions on our sleeves [crosstalk 00:04:55]. We don’t really sugarcoat anything. And I think, with being generally happy, we knew we had to never give up hope. And with that, we had to just believe, we had to keep fighting, we had to persevere. We had to stay focused. And I always took the whole infertility process as every new piece of information, every day that went by, was not only a good day, but it helped us to move forward. It gave us another glimmer of hope. So, every step that we took, we were able to move on to the next, so every, it was day-by-day.
Dr. Fox: Right. Now, there were some bumps in the road during the first pregnancy. Nothing crazy, but do you think that your responses to them were similarly measured, or were they heightened because of everything you’ve been through?
Mike: Well, I think going through the whole IVF process, you become very sensitive to any bump in the road. So, for us, when there was a bump in the road, that maybe…or even if it was a small bump in the road in the pregnancy, and a doctor would kind of mention it, and say, “Oh, this is less than normal, or less than average, or we gotta monitor this,” we would go into fight mode, in a positive way, meaning gaining information, understanding it, becoming knowledgeable, so we could better our chances. And pregnancy is all about improving your chances to get the best results. So that’s how we went in. And we were positive through the whole time of the pregnancy. And one of our themes was “believe.” And we just felt like if we kept believing that it was going to happen, it was gonna happen, but you have to fight for it. Because it could go away in a second. So, with those two thought processes, we just would, if we had a little issue, we would speak to you about it…
Debbie: Attack it. We would attack it.
Mike: …a million times, we’d address it, we’d attack it. And that’s certainly what we did.
Debbie: Ask a lot of questions. Knowledge is power. And the more power you have, the better off you are.
Dr. Fox: At what time during the pregnancy did it sort of click in your head that, like, “This is happening. We’re having a baby. Like, it’s gonna actually happen?” Was it, like, the day of the birth, or was it at some point during pregnancy? Because that clicks for some people who’ve been through all this. They’re like, “Wait, this is real. Like, we’re actually gonna have to get stuff, and do this, and be parents.”
Mike: It’s interesting, because when people get pregnant, they’ll tell people from outside of their inner circle that they’re pregnant at various times. There’s no right or wrong. And I remember we were at Thanksgiving, and for us, we told our family at 26 weeks. Because we were…
Debbie: And I was wearing a big sweatshirt at Thanksgiving, because I was showing, obviously, at that point. But we still were keeping that information to ourselves, because we were scared. we were scared.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. So, it wasn’t before 26 weeks? That [crosstalk 00:07:42]
Debbie: No.
Mike: Right, right, right, right. So, and people take that positive and negatively. “Why didn’t you tell us,” this and that. But for anyone who’s gone through infertility, they could certainly understand the trepidation of just holding on to that information, because it’s a roller coaster.
Dr. Fox: So, do you remember when it was, at some point, where one of you turned to the other and said, “You know what? I think this is happening.”
Debbie: I mean, for me, it happened when I felt the baby kick, when I felt the baby move. Because…
Dr. Fox: Okay. So that’s, like, in the middle of pregnancy. Yeah.
Debbie: Right, right. And that was when I was like, “Wow, this is really happening.” But I would never let myself get excited. I would be happy…
Dr. Fox: Right. You’re not gonna let your guard down.
Debbie: Right.
Dr. Fox: I get it. Okay.
Debbie: I was so guarded throughout my whole pregnancy. I was happy, and excited, but within myself. I would never share that with anybody, or, you know, I would tell Mike, but I wouldn’t get too overly excited, because I know that could get taken away from me at any moment, and I wanted to stay focused.
Dr. Fox: Anything else about that pregnancy that stands out to you, about things that happened, or events or anything?
Debbie: Honestly, it was the best time of our lives. It really, it was so much emotion, because, I mean, four years of struggling and sadness and, you know, being put through so much, my body, my mind, my, you know, socially, emotionally, everything, it was all being brought into this one…this 10 months, and it was kind of like the culminating thing. And when we had our son, it was amazing.
Dr. Fox: Tell me about the day he was born.
Mike: So, he came out with a full head of hair. We certainly remember that. And it was an interesting day for us because it was a…at 40 weeks, we went in…
Debbie: It’s exactly 40 weeks.
Mike: Exactly 40 weeks, Debbie goes in and gets induced at, like, 12:00 at night, we go into the city, and we’re like, “Okay, she’s gonna get induced, and in an hour or a couple hours we’ll have a child.”
Dr. Fox: A couple hours?
Mike: Yeah. Because you have no idea, and that’s…
Dr. Fox: Because our induction podcast had not been dropped yet.
Mike: Yes.
Dr. Fox: A couple hours. Oh my god.
Mike: So, obviously…
Dr. Fox: We definitely didn’t tell you about that one.
Mike: Yeah. So, we can go into that pregnancy, and how it didn’t work out that way. So…
Dr. Fox: So, what happened?
Debbie: So then, I got induced, and it failed, and I wound up having a C-section. And he came out at 4:17 p.m. on March 5th, 2019.
Dr. Fox: What was it like for you seeing him for the first time?
Debbie: I cried. I couldn’t believe it. I still look at him and I get tears in my eyes.
Dr. Fox: It’s amazing.
Mike: It was just the best day of my life, holding my son in my hand. And every day, I appreciate him. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t thank all of the people, every doctor, including you, that helped us along the way. And you guys, it’s just part of your daily job. But it’s not. It’s everything. It’s life, and it’s saving people’s lives and helping people. And I just thank everyone who got us there, because every conversation, every doctor visit, and even strangers that helped us on the Facebook, they helped us, and Debbie said, “Just get us one step closer to having our son.” And I thank them for that.
Dr. Fox: How’d you come up with the name “Hudson?” Because that’s what you had to cross every day to have him?
Debbie: We lived on Hudson Street when we lived in Jersey City.
Dr. Fox: Got it.
Mike: And it was after my grandma and grandpa were Harry and Harriet, and we wanted to…I want to…Hudson was the street name, and it was a hipster name, and it was my grandparents’ first initial, and we wanted to stick with that tradition, so…
Debbie: And then we…his middle name was Richard, after my father.
Dr. Fox: So nice.
Debbie: So both of our families are within his name.
Dr. Fox: That’s great. So now, you have Hudson at home, you have your baby, and now all the other thoughts are gone, because now you’re just not sleeping at night, and now you’re dealing with a newborn. When did you think you wanted to try this again? And did you have a lot of trepidation about that because it might fail?
Debbie: We did. We did.
Dr. Fox: So, how’d you ultimately decide to go ahead? Because, spoiler alert, there’s another one.
Debbie: So, was it about when he was a year old? We started talking about it. And we were going back and forth. “Do we wanna have another one? Do we not wanna have another one?” We had seven embryos saved, frozen at Sher Institute. We were completely happy and content with one child. We had our boy, we had our wish, our dream came true, we had him. In the back of my mind, I said, “I think we should try for another. We have the seven embryos saved. We worked so hard for them.” And I’m not…we did not wanna do this for us. We were completely content with our Hudson. We wanted to do it for him, so that he could have a brother or sister.
Dr. Fox: Okay. And so you went back to your team?
Debbie: So, I went back to the team. Dr. Wong had left Sher Institute, so we started working with Dr. T. His name is Dr. Tortoriello, who is the director of Sher Institute. And, sadly, we had found out that Dr. Braverman had passed away.
Mike: Yeah, that really…that hit us hard. Because to us, along with everybody else, Dr. Braverman was the brilliant guy that we met for that…
Debbie: His protocol.
Mike: …one hour that changed our lives. And when we found out that he passed away, it was so tragic to us. But we said, “Okay, at least we have the protocol, and his doctor that he works with,” who we didn’t meet, because we met with Dr. Braverman the whole time, Dr. Vidali, who…
Debbie: Took over for him.
Mike: …took over for him, and he was as brilliant, and such a nice, friendly guy to meet with us. And we met with him, and it was just a great fit for us. Dr. Vidali helped us along the way, and we said, “Okay, we’re gonna…if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Let’s just do the same thing. Same protocol.”
Debbie: So we practiced same exact protocol, and we were very adamant about that, because it took us so long to get to that point. We did not wanna change one thing. I started going gluten-free, dairy-free, again, so, my diet completely changed.
Dr. Fox: Did you have to go Lupron again? Did you have to go menopause again, for three months?
Debbie: We had Lupron. I did…I say “we.” I did Lupron again…
Dr. Fox: The royal “we.”
Debbie: …for three months. Throughout this whole process, I always felt content, because we had our son. We had Hudson already. So…
Dr. Fox: Yeah, it can’t be the same, because you have a son, and also, it’s not just a hope and a dream that it’s gonna work. You’ve seen it work.
Debbie: Right.
Dr. Fox: Right, so it’s more of a reality. It’s not just being hopeful. And again, it’s not that you expect it to work well, but you know that it’s a realistic possibility, not just this hopeful possibility. It’s a big difference, obviously.
Debbie: It is a big difference.
Dr. Fox: And you have a son at home. You’re running…you can’t…you don’t have the same time to have despair or anything thing like that. You’re running around, you know, changing diapers, and whatever it is we do with the little kids.
Mike: With the second one, obviously, we had little Hudson. And that totally helped us throughout the process. And prior to having Hudson, when you go from not, potentially, thinking you were not gonna have a family, to having a little guy at home, and to us, it was like everything else was just gravy, and if it didn’t work out, it didn’t work out. It wasn’t meant to be.
Debbie: And we would accept it, and be completely okay.
Mike: And we would just accept it. And we’d be totally at peace.
Debbie: And that was what it was meant to be. We were meant to have one. And that was fine.
Dr. Fox: Right. And now, second time around, it’s also in the beef of the pandemic.
Debbie: Yes.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. That must have thrown a wrench in this whole system.
Debbie: But that was, well… Yes. So, we actually wanted to do our next transfer earlier, but because of the pandemic, we held off another, was it, like, about six months, we held off. It was what it was. It didn’t….
Mike: You know, when you’re in your late 30s, holding off isn’t always the best option. But with the pandemic, and there were so many unknowns in this time, we were actually planning on starting when the pandemic had occurred. So we were just like, “Oh man, just another…” This is a tremendously complicated process, and then adding the pandemic into the mix didn’t help the situation.
Dr. Fox: How was the second pregnancy? Did it…it took on the first IVF with everything?
Debbie: Yes. So, we had seven embryos saved, or frozen, at Sher, and we talked to a few different doctors on recommendations on how many to transfer, given my history, and my miscarriages and everything else. And we were recommended to transfer three embryos. And we basically, with those seven, Dr. Vidali had said, “Let’s break them up into two different categories,” or two different groupings. “So if the first three failed, you had the second four to fall back on, but two equal chances of getting pregnant, in terms of the quality of them.”
Dr. Fox: Right, right. Three slightly better, or four slightly worse.
Debbie: Yes. Yes.
Dr. Fox: Okay.
Debbie: So, we wound up transferring… So, I went on Lupron for three months. All of the medications that I had mentioned last week, everything exactly the same, and we transferred three, and one of them worked. We had our first beta, now. So, something a little scary that had happened to us. I did have a beta, again. That roller coaster started to…that roller coaster of feelings, going up and down, started to occur again. We were so happy, and then, I’ll never forget, it was a Sunday afternoon. I, out of nowhere, started bleeding. We did not hear a heartbeat yet. So, this was prior to a heartbeat.
Dr. Fox: Right. Very early, yeah.
Debbie: I started bleeding. And I actually had a lot of discharge come out as well. So, we thought that I miscarried. And we were all, you know, we were obviously upset. We called the doctors, and they said, “Hold off. Don’t, you know, drink water, and it may not be a miscarriage.” And I was scheduled to go in for an ultrasound on Tuesday. This happened on a Sunday. So…
Mike: Yeah, so we were still at the Sher Institute at that time. And this is the first time it happened to us where we had a beta, and the beta basically doubles every time you do…it’s every three to five days. And everything was going so perfect. And like Debbie had mentioned, we went to the park, it was like, we were with our son playing, and she’s like, “Oh, I’m not feeling well.” And she goes upstairs and then it’s like, “Oh, man. Here we go again.”
Debbie: Yeah. “Here it is again.” We thought another miscarriage.
Mike: Yeah, another miscarriage.
Dr. Fox: But you’d never had one like this?
Debbie: No.
Dr. Fox: Never, like, a clinical miscarriage, with bleeding, and this has always…hormone goes up, then hormone goes down, and then you get your period? But this is… Well, I guess it… Yeah.
Debbie: Well, I did have one like this, that was similar.
Dr. Fox: Oh, you did have one?
Debbie: Yeah, so that’s why we thought it was a miscarriage.
Dr. Fox: Got it. Okay.
Mike: Yeah, so we called Sher. And this was on a Sunday, so, thank God they pick up, and then all the doctors, they give you a call. And we thought that was it. But Dr. T. was so calm, and he just, “Hey, we’ll just see what goes on. Come in…
Debbie: Come in on Tuesday.
Mike: Come in on Tuesday. Still give the progesterone shot.
Dr. Fox: Right, don’t stop.
Mike: Don’t stop. Just take a deep breath, relax, and we tried our best, but we were pretty devastated.
Debbie: So, on Tuesday, we went in, they scan me, and all of a sudden, Dr. T. said, “I see cardiac movement.” And we had masks on at the time, but our mouths just dropped. We were in complete shock. Complete shock. Because we for sure thought that it was another miscarry. And I had cardiac movement. And he had said that sometimes your lining just sheds, and the embryo could have implanted on a different section of your uterus, and that it could have shed on the other side, and that’s what probably happened. And no one…nobody knows. He doesn’t know. But there was a heartbeat.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. No, it’s common. People bleed. People bleed in their beginning of pregnancy, and it’s actually, usually not a miscarriage, but it’s certainly frightening.
Debbie: It was very frightening.
Dr. Fox: Back at MFM?
Debbie: Back at MFM…
Dr. Fox: Another time around?
Debbie: Yes. Back to doing every two weeks, going for blood work, for all of those vials of blood.
Dr. Fox: Right. Right. And you had some…there was some real interesting blood work with you for this past pregnancy, with your genetic screens. That was a whole chapter.
Debbie: Yes. From 12 weeks to about 20 weeks, when I had my anatomy scan, we were nervous the whole time.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. You had some inconclusive results, and what did it mean? And we had to send a repeat in another lab, and talk about it. Ultimately, everything worked out okay.
Debbie: Everything worked out okay.
Dr. Fox: But that was legitimately confusing. You’re actually, like, a test case, your blood test results. FYI. It’s very interesting from the lab, and why, and this, and all those genetic markers and whatnot. But it was pretty fascinating. I mean, from a medical perspective. From you guys, it’s terrifying. But that was a serious bump in the road, I would say. But it did work out okay.
Debbie: It did.
Dr. Fox: That’s good.
Mike: It did work out okay, and, but prior to 20 weeks, it was a roller coaster. We thought it was a miscarry, and then we had these results, and now we’re back into fight mode, we gotta figure out what’s going on, and…
Dr. Fox: Right. Do you do an amnio? Do you not do an amnio? What do you do? Yeah, it was…I remember some of those conversations.
Mike: Right, right, right, right.
Debbie: Yeah, we didn’t wanna risk anything. And thank God we went with how we went, because…
Dr. Fox: Yeah. But as you said, you guys, you get a lot of information, you make educated decisions, you figure out what’s best for you guys. There wasn’t a one right answer here. You definitely understood a lot more about what was going on, I would say, than a lot of people are comfortable understanding. Again, because of your history and because of what you’d been through. What was it like being pregnant and also having a kid at home?
Debbie: I loved it. I love being pregnant. I really, I know some women complain and don’t like it, but I love every single second, because I know it’s a gift. Every day was a gift. And my second pregnancy, too. Having a 2-year-old at home while I was pregnant, it’s challenging. It’s challenging, because you get tired, and your body goes through changes, and here I am two years older, and it’s challenging, but at the same time, it’s so heartwarming and I always felt so wonderful, and as my stomach would be growing, my son would touch my stomach and say, “I feel the baby. I feel the baby,” and he would be getting excited. And I was excited, and, again, we waited until after my anatomy scan to tell everybody minus, or, except our parents and a few people. One of my friends, and then my sister-in-law again, and my brother, but it was great.
Dr. Fox: Yeah, I was pretty excited too, because we have a date on the calendar. The three of us. We said, “That’s it. I’m doing this. I’m doing your C-section this time around.” None of this induction business, none of this uncertainty, none of this “who’s gonna deliver me” stuff. I want a part of it. I want in. So, that was a pretty cool day.
Mike: Yeah, that was a great day, and…
Debbie: I was nervous. I was nervous [crosstalk 00:23:09]
Dr. Fox: Because I was operating on you?
Debbie: You helped calm me down. No.
Mike: You were the reason we were calm.
Dr. Fox: [crosstalk 00:23:13]. Oh, dear. I hope I can get out of this alive. All right. No, no, I know what I’m doing. I can do these things. That was… Yeah, so what? Oh, my god, it’s two months today. Right?
Debbie: Today, today. Yep. He was born August 15th.
Dr. Fox: Right, and we’re recording on October 15th.
Debbie: Today is exactly two months. He’s two months old.
Dr. Fox: Beautiful. What was that day like for you guys? It was hot, I remember.
Debbie: Yes.
Dr. Fox: Yeah.
Debbie: It was a great day. I mean, it was one of those… I, honestly, I have to say I still cannot even believe I got pregnant again with him, because I never thought that I would be able to get pregnant again. I know the first time, with our son Hudson, he was our miracle child. All the stars aligned for us, and it worked. I never thought that it could happen again. But when we found out that I was pregnant, I still cannot believe that I got pregnant again.
Dr. Fox: You did.
Debbie: And here he is, already two months old already.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. Harrison. How’d you come up with that name?
Mike: So, again, we had H that we had to follow because of my…
Debbie: Grandparents.
Mike: Grandparents. So we had Harry and Harriet, and we had Hudson and Harrison, and we’re just so thankful. And even that day, when you met with us in the morning, and going through the C-section, and having that, “we are doing a C-section, we’re going forward with it,” and even though COVID made it a little complicated on where I could be in the process, and where Debbie, and you’re separated a little bit, it’s a little different from pre-COVID. But you guys were great. And we went in and Dr. Fox got us in a little early. And…
Dr. Fox: That was a miracle. Talk about getting… You think getting pregnant’s a miracle? Getting your C-section done early at Mt. Sinai, that’s a miracle. It’s never happened before, ever. Scheduled section going early.
Mike: Yeah, Dr. Fox, at the pull, and fortunately for us, everything worked out, and we had our son Harrison.
Dr. Fox: Looking back on all this, this is, you know, we’re talking five, six years of…
Debbie: Yes.
Dr. Fox: …what a roller coaster. Like you said, real downs at the beginning, and then ups, and everything you’ve been through. I wanna ask you a few things. What do you know now that you wish you knew before you started this whole process?
Debbie: Things work out. I know that saying, “things always happen for a reason.” They do. And when you have infertility issues, and you go on this infertility journey, one thing I can say is that you cannot give up. You cannot give up hope. You always have to keep believing that you will have a baby, whether it’s a natural, whether it’s a baby made from you and your husband, whether it’s through a donor egg, through adoption, you can have a family. And you cannot give up hope, you cannot give up faith, you have to keep fighting, you have to find the right protocol, you have to find the right doctors. And everybody can do that. And as you’re in the infertility journey, it’s very much like…and one of our doctors had described it like this. It’s like being in a vortex. It’s like being in a tornado that just keeps turning, and turning, and turning. You keep going around in circles. You rode this roller coaster is going up and down, and up and down, you don’t know where to turn, you don’t know who to go to, you keep going from one doctor to another doctor, or something doesn’t work here, so you go there.
And in the meantime, the world’s turning around you, all of your friends are getting pregnant, they’re having families, you’re seeing this, everybody’s moving forward with their lives. And you, as the person who is going through infertility, is just stuck, and you’re just stuck. But you’re in this vortex of just spinning around and around. And it’s so easy to get caught up and to give up hope, and to give up…to just give up. And you cannot give up. If I can stress that enough. And we have signs all over our house. I actually have a necklace that I wore to every doctor’s appointment, that says the word “believe” on it. And that is the word that really got us through everything. And I know it may sound kind of cheesy, but we have that word, “believe,” in almost all the rooms in our house because we never gave up hope. We always believed that we would eventually become parents at some point in our lives, in some way, shape, or form. You just always have to believe.
And I know we were talking about support groups before. It’s so important. And I found so much comfort in knowing that other women are going through the same problems. There are women out there, and once you find that group that could give you comfort and put your mind at ease, and give you more hope and give you knowledge, you have to reach out to them. And I’m still friends with one of the women that I met through the support group, and we actually got together and we send each other’s kids presents when they were born. She was going through something similar, and she now has two boys as well. Yeah, it’s pretty remarkable. Now she’s a dear friend of mine, but you just have to not lose focus, and just keep believing. And once you find that protocol that is good for you, you have to run with it.
Dr. Fox: Well, Mike, what about you?
Mike: We have a saying in our house, it’s, “Only in the darkest nights is when you could see the brightest stars.” And the rollercoaster of infertility, and everything that we went through, resulted in our two boys, and I truly believe we were meant to be with those two boys. So, the thing that I learned, that I wish I knew before this, is exactly what Debbie said. You will have a family, and life, you cannot plan life, because it won’t work out the way you plan. But keep believing, and keeping having hope is what I wish I knew, and now I knew now, and you will have a family. It may not be as you planned, but that’s…
Debbie: Or the timeframe that you planned.
Mike: …or the timeframe that you thought it was, or your kids won’t be born in a certain month, or all these things that we all take for granted. But you will have a family, and just keep believing. And that’s what I wish I knew. Just keep believing in, and it will work out.
Debbie: And, you know, it’s those people, when looking back on this, the past four to five years of our journey here, it’s the people that are understanding of your problems as well. I mean, I know I had mentioned my best friend who got pregnant at the same time that I did…I’m sorry, that I didn’t. And I kind of shied away from her for a while, because I just couldn’t handle seeing, you know, her stomach grow, and, being that she was pregnant. And she never pushed me away, she was always so understanding, and those are the special people in your life. Looking back at who is supportive, and it’s those people that are understanding of what you’re going through, without you actually having to tell them.
Dr. Fox: Thank you so much for telling your story twice, two weeks in a row. And I just think it’s so important, what you’re talking about. It’s important for you guys to say it out loud, and it’s important for people to hear it and to listen, and so many lessons to learn. And it is…I mean, it’s real. These stories are real, and so many people, if not everybody, has one. And just to know that people struggle, and people do achieve, and people do get through it, like you said, one way or another. It may not be the way you thought it was gonna be, it may be a total 180 degrees from what you thought it was gonna be. But this idea of, you know, believing, and keeping your hope and pushing forward, and doing everything you can, and not only did it actually work for you, but also, I think it was probably how you got through this without becoming insane right? That you were able to get through this, and that was your strategy.
Debbie: Yes. It was our driving force, because infertility, it’s a scary, lonely, depressing world. And you feel alone, but you’re not. You’re not.
Mike: You’re not alone. And I would also say is, you asked us about how we came in with a smile every day. And I truly believe people probably didn’t even know what was going on in our lives, and you just don’t know what’s going on in people’s lives, so you just wanna try to keep a positive attitude. And like I had said, you keep the hope, and you will have a family.
Debbie: And every new doctor’s appointment, every new phone call, every new conversation, is another piece of information that will lead you to your child. Knowledge is power, and the more power you have, the more you’re going to succeed in life. And we have a sign in our kitchen. I’m a big country fan. I love country music. And Tim McGraw is one of my favorites. And he has a song called “Humble and Kind.” And one of the verses in it is, “When your dreams you’re dreaming come to you. And the work you put in is realized, always stay humble and kind.” And I read that every day, because our dreams came to us.
Dr. Fox: Amazing.
Debbie: We have our children.
Dr. Fox: Belief.
Mike: Belief.
Debbie: And always believe.
Dr. Fox: Thank you for listening to “High Risk Birth Stories,” brought to you by the creators of the “Healthful Woman Podcast.” If you’re interested in telling your birth story on our podcast, please go to our partner website, at www.healthfulwoman.com, and click the link for sharing your story. You can also email us directly at hrbs@highriskbirthstories.com. If you liked today’s podcast, please be sure to check out our “Healthful Woman Podcast” as well, where I speak where the leaders in the field, to help you learn more about women’s health, pregnancy, and wellness. Have a great day.
The information discussed in “High Risk Birth Stories” is intended for information and entertainment only, and does not replace medical care from your physician. The stories and experiences discussed in our podcasts are unique to each guest, and are not intended to be representative of any standard of care or expected outcomes. As always, we encourage you to speak with your own doctor about specific diagnoses and treatment options for an effective treatment plan. Guests on “High Risk Birth Stories” have given their permission for us to share their personal health information.