Happen Photos courtesy of Perry P. Perkins
By Perry P. Perkins I know I’m the guy that’s usually good for a few laughs (I hope!), but this month’s topic is one I take very seriously, and very personally. My wife and I spent ten years trying to have our daughter. Ten years of frustration, and disappointment, and tears. Ten years of smiling through the pain, as we held our friend’s babies while knowing we were going home with empty arms. Sometimes it felt like there was no hope, like our miracle would never happen. So, I want to take a break from the chuckles, and share my story, our story, in hopes that it will remind those who may have grown weary that miracles do happen. During the years that we were trying to have a baby, we read the books, we took the vitamins, we followed the advice, and nothing worked. Finally, we had to face the fact that it just wasn’t going to happen the “old fashioned way” and, now pushing age 40, our chances weren’t getting any better. We decided to go with in vitro fertilization (IVF). We sold our home to pay for the treatments and, after what seemed like an eternity of tests, and medications, and doctor appointments, we finally got the call that it was time. We were scared . . . no, we were terrified. We had one shot at this, and we’d pushed all our chips to the middle of the table. “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” - Jack Canfield When the clinic called and told us that we had four viable zygotes (fertilized eggs), only half of the optimal number, it was another blow. We made the implanting appointment for early the next morning.
Arriving at the clinic, b l e a r y - ey e d and stomachs churning, the final blow landed. Now there was only one viable egg, bringing our chances of conception to less than 10 percent. Our doctor left us alone to talk. So we talked, and we prayed, and we shed our tears. All of the time, all of the sacrifices, came down to this. We were, literally, putting all our eggs (and we only had one) in this basket, and the odds were not in our favor. We didn’t have another house to sell, and we were running out of time, so we took our shot, we went all in. It was a very quiet drive home, and the days until the follow-up appointment were a sleepless blur. This July 9, we will celebrate our miracle’s 12th birthday. This amazing, precocious, quirky little girl with her mama’s beautiful face, and her daddy’s weird sense of humor. Here’s what I want to say to you, my friends who are walking through the valley I know so well . . .
Stay Close “Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.” - Shirley MacLaine Talk to each other! Men and women process strong emotions, like disappointment, frustration, and grief very differently, and the long months, or even years, can make us (especially us guys) want to isolate ourselves, to shut out the world. But this is a valley that we must walk together. We have to talk to each other and, more importantly, we have to listen to each other. continued on next page
Vancouver Family Magazine • www.vancouverfamilymagazine.com • March 2019
The magazine for Southwest Washington families.