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Welcome to our blog! We are a husband & wife photography team based in Madison, Wisconsin who document weddings & anniversaries for joyful couples who believe in marriage. This blog is a journal about real love stories, marriage & our own adventures along the way! We are so glad you're here — please stay awhile!

MAISON      CALEB

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Our Pregnancy Story | Miracle Baby Engel.

November 18, 2020

I have two goals for this post. The first is for myself — that this post would be one we could look back on to remember the journey. The second is solidarity — that others walking through infertility would be reminded they are never alone and, I pray, be able to find hope in the shared stories of others.

It sounds so obvious and ignorant now, but I want to be as honest as I can with every thought shared in this blog today. We had no idea we would struggle to get pregnant. With each passing month in that first year and a half of trying to grow our family, we began to question and wonder: what is going on? My experience was that every month brought increased worry and fear.

You cannot even see a fertility doctor until you have been trying to conceive without success for 12 months. It took a little longer than that for us to accept / process / mourn our reality and begin the next steps of investigation. We started seeing a doctor at Generations Fertility Clinic here in Madison (which we highly recommend!) and it was another year before we had the full picture of what was going on and what was most likely preventing us from getting pregnant.

I want to pause here to reflect on how truly difficult this second year was. There are so many tests and it just takes a long time to get things scheduled and then completed. We had a few pretty significant bumps in the road, with what felt like endless stretches of waiting and so many questions. I had these moments where I literally felt like my heart was breaking, it hurt so bad. I was sad, angry, and sometimes still a little bit hopeful.

With a plan finally in place to begin treatment, we felt optimistic that we would be able to conceive after all. In February of 2020, we were set to begin the following month during my next cycle. Then we got the call. How can I forget it? We had just one week left to go.

We were sitting on the couch, watching church virtually when my phone rang — it was the Generations number. “Hi Maison, how are you? I’m really, really sorry to have to make this call but, um, we are having to postpone all fertility treatments indefinitely due to COVID …” she continued on and I listened quietly as tears streamed down my cheeks. I understood what she was saying and yet I couldn’t believe it. We were devastated.

Another period the next month confirmed what we already knew to be true: we needed help to conceive and there was no telling when we would be able to receive it. This was one of the lowest moments of my life thus far and I cannot not mention the gratitude we have for our friends as I write about this time. They supported us in crucial ways through those few weeks. Though you and your partner may have each other, I believe it is imperative to let others in and help carry the burden for you. We are not meant to walk through life alone.

It was April 2020 when the unbelievable happened.

The following month, I didn’t get my period when I was supposed to. Could it be? There was NO way. I only had really, excuse my language, shitty pregnancy tests on hand as we had been done buying the expensive ones many moons ago. I took a test and thought perhaps there was a second pink line? It was so faint and I did not want to get my hopes up. We waited two more days and with the confirmation of still no period, we went to Target and bought an “expensive” test. Pregnant.

I didn’t feel what I thought I would feel in that moment. Yes, we were overjoyed, SHOCKED … and I immediately felt so much fear. Is it true? Really? How excited can I allow myself to be because … what if something happens? I shared more about this aspect of my experience in this post. These thoughts and feelings haven’t fully gone away but they have gotten less and less with each passing day of our pregnancy. The hope and excitement is now much greater than the fear.

I will conclude by saying that it doesn’t make sense. To us at least. The why, the how … there is no “rhyme or reason” as to why we were able to conceive naturally when we did. And honestly, we aren’t looking for suggestions : ) They are often more painful than helpful to hear. We didn’t do anything different or special the month we got pregnant. The greatest comfort we’ve found is in choosing to believe that our daughter is supposed to be here now. No sooner and no later. This is her time.

We are now less than two months from our estimated due date and you are (more than) worth every second of waiting, baby. We can’t wait to meet you.

P.S. I have to give a shout out to Lev Apparel, where my dress is from. I LOVE these local ladies and their mission – thank you for raising awareness about human trafficking and empowering women around the globe with your love.

Personal

  1. Diana Howard says:

    My story was very similar Madison. I had done fertility treatments for nearly 9 months with no success. We decided to take the summer off to regroup and determine our next steps. In September I went back to the doctor ready to start again with renewed determination. Before starting any treatment they required a pregnancy test (just to be sure) and it came back positive. We were flabbergasted, grateful, terrified, every possible emotion! Sometimes life takes you exactly where you need to be. Congratulations and enjoy all of the blessings you and Caleb deserve ❤️

    • Maison Engel says:

      The timing can be so incredibly mysterious. Thank you for sharing your story with me!!! And thank you for the love and excitement 🙂 A gigantic hug to you <3

  2. Tessa says:

    I shed a happy tear and smiled while I read this. I was so naive with my first pregnancy and conceiving again was really hard. Thanks for sharing your story and helping to normalize infertility. I can see how God is using you and your family. Cheers! <3

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