YELLOW TEAM: THE MILLERS
Our Story, as told by Meghan:
Dave and I met in August 2012, one of those great first dates that started as drinks and became dinner and ended with a mutual agreement on a second date (and me texting my best friends… future matrons of honor and wedding party members…, about how refreshing it was to have met a nice guy and having my faith in dating restored). That second date happened soon and then another and another. I think we knew early on that what we had was something good, something filled with love, respect, and just a lot of happiness, I know I did. We talked on our fourth date about our plans for having a family (the where do you see yourself in five years discussion). I remember this date so clearly, sitting at Pasture in downtown Richmond, talking with someone I had met just a few weeks ago about wanting a family and hearing someone echo back the same perspectives on family. Dave proposed in June 2013, putting my ring in a copy of my very favorite childhood book that he had found just for me, and we got married at the Science Museum here in Richmond in Jan 2014. It was a magical setting and a great party with family and friends, what we planned as not just the beginning of Meghan and Dave, but the start of us as a family, including children.
The having children part though has been complicated and hard, hard in so many ways that we did not anticipate. After trying to have a baby for several months without success, I got test results back in Winter 2015 indicating that it was going to be hard for me to get pregnant on my own. So we tried Clomid, which did not work for me, and began seeing Dr. Edelstein, trying to determine the best course of action for us. As with so many other couples, after different testing and medications, we tried IUI without success and moved on to trying IVF, only to find out after a few months of hormone treatment that my body was just not responding and egg retrieval was not likely. It’s hard to explain to others what this felt like physically and more importantly emotionally… to accept that my body doesn’t produce enough eggs, to have gone through months of testing and injections, to be anxious about the money spent already, to find out nothing was working (and nothing at all was covered by insurance) and mostly to begin to have to think about the possibility that I might not ever become pregnant was so hard, so much harder than I thought it would be. We moved on to donor eggs and to our great happiness, I got pregnant in January 2017. After hearing our baby’s heartbeat at week 7, we went in for an appointment just a week later and that heartbeat was gone. I remain devastated by this loss and yet, because of hope and faith and love and the belief that Dave and I will be parents, we did the bravest thing I have ever done, and tried again in October, only to have that result in miscarriage early on. Our doctor remains optimistic that our remaining embryo will be our baby and we too have this hope and faith. Through all of this, we have spent tens of thousands of dollars on testing, medications, transfer fees, and egg fees and nothing is covered by insurance. We are so grateful to have the support of this group to help us try again and also to know we have support if we decide adoption is the best approach to starting our family. The financial burden is one of the last things we want to worry about and yet it is part of our reality.
This is all the technical background of our story. Our story is more than test results and medications and money, it’s a story of hope, sadness, and mostly unconditional love, a term that I have only come to understand this year. In some ways, the beginning of accepting that I was not going to become pregnant without intervention was the hardest part of this long and ongoing journey. It was simply so hard to accept. I have learned that the complex struggle with infertility is that is feels so personal, private, and overwhelming and there are so many losses and heartbreaks that build up over time and the losses involve so many people and hopes; there are no words that I have found that capture these feelings. Dave is my rock, incredibly supportive and so able to remain optimistic when I was struggling. To think that this kind, loving, and generous man would not be a father is almost too hard for me. That our large loving families may not have a chance to be aunts/uncles, cousins, grandparents… is so hard as well, though the love and support of friends and family has made this journey easier. We still have so much hope.
What I have also learned is that I want to be a mother. I know this sounds easy to say and many women feel this way and yet this feeling is more than just saying I want to be a mother. It is so strongly emotional, deeply a part of my identity, and a part of dreams I had for myself that are stronger and more intense than I realized until that awful moment of loss earlier this year and our second loss in November.
And most importantly what I have come to know is not just that I want to be a mother and that I want Dave to be a father, but that I want us to be parents together. Dave will be an amazing father, he is so kind, funny, generous, and loving. As he wrote so beautifully in our application for this race, “I come from a large family with a lot of love. Some of my best memories are of times spent with my parents, my brother and sisters, and my nieces and nephews. My brother and three sisters range in age from 10-17 years older than me and starting at 10 years of age, I had nieces and nephews around constantly. I’ve loved being around kids forever and the desire has been with me for years to become a father and to add to that love and to that family. I was so happy when I met a woman I knew would make a great addition to our family and that I couldn’t wait to start my own family with.“ I’ll add to this and say you should see him with our three-year-old niece who adores him and how close he is with our older nieces and nephew; he has so much love to give to our future child.
If anything good comes from our journey and our losses, it is the knowledge that we truly understand parenthood in new ways and that I understand what it means to have hope, unconditional love, and what it means to be brave. I can’t wait to share our love, courage, and hope with our child. We are beyond grateful for being chosen as a featured couple and are thankful for the generosity, support, and kindness that comes from this group.
Learn more about donor embryos as a path to parenthood – click here.