I never thought becoming a parent would be hard.
After over a year of trying to conceive, Dan and I were referred to a fertility specialist. After a surgery and many blood tests, it turned out that there were problems on both sides, and the odds of conceiving without medical assistance were less than1%. IVF would give us approximately 63% success in conceiving, and not knowing what I would be in for, we decided privately that IVF would be our chance to have a baby.
I had seven eggs retrieved, and all seven were successfully fertilized. In the process of IVF, we ended up losing some of the embryos and were down to three to be sent for genetic testing. One did not make it, and one came back positive for transfer. There was one embryo that did not come back with a result, and I remember the doctor’s office asking me if I wanted to have the embryo retested. Dan and I decided that we did, and while that embryo went out to be retested, I could have the embryo that came back positive transferred.
A few days after a successful transfer, we were cautious and careful in everything I did. I took off work the day I took the blood test to find out whether or not I was pregnant. I wanted to be alone and as prepared for the result as possible. Then I got the call…we were pregnant.
I decided not to tell Dan until he got home. I had baby Air Jordan’s and flameless candles set up in what would be the future nursery. When Dan went upstairs he was so happy, and I was feeling things I couldn’t believe…I was finally pregnant.
Right before the transfer it is important to note that we received information that the embryo that needed to be retested came back positive. Stunned at this news, we decided to keep that embryo frozen and would think about the possibilities later.
It was time for additional blood tests to see how the baby was doing and the pregnancy progressing. I remember getting the call telling me that the HCG numbers should have doubled but mine did not. Worried about what could happen, I did all I could to shield Dan for the heartache and pain of bad news. The numbers were not rising, and I had a miscarriage. Knowing how excited Dan was about me being pregnant, and then telling him we had lost our baby, well, some moments truly make you stronger in life. That pain is something I will never forget.
But, God has a plan. Turns out we still had one embryo left that could be transferred. Soon my body healed and with continuous shots and medication, I was ready for the transfer of the final embryo we had; the “surprise” embryo that was retested and came back positive. I remember that whole week acting completely different than I did with the first transfer. I was doubtful and felt like I needed to prepare myself for disappointment. But, Dan reminded me to stay focused on this fighter embryo. And so I tried.
We had the transfer, and I remember our nurse specifically telling us to do everything opposite we did with the first transfer. “You’re not superstitious are you?,” she asked. Being that I am not, we tried to be as normal as possible and not live in fear of the tiny embryo that was fighting to stick inside of me and become a positive pregnancy. And even though my body was reacting completely different with this transfer, I did all I could to remain calm.
Then the day came for the blood test to determine if I was pregnant. This time, I went to work and tried not to think about what the result would be. When I got the phone call that afternoon, the nurse was happy and told me the transfer was successful, and we were pregnant. Still, knowing that things could take a turn for the worse (the HCG number was still lower now than with the first transfer), I played my emotions cautiously. A few days later, I took another blood test, and the HCG number grew more than expected. I remember getting the call, and this time things were dramatically different. The pregnancy was healthy and although anything can happen, we were farther along than before! I called Dan with the news, and I will never forget the tone in his voice and how he responded that day. That little, last fighting embryo I had worked.
On April 20, 2018, after four hours of pushing, I gave birth to the most beautiful, healthy blessing of a baby boy. His name is Ferris Jobs, and Dan and I love him so much our hearts hurt. I remember the day he was born. We chose not to find out the gender or tell anyone our name choice. When the nurse handed him to me and said I had a son, Daniel and I looked at each other and cried. It was the single greatest moment of our lives.
And with Ferris’ birth, not only did my life change, but also my career. I decided to start my own company and create the only children’s picture book series focusing on IVF through the eyes of a child. It is called, “I’m Very Ferris,” with the first picture book published in 2019, and the second will be in 2020. It is my passion, and I am so honored to see the lives it is touching through a storybook.
So, yes, I never thought becoming a mama would be hard. But to be truthful, now that I have Ferris and a completely new outlook on life, I would never have changed a thing.
You can follow Tess's journey on Instagram @tesskossow or on Facebook at I'm Very Ferris