I believe in persistence. Persistence is the essence of the conventional wisdom that says “if you fail, try, try again.” Persistence is how former failures become current successes. Persistence is how we turn dreams into reality. I became pregnant with my first child, without effort. I told my husband I was ready, luckily he was too. Six weeks later I was pregnant. My pregnancy was effortless and so was the birth. Three hours into labor, Logan Spaulding Williams entered the world – happy, healthy, and perfect. Three years later, we wanted another child. Pregnancy came easily, but so did the miscarriage. “It wasn’t meant to be,” I heard from countless friends and acquaintances. My doctor said, “Try again,” so we did. Pregnancy came again, easily, and so did the miscarriage. “You became pregnant too soon,” said the doctor’s nurse “You’re trying to hard.” Nine more months passed without any pregnancies. I awoke one day with that all too familiar feeling of morning sickness and now pregnancy had arrived again, this baby would be due Christmas day 2002. However, at six and half months, the doctor wanted to take a peek at the baby with a sonogram, I was small for dates. When the sonographer inquired if I had felt any sudden rush of water in the last week, we knew there was a problem. Our doctor informed us that there was no visible amniotic fluid. A specialist’s opinion confirmed that our baby’s kidneys had never functioned. Without kidney function, there is no amniotic fluid, without fluid, there would be no lung development. Our baby’s condition was unquestionably fatal. Emily Ann Williams was born on September 18, 2002. She had a full head of black hair, she weighed almost two pounds and she had ten fingers and toes. Emily died ten minutes after she was born. I took the time to grieve, but through my grief, I always kept telling myself, we had one child, we WOULD do it again. After taking a “break” from “trying,” I consulted with a Fetal Medicine specialist. As we poured over my voluminous medical records together and she explained the kidney anomaly that had afflicted Emily, I squirmed in my chair. The doctor knew “You’re already pregnant again, aren’t you?” “We may have accidentally tried,” I sheepishly grinned. The serial sonograms began and our baby looked well, “Look at those kidneys perform!” “Now that’s one beautiful heart!” the sonographer would cheer. Those words were music to our ears. Although I spent the first three months on daily hormone treatments and the last three months of my pregnancy on bed rest, causing substantial stress on my husband, our son, finances and relationships, it was all worth it. Owen Michael Williams, the result of my 5th pregnancy, joined our family on January 12, 2004, exactly six days after his older brother turned six. He is happy, healthy and perfect. Owen is here today because I was absolutely persistent he would be. This I believe.
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