Megan and George Handler met in high school, 11 years ago. They fell in love and started a life together without a clue of the amazing journey God had prepared for them.
They endured a long distance relationship until they could finally be together and settled down in the same city. Megan worked at school for children with autism and George was a college football coach. In June of 2013, the couple said “I do.” They were ready for their happily ever after.
Although passionate about their jobs, their financial situation put the idea of having children just yet on the back burner. After about 5 years, a job opportunity became available to George and the couple was able to move back to where they were originally from. Being more financially stable and closer to loved ones, the Handler’s were ready to start trying to have a baby.
After 10 years on birth control, Megan and her husband decided it was time to give this baby thing a shot but soon they would face some unexpected bumps in the road. For 7-8 months, Megan and George were unable to have a baby. Megan thought she should wait until a full year had passed before seeking out other options, but after several conversations with a friend, Megan made a phone call to a fertility specialist. As difficult as it was to get an appointment with this specialist, they were able to schedule Megan for an appointment the very next day.
Test results were in and Megan was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. In her case, this disorder involved hormonal imbalances and cysts surrounding her ovaries. After rounds of oral medications and shots, in August of 2015, Megan was finally pregnant, but her joy was quickly cut short by a miscarriage 3 days later. However, they continued trying with many difficulties along the way. With school, full time jobs, and all of the physical complications, it’s amazing that this couple didn’t lose hope in having a baby.
After her next round of shots and an IUI, one day Megan began to experience a great deal of pressure and pain. She was pregnant again. What a blessing, right? I believe that children are always a blessing. However, if I got the news that I was pregnant with not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR babies, I might just pass out and lose my mind a little once I regained consciousness. Were the Handler’s ready for quadruplets? Well, no. And Megan boldly admitted that to me. Selective Reduction was mentioned to the soon-to-be parents of four, but one night Megan and George decided to accept the challenge set before them. Megan said, “From then on, we fully embraced the fact that we were going to have quadruplets.”
Four boys, growing at a steady rate, one a little bigger than the rest. Four boys; Megan and George’s personal little football team. Four boys; already names and so loved. Megan did everything she could to make sure her baby boys were healthy. Not a doubt in her mind; she was going to be a mother of quadruplets. “I’m going to make it through the second trimester. There’s no way I’m not going to make it.”
16 weeks pregnant and not feeling well, Megan was lying in bed taking a nap and felt as though she had wet the bed. Little did she know, one of the babies’ water broke. She went to the hospital and a nightmare started to become a reality. As Megan went to use the bathroom, she felt her first son coming out. He had died before they were even able to see him. The trauma of this filled Megan with fear for what could happen to her other 3 babies. However, the other 3 were showing good vital signs and it seemed as though they would be okay.
Soon Megan would be sent home to finish out her pregnancy on bed rest. But before she left the hospital, she began to have contractions only moments after she had heard her babies’ heartbeats for the first time. I asked her if she was scared at that point and she replied, “I knew.” She knew she was giving birth to her babies, whom weren’t ready to be born yet. The three remaining babies lived for about an hour after delivery and George was able to hold them all.
As I spoke to Megan, I was no longer talking to an old coworker of mine. I was talking to a mother who lost her babies. As she told me about Baby A, B, C, and D, she would touch different parts of her belly because she remembered exactly where they once lived. She cried tears of a mother who know her children intimately, she loved and still loves them deeply. But I also saw a woman at peace about the journey that God has brought her through, saying “When I lost them, the only thing that gave me comfort was that I knew they were with Him.”
“You never realize how much you need Him, until He’s all there is,” Megan said. “There were times when I wanted to blame Him…but He gave them to me in the first place.” At rock bottom, she reached for God and He restored her and gave her hope for the future. Feeling renewed and healed. Megan told me how she felt when speaking to the fertility specialist about the future — “I had a feeling of ‘I don’t know that I’m ever gonna have to come see you again.” I could feel the healing and freedom through her words. She is more than confident that one way or another, her and her husband will have more children. Even if that means adoption.
If you are someone that is struggling to have children, going through fertility treatments, or you have also lost children, this is a story of hope for you. Even after this experience Megan said, although she feels that she won’t have to, she would be willing to take medicine again if it were absolutely necessary. She is not afraid of what is next because she is trusting in God’s plan for her life. For her children. And I hope that you all will do the same. If you have lost, grieve. If you are scared, seek comfort. Do not be ashamed of your journey. You are stronger than you know, mamas.