Alesha and Josh were high school sweethearts. They married at 20 and conceived their first baby after 18 months of trying. They lost the baby ten weeks later. Very disappointed but not defeated, they spent the next two years trying to conceive again. But, nothing.
They consulted the experts. Tests revealed Alesha had a pituitary gland tumor, so she had it removed. Then a reproductive endocrinologist discovered endometriosis, so she had a laparoscopy. They tried Clomid, then IUI’s, but still no baby. Five years into their journey, they did their first IVF. Alesha got pregnant… but lost the baby. Then, they did a frozen cycle… without success.
“Both of us are teachers, so we had a limited budget,” Alesha explained. They’d taken a second mortgage on their house, but even so, IVF consumed all the money they had to spend. Their extended family began holding garage sales to help them. Alesha’s father even sold his beloved Harley. “But we still didn’t get pregnant,” Alesha said, “and I felt like we let them all down.”
Determined to keep trying, they decided to relocate to Arkansas, a state that offers infertility insurance. They sold their home, moved their worldly goods, and found new jobs. Then, they got a call from INCIID. Months earlier, Alesha had applied for a grant — but she’d never heard back and had assumed that meant, “No.”
Amazingly, they’d been chosen. “That was when God told me, ‘August.’ I kept trying to figure out what that meant….”
They were matched with the Sher Institute in Las Vegas. Alesha got pregnant, but she lost the baby a couple months later. The Sher Institute found a creative way to finance another try, enrolling them in a research study that covered the costs of all medical procedures and most meds. On August 3rd, they transferred four embryos. Alesha conceived triplets. They lost one… but miraculously, the other two survived.
Emily Lynn and Abigail Grace were born exactly ten years after Josh and Alesha began trying.
Why did they have to slog through a ten-year obstacle course to become a family? What was the purpose of all that struggling and suffering? All that moving, and job-hunting, and fund-raising? Alesha believes it was, at least in part, about obedience. And learning to trust God completely.
Rick Warren’s global bestseller, The Purpose-Driven Life, opens with this four-word perspective: “It’s not about you.” Warren explains, “The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family…. You were made for God, not vice versa, and life is about letting God use you for His purposes….”
After all the tests, surgeries, injections, inseminations, harvests, transfers and miscarriages, Alesha and Josh think they understand part of God’s purpose. They sense Him calling them to help other couples make the journey. That’s why they are starting an infertility Bible study using the book Pregnant With Hope.
“God puts people in my path constantly who are going through infertility,” said Alesha. “One day, in church, I knew: it’s time – you need to do this.” She started researching infertility support and found there was nothing for infertile couples in Oklahoma (now their home).
Later this month, Josh and Alesha will host their first gathering. They’re understandably nervous, but also excited to see how God will use them and their story to help other couples. “Letting go and giving God complete control made all the difference for us. That’s what we want to help other couples understand. If you give it to God, there is always hope.”