“When are you going to have a baby?” is a question that all couples who are struggling to conceive dread to hear. After all, no one really knows what is going on in each other’s private lives, and the well-intentioned question can often result in feelings being hurt. That much undoubtedly rang true for the Majeskys, who spent three years fighting for the chance to have a baby. In the aftermath, though, the hopeful dad-to-be has confessed all about their grueling ordeal in a Facebook post that’ll truly tug at your heart strings.
Dan and Leah Majesky are – at first glance – like any other normal, happy couple. But on the inside, the Cincinnati-based pair have spent years going through all kinds of turmoil simply trying to conceive.
In fact, it’s been around three years since the Majeskys first decided that they’d like to get pregnant. Those 36 months have been filled with grief, joy, heartbreak and hardship, and even their friends and family would have been unlikely to understand just how much of an ordeal it has been – had Dan not told all on social media.
Indeed, on May 20, Dan posted a 3,347-word essay-come-confessional to Facebook. From the intricacies of making a sperm deposit to the cold, sterile nature of medical insemination, Dan’s raw, frank writing is brutally honest.
The post began by explaining that Dan and Leah are in their late 30s, which isn’t exactly the ideal time to start having kids – from a biological perspective at least. As Dan put it, “clocks are ticking.”
With no luck in falling pregnant the old fashioned way – dumping birth control and hoping for the best – the couple began tracking their cycles using apps and calendars. Desperate, they even put stock in positions, timing and other old wives’ tales. But nothing worked.
Dan’s essay is peppered with humorous beats among the heartbreak – if you don’t laugh you’ll cry, after all – and his description of the couple’s first visit to a doctor is just one example of his wit. He wrote, “Medical science being what it is, we got the answer to all our problems, ‘You’re fine, and there shouldn’t be a problem.’”
With doctors baffled, then, hormone treatment began. Of course, this kind of procedure wasn’t cheap – as Dan described, “Insurance companies look at getting pregnant a lot like getting sick. Why, they can’t imagine, would you try to get sick?”
For the Majeskys, though, hormone treatment was followed by something called intrauterine insemination. This essentially means manually injecting sperm into the uterus, increasing the number of sperm cells that make it to the fallopian tubes and therefore improving the chances of one of them succeeding.
At this point, the couple were going through all the normal tribulations of people trying – and failing – to get pregnant. Watching others fall pregnant invoked envy; seeing parents shouting at their children in the store only sadness.
And for months the struggle continued; tests returned negative after negative results, whether Leah got her period or not. Of course, people asking the couple when they were going to have kids didn’t help.
But then, just as the doctors were beginning to think about even more expensive alternative treatments, Leah decided to try one last time. And just like that, she was pregnant.
The couple’s emotions were running high at this point. “You cry. Big fat tears of relief,” Dan wrote. While there was every chance that the pregnancy wouldn’t be viable – particularly due to Dan and Leah’s age – the first ultrasound confirmed that everything was normal, at least for now.
Then the couple heard the words that greeted them when they went for their tragic, final scan. “I’m so sorry. I can’t find the heartbeat.” And, just like that, they weren’t pregnant.
The next stage of Dan’s post is a particularly difficult read, especially for anyone who’s ever experienced the heartbreak that a miscarriage brings. Certainly, his attempts to put the couple’s emotions into words are poignantly piercing. “I have not felt the vertigo of infinity like when we were told our baby was dead,” he wrote.
But despite all of their struggles, strife and minor ups and monumental downs, the Majeskys were undeterred. They tried again and again, and just as they themselves were about to turn to those alternative options – the “next steps” – Leah took a pregnancy test. And, just like that, she was pregnant again.
As it turned out, Dan’s essay was actually a pregnancy announcement. Below the story, he posted a picture of the 15-week scan. Their daughter is due in November 2016, and it all looks healthy and normal.
Naturally, it didn’t take long for his touching story to go viral. He’d originally intended for the post to only be viewable to his friends, but he quickly changed his privacy settings to “public” after they began sharing the couple’s ordeal. And, at the time of writing, Dan’s post has 60,000 likes, 9,142 shares and over 221 comments.
The reaction to the post, which Dan wrote in “one sitting,” has been astonishing. Yet Dan told the BBC, “Although we are so very touched by the support we’ve received, we do still feel anxious about the pregnancy.”
Hopes are high that Dan and Leah will make it to term and carry their baby all the way to delivery. And who’s going to argue that the Majeskys’ emotional story doesn’t deserve a happy ending?