What one Texan woman discovered in fall 2015 would have massive implications for her and her husband. The news was so big, in fact, that she decided that she would have a little fun with it. So, while her husband was at work, she faked an emergency situation to make sure he came home. And when she told him what she had to say, it left him reeling in shock.
That woman was Heather, who lives in Houston, Texas, with husband Justin and their two dogs, Amber and Ralph. Since 2012, moreover, Heather has been a vlogger on YouTube, posting under the username FibroFightingBarbie. She has more than 10,000 followers on the video sharing website; she also runs a blog and Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts to boot.
And on her alter ego’s various online profiles, Heather covers a lot of light-hearted subjects. As well as her Barbie collection, she discusses and reviews other children’s products. She also talks about dieting, and as a vegetarian she is passionate about ethical food sourcing and cruelty-free cosmetics. But FibroFightingBarbie additionally speaks seriously and openly about infertility and suffering from fibromyalgia, a life-long condition that leads to pain all over the afflicted person’s body. The cause of the syndrome is unknown, although it is thought that those who suffer from it have may have imbalanced brain chemicals.
In fact, as a result of her struggles with fibromyalgia, FibroFightingBarbie has become a vocal advocate for those with the condition. Eventually, though, discussions about infertility became more of a feature of her vlog posts. That’s because in 2012 Heather and Justin began thinking about starting a family. But, unfortunately, their path to parenthood proved to be far from a straightforward one.
Heather had spent nine months trying to conceive, for example, before she consulted a doctor. But because she also suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome, her physician said that she would need help getting pregnant. The condition causes irregular ovulation, and the erratic nature of this can make it more difficult for some women to have children.
So following an ultrasound scan and various tests, Heather’s doctor placed the wannabe mom on fertility medication. They hoped this would give her a decent shot at getting pregnant. Nonetheless, after four cycles of the drug treatments, Heather had still had no luck. As a result, she began to seriously worry that she was infertile.
But Heather wanted a baby so badly that she couldn’t just give up. So, as the months and years passed, the determined woman attended countless fertility appointments and tried seven different treatments. After three and a half years of trying to conceive, however, Heather and Justin remained childless.
Throughout this time, FibroFightingBarbie kept her followers up to date with the highs and lows of her attempts to become pregnant. The intimate videos she posted to YouTube even included live pregnancy tests. During these to-camera presentations, Heather would film her anticipation and ultimate disappointment at discovering that she was still not with child.
In October 2015, though, FibroFightingBarbie uploaded a video that was slightly different in tone to her previous posts. In that clip, Heather filmed herself as she made a call to her husband at work. Sounding panicked in the video, she explains that there is a wasp trapped in the house. And since she is highly allergic to the insects, Heather demands that Justin comes home at once to deal with the potential danger.
As a result, the dutiful husband quickly rushes home to help his wife. Justin is filmed arriving at the front door, after which Heather tells him to check for the insect inside the room he uses as his office. But when Justin pulls the door open, he finds no wasp. Instead, the couple’s two beloved dogs, Amber and Ralph, are shown bursting out of the room to greet him.
At first, Justin looks confused. His bewilderment isn’t helped by the fact that his pets are sporting white T-shirts. But, as he reads the message emblazoned on the doggy garments, the penny finally begins to drop. That’s because the shirts each bear a slogan: Amber’s tee has “Big Sister” written on it, while Ralph’s one reads “Big Brother.”
With his mind seemingly whirring, Justin turns to his wife in search of some kind of explanation. And as he does so, he spots the pregnancy test in Heather’s hand – one that turns out to be positive. The couple are finally about to become parents, after more than three years of trying and having all but given up hope.
Unsurprisingly, both Justin and Heather are overcome with deep emotion at the news. All the couple can do, in fact, is embrace each other as the tears fall from their eyes. And as a result, it is clear to see how much becoming parents means to them.
“I was expecting to come home and take care of a wasp. Not this. Wow!” a flustered Justin says later in the footage. “I don’t know what to do,” he admits to his wife. “It was the last thing that I expected to come home to.” Heather then reveals to her husband that she had been having recurring dreams about her late mother. In one of them, moreover, her mom was holding a baby.
Then the film shows Heather passing the precious positive pregnancy test to her husband. And as we watch him hold it in his own two hands, we can plainly see that the situation is almost too much for Justin to process. “I never actually thought I’d be holding one of these that was positive,” he says. “I was starting to lose hope.”
A few months later, meanwhile, and FibroFightingBarbie would share yet more happy news on her various online platforms. On May 17, 2016, at 7:40 a.m., Heather had delivered the couple’s son, Jackson, via a planned cesarean section. What’s more, although the baby had arrived a few weeks early, he nevertheless weighed a perfectly healthy six pounds and 14 ounces. And both he and his mom recovered well from the delivery.
Several days after Jackson’s birth, however, doctors discovered that the infant had some health problems; in particular, he was struggling to regulate his body temperature and had some fluid on his lungs. He also had fluid in his left ear which was preventing him from hearing properly. And FibroFightingBarbie kept her online followers fully up to date with the situation.
Jackson’s health issues were naturally worrying for Heather and Justin, who had already gone through so much to meet their baby. But FibroFightingBarbie soon had some glad tidings to impart to her fans; she and Justin could finally take their newborn home to meet Amber and Ralph. Then, a month on, Jackson was finally fighting fit.
FibroFightingBarbie also went on to post a video of Jackson’s first birthday party a year later, where he appears happy and healthy. It appears, then, that Heather and Justin have finally got the little family they had dreamed of and wished for. In the end, every up and down and sideways step on their path to parenthood was worth it. And the couple wants other aspiring moms and dads to know that the unexpected can happen to them, too.
“Jackson is our little miracle,” a grateful Heather added to Facebook page Love What Matters in July 2017. “Once he is a bit older, we still hope to clear the hurdles and adopt a brother or sister for him. For now, we’re thankful to be parents to such an amazing little man.”