Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our Story (Part 1)

Ryan and I met in the Fall of 2000. I was a freshman at Bethany College of Missions in Minnesota and Ryan's parents lived and taught at the school, so naturally I would see him from time to time. It wasn't until almost 4 years later, in the Summer of 2004, that we started dating. He'll gladly tell anyone, that I fell in love with him the moment I laid eyes on him, but sorry my Love, we both know that isn't true.

After a short time of dating and an even shorter engagement, we were married in May of 2005. Oh, we were so in love. Sometimes I miss the bliss and simplicity of being newly married.

We had planned on waiting a couple of years to start having kids, but who was I kidding? I'd been waiting my whole life to have kids. I remember being about seven years old, kneeling in the backseat of our Chevy Corsica, begging God to let me get pregnant. Obviously at that point I wasn't privy to the...ahem...birds and the bees. All I knew is that I wanted a baby, and now that I was married and not seven, what was I waiting for?

We started trying to conceive in October of 2005. I remember that first month expectantly waiting for a sign that I was pregnant. I remember the next month, and the next month and the next, until a year had passed and we still weren't pregnant. The emotional roller coaster of infertility is so painful. The disappointment of seeing negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test is more than one can bear. Every mother pushing a stroller made me jealous. Every father swinging his son up on his shoulders made me weep. Baby showers made me bitter.

In October of 2006, Ry and I decided to go through some testing to try and find the cause of our infertility. After a series of tests, it was determined that our infertility was unexplained. Perfect. Just what we wanted to hear. It's difficult to treat a condition that's unexplained. That month, I started on a very mild fertility drug and continued on it for three months, but to no avail. At the end of December, I transferred to a fertility clinic and in January of 2007, I started on an ovulation stimulation drug. I was beyond excited. Two of my friends had gotten pregnant (each with one child) while on this drug, so I had so much hope. After months of waiting, this could actually be the month.

After I was artificially inseminated...ok...pause for a second. I have to tell you that I was scared half to death of having the wrong sperm put in me. There was an Indian woman in the next room over also being inseminated and throughout my entire pregnancy I had dreams of giving birth to Indian babies. Alright, back to the story. After I was artificially inseminated, I was told to wait 12 days to take a pregnancy test. I don't think I'll ever forget that date. January 25. The night before, I had the hardest time falling asleep, and awoke at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom. Hmmm...they didn't tell me what time it had to be on the 12th day, so in the stillness of the early morning I took a pregnancy test. From what I remember, it can take up to a minute to see the results, but I had to wait all of 3 seconds. It was positive immediately. I was pregnant!!!

That first week and a half was pure bliss. We talked about names, did a little maternity clothes shopping, and reveled in our secret. Then I entered week 5 and was pummeled with morning sickness. I couldn't eat ANYTHING. A few days into being sick, I was sure I was having triplets, or at least twins. There was no way I would be so sick so early in the pregnancy if I was only having one baby.

When I was six weeks along, I went back to the fertility clinic to have my first ultrasound. At this point, I'd already lost about 5 pounds and had tried every herbal and over the counter remedy with no relief. I was desperate. As soon as the nurse practitioner saw me, she knew I was miserable and I was promised a prescription for zofran, the supposed miracle drug.

Finally, I climbed up on the table. It was the moment we had been waiting for. Was I having twins or even scarier, triplets? All of the sudden, there on that ultrasound screen was an image that is permanently etched in my mind. At first I was confused. I had never been pregnant so I wasn't sure what to look for. The NP was extremely quiet as she looked intently at the screen. To break the somewhat uncomfortable silence, I finally asked what all the little circles were. With the softest voice, she answered, "babies."

To my untrained eye, it looked like four babies, but no sooner had I counted when the NP said that there were five. I immediately started trembling and poor Ryan must have been in complete shock, because he was so calm. He later told me that he had been expecting twins and when the NP said five babies, he heard two. By this point, I was terrified and crying uncontrollably and just when I thought I was going to lose it, she took one more look and said, "I'm sorry, it's not five babies, but six."

With trembling legs, Ryan and I walked across the hall to the doctor's office. I remember feeling almost numb, but as soon as the doctor walked in and started recommending selective reduction, the numbness immediately started to fall away. How is it that only six weeks along, sick as a dog and scared out of my mind, I could feel such an overwhelming sense of love and devotion to my children? I'm so thankful that amidst our fear and shock, the Lord gave us the presence of mind to refuse this procedure right from the start. The doctor continued to push for us to reduce, stating all of the risks to the babies and really emphasizing the risk to my body, but even though we were afraid, we refused.

That day, I walked away from the clinic with Ryan holding one hand, a prescription and a stack of ultrasound pictures in the other, and six beautiful babies growing peacefully within.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing all your incredible, exciting and healing memories. I know all your babies are very proud for you and Ryan to be their parents. Praying for you as you continue healing.


  2. What an amazing start to your story. The pain of infertility is so intense - it's hard to describe. And I can only imagine what shock you felt that first day you saw your 6 beautiful babaies.

    Thank you for starting to share your story...praying for you!

  3. Brianna,
    I have been following your story since I heard about the babies birth on the news. Thank you for sharing it with us. It is a most precious story that I know you will ponder in your heart the rest of your days. I love your babies and my heart breaks for you that they are not here with you, Ryan, Sylas and Miss Ivy.

  4. May you grow to love the story which God has ordained for your life .... a very painful story ... and I am so sorry for your sadness! May you continue to have the courage to write your story - no matter the time it takes. I have been praying for you since the beginning. Love, Tina
    PS - There is a great Dan Allender book you may enjoy called Learning to Love Your Story ....

  5. i, too, have been following your story after learning of your sweet family on the local news when you were pregnant with the sextuplets. you guys have been in my prayers ever since. thank you so much for being willing to share your story! i so enjoy following your blog, watching your faith flourish as you trust in and lean on the lord for strength.
    prayers and blessings to you and yours!
    --tamara in mn

  6. I've been followed your story for a long time -- before the new stories -- heard it from a co-worker who knew you guys -- and you just had the morrison6 blog.

    It's really awesome to hear the story from the "beginning" from your perspective. I pray writing the story helps your continued healing.

    Looking forward to part 2!

  7. Thank you for sharing your story. I've followed it since the babies were born. This must be very difficult to write down, but I think it's a wonderful thing to do.

  8. Just found your blog via Noemi (who I also just found). Looking forward to reading the rest of your story. I am also a grieving mommy, with two babies in Heaven.

    Though you'll always miss your babies, I'm glad God is restoring beauty from ashes for you!

  9. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Lisa in VA

  10. I've been praying that one day you would be up to sharing your journey with us all. I've been following since I heard about your pregancy with the babies.

    I know all to well the pain of infertility. Maybe not as much as you but close. We suffered secondary infertility for two years while trying to have our last child (due in september).

    I can't wait to hear the rest of your story and may the Lord bring you peace while sharing it with us.
    Always praying for you!

  11. Thank you, Brianna, for sharing your story so far. I saw you and Ryan on WCCO a few years ago and have been "following" you ever since. God is a good God, and I am always amazed at what He can do through such incredible circumstances. I look forward to reading more... I know this has been very difficult for you to share - especially with so many (like me) that you've never even met - so thank you!!

  12. wow.... must have been scary and cool all at the same time.... thanks for sharing your story....

  13. I remember when you told me about your new babies!! I was in the backroom at starbucks on my 10 min break...and speechless, but Oh so excited! I love you friend!

    I also remember those days dating ryan...still love you, even more!

  14. Brianna, we might not know eachother, but I'm very glad you took the time and strength to tell your story from the beginning. I've heard different things from people saying how they were irritated with your choices after not "trying" long enough. Making it sound like you were married and went straight to medical help. I'm glad those people can be now set straight.

    I have also lost two. I was 11 weeks when I lost my first one. I saw her. (My heart tells me she was a girl.) The other one was 5 weeks. I'm now expecting again and have been told our daughter has a 1% chance of having Downs. We put her in God's hands and pray for her safe arrival every day.

    You are a brave woman of God and your situation will be a witness to lots for a long time to come. Keep strong.

  15. Such and amazing story. I look forward to reading upcoming posts!

    My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for 6 years now, and I have had 2 miscarriages in the last year. I can't imagine being asked to "reduce" in the event of a multiple pregnancy. There is no way I could look at that screen and decide which life was worth more than another. Impossible.

    You absolutely made the right decision. Thank you for sharing your journey!

  16. Your story is so heartbreaking and yet so beautiful at the same time. I'm so glad that you had the strength to come through all this and let it make you a better wife and mother. Sy and Ivy are so blessed. My husband and I were also married in May 2005 and we met at North Central Univ. in MN.

  17. Wow! I'd been curious about how you met and, to be quite honest, about those six babies. :) Thanks for sharing this with us.

  18. Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life. I send my love.


Thank you so much for taking the time to share. I love hearing from you.

P.S. I'm sorry for the word verification step, but oh, my. I'm getting lots of spam.