For four years, Jenica Suppes and her husband watched pregnancy test after pregnancy test come back negative. Heartbroken and unsure why they couldn’t start a family, the couple searched for answers through a fertility specialist.
They quickly discovered that Jenica had endometriosis, which can impact fertility and that her husband’s sperm swim backward. Two big hurdles when it comes to starting a family.
The couple refused to give up. They started IUI treatment, but, unfortunately, after four rounds, they were unsuccessful.
Double adoption joy
It was at this stage that Jenica felt the pull towards adoption. Jenica and her husband matched quickly to a mum in California who was pregnant with twin girls. The stars seemed to align perfectly and Jenica began preparing to bring her daughters home.
As she shares on Love What Matters,
We were so excited, we started telling family and friends and preparing for these little girls.”
However, when it came time to deliver, the birth mother admitted that she was having second thoughts. Jenica felt her stomach sink at the thought of not bringing these two babies home.
We eventually got a call telling us that [the birth mother] had actually picked two couples from two different agencies, and the other couple was already out there picking up the girls. We were devastated.”
Now, this sort of thing isn’t common but it does happen and it’s heartbreaking for the families involved. It’s also important to note that Jenica lives in America where the adoption process is different from that in Australia.
Jenica and her husband took a break from searching for birth mothers or fertility treatment in order to heal. Once they felt ready, they returned to the adoption process and were matched with a mother from Louisiana. She had already given birth and the baby was six months old.
Just 5 days later we were on our way to Louisiana to pick up this spunky little 6-month-old boy.”
A sibling for their son
After a few months of having their son, the couple decided they would like to expand their family and opted to try the IUI route again. They switched clinics and, after four rounds, found out they were pregnant.
Five babies. Three boys. Two identical twin girls.
Surprised by five
Naturally, the couple was shocked but also over the moon. Then came the tricky questions – such as deciding to undergo ‘selective abortion’, which is another term for ‘fetal reduction’. This is a surgery performed to lower the number of fetuses but increase the chance of a healthy pregnancy.
This wasn’t the right choice for them. Instead, Jenica opted to take it extra easy, remain on bed rest when needed and hope for the best for her babies.
Everything was smooth sailing until a couple of days before Jenica turned 24 weeks. She noticed she was leaking fluid so went to the ER to check.
Everything looked ok and the babies all looked healthy, and so did their fluid.”
‘We had now lost our second set of twin girls’
But when she went for her weekly appointment two days later, she received the devastating news that they had lost their twin girls.
It was heartbreaking. We had now lost our second set of twins girls. I was so upset and didn’t know what to think.
I felt like God teased me again and was taking away everything we had dreamed of one by one.
I kept thinking the boys weren’t going to make it either and it would be my fault. I had thoughts that I should have been more careful about what I did and how much I was on my feet. I should have forced myself to eat more so they had as much nutrition as possible.
From then on, I was paranoid about our boys and constantly worried.”
It was decided that Jenica would deliver all babies at once – her boys – and her twin girls who she would have a chance to hold and say goodbye to.
She remained on bed rest in the hospital but at 28 weeks, there were some concerns for the boys.
The doctor came in and said we have to deliver now. At 10:04 a.m. we had delivered our 3 precious boys, plus our 2 little girls.”
‘You constantly hear beeping and alarms’
Her boys, named Tucker, Knox and Jaxton, remained in the NICU for several weeks as Jenica got used to life as a NICU mum, which she admits, was incredibly hard.
You constantly hear beeping and alarms the first few weeks. Every time you go into their rooms, you hold your breath while the nurse or doctor tells you how they are doing.”
‘I struggle with blaming myself for losing those precious baby girls’
At around 35 weeks gestation, the boys were able to come home and Jenica settled into the role of being a mum to four boys, with her two sets of twin girls forever in her heart.
Still today I struggle with blaming myself for losing those precious baby girls of ours. I try to remind myself that the boys are healthier because of it and they made it to 28 weeks and grew like champs and came out as healthy as any preemie baby would at that gestation. They thrived at the sacrifice of our identical baby girls.
In the end, I wouldn’t trade a thing about our journey because it is what makes our family unique.”