Our Journey From Having an Only Child to a Family of Four

Having an only child for almost 12 years was my greatest blessing and accomplishment, but we always intended to grow our family. My son, Cale was born during the recession of 2009 and to say life was crazy and unpredictable would be an understatement. He was the light and joy that everyone needed to stay positive in uncertain times. I was determined to surround him with siblings so in the fall of 2010 we started trying to grow our family.

The wait for our daughter was long but worth it. (Photo Credit: Jaclyn Cowart)

My biological clock was ticking

Fast forward to 2016, we had completed multiple rounds of (Intrauterine insemination) IUI and still no brother or sister for my son. I had convinced myself for years that (In vitro fertilization) IVF wasn’t in the cards for us and that if we were patient something would eventually happen. I continued to watch my biological clock tick, tick, tick and as I approached 36 I caved and contacted a local doctor to discuss the IVF process. 

Testing was completed on us and guess what? No known cause for infertility was found. We were the perfect candidates for IVF. Still wavering in my decision to move forward, I promised myself and my husband that one round of IVF was all I would do. After all, we had been grinding through the ups and downs of infertility for 6 years.

Fertility treatment was not successful

The entire process went perfectly, until it didn’t. We ended up with one viable embryo to transfer on December 15th, 2016. The significance of December 15th was surely a sign that my one embryo would bring us the second child we had been waiting for. December 15th, 2008 was the day I found out I was pregnant with my first born. Fast forward 11 days, the waiting period was up and we received the call from our doctor that my embryo did not implant.

As a family, we were crushed. Our IVF process and dream were over. Little did I know that exactly one year later (yes the day after Christmas 2017) the movers would be at my home to start packing and moving us to Gainesville, Florida where I would become a stay at home mom for the first time in my life.

We moved and I became a stay at home mom

My husband came home from a work conference in mid-July of 2017 and told me that he had been offered a promotion which included a family move about 3 hours away. A big piece of my heart was already in Gainesville as I am a graduate of the University of Florida “Go Gators.” The time and place seemed right and as a family we decided to take the leap. By the end of January 2018, we had settled in nicely. I filled my days exercising, cleaning, cooking and all of the other things that stay-at-home moms do.

My son was extremely active in travel baseball, flag football, basketball and many other extra-curricular activities, while my husband traveled quite a bit. We met lifelong friends at practices and games, we traveled for tournaments and enjoyed more Gator sporting events than you could even count.

We accepted that we would be a family of 3

In March 2019 we got the call that school was shutting down temporarily. Our lives changed for much longer than we had originally anticipated but we continued our lives with as much normalcy as possible. The biggest change was that my husband would now be working from home indefinitely. 

The next year was a quieter period in our lives, tons of time spent at home with friends and often times just the three of us. Overall, life in Gainesville was great to us. Summer of 2020 arrived and I was quickly approaching the big 4-0!!

I casually mentioned to my husband a couple of times that even though we had never been successful in getting pregnant after Cale was born maybe it was time to start thinking about a vasectomy. Cale would be turning 11, his love for sports had only intensified and I knew that our lives would just continue to get busier.

Then I found out that at 40 I was pregnant

My birthday came and went, football season was in full swing and it was November 1st, a Sunday. Just like any other Sunday with no baseball we had woken up, had some breakfast and my husband and I were going to run some errands. I mentioned to him that morning that my period had never come.

He was instantly excited and demanded that we get a test while we were out. I, of course, told him that it was ridiculous and reminded him how many tests we had taken over the years to no avail. But, with the smallest glimmer of hope (that I kept to myself) I agreed. 

The second that we got home it was go time. Instant positive!! I don’t know which one of us was more shocked. The intense excitement was overwhelming and then the questioning and wondering if this could really be true set in. Despite this, we couldn’t hide our emotions and we quickly decided to tell my son.

At 12 years old my son finally became a big brother

To say he was shocked was an understatement. He wasn’t sure if he could believe it and the tears immediately started to flow. Just shy of 12 years old, he would finally have the opportunity to be a big brother.

Our full term, healthy baby girl was born at the end of June 2021, and our family of four was finally complete. This was something we would have never planned but having her 8 weeks before my 41st birthday has changed our lives for the good in every measurable way. Our daughter was created in the perfect storm and we were thrilled to become the parents of another beautiful soul. 

More Great Reading:

I’m Slowly Discovering That the Greatest Gift I Gave My Children Was Each Other

About Jaclyn Cowart

Jaclyn Cowart is a wife and mother to two amazing children whose love has shaped her. She lives in Florida and is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelors degree in Health Science Education. She currently works in her family business, has her real estate license and hopes to continue writing. Her family loves sports; her 14 year old son plays baseball and football and her daughter has recently started gymnastics.

Read more posts by Jaclyn

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