After exchanging I do's in an intimate courthouse wedding, Jevon and Julie McBride were eager to start the big family they had always talked about while dating. Julie couldn't wait to be a mother. However, starting a family of her own wouldn't come without struggle.
Within the first few years of marriage, trying to conceive was plagued by a string of miscarriages. The pair eventually sought help at a fertility clinic where, several extensive tests later, they learned that they were infertile.
Exactly 10 years from the time they were married, Jevon and Julie found out they were pregnant with their baby girl Juliana. It was not only a miracle, it was a gift from God.
25 weeks into her pregnancy, the couple were involved in a head-on collision.
Below, Julie takes us through her journey from infertility to conception of her child, the life or death moment that would change her life forever, and ultimately how the grace of God blessed her with the family she and her husband had prayed for.
On Being Confronted with Infertility
I knew there was an infertility issue three years before we conceived Juliana. The struggle of conceiving was heartbreaking. I had three miscarriages within the first three years of our marriage. Every month, we would have hope. Every month, we would buy pregnancy tests, and every month, we would get a negative.
That's the same time that we sought help as well. We considered adoption, but it was so expensive and we wanted to try seeing a fertility doctor first. The fertility doctor wanted us to try naturally for a while before they introduced fertility meds, even though we said we'd been having issues for years already.
When we learned of infertility, our doctor had us do testing with my uterus and fallopian tubes. I also had to do lots of different blood work testing. We had to try naturally for a while and also used ovulation testing. When that didn't work, went to oral fertility meds. It almost becomes a trial and error to see what works and what agrees with your body. What ended up working for me was a Gonal-f injection pen and IUI.
On Learning They Were Finally Pregnant
It was 10 years from the time we got married until the time we got pregnant with our baby. I screamed with excitement the moment the positive showed up. I thanked God over and over for delivering on His promise. I couldn't believe after all the heartache and tears I was carrying in my life, I was carrying a child too. So many years of wanting a baby and our dream and prayers were being answered. My husband watched me for a little bit, then hugged me in excitement. He was thrilled.
Juliana's conception was a blessing from God. It was proof that when you have faith, God will deliver on His promise.
We prayed for her every day that we carried her. We bought a baby swing right away and we would buy gender neutral clothing, and got a baby-soothing noisemaker. We also completed a baby registry.
On the Night That Changed Everything
The night of the head-on collision, we were headed home from the military base where my husband is stationed. I had just finished my shift (as a preschool teacher) and he was the gym. We rode together. A driver fell asleep and crossed over the two-lane road right into our lane.
We will never forget the headlights coming at us and I will never forget my husband honking, saying, “What is this driver doing?"
We were a mile from our house when the head-on collision happened. When we came to, after the accident, my husband asked if I was okay and if I felt the baby. He knew something was wrong with his leg immediately. He couldn't move it. I couldn't move either. We prayed to our Father several times while waiting for help to arrive. We just wanted our baby to be okay.
I was 25 weeks at the time of the accident.
On the Aftermath
My husband sustained a shattered ankle and a broken tibia and femur. I had a hip concussion and was on a walked for a little over a month. We both had concussions as well.
I learned I would need an emergency C-section within 10 hours of Juliana's birth. I was scared because the doctor knew I had bleeding in my uterus and I didn't want to lose my baby or die. I was also sad it wasn't the birth we had planned but most of me put that aside and didn't care as long as Juliana survived.
We did not have a name for her until we prayed before we both went in for surgeries after our head-on collision. We named her Juliana after my grandmother, Charlotte after my husband's grandmother, and Madison derived from Matthew out of the Bible, which loosely means “Gift from God."
They didn't know if she would survive but we asked them to give her a fighting chance. No matter what. On day three, after she was born, we learned she had a grade 4 brain bleed and they didn't think she would survive.
God had different plans.
On the Recovery Process
My husband was in the hospital for a few weeks. I was in the hospital for a little over a week and Juliana was in the NICU for a little over 3 ½ months.
Recovery was tough. My husband endured multiple surgeries and had grueling physical and occupational therapy, which is still ongoing. I had physical and occupational therapy as well. Juliana has physical and occupational therapy as well.
We kept the faith because we needed it for Juliana to survive and for my husband and I to heal. We knew God had plans and didn't bring us as far as He did for no reason. We know God loves us and will never give us more than we can handle.
On Their Happily Ever After
Life as a family of three has been beautiful. Somedays we say, “Wow, we're still here."
My husband is doing well in therapy and has finally been walking for two months without any assistance. Juliana just had her first birthday (October 8). She's meeting milestones and also continues PT (physical therapy) and OT (occupational therapy). I went back to work after 8 ½ months, Jevon at 9 months and he's still active duty air force. Juliana started daycare at the same time and she loves it.
Juliana is surely a miracle. We're so happy that she's a light to everyone who knows her and even people who don't.
We remember so many times when doctors would say things didn't look good or even when she fought for her life after brain surgery. She's still here. God had the final say.
You can have it all planned out and think things will go one way, but God knows the ultimate plan.
- As Told To Sheriden Chanel
Keep up with Julie McBride and her beautiful bundle of joy Juliana on Instagram.
Have you been blessed with children after doctors labeled you as “infertile" or said there was a slim to zero chance that you would be able to have children? We'd love to feature you! Send us an email detailing your story with the subject: “Miracle Baby" to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to send pics!