Arriving at Motherhood: A Story of Faith and Fertility

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Daniella holding her 1-year old son
Daniella Trujillo and her son celebrating his first birthday at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.

Ah, motherhood. Indeed, it is such a unique story for each one of us. Life-changing. Life-giving. Life-warming. All of it. Not more, not less. When you think about a life-changing event that happened in your life, do you also think about the journey of how you got there? The setbacks, the blessings in disguise, every little part that makes the journey, in the end, a breakthrough? That is how it feels for me, as I reflect on my son’s first year of life. I couldn’t help but reflect on my arrival at motherhood. If I can paint a vivid picture of it, I would say it has been like looking into a vast ocean, without any light in sight.

The Rude Awakening

Join me as we go down memory lane. It was the summer of 2008 and I was entering my last year of high school in Tampa, FL. My mom had reached her boiling point, as she had been begging to take me to the hospital because I kept complaining of abdominal pain for the last couple of months. Truly, it just kept getting worse, yet I didn’t want to miss school. The thought of making up a test or assignment made me sick to my stomach (literally).

I finally decided the Tuesday of the last week of school was the perfect time to get it checked, but what I didn’t realize was that I wasn’t fully prepared to receive the news. The doctors diagnosed me with benign ovarian teratomas that had basically consumed my left ovary and tubes. That Friday, I was scheduled for immediate surgery. My faith, the kind that moves mountains led me to feel no doubt in my mind and heart that somehow, some way, I would be able to have children of my own.

And so the story unfolds.

I woke up from recovery, only to find out the left side of my reproductive system was wiped out. At age 15, you don’t fully comprehend what any of this means. I was 5 days away from taking a flight to Colombia for the summer the day we arrived at the hospital, only to find out the air pressure would have caused the tumors to rupture.

In all honesty, I was just relieved to be alive and have my family and high school best friend as my support system by my side. The 6 days I spent at the hospital, including the surgery day and recovery, I was in a daze. Rather than focusing on what was happening in the moment, I set my eyes on the future, knowing that somehow, someway, God was going to work it out. Little did I know, He was already at work. Because like the song Waymaker says, “Even when we don’t see it you’re working, you never stop, never stop working.”

Looking down a hospital hallway
Hospital hallway

Searching for Hope

In January 2018, my husband was graduating that May with his M.A. at FIU. He already knew my history from the beginning of our dating years, so my unknown fertility journey was absolutely no surprise. In fact, marriage was possible that year. The pressure was on, so I decided to be ahead of the game (like always) and follow up with my OBGYN, followed by fertility testing to seal the deal.
 
I wanted to beat the odds. After investing in an array of exams, the final verdict was that medical intervention would be my best option for conception. “Natural conception” was a foreign term and quite frankly, the fertility doctors did not foresee any hope. My OB also had her doubts, although she always framed it in a positive light. When my husband and I got married in September 2018, we decided it was best for our family to move on with FAITH, NOT FERTILITY. Our fertility did not depend on our faith, but our faith led us to see fertility as a possibility. We were committed to praying without ceasing!

The Last Straw

Fast forward to December 2019, I had a gut feeling to request an ultrasound. It is then, at the end of the year, we found out I had another tumor growing. This time, of course, it was near my right ovary. And so, in January 2020, I was scheduled yet again for another emergency surgery.

This time, I thought I would be mentally prepared. I was a woman of faith for the last 6 years now, having passed the huge battle of my open surgery during my teenage years. There was nothing in my mind that could shake me.

But, I was wrong. It seems that when we are children, our faith is unshaken. We don’t know enough, we haven’t lived long enough, yet there is hope. As an adult, the experiences we’ve been through and the media around us can jade us. My husband, my best friend and treasure, never doubted we would be able to have children of our own. His faith was never shaken, even during the scary times of going to clinics to get the fertility testing done! The laparoscopic robotic surgery was a success and my benign tumor was removed. A part of my right ovary was scraped, but the doctor assured us it was enough for conception to occur. We were delighted!

Arriving at Motherhood

Miracles happen. It is not just something that you hear in the movies. What truly makes your faith grow is not even the amount of times you choose to believe, but the amount of times you doubt yet still choose hope. On November 3rd, 2020, we found out I was expecting! I entered a complete shock that I feel still has not dissipated. On June 14, 2021, I finally arrived at motherhood. Our healthy baby boy, Enzo Valentin Trujillo, weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces and he was 20 inches tall. A completely natural conception. Beat the odds.

That is the power of God! My husband and I deeply desire to continue to grow the Trujillo family. I continue to get check-ups, and yes, I do get anxious sometimes. What is different? Surrender to God because His plans will always prevail. In a new way, we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).

Daniella holding her newborn son
Daniella and her son just moments after labor.

To all of the mamas, whether soon-to-be, the mamas that already have children, or the women that yearn to have their first or more children, God is with you. It is truly a miracle to bring life to another human and even more when we do it by living out our faith, not fear. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).

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Daniella Trujillo, of Colombian descent, was born and lived in Norwalk, CT until the age of 5, then raised in Tampa, FL. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of South Florida, graduating as a first-generation college student, with a B.A. in communication sciences and disorders. In 2014, she was led to Miami, where she attended Florida International University to obtain her M.S. degree in speech-language pathology. Over the last few years, she has dedicated herself to the field of speech-language pathology, working in a variety of settings as a bilingual pediatric therapist, and most recently, with adults. Currently, she works via telehealth. Daniella married her Miami-native husband in 2018, and they welcomed their miracle baby boy in June 2021. She is a woman of faith who enjoys drinking cafecito and exploring So Flo’! She feels grateful to join MMC and build lasting relationships. Connect with her on Instagram at @lalatinaspeechie.

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