When Aly Taylor was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in October 2011, doctors said her chances of ever having children were slim to none.
Just 24 years old at the time, Aly and her husband, Josh, had been trying to get pregnant when doctors discovered her stage 3 cancer.
“Because of the radiation treatment I had to undergo, doctors told me they couldn’t preserve my fertility,” Aly told The Christian Post. “But Josh and I prayed and believed God would protect my womb. Psalm 128 was our preservation verses, and we stood on that belief. I believed that I would be a fruitful vine and that we would eventually have children that would fill our tables.”
After 16 rounds of chemotherapy, 30 rounds of radiation, a double mastectomy, and several reconstructive surgeries, Aly was declared cancer-free, defying overwhelming odds. Optimistic about the future, the high school sweethearts from Louisiana tried to once again have a baby.
But their hopes were dashed yet again when a fertility specialist told Aly her eggs were too damaged from chemo to ever result in a healthy pregnancy.
“We were devastated and didn’t know where to go. We were so confused because we’d been so confident that God would fulfill our desires,” she told CP.
During this time, Aly and Josh leaned on one another for support: “For men, there’s this tendency to think that infertility is just a woman’s issue, but it’s so important for men to be an active part of the process and to be present because it can be so lonely for women,” Josh said. “I continually tried to let Aly know that she wasn’t alone and I was in this entire process with her.”
After months of seeking God’s guidance, the couple decided to consider other ways to start their family: “We were matched with an egg donor and quickly after that we felt peace not to go that route,” Aly said. “We’re supporters of fertility treatment, but we felt like we were trying to control so much of it instead of saying, 'Lord, grow our family however you want to grow our family' and trusting in His plan instead of ours."
In 2015, the Taylors, who were featured on the TLC show "Rattled," decided to begin the adoption process and were elated to adopt a baby girl. But as they packed their bags to pick up their daughter, the birth mom decided to keep her.
Devastated, the Taylors asked the birth mother if they could pray over her and the baby girl before they left. As they went to leave the hospital, the birth mom changed her mind and gave them a daughter, Genevieve.
“She said, ‘you won’t believe this, but I heard God speak to me, and He told me you two are my daughter’s parents,’” Aly said. “The moment we held Genevieve was the first time cancer made sense. We never would have been brought together had cancer not happened. It was a true beauty-from-ashes moment of God’s plan.”
But when Genevieve was just 9 months old, Aly started feeling nauseous. On a whim, she dug up an old pregnancy test she had in the house — and was shocked when it registered positive.
“I called the doctor, freaking out,” she recalled. “She didn’t even say congratulations. She said, ‘You need to come in right now.’ We did multiple ultrasounds and bloodwork and sure enough, I was pregnant with a healthy baby girl, who we named Vera.”