Three Sisters and a Baby
The bond between sisters is unlike anything else. They play together. They fight. They “borrow” each other’s clothes and hairbrushes. It is like living with your best friend and your least favorite mean girl simultaneously. If we do not have a sister, we want one, so we find a best friend and call her our sister. Books and movies like Little Women and My Sister’s Keeper are written and brought to the big screen to explore this one-of-a-kind bond. It is a complex and fascinating friendship—one in which there is indeed struggle, but also the knowledge that you never have to stand alone. You have a genuine gift of the heart that far surpasses most other relationships.
There is no more beautiful example of this unbreakable bond than the story of the relationship between these three sisters: Lyndsey Leach, Brooke Beall and Meagan Beauchamp.
Lyndsey, the oldest sister, a US Market Accounting Manager for Mary Kay Cosmetics in Dallas, Texas, explained, “It is a story about growing up together, loving each other and being willing to do whatever we could to help each other.”
Brooke, the middle sister in this trio and an eighth-grade principal at Texas Middle School shared, “We had a typical love/hate relationship as sisters do. We loved each other to death, but definitely had our fights growing up. Lyndsey and I ganged up on Meagan a tad… just typical things sisters do growing up. But I would say as we have gotten older, they’re my best friends. So, if something happens, they are who I reach out to tell.”
Youngest sister, Meagan, a Registered Nurse and a branch manager at Texarkana Heritage Home Health & Hospice, added with a laugh, “Yep, they made up their own language so that I couldn’t talk to them, AND they cut my hair!”
Lyndsey met her husband, Darren, in college. They graduated from college one week and got married the next. “Within three months, I think we did everything you’re not supposed to do,” she said. “We graduated college, got married, moved to Dallas and started new jobs.” The couple has been together for 21 years and married for almost 18. “He is my best friend and the person who makes me smile every day. There are so many ways we have been blessed throughout our time together. Still, unfortunately, we could not have children.” After five years of marriage and at 27, they began to try to have a baby. It was seven long years. They faced many trials while trying to conceive. It became increasingly more challenging as they watched their best friends have children. They had wholehearted support from both their friends and family as everyone witnessed their enduring struggles.
In 2021, as Lyndsey was approaching 40 and after many conversations with her husband, they realized, “We had not completely let go of that dream. If we were going to do this, we needed to do it!” They sought help from Meagan and Brooke to fulfill their dream of becoming parents. “It may have been a super easy decision for them. I don’t know. But it was still hard to ask because it meant starting that dream up for us again. It was opening up that hope of, ‘Is it really going to happen?’ I kind of knew they were going to say, ‘Yes.’ They had even brought it up before. So, after we asked, both my husband and I felt very hopeful.”
Meagan, married for 13 years to husband, Zachery, and a busy mom of three to Olivia, Faith and Hunter, recalled, “When Lyndsey called to see if I would be willing to donate eggs, I was totally for it! I had three blessings, and I wanted to be able to give her that as well. I didn’t really have any reservations about donating eggs until my age was questioned. I didn’t think 36 was old, but apparently, it is in the baby world! There was no question that I would do anything for her.”
Brooke, married for 11 years to her husband, Daniel, and a mother to two girls, Emily and Lyndsey (named after her aunt), felt the same excitement after her conversation with her sister. “When she contacted me about carrying the baby, it was almost like we had just been waiting for the phone call. ‘Whenever you’re ready, we’re ready!’ Without a doubt, it was a yes! Daniel was, of course, onboard, too. He likes to joke that he sometimes has more of the pregnancy symptoms than I do, so he was all for eating ice cream and sweets. There were no reservations on my part. If this were God’s plan, then it would work out. If not, then we would take the next step.” Brooke continued, “My kids have been the funniest. They are the best. I don’t know if my youngest really understands much. My oldest was seven years old when we first started talking about it. I was prepping her about the process by telling her they may put two babies in, and I would be pregnant. One day, I was talking to her about it, and she asked, ‘How about they put two babies in, and you give one to Aunt Lyndsey and we keep one?’” “No, ma’am,” Brooke replied, “Absolutely not!” “At the beginning, I still had to remind them that this is Aunt Lyndsey’s baby. It’s their cousin, so we use that language. ‘This is your cousin.’ ‘This is Aunt Lyndsey’s baby.’ ‘When I have the baby, they will give the baby to Aunt Lyndsey.’ They are so excited!”
In March 2021, Meagan eagerly began the process. For her, this included giving herself two nightly injections in her abdomen for three weeks during ovulation to slow down the growth process, increase the number of eggs possible, and ensure their release together so the doctor could harvest them simultaneously. In June 2021, she went through the procedure of donating her eggs. Once again, Meagan earned the nickname “Fertile Myrtle,” which her sisters had always called her. While most women only produce two good eggs, she was able to donate six great eggs! Meagan’s husband, Zach, and family were also very supportive of her decision. “Hunter is so thrilled,” Meagan shared, “The baby is actually due on his birthday, April 8. Then the fact that it is a boy just puts the cherry on top! He was high-fiving everyone at the gender reveal. My middle child, Faith, was born in February, and she is very upset the baby did not come in February. So, we are hoping for a March baby, so it splits the difference, and everyone is happy, but my kids are just excited and ready to have another cousin!”
Hence, the process of Invitro Fertilization (IVF) began for Brooke. “IVF was difficult,” she said, “because they tell you that you will get a shot every day. It is painful. You’re over it. You do 15 weeks of shots before, and then you do it for 12 additional weeks. My husband was giving [me] the shots. He is not a nurse. He is a teacher. Meagan would come and save the day some nights. It was a lot of medicine that I had to take, a lot of shots. It was difficult.” Finally, on July 20, Brooke was implanted and got a positive pregnancy test on July 30. Brooke’s greatest challenge came when she got COVID-19 just eight weeks into the pregnancy. She was very sick and still had to receive injections, which made it challenging. Brooke remained positive and expressed her only real concerns were the “normal pregnancy worries such as the delivery, recovery afterwards, the hormones being kind of all over the place and just all things typical of a pregnant woman,” she recalls. “Concerns with the baby going to Lyndsey or attachment issues?” she continued, “Absolutely not!”
Lyndsey shared her favorite moment of the experience. “It was when we finally accepted Brooke was pregnant. We didn’t accept it after she got a positive pregnancy test for a long time because we had lost three babies at around nine weeks. So, making it to that 12-week mark was big for us because we had never made it that far! YES! We were finally going to have a baby!”
The experience has been inspiring to share with the sisters’ friends and families. Most people are very touched by their sacrifices of love and support. Many tears have been shed in response to their story. Brooke laughed as she recalled her husband telling people, “My wife is pregnant, but the baby isn’t mine.” After an awkward silence, she would quickly jump in on the joke and say, “It’s not mine either!” Lyndsey said she has also had a lot of fun with it. When she finally shared it with her team at work, many were immediately confused. “I am going to be a mom,” she would say, “but I’m not pregnant!” “I was getting a lot of funny looks at the elevator.” She would go on to explain, “I actually have a very special story. My sisters are helping me have this baby.”
After the many years of struggle, waiting and praying, in God’s miraculous and perfect timing, the moment Lyndsey and Darren have been waiting for finally came! April 2, 2022, at 12:30 PM, a strong and healthy baby boy, Bryce Edward Leach, made his grand entrance at six pounds and twelve ounces and was 20.5 inches long. He is a dream realized at last and represents many answered prayers! One cannot imagine the stories this family will have to share around their holiday dinner table. Bryce will forever realize how much he was truly wanted and loved. Not just by his parents, but by the aunts, uncles and cousins who were all willing to do whatever it took to bring him into their family.