This Saturday we will be celebrating my daughter’s first birthday. Just typing that sentence alone blows me away, and brings so much joy to my heart. My daughter is truly a miracle, a medical marvel, and it still amazes me that she’s really here and all mine to love, care for, and treasure. Read more
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, and the theme for this year is “Don’t Ignore Infertility”. Although I have been blessed to reach the other side by being surprised with a miracle pregnancy, infertility is still something I think about on a daily basis.
I think most people think that once you achieve a pregnancy, all of the heartache and trauma of infertility automatically disappears. But I have learned that’s not the case. The memories are still fresh, and although the pain has been softened and replaced with joy, the scars remain and a layer of guilt has been added. Read more
In 2007 my husband and I began our journey into parenthood with no idea what we were in for. Like most couples, we didn’t expect it would lead us down the road of infertility. After I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), we went through years of fertility treatments until my body finally gave out in 2010, and we were told conceiving a child of our own just wasn’t possible. The news was devastating, but eventually we accepted it and moved on. We began exploring our options for adoption, but after almost two years of research and prayer, we simply didn’t have peace in knowing that was God’s ultimate plan for our family. Read more
I’ve had a hard time blogging recently, so I decided to take a break, and go through an old journal in hopes of finding something new. I figured I may have written about a certain fertility treatment process, but instead found something better. Read more
You’ve heard me say it before and I will say it again, infertility is a battle. Everyday is a fight of choice. Will you throw in the towel and let your emotions take over, or will you find strength to enjoy the blessings you’ve been given? I recently posted on Facebook the statement, “It’s not about the blessings that haven’t arrived; it’s making the most of the blessings you’ve been given this day.” It came to me as I was heading into work, and taking a moment to pause before reading my Bible. I wish I could say I do this every day, but I’m human, and unfortunately I don’t. But I can’t help but think God gave me this thought as I was beginning just another day of life with infertility.
To me, infertility is battle. It’s fierce. It breaks you physically and emotionally. It drains the life out of you, and just when you think you have things under control it gains power out of nowhere and knocks you down again. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about being a mom, or how wonderful of a father my husband would be. Infertility tests you, and quite honestly if I didn’t have faith in knowing God’s plan is ultimately best, I don’t know where I’d be today. It’s hard to trust God when you don’t like what He’s allowing you to go through and all you can do is walk through life blindly, but I think that’s the ultimate lesson in faith.
Trusting God regardless of the outcome is one thing life has taught me. I can plan and plan, but in the end His plan is always much better than my own. It is hard looking at it on this end without knowing how things will end up, but He’s shown me time and time again that His plan is always best and He can use each trial that comes along as a way of growing my relationship with Him, reaching others I couldn’t have without going through that trial, and when His plan is finally revealed I can see how each step along the way was preparing me for a greater purpose.
Just like every battle, blessings can be found as the dust settles. There are highs and lows, but through each battle you learn what you’re made of, and I’ve learned a lot through infertility. When my husband and I got married almost 8 years ago, I never imagined anything would come between us. Life was wonderful and we got excited about starting a family. But when things didn’t go as planned, it tested us and showed us what true love is. In all honesty, I had hard time processing my emotions. I didn’t know what to feel, and when I did feel something, it was a range of emotion from excitement, to frustration, to guilt, to fear, to anger, to bitterness, to jealousy, and I just couldn’t decipher it all. But by not knowing how to process my emotions, I became distant, distracted, and left my husband in the dark as to how I was feeling until I really just needed to explode and get it out. It was through infertility that we had to fight for each other, get in the trenches, and love each other even when we didn’t like each other very much. But through this battle, we are now stronger, closer, more honest, and have both said our marriage and life is even better now than it’s probably ever been. It’s sad to see how marriage is not taken seriously these days, but for us, no matter what comes our way, we know we will always get through it together.
Another blessing that has appeared through this battle has been helping friends going through similar struggles. When we went through our infertility treatments we really felt alone. We let friends know we had been trying and were going through treatment, but without going through it yourself, it’s nearly impossible to understand. As time has passed though, some of our friends have had to venture into their own battle with infertility. Some have gotten their happy ending, and others continue down the road of the unknown. Now I wouldn’t wish infertility on anyone, but it’s really been a blessing to be able to support friends going through similar struggles which in turn has grown our friendship.
You could say that I started this blog as a way of conquering my battle with infertility. I can now take a step back and recount my emotions without being as clouded by them. I can share my story with others as a way of combatting the silence around the subject while reaching out to others and letting them know they’re not alone. And finally, I can find peace about the past and look forward to the future. It’s amazing to see how much more at ease I feel these days about not knowing what the future holds, and how I know now that if I have to continue waiting another year, two or even three years before I learn what will happen that’s ok because I’ve come this far and I know God will continue to prepare me for whatever His outcome is. Through my years of waiting I’ve learned He can bring along peace in uncertainty, and by having that it allows me to enjoy my husband more and the blessings we’ve been given today. So even though the battle of infertility may pick up speed on some days, for the most part, and by the grace of God, I’m able to keep the battle far off in the distance.
To finish off my series on the Healing Process, I figured I would write about “Time”. It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a year and a half since we found out we wouldn’t be conceiving a child. As I’ve mentioned before, we immediately began looking into adoption, but after not knowing which country to choose, we decided to wait. During this waiting period we have bought a home, I started this blog and have changed jobs.
I think in some ways God has used each of these items as a great distraction, and as a way of continuing my growth. My days of sadness are much more rare, and these past activities have allowed me to stay busy. Our move was a huge help to me as it allowed me to let go of many painful memories made in our old home that I didn’t even realize were there. Though I loved it, I honestly had a hard time going into our guest bedroom. To me, I only saw the baby’s room that never was. The move allowed me to leave the bathroom that I read so many negative test results in, leave the kitchen where I injected so many medications into my body, and leave the home that was filled with so many unfulfilled dreams. The move was honestly very refreshing. It was like a clean break, and a new beginning in a new home.
Another big help that came with the move was giving my husband his “we’re pregnant” gift. When we first started trying, I had gotten his old baby clothes, blanket, and rattle from his parents’ house and placed them in a baby themed gift bag. I covered the clothes with tissue paper, and had ribbons closing the bag which read “It’s a boy” and “It’s a girl”. I had also gotten a blank yellow card that said “Baby” on the front, and inside planned to place a picture of the positive pregnancy test which would then turn into the first picture of our baby’s book. I had this present hidden in my closet for years, but as we were packing up our room I decided it was time to let go of it and give it to my husband. I knew our pregnant moment would never come, and the moment we shared as I gave him his gift is one that I will treasure for the rest of my life. My husband has been a great source of strength through everything. He’s always been honest (even when I didn’t want to hear it), and has allowed me to handle things however I needed to handle them. He let me yell at him when I couldn’t hold things in any longer, cry when I needed to just let it all out, and has loved me even when I wasn’t a very lovable person. I seriously couldn’t be blessed with a more wonderful man which leads me onto this next point… this blog.
This blog has also brought me a lot of peace about not becoming pregnant, and I’ve been amazed at how many people have told me they’ve been touched by it. What started out as a way to record my thoughts has turned into a ministry opportunity. It was scary in the beginning, but my husband said if it was something I thought I should do then I should just do it well. That additional support was just what I needed to hear. It’s has been through this blog that I realized my previous prayers and questions of why God would allow me to have such a strong desire if it was never going to be fulfilled has been answered. He’s shown me that He allowed me to have this desire so that He could use it to speak and reach others going through similar life events. It honestly seems insane to think He would use me, my situation, and the road I’ve traveled to reach others, but as He continues to bring strangers across my path I have learned that this was all part of His plan. He’s shown me that He can give us a desire so that He can use it in a way we never imagined, and even if it goes unfulfilled, it can still have a purpose. I’ve learned that He is always God, and can use absolutely anything, even our fears, to bring glory to Him.
So my healing process has been just that… a process. I’m finally at peace about never becoming pregnant, and excited to see what the future holds. What that is still remains a mystery, but I’m excited to travel whatever road God decides to take us down. I look forward to still possibly adopting, but I can even see us just remaining a couple… which shows me how much God has taken ahold of me and my dreams. I’ve learned that letting go of my dreams is much harder than trying to hold onto them, but at the end of the day I just want to be wherever God wants me to be. I know that no matter what happens, I will still be thankful to have gone through this journey, and will continue living happily ever after with the man of my dreams. My love for my husband has grown through all of these ups and downs. We’ve been in the trenches together, fought for each other, and loved each other each step of this journey. I’ve learned that love isn’t always easy, but it’s after experiencing each other’s highs and lows, that the journey of going through each of these moments is what builds an even stronger bond as you continue the journey together. He has, is, and will always be the love of my life and the only man for me. So whatever we decide is best, I know we’re going to be just fine… as our current family of two…or even if we end up as the longed for family of three.
It’s been a while since I’ve actually broken down, but today I had a moment of weakness. Everything had been going perfectly. Some of our closest friends came to visit this weekend, we took them to our favorite restaurants, did some shopping, went to a baseball game and took some fun pictures around a few monuments. It has really been the ideal weekend, but then I started spotting. It’s been so long since my last cycle that I really don’t remember when it was, but today that all has changed and I’ve been constantly reminded of what might have been.
I should have known it was coming because really when everything seems to be absolutely perfect, I feel that’s when Satan tends to find a way to make me crumble. As we were at the game today, all I could notice were the kids and babies sitting around us. Looking at each little face I was reminded of what may never be. When we went out to eat, the most adorable little girl with a long blonde pony tail walked by, and again, I was reminded of the daughter I may never have. I was reminded that this weekend marks the 4th anniversary of receiving our first baby gift , and now it just sits in a drawer. Even as I type this post, a commercial just came on of a couple announcing their pregnancy….talk about timing.
Pregnancy and children are all around us, and I really hate being weak. I hate when I allow these moments to rob me of the joy I should be experiencing, and instead I allow them to expose the scab of pain in my heart. But the truth is I’m human, and as much as I hate it, I can really be a girl in every sense of the word. It’s in these moments of weakness that I allow the little things to add up until I feel like I’m just going to explode, and tonight was a night I let my emotions take over. I sat in the bathroom, screamed, and really just let it all out.
I hate these moments, but I’m glad they are becoming less and less frequent. Each time one of these moments come, it ends up teaching me something new. And when I finally release the pain, I tend to see things much more clearly. It doesn’t matter if my cycle comes or not, it doesn’t matter if I end up becoming a mom one day, the only thing that matters is that I release these moments to God rather than trying to deal with them on my own. I feel like I’ve learned this lesson a few times, but I hope next time I just give it straight to Him rather than going at it on my own.
So I had my little breakdown, released the frustration on my own, finally gave it all back to God and now it’s time to move on…again. I don’t know what lies ahead, and I don’t know where things are going, but I do know that tomorrow will be better, and no matter how hard these individual moments may be, the good thing is a new moment is waiting just around the corner, and God is in control. I’ve learned that by dwelling on what may be missing and focusing on my physical and emotional pain, I’m only bringing myself closer to Satan and giving him a hold over the situation. Instead tonight I’m giving it all back to God… using my pain, and sharing it here. I’m sharing it to show you that I’m not always strong, and everyone has their moments of weakness. I know that I’m not defeated because I still have these moments, but instead I can use them to make me stronger by drawing even closer to God and I know it’s how I handle these moments that truly make the difference.