Love Before, During, and After Infertility

I fell in love with my husband pretty soon after meeting him. In college, before even having our first date, I told a friend that I thought I had met the man I was going to marry. He had almost instantly become my best friend, had a genuine heart for God like I had never witnessed up close, was handsome, challenged me, believed in me, and supported me. We were just naturally drawn to each other, fit together like two pieces to the same puzzle, and simply enjoyed each other’s company. Read more

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Mother’s Day

This Sunday will be the first Mother’s Day I get to celebrate with a baby in my arms. I have dreamed of being a mom all of my life, and in some ways, it’s still hard to believe my dream has finally become a reality. I spent so many Mother’s Days trying to forget the day even existed. Going to church only resulted in fighting back tears as I watched baby dedications, and was constantly reminded that I still was not a mom…even after all of my efforts.

If you can relate, then I’m writing this for you. I have been in your shoes, and know how hard it is when the one thing you want more than anything in this world remains missing from your life. I have cried more tears than I can count, screamed at God in anger, begged God to fulfill my request, collapsed in my husband’s arms each month for years, and continually asked one question throughout it all…why me.

These two words haunted me over these painful years. I didn’t understand how the God of mercy and love would allow so much pain to be poured onto His child, and leave a very Godly desire unfulfilled.

But the truth comes from His word…

“Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.” John 16:20

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

“He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.” Psalm 145:19

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 

His word reminds us that no matter how things look in the given moment, He sees the big picture, knows our future, and has it all in His hands. It assures us that if we stay focused on Him, trust in His plan, His timing, and His way that He will turn our grief to joy. It’s a promise that we can hold true to even when we don’t understand how or when that promise will be fulfilled. Shortly after learning about my pregnancy, a pastor said during his sermon that everyone wants a miracle, but they don’t want to go through the trial that requires a miracle to happen.

They say hindsight is 20/20, and looking back on it all now I can see that I wasn’t forgotten. He saw my pain, each tear that fell, and His heart broke with mine. His heart broke because He knew He was going to fulfill my dream in a way I never imagined was possible, but He also knew it would take some time. He knew I needed to go through the pain, learn the life lessons that only infertility would teach me, provide me with the opportunity to use my pain to reach others for Him, and learn to release everything including my dream of being a mom to Him. This was my trial which required a miracle. I had been told by doctors a pregnancy was no longer an option. The doors to adoption had been closed. But in the end it was this trying time that would be required before my miracle could happen. He was going to line everything up perfectly to knock my socks off when He finally did reveal His plan, fulfill my dream, and do it all while surpassing my wildest expectations.

So if you find yourself having a hard time, struggling with the unknown, and desperate for an answer to your prayers…please know you are not alone and that God is with you. Keep your eyes focused on Him. Look for ways to use your pain to help others. Surrender your life, your dreams, and everything you have each day to Him. Because even though you may not feel Him, see Him, or hear Him, He is next to you, patiently waiting, and excited to reveal His work in His perfect time. I promise He has not forgotten you, and will one day fulfill your Godly desire in a way that only He can.

Infertility and Facebook

My professional blog is live!  You can now read my first post,”Infertility and Facebook” on Fertility Authority.com, and I’ve listed a sneak peak below. Please leave a comment, or share using any of the social media options available on that page. You can also forward the post directly using this link: http://t.co/0DyB7aS.  Thanks for your support!

Infertility and Facebook

Sneak Peak: “You never know when it’s going to happen until it’s there. A friend has posted her first sonogram photo, a family member has announced her two pink lines, a teen has posted about her baby’s heartbeat, and you begin to cringe. What was once a quick glance through your personal Facebook feed has now rocked your day and left you staring at an unexpected pregnancy announcement.” Read More

Busted Myth – An infertile Mother’s Day must be a miserable one

I just got back from vacation, and missed National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).  I find it interesting that first there was Easter, then NIAW, and now this coming Sunday is Mother’s Day.  These three events mean so much to me, but the holidays can be hard to handle. So since I didn’t get a chance to share my “busted myth” during NIAW, I find it fitting to share how in the mist of all that may seem wrong, there can still be  joy, hope and renewal ahead for all who seek it.

When we celebrate Easter and Mother’s Day many mothers dress their children up in frilly dresses, or little man suits while others still hoping for that little one to come along just try to make it through the church service without shedding a tear.  For someone longing to be a mom, it can be hard to even walk into church when you know families are celebrating and you’ll be constantly reminded of what is missing.  We want to go, know we should go, but somehow seeing all of the happy families,  little girls in their beautiful dresses, little boys in their Sunday best, being asked when we’re finally going to have kids, or being what seems like the only woman in the room without the honored rose or carnation given to mothers when they walk in the door can really take away the joy and worshipful experience we so long to be a part of.  Now, I’m not saying this is right, and I acknowledge this is Satan’s way of trying to tear down the celebration of Christ’s accomplishment through His Son, but the ugly truth is this is reality.

Infertility is a painful experience that hits you both physically and emotionally.  If you share your battle with others many times you will receive ridicule, and often times people will try to be supportive by offering their advice or suggest you simply adopt.  Their words come nonchalantly, and usually only make themselves feel better.  You’re constantly reminded of the child missing in your life as family and friends continue to get pregnant all around you.  Years pass and as I’ve remained barren I’ve seen friends get married, pregnant, celebrate their children’s birthdays, get pregnant again and start the cycle all over… multiple times.  It’s like they are living the life I always thought I would have right before my eyes, and with every pregnancy announcement, growing belly I see, Facebook sonogram picture or update, baby shower invitation, birth announcement, or birthday invitation it’s like they are trying to remind me of what I’m missing.  Now I know that’s not their intention and don’t get me wrong, I love to see pregnant people enjoying their pregnancy and moms enjoying their children.  I really don’t think there’s anything worse than having a friend complain to me about her morning sickness, not being able to fit into her clothes, having a back ache, or not being able to sleep because of her newborn, but when you’re dealing with infertility, something that most likely never crossed your mind until a doctor mentions you should begin testing, it can all be very overwhelming.

But through this overwhelming frustration, pain, sorrow and confusion, I’ve oddly been able to find hope, joy and a sense of peace.  I remember all that Christ has endured and accomplished and it reminds me that there is nothing He can’t handle.  I know that no matter what comes my way, Christ has been through so much more and has the strength to walk me through it.  He never promised life would be easy, or I would get everything I wanted exactly the way I wanted it, but instead He promised to never leave or forsake me.  I’ve seen time and time again how when life seems to be full of chaos, and I can’t fathom why things are the way they are, there is a later point in life where I can see how I was able to grow through the experience, reach others because of that time of uncertainty, and in the end it all somehow worked out even if it wasn’t the way I expected or even wanted.

So as Mother’s Day now approaches I’m busting the myth that you have to have a miserable one.  If you can’t muster up the courage to walk into church then simply use this Sunday to enjoy your own worshipful experience on your own and thank God for staying with you even though things don’t seem to be going as planned.  Thank Him for the mothers and women in your life that have been there for you, offered a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on.  They haven’t been there by coincidence.  And finally, plan something special with your husband so you can look forward to this day with anticipation and excitement, after-all, you both deserve to enjoy this day just as much as the next person.

Infertile Thoughts on Miscarriage

So this post may get me in some trouble, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and have decided to share.  Let me start out by saying I have never been pregnant, and therefore never experienced a miscarriage.  So these are my thoughts as someone who has longed for a child all her life, but will never see those two pink lines, the smilely face, or the plus sign…. to tell me that I’m pregnant.

I’ve had a few friends close to me experience a miscarriage recently, and my heart aches for them.  As the holidays are here, anyone wanting to be a mom is reminded of that little one that still has not come, or been placed in her arms.  I would think for someone who has experienced a miscarriage around the holidays, this would be a very difficult time for them as well.  Pregnancy to me, is really like this long lost dream that I always thought would come true, but was never meant to be.  I had a friend early in her pregnancy (who later gave birth to a very healthy baby) tell me she was nervous about announcing her news to friends and family, and was trying not to get excited because she was afraid of a miscarriage.  She knew my history, and we’re close, so like with most people I am close with I shared my heart with her.  I told her that the life inside of her was a blessing, and whether her baby lived one day inside her body, or 100 years outside of her body she was still his/her mother no matter how long they lived.  I told her that if there is a baby to love, then it shouldn’t matter how long that baby lived, it deserved all of the love she had to give it.  I also shared my thoughts on miscarriage to hopefully help her in her fears.  The truth is, miscarriage is a terrible thing and unfortunately a very real reality for many couples.  But for me, if I were pregnant, I would tell everyone early.  Yes, there’s a very good chance of miscarriage, but God is looking after each little one in the womb, even before they’re discovered, and I would much rather have people praying for us during my pregnancy and possible miscarriage, then feel I must hide my excitement and pain.  True friends are here to support each other, so if you can’t share the greatest highs and lows with each other, then what makes your friendship any different then an acquaintance?

So for all of you that have experienced a miscarriage, please know it’s not your fault, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and your friends and family are here to love and support you in any way we can.

The Healing Process – Part 1

There are a number of things that have happened to help me reach where I am today.  I really feel like it has truly been a journey, and by going through it, I have learned more about myself, grown in my relationship with Christ, and been able to be healed.  Now when I say healed, I don’t mean in the physical sense, but more on an emotional level.  I also don’t mean that everyday is perfect, (I think my most recent post before this proves that) but I can definitely say my struggling moments have become a lot less frequent.

So I’ve decided to do a series of posts on the healing process because there is not one thing that has really made the difference.  Instead, there have been a number of things through the years that have all worked together.  The first few things happened even before I was married.  So I’ll take a quick stroll down memory lane to catch you up.

  • I didn’t get to finish college, or obtain a college degree. Instead I was forced into jumping straight into a career.
  • I landed my first “real” job as a receptionist with an aerial advertising agency, but was laid off 6 months later after 9/11. (All flights grounded = no aerial advertising)
  • After I was laid off, I was unemployed for 3 months and completely on my own financially.  I finally landed my second job, was promoted, but then had to leave due to some shady things going on behind closed doors.  I was determined not to quit before finding a new job, and straight from God’s miracle book, I was called out of the blue and offered my receptionist position back with the aerial advertising company.

So why am I sharing all of this?  First off, I have never been a career minded person so being shoved into a career not knowing what I wanted to do with my life was very overwhelming.  My only goal was to be a wife and mom so a career was the last thing on my mind.  However, many people think (and will even tell you) that you can’t get anywhere without a college degree.  I had to prove to myself this wasn’t true.  Now of course getting a degree is great if you can get one, but I hate to hear people use not going to college as an excuse for being a screw up.  I have learned that through determination, hard work, and putting up with a lot of grunt work, you can actually make something of yourself.  Don’t buy into the whole game of you need this or that to get anywhere, instead, work harder than anyone else at whatever job you can land, and I promise you will get noticed.  I can tell you now that every position I have held since that first receptionist position required a college degree.  Did I lie about having one? No.  I simply told them it was beyond my control, but by starting my career early I was able to gain more experience on the job than I would have in the classroom.  Then I let my resume do the talking.

The second reason I’m sharing this is because of my lay off/unemployment experience.  Anyone looking at my resume could simply skip over it, or really, I could have decided to leave it off because essentially I ended up in the same place.  But it was through that time of uncertainty that I really had to learn who I was.  I was challenged in ways I had never been challenged.  I had to trust God through a time when I had no clue what would be happening next and really it was what I would consider a time of true growth.

And so here’s my tie to infertility.  Though infertility treatments were something I would have never chosen for myself (like a career), God provided the treatments just like He provided the job that I needed. I didn’t know what direction either would take me, but He placed them both before me and taught me more about Him through the process.  This is the same for the time I was laid off, unemployed, and knew I needed to leave my second job without really knowing what would come next.  I had no choice but to take things one day at a time.  And if there’s anything a person can experience that defines a time of uncertainty it is going through infertility.  You don’t know why you’re stuck not able to conceive, but you follow the steps in front of you without knowing the outcome.  Of course you hope for the best, but there’s no guarantee that it will work and I am proof of that.  I went through years of medication, tests and treatments to only remain infertile and barren.  From the outside it can appear as if it was simply just a waste of time, but to me, I really think it was worth the treatment even without the desired outcome. Just like my time of being unemployed, I had no choice but to take things day by day, cling to God, and in the end I actually was left right where I started. But it was by going through these times of uncertainty that I continued to learn more about God, and in turn, more about myself.

So the first step in my healing process was really digging down and learning from the past.  I knew from the things I had experienced early on in my career that no matter where I start or end up, God can ultimately use anything to teach me about Him, and help me become more like the person He wants me to be.  So in order to heal and grow through infertility, I had to learn from my past and know that no matter what happened, I would make it through each one of the ups and downs, even if the outcome wasn’t the one I wanted.