Happy Mother’s Day

This day used to hurt so much. This was a day that I wanted to stay in bed, pull the covers over my head, and weep. I didn’t. I got up, put on a smile, wished all the mothers a happy day at church, and prayed harder than ever for a baby. 

I have a wonderful mother who I have always loved to celebrate! My mom is amazing and sacrificed so much for me and my brother. She put her career on hold so she could stay home and care for us! Mother’s Day is one day in the year that we set aside to celebrate mommies like mine. 


But knowing that I didn’t have the desire of my heart, a baby, made this day so hard. This year my heart is so full! Having my sweet girl here with me to hold, kiss, and love makes my mommy heart happier than ever! 


Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mom’s out there! Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who want to be mom’s! My prayers are with you today.

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Infertility Week

One out of eight people struggle with infertility. I am a 1 in 8 and understand the struggle all to well. I have the extra label of “unexplained infertility”. For years I kept this struggle a secret. People would joke about not knowing how to make a baby. They would ask when we were going to have kids not knowing that another month had gone by with a negative pregnancy test. Not even my family knew the hardship we were having to conceive. I don’t know why I didn’t share. Maybe because I was scared they would think badly of me. Maybe because I was ashamed. Maybe because I thought that my burdens didn’t need to be anyone else’s problem. I regret not telling people sooner. Without a support system, I found myself crumbling into a pile of tears constantly with no one to turn to. Sadly I didn’t even keep my husband fully in the know. After two years of hiding our inability to get pregnant I began to tell people publicly about my hope to have a biological baby. I would share with people in my prayer circle, family, friends, Facebook, ANYONE! It made the walk bearable. Now I look back and know that every tear, pill, needle, test, ultrasound, doctor’s appointment, sleepless night, and prayer was worth it. God heard my prayers and granted me the desires of my heart. 
If you are a 1 in 8 like me, know that you are not alone. People everywhere are walking through infertility too. Don’t be scared to talk about it. It helps to say your fears, frustrations, hopes, and heartaches.

If you have a friend or family member who is walking this path, support them in whatever decisions they make. It is not up to you how they choose to approach having a family. Listen, pray, hangout…just be there for them. 

Infertility was the path God placed me on for a reason. I may never know what that reason was but this baby girl was worth it! 

Reflections

This time of year always brings about reflection. The end of one year and beginning of another. A new start. Another year to try to do better. This year my reflection is on the struggles God has brought me through and the love and joy He has sent me. Many days I wonder why God sent me through infertility. Times cause me to question the purpose of it. The other day I was reading in 2 Corinthians 1 where it says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV) God was my comfort when we walked through infertility. His word was something I leaned on. My prayer partners were people I could call on for support. According to this passage not only is God my comforter, but I am supposed to share the comfort God gave me with people who are needing comfort. I truly believe part of my journey with infertility was to broaden my testimony and allow me to share the way God comforted me during my walk. 
Since becoming open about our infertility we have talked with and shared about God’s faithfulness to guide us through with so many. Many who have already been through similar situations. Some who have yet to make it through with the bundle of joy they hope for. I love to share how God carried us through. There is an unspoken bond between people who have been through infertility. If you’ve never experienced it you can never fully understand it. There is a loneliness within this period and many times God’s voice is hard to hear during this time. Sharing our story has not only helped heal my heart, but it has allowed me to better understand the comfort God provided. When I couldn’t lean on my own understanding, I could lean on Him. When I felt alone and weary, He carried me. Through the decisions and heartache I grew closer to Kyle and the Lord. 

This year, I hope and pray to be able to share our story, Hannah’s story, with more people. I hope to be able to glorify God with sharing about the comfort He gave us. I want to be true to who we are and who God is in our lives. 

Today means so much

Do you have certain dates that are significant to you? Dates that may mean nothing to everyone else, but you cherish them? Today is one of those days for me. August 15th will always mean something to me. 


Three years ago today, Kyle told me he was ready to start a family. Little did we know that our family wouldn’t be expanded for almost three years. Little did we know the ups and downs of trying to have a baby. Little did we know about infertility treatments, medications, and heart break. Oh how little did we know. 


But today, as I lay exhausted staring at my 5 day old daughter I am overwhelmed with joy. God’s timing is perfect and if any other time had been our time we wouldn’t have Hannah. I am beyond blessed and continually find myself crying out in praise for her, crying out in the weight of being her mother, crying out in thanksgiving. 

So today, I will remember just how much it means in my heart to finally be a mom. 

My Heart Aches

Today a friend in Sunday school shared that one of her friends from Mississippi lost their newborn baby. The mom had complications getting pregnant, endured a high risk pregnancy, knew the baby would have to have surgery right after birth, and then lost the baby at full term. I may have some information wrong, or misunderstood, but no matter what no mother should have to attend their child’s funeral. I know it happens so often, but today as I sit 39 weeks pregnant I find myself continually praying for Hannah to be okay. I hope that God will deliver her into this world happy and healthy. I thank the Lord for the great pregnancy He has blessed me with. 

As a doctor put it a few weeks ago, my perfect pregnancy has been a shock since it was so difficult to become pregnant. Infertility changed me, changed my heart, moved me in a direction I never thought I would walk with God, but pregnancy has changed me even more. My mindset about being a wife, teacher, daughter has all changed. I realized on my birthday this year that it is not only a big day in my life, but in my parents’. It’s the day they became mom and dad. The day they welcomed a new person into their home. The day God entrusted a little human into their hands. It’s a big day for them too! 

So today as I pray. I pray for a mom I will never meet. I pray God will heal her heart and bless her abundantly. I pray for several moms I know who have lost their children and know that I can never fully understand, but that God can soothe the hurt. I pray that God will give them joy in their sorrow and healing in their hurt. 

Watching and Feeling

I enjoy watching Royal Pains, a fictional medical show about a concierge doctor. In the show, one of the couples has been struggling with infertility. During this week’s episode the wife took an at home pregnancy test before her blood work to see if IFV worked. The at home test was negative and she was devastated. 
I could relate more than I would like to admit to the heart break she felt, but the episode ended with blood work results that were positive and tears of joy began to run down my face. Three little words can make my heart melt. You are pregnant

The funny part was her husband’s reaction. Let’s keep it a secret for one night. The wife agrees and before she can complete her sentence he is screaming to his brother the great news. I understand his joy and lack of control in containing the news. It was two of the hardest days of my life to not tell, sing, shout it from a mountain top. WE ARE PREGNANT!

After the episode finished I was broken in my gratitude for my sweet baby girl. We are 37 days away from her due date. 37…that’s it. I can’t believe the journey we have been on to get here or how God sees me as deserving of such a miracle. God is beyond anything I can comprehend and though I am worried and stressed about being a mom, taking care of financial obligations, and maintaining a healthy marriage…I am so thankful that He trusts me enough to give me a daughter. My faith is being stretched as we look up to heaven and admit we don’t know where the provisions are coming from. My love for God is deepening as I try to understand how he could possibly love me at all. My trust is in the Lord today and tomorrow. May I never lose sight of that. 


So, yes…I cried through the end of the episode and then some. My heart will always feel for couples who struggle to have families because I too have walked that path. My only way of surviving is trusting in God…for all of my needs, wants, hopes, and desires. 

Help Me Overcome My Unbelief

Oh, the number of times that I tell myself I believe but in my heart I am full of unbelief. When looking for a job, I would pray and tell myself (and others) that I believed a job was coming. Yet so many times it was as if I was saying I believe? When I was hired, it became easier to believe that God could and would provide for our needs. So the next time a financial need came up, I believed God would take care of it, somehow, someway. When trying to start a family, I became overwhelmed with unbelief. I would pray and tell myself I was believing but struggled to overcome my unbelief. 
This week I related to a father in Mark 9 who also would say he believed but struggled to overcome his unbelief. 

“When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer. ””

‭‭Mark‬ ‭9:14-29‬ ‭NIV‬‬


How many times am I just like this father? Saying I believe, but knowing that I am full of unbelief. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I prayed that God would help me believe. That I would try to stay positive that it was our time for a baby. Jesus, help me believe that you are in control of this. I hit a turning point in my walk through infertility last October. Here is a small piece of one of my journal entires from last October when I was 40 days late, had taken 4 pregnancy tests—all of which were negative, and had a nurse tell me I couldn’t be pregnant:

I don’t know if I am pregnant or not, but what I do know is that my God is bigger than the sticks I have peed on, the nurse I have spoken to, and this entire situation. If God wants me to be pregnant, then I will be and nothing will stop Him. 

This was my believing point. I believed this so much that I can remember telling multiple people this (including the nurse who told me I couldn’t be pregnant). This was the point at which I truly believed in my heart, not just my head, that God was so much bigger than my infertility. 

Was I pregnant this cycle? No. Did it hurt when I discovered that it still wasn’t my time? Yes! But I no longer just had a head knowledge that God could send me a child. I fully believed, with my entire being, that God was capable of doing anything in my body, no matter what the doctors were saying. 

Today, choose to believe. If you still struggle with unbelief, pray that God would help you overcome your unbelief. He can do greater things than you can ever imagine…believe!

Like My Granny

Each of us sees personality traits and physical traits similar to our family members. It’s no different for me. I have my dad’s eyes and mom’s freckles. I get my love of math from my Papa and my knack for creating things with my hands from my Grandma Betty. But I discovered a new similarity between my Granny and myself a few months back. 

When I called to tell Granny the news about being pregnant she was thrilled! But in that same conversation she told me a story I had never heard before. 

When Granny was young and a newlywed she followed her husband (my Papa) all over the country from job to job, college to college, wherever he went she did too. They never prevented having children, but simply waited for God to send them a blessing. They waited, and waited, and waited. For five years they waited for a baby. Five years of wanting and waiting, hoping and praying. 

Finally, they were gifted a baby boy (my dad). My Granny described to me the way she wondered if they would ever have kids and how she had hoped and prayed for a baby for years. I could completely relate and instantly had a connection to her testimony. 

After my dad, she had two more children within 3 years. I hope and pray that the next part of our story is like hers. 

It’s amazing to me that although I have been close with my Granny for years this was the first time I had heard this story. 

Finding Out

From the time we started trying to have a baby, Kyle and I would look at each other around the holidays and say This time next year we could have a baby! The first year it was thrilling to dream about. The second year was beyond difficult to even think about it. In the third year, as Thanksgiving approached and we were in the middle of a treatment I read an article posted by a friend from high school. The article was called It’s Okay to Not Be Okay This Thanksgiving. I wanted to share a portion of it with you:

It’s okay if you are unable to fight back the tears as you gather around the table to give thanks.

It’s okay if you can’t see how your miscarriage could ever be woven into some master plan of good.

It’s okay to be sad…even outraged…that your life isn’t going according to plan.

It’s okay if you need to lock yourself in the bathroom and cry when the emotions become too overwhelming, the thoughts become too painful, and the heartache you have becomes too strong.

It’s okay to be angry and confused at the unfairness infertility brings.

It’s okay if you don’t sweep your emotions underneath the kitchen rug you are standing on while you peel the potatoes, but rather open up and tell your family how your womb aches. Your heart hurts. And the hope you have is fading.

And it’s okay to shake your fist to the heavens and tell God exactly how you feel. Not holding anything back.

It’s okay to question why your plans are not good enough or the timing isn’t right.

It’s okay to be mad that you have spent thousands of dollars and countless hours at the doctor’s office just to be given a chance to have what seems to come so naturally and easily to others.

And it’s okay to hurt, to cry, and to still feel disappointed even though others think you should have moved on by now.

It’s okay to tell your Aunt Judy with grace that it’s not really her place to ask when you are going to have children.

It’s okay if while grocery shopping for thanksgiving dinner you see a pregnant woman in the same aisle as you and you need to turn your head. Even move to another part of the store.  Or wipe away a tear.

It’s okay if you decline the invitation to hold your cousins baby or walk away from a conversation about motherhood.

It’s okay if you decide to cook a meal for just you and your spouse…forgoing the traditional family affair.

Friend, basically I want you to know it’s okay to not be okay this Thanksgiving.  

I needed to read this as we were approaching the day we would find out if the procedure worked. I needed to know that I wasn’t alone and that someone else out their in the world knew how I was feeling.

The morning before Thanksgiving Day (2015) was the first day the specialist wanted me to take an at home pregnancy test. I had taken so many of these at this point that it hurt to even purchase them. I carefully read the directions for the thousandth time. These results were going to be accurate. My heart could not handle a mess up because I didn’t follow the directions.

I waited the 3 minutes I was supposed to wait. My heart was pounding. I was sweating. I thought I was going to be sick. What if its negative? Will I be able to pick myself up off of the floor? Can I do this again? I managed to look down at the test on the bathroom counter. I leaned closer. Was that a second pink line? I turned on the lights. Am I seeing this correctly? I double checked the directions to decipher the meaning of the two little pink lines on the test.

WE’RE PREGNANT! I ran into the bedroom where my sweet husband was asleep, screaming the entire way! I jumped on the bed, holding the pregnancy test, begging him to sit up and look at it.  He immediately wanted me to take another one, but I crumbled. I began to cry, but this time they were happy tears. They were tears of joy! He held me as we prayed, thanking God for the blessing of a positive pregnancy test.

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We had waited more than 27 months to see those two pink lines. I had wanted to be pregnant for nearly 36 months as this point and could not believe that what I had desired, prayed for, begged to have, cried over, and craved was finally here.

Please read this next part carefully. I want to be very clear when I write this.

God is the reason that we are pregnant. God gave us this baby. Yes, this was our first infertility procedure, but God allowed it to work. God gave the doctors and nurses the ability to help us and God sent this sweet baby to us.

I also understand that there are still so many people out there who are dealing with infertility currently. I know that the first, second, and third procedures do not always work. I am not trying to add salt to the wound, but instead trying to share our story to encourage you. I want to shed some light onto what we have walked (more like been carried by God) through. There is hope. You are not alone. Please do not sit in dark rooms (like I did) and feel as if no one can understand.

I did take another pregnancy test and it confirmed the results of the first test. This Thanksgiving we sat with family, knowing in our hearts that we were pregnant. We waited to tell people until the blood work confirmed the pregnancy a few days later. But that’s another story for another day. 

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Will It Work

At the beginning of November 2015 we began our IUI process. We knew people who had many failed IUIs and we were trying to stay positive but realistic. It was scary to get too excited after all of the months of failed attempts with medicines and tests and hopes of a baby. This process of trying to start a family had changed us. We were no longer focused on what the perfect due date would be, having a beautiful way of revealing the pregnancy, or trying to put on the front of life being perfect. We were broken hearted, beat up emotionally, and needed saving from this painful experience of infertility. 

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Each week in November we were going to the doctor. We had an ultrasound to check my ovaries for eggs. We started medicine to cause my ovulation. Had another ultrasound to look for egg development and blood work to check for ovulation. We were doing at home ovulation checks for the exact day of ovulation. We had the IUI on November 13th and more bloodwork a week later to check my progesterone levels. We started progesterone suppositories  since my level was slightly low (which called for an emergency run to a pharmacy in Atlanta since not everywhere has this) and more bloodwork. 

All of this effort and we weren’t even sure if we were pregnant. We didn’t know if it was going to work. We were so hopeful, so ready to be parents. 

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We had been heartbroken many times before. We were timid and reserved with what we would share and who we would share with. We wanted our little bundle of joy, but didn’t want to have the world watching us if this didn’t work. 

I can remember praying for many things during this month. Health, happiness, a baby, God’s timing…but what I remember most about this time was praying that God use this time to pull me towards Him and not allow me to push Him away. 

Will this work? God it is all in your hands. If this gives us a baby it is only because You allowed it to work. Send us your child. Bless us with a little one to raise up in Your way. 

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