It is the end of National Infertility Awareness week and I have been thinking about if I would even address it this year. This time last year I was able to celebrate my miracle baby and how her story has affected me and so many others around me, but this year it feels different. Not that she isn’t my miracle any more, because I assure you she is exactly what I prayed for. But this year my heart is crying this song, Oh My Soul.
Do you find yourself waiting a lot? Waiting for a table at a restaurant. Waiting in a doctor’s office. Waiting for test results. Waiting for a pay check. Waiting on love or marriage. Waiting on a baby. That’s mine. I find myself waiting to be pregnant.
People insisted that we needed to be careful after our first arrived, because we may get a surprise sooner than we wanted. My thoughts? That would be AWESOME! I would have praised God for that gift. Time has passed and surprises were not given and now I find myself waiting. Waiting again for a baby to come from heaven, created by the only one who can create life, as a gift to our family.
Waiting is hard. Waiting is emotional (at least for me). Waiting teaches us so much. Because in the waiting we have to lean on God. In the waiting we have to rely on God. In the waiting we have to hope in God.
The Bible says in Psalm 130:5, “I wait for the Lord; I wait and hope in his word.” I know this scripture isn’t actually referring to waiting for a baby, but at the same time it is. The writer of this psalm is waiting for a redeemer, someone to correct his relationship with God. The writer is waiting on a baby who would come, a baby named Jesus.
I am so blessed to have a redeemer in Christ Jesus today. I am not waiting on someone to save me because I have a savior. But I love how this verse assures me that I can wait for the Lord and have hope in his word. I can lean on the promises of God and know they are true. I will cling to the cross, my redeemer and wait.
Waiting still isn’t easy, especially when people ask if there are plans for a second, or if we are pregnant, or trying,
but with hope in God’s word we will wait.
When you’re little and not so coordinated you may fall and scrap your knee. It may even leave a scar, a mark that will always be there not matter how much time has passed. Every time you see the scar you will probably remember how you got it, the pain, how old you were or where you were at the time. The wound will heal, but the memory remains. Sometimes those memories bring us pain, not a physical pain, but an emotional one.
Infertility is my scar. Even though God has helped us overcome this hurt before, we still wear the reminder on our hearts. We still feel the emotional pain of it. I don’t know that I will ever recover completely from the journey infertility took me on. I don’t know that I want to either. All I know is that God has given me the desire to have more children. He has blessed us with good health, a happy home, and this deep desire to give Hannah biological siblings.
Right now my scar is causing pain, pain so real I would say it is physical. But my God is bigger than this pain. My God has overcome sin, death, and the grave; He can definitely handle my scar and the memories it brings back. My God wants to hear the desires of my heart. My God wants me to cast my cares upon Him, so today I am trying to let go of my scar and the pain it causes and trust that God will care for me and my desires. He wants you to do the same. Let’s stop looking at our scars and remembering the pain and instead trust God with them. He can heal them all!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!