Hello everyone! If you are popping in from Kelly's Korner this week then you are very welcome!Although mine is a small blog compared to hers, it's similar in that I also share my love of Christ and the adventures of my Irish husband Brian and our two girls Teagan (2.5) and Isla (11 months). I also write about my role as an Advocate for Compassion International and a bit o' crafty/DIY inspiration. I hope you will become a follower. And if you have been hit with the Pinterest crafting bug then please come back on Tuesdays for my Destination: Inspiration linky parties!
"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not onto your own understanding, in all of your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path."
Proverbs 3:5A Beautiful Beginning
When my mother told me as a high school teenager not to rush into marriage I don't think she ever suspected how long I would heed her advice! I traveled the world with school and my job and even lived in Japan for two years. I was blessed to meet Brian in my late twenties. We dated a whopping 5.5 years before we got married in front of 80 of our closest friends and family via a destination wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico! I was 35 years old. I never felt happier and life was working out just as I planned. As a project manager and risk consultant I felt any issue could be solved if you planned well and took a task-oriented approach to solving it.
Looking back there were clues that I would run into fertility problems as early as my adolescence but at the time I assumed that all was well and we would have a baby in our arms in no time! After several weeks of feeling queasy I became so confused when my first pregnancy test showed a clear positive but before I could get back into town to tell Brian there was no longer a trace of a line on any subsequent test. I think this was my very first miscarriage though it was never medically confirmed.
The next few years brought a series of challenges including a tough schedule that had me traveling a lot, a cross-country move where we left our closest friends, not being able to sell our house, Brian having trouble finding a new job...it was as if we were stuck in mud and couldn't move forward or backward. And to make matters worse we couldn't get pregnant. My doctor had us try Clomid but after just one month he referred us to a fertility specialist.
Testing, Testing - This is Only a Test...
The next few years brought test after test as doctors tried to determine why we couldn't get pregnant. And just when I couldn't take anymore tests...a light! We were scheduled for IUI (Intrauterine Insemination). This was it! I was SURE now we'd get pregnant. But the first round of treatment didn't work. We were devastated. The wait was long but the next time we tried we got a positive test result! A positive! I skipped happily into the reproductive endocrinologist's office for my blood work that morning and headed off to work to wait for the phone call with a confirmation. I was so absolutely confident we were pregnant that...as crazy as it sounds, I bought a baby onesie over my lunch break. I remember feeling faint when my nurse called to tell me she had bad news. The numbers indicated the pregnancy wasn't viable. I was stunned and kept saying over and over, "But I'm pregnant..."
Praise You in This Storm
Even now I find it hard to get into some of the details of our path to parenthood. Another miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy when we least expected it...God bless The Casting Crowns!! I would listen to Praise You in This Storm by The Casting Crowns each day on my drive to work and home, over and over. It was like a salve on my aching heart that helped me actually make it through each day. Looking back I truly feel God brought me to my knees to show my project manager, type A self that His plans for me are far more wonderful than anything I could come up with. That I need to rely on HIS will, not mine.
But I hope in sharing my story with others that I can give you HOPE. My doctor said something very important to me: It is not IF you become a parent, it is WHEN. Ultimately our options were Invitrofertilization (IVF) or adoption. I swore we would never go as far as IVF in our quest to become parents. My heart was conflicted but it was also raw and someone close to us was going through a very tough adoption process. After taking four months to collect our thoughts and pray for God's will we ultimately chose the IVF route. And once we did, I found peace. As I saw our little embryos on the screen in the procedure room my doctor, who is a Christian, explained that he had taken us as far as science could but that this had to be of God for it to work.
The Desires of My Heart.....
For about a year now I've wanted to share the story of our path to parenthood. I found the infertility highway a road of loneliness, at times hope, and at others despair. I felt numb, cold, isolated and that I must be the only person in my social group going through these trials. I am not sure why this is one condition that isolates us as women. Perhaps it is too painful to talk about? Or, as in my case, I felt that I was less of a woman because I couldn't "do" what every woman in the world could do - give my husband...myself...a baby?
But thankfully I found my voice. I was open and honest about our setbacks. With friends and family. With strangers. And it was at the moment when I was most vulnerable that I found some peace in the form of others who seemed grateful to be able to talk. To relate. I so hope this provides peace for you my friend. I would be privileged to pray for you. Please comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more privacy. In the meantime, let us pray together:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Please hear our hearts today. Hearts that beg for a child, for children in our homes, God. Our minds tell us that you are in control, that you have great plans for us but oh, the hours are long and our souls become weary. Lift us into your arms. Give us strength. Give us hope. Help us to be open to your path to parenthood for us. We pray that we can praise you in this storm and learn what you want us to from this experience. Give us the gift of patience and perseverance.
In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.