The Pain of Infertility – part 3

This is the 4th post in the series  “Fertility:  It’s In God’s Hands, Not Ours

You can read the previous posts here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

fertility pic

You have heard Ruth’s side of the story, and now I’d like to just add a few thoughts of mine.

I’ve said it before, and it’s SO true —one of the HARDEST things about being a mom is watching your kids go through trials, and not being able to “fix” it.  I saw Ruth cry, but at the same time I saw her grow.  I saw her trusting the Lord through her pain, and there’s no way to say how much that blessed this mama’s heart.  Sometimes God allows those hurts to bring glory to Him, and as moms, we have to “let go and let God”.

How do you handle it when one of your “kids” is hurting so badly?

1.  I listened when she wanted to talk about it.

2.  Sometimes I cried with her; sometimes I cried when talking to God about it, and asking Him to comfort her.

3.  I prayed for her daily.

3.  As much as I WANTED to, I didn’t ask God to let her get pregnant. I know God has a reason for everything, and His timing is perfect.  I didn’t want to ask Him do something that I thought was best, because His ways aren’t our ways, and His ways are above ours.

4.  As much as I wanted to,  I also didn’t ask God to take the pain and difficulty away, because often that is such a huge way that our kids grow, and their faith becomes stronger.  Difficulties are intended to help us grow, and I didn’t want to ask God to take that opportunity from her.  (Believe me, I WANTED to ask Him to take the pain away, and let her get pregnant right away!)

5.  I DID ask God to comfort her, and to give her the grace and strength she needed to deal with the pain and disappointment she was struggling with.

6. I rejoiced as I saw God helping her, and how He taught her to trust Him through her heart ache.  I heard it in our conversations, and she expressed it in her story:

But as much as it hurt, I was okay with that, and told God many times over, that while I hoped He was going to allow me to get pregnant, I was willing to let Him do with us as He saw fit, as long as He gave us the grace to bear it. I had to learn that God is good, faithful and always right, and He did teach me that, and I will always believe it with all of my heart.

7.  I reminded God that He promised to hear and answer our prayers, and give us the desires of our heart if we trusted Him.   He knew Ruth’s desire, but I reminded Him of that, and said that I would love to see Him prove Himself, by giving her the desire of her heart, if that was His will.

It’s HARD to watch our children go through trials, but what a blessing to know they are safe in God’s hands, and that He is working all things out for good, and for His glory!  God is faithful, and we CAN trust Him always!

The Pain of Infertility – (continued)

This is  Part 3 of  Fertility – It’s in God’s Hands, Not Ours.

You can find PART 1 HERE, and PART 2 HERE.

fertility pic

So, back to the nitty gritty details, we were taking our 3-6 month break and trying to save money for further treatment, and really just beginning to relax and enjoy the break from the emotional pressure of it all. At some point in this time, my husband began mentioning things more and more often about being anxious for me to get pregnant, etc. He had been very supportive throughout all of this, but it was usually me who was the one talking about it, not him! He came to me one morning and said he had just had a “random thought” and didn’t know if it was just that, or maybe God trying to tell him something, but that he felt like we were going to get pregnant soon, and we were either going to find out around Thanksgiving or Christmas time. He also had a dream about me being pregnant. Take that for whatever it’s worth – I tried not to hope too much, but did think it was odd that Rob was having all these thoughts and dreaming about it too!

Somewhere within probably the second or third month of our break from treatment, I began to experience some pretty extreme exhaustion, and I was late on my cycle. I ignored all this because it had all happened before, and I was so very tired of getting my hopes up and taking pregnancy tests, only to find out that once again, it was nothing, just my body acting up again.

Fast forward a few weeks to December 14 2013, a Sunday. I woke up that day feeling a little nauseated, but once again, I blamed it on my body just doing weird things, because as I said, I had been through things like this before, and it was always a disappointing NOTHING!

However, this time the symptoms didn’t go away. My exhaustion was increasing, the nausea lasted for an entire week, and I was starting to get worried. Mind you, I was worried because I thought something was wrong – I absolutely did not suspect pregnancy. On Friday, December 19, I was so discouraged and scared about all these weird symptoms, I made an appointment with my family doctor, thinking that maybe we should do some blood work and see what in the world was wrong with me. After hearing me out on my history of fertility issues and my current symptoms, my doctor said he would be happy to order some blood work for me, but he also kindly suggested that I take a pregnancy test. I said I would, even though I really did not think anything was going to come of it.

The next morning, December 20, 2013, I got up to take the test, and within 30 seconds – it was a test that said to wait for 3 minutes before looking at the results, but of course I looked at it immediately – I saw 2 lines appear in the one testing window, and then a faint but very definite plus sign in the other. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I immediately ran to the bedroom where Rob was still in bed, and whispered frantically – “Come here! You have to look at this! I think I’m PREGNANT!” He came in and agreed that the test appeared to be quite clear. We hugged, we cried, we laughed and prayed and cried and laughed some more. 🙂

two pink lines

Nonetheless, this was so very hard for us to believe, we went out and bought another pregnancy test – a digital one, this time, because I wanted one that clearly spelled out “PREGNANT” for me – which I took the next morning. Once again, the instructions said that the results should appear within 3 minutes, but just like the other test the day before, the results were almost IMMEDIATE, and said “pregnant” very clearly. Now we knew it was true. 🙂

clear blue pregnant

We were able to share our Christmas miracle news with our immediate family members that week as we saw each of them throughout the Christmas holiday. Lots of tears and thanks to God was given as the announcement was made to each family. 🙂

We called the specialist immediately, and had our first appointment on December 26 2013, at which point we had an ultrasound which allowed us to see our baby and even see his heartbeat, which was quite truly the most amazing thing I have ever seen. The doctor also said that my blood work results were absolutely amazing as they were right on target, and questioned me as to whether or not we had tried something different to make all this happen, which just made me want to laugh with complete joy and awe all over again, because I know the answer to that question has nothing to do with Rob & I, and what we may or may not have done differently. Praise God for a miracle that only He could have done.

And here we are today, continuing to praise and thank God not only for this baby, but for His beautiful plans. I’ll never know why He allowed us to go through those 2 years of difficulty, and quite truthfully, I don’t NEED to know why. God has proven His faithfulness and love to us over and over and over again, even before we saw that positive pregnancy test, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind as to His perfect faithfulness and plans for our lives, always.

To God be all the glory and praise forever.

(That’s the end of Ruth’s beautiful, candid testimony of God’s grace through those difficult years of waiting.  In the next post, The Pain of Infertility 4, I will share some thoughts from MY perspective as a mom, as she went through this.)

 

The Pain of Infertility

This is Part 2 of  Fertility – It’s in God’s Hands, Not Ours.

You can find PART 1 HERE.

fertility pic

We made an appointment with a specialist, who was very encouraging and optimistic about my chances at pregnancy, our course of treatment, etc. Month #1, my body did not respond to the medication at all, so they doubled the dose for month #2, but once again, nothing. Month #3-4, they tried another medication which seemed to have slightly better results, but still nothing, so on month #5-6 they added another medication, with even better results, but still no pregnancy.

not pregnant

Throughout these months, my body was undergoing a lot of stress due to the medications, and the emotional difficulty, which I really don’t even know how to describe. Mother’s Day was very difficult for me – I felt like my “secret” was on display to the world, which was really not logical at all, but it’s how I felt. It’s not something I would have ever understood, had someone tried to tell me, until I went through it myself. It was a heart-wrenching, personal sort of pain and the emotional/mental/physical stress was constant. I took pregnancy tests several times over these months, because my cycle would sometimes show up one or two days late, and I was just so very hopeful, sometimes I think I imagined pregnancy symptoms (although in my defense, I have to mention that my body also mimicked some symptoms as well, due to the medications).

Well, fertility treatment gets very costly, and we ran out of money after several months of medication and specialist appointments, so due to that and the fact that I was beginning to feel as if I was losing my mind, we took a much needed break, for 2 or maybe 3 months. Nothing happened in those months, and after that, we were able to afford one more month of treatment before the money was really gone, and this time we knew it would be a minimum of 3 months, if not 6 months or longer before we would have enough money saved for father treatment.

At this point in time, this had all been going on for 2 years, a time frame which typically flies by in life, and while it was flying, every month also felt excruciatingly slow as we waited to see what might happen. Once again, I had to surrender my heart’s desire to God. He had been with me throughout all of this – I could not have done it without Him – and quite honestly, I had never questioned Him as to why this was happening. I had no problem surrendering to Him, because He was giving me the grace to trust Him, but with surrender, there is still pain, as you realize that in His infinite wisdom, God’s plans may in fact be very different from what you had planned for yourself. But as much as it hurt, I was okay with that, and told God many times over, that while I hoped He was going to allow me to get pregnant, I was willing to let Him do with us as He saw fit, as long as He gave us the grace to bear it. I had to learn that God is good, faithful and always right, and He did teach me that, and I will always believe it with all of my heart.

I’m talking a lot about how painful all of this was, because that’s the bare, ugly truth of it, and yet it is also true that I have never known God, and known His presence and grace so clearly as I did during this time. I had some very dark times, and I want to be honest about that. But even through those times, I knew if I could just hang on, daylight was coming, and God would sustain us.

One of the things that I prayed for regularly, was for God to be glorified through all of this – I said that I didn’t care if nobody else even saw Him working (although I also said it’d be great if they did), and I didn’t care if He never let me get pregnant – if He would let me see His hand in my life and see Him being glorified, I would be all right. I also began telling Him that if He NEVER allowed me to get pregnant, I would still love Him, and I would still praise Him. The ironic thing is, looking back now, I didn’t know it right away of course, but He did allow me to get pregnant in that time frame where I had really become very adamant in those specific prayers, and I just think that’s kind of interesting. 🙂

Throughout this journey, I also had someone write me a note, who had become aware of our struggle, and they told me how much of an encouragement I had been to them, as the joy of the Lord was evident in my life, in spite of the pain. This was a huge blessing to me, because it showed me that God WAS being glorified and He WAS working and using me to encourage others, even though I was sometimes merely speaking truth out loud – well, on my Facebook – in order to remind MYSELF of the truth!

To be continued in next post