It has been difficult for me to get my thoughts together for this post.
I am *the worst* at sharing personal/physical struggles, but the Lord has shown me time and again that when I break down those walls and share what God is doing in my life, the blessings flow.
When Brett and I first got married, we made the decision to not use birth control. We have absolutely nothing against it. We just were very eager to start a family and were hoping that the Lord would answer that prayer very quickly. For the first year of marriage, I spent so much money on pregnancy tests – it was absurd! I would get my hopes up every single month. I always felt like I had the “symptoms”. But as many of you who have gone through this know, a lot of those “feelings” can be in your head. (or a product of the stress and anticipation)
Year two, I was dealing with some other physical battles – so the thought of pregnancy wasn’t actively on my mind. But during years three and four, the emotional and mental battles were going at full force. It was extremely difficult for me to see babies/hear about others’ pregnancies/go to baby showers/etc. I became very depressed and withdrawn. These times were some of the lowest of my life. When I look back on it now, I fully see that my eyes were completely off the Lord. I allowed my circumstances to dictate my feelings. And I allowed my faithlessness to rule my life. At these low times, the truth of God’s sovereignty was just not believable to me. I am so thankful that during those difficult days, I had the support of my amazing husband and some extraordinarily godly women who prayed for me daily and lifted me up physically/emotionally and spiritually when I was weak. God is so good!
By year four, the fog started lifting. My God, faithful as He ever was, drew me continually closer to Himself, and I began to find my joy in Him again. Pregnancy news, babies, EVERYTHING began to get a lot easier to deal with. Exciting even!! By the end of year four of marriage, somehow it clicked into our minds to get help. (I look back and feel like shouting to us, “DUUUUUHHHHH!!!”) 😉
We visited an OBGYN who specialized in fertility, and she quickly found that there was a specific hurdle that we would have to jump through in order to get pregnant. But there was nothing that she thought would be super challenging. We did two IUIs (Intrauterine Insemination). Neither were successful.
Shortly after working with this OBGYN, the Lord directed us to move to Virginia Beach so Brett could begin seminary. We were disappointed to leave in the middle of treatments, but knew that this was what the Lord was calling us to do, so we went for it.
Brett and I both got full-time jobs shortly after moving down. And with Brett in seminary full-time and both of us working full-time, we had absolutely no time to seek help. Year five was a long year. Although we really enjoyed our jobs and such, one of our greatest desires – to have a family – didn’t seem to be in the near future for us. (meanwhile, ALL of my 4 sisters got pregnant that year. Thanks a lot, y’all!) 😉
The biggest blessing to me at this point was to be nannying for an amazing family who gave me the incredible blessing of caring for their little one when she was just a few months old. My mother and sister worried about me during this time – that I would get too attached/become too emotionally involved/etc. – and I probably did do all of those things. But I just see it as God’s goodness to allow that gaping, empty hole in my heart to be filled for a short while with some sweet little ones! But by the time my employer (I hate to use that stiff word because she is an amazing friend as well) became pregnant again…. I got the itch. And let me tell you, it itched something fierce! 😉
Brett and I began praying about how we could find the time in our busy schedules to do fertility treatments again. Literally DAYS later, my employer/friend told me that she was desiring to become a stay-at-home mom. My heart sunk at first because her little girls/their family have just been my life for the past year or so — but I also immediately thought, “THIS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE GOD!”
So after her baby was born, Brett and I sought out a fertility specialist and began working with The New Hope Center here in Virginia Beach. They asked us to redo all of the testing that we had done 2 years previous in NY. It was disappointing to have to go through all of it again. Besides the physical things, there is a constant emotional battle going on. But God was, OF COURSE, so faithful through it all.
Finally, a few weeks ago, we received the news that (without an absolute miracle from heaven), it would be impossible for us to have children naturally.
I cried. A lot. For a day or so, I just sat there mourning the things that I thought I was losing. I definitely, to my shame, had a pity party. And I invited a lot of people to that party, for which I am so sorry.
Again, my prayer warriors came around me and lifted me up before the Lord and encouraged me to see beyond the sorrow. The Lord directed me to listen to a message entitled “Why Trials?” The preacher started out by asking these questions:
#1) Do you believe that God is in control?
#2) Do you believe that God is good?
#3) Will you wait on Him by faith until the darkness becomes light?
I paused the sermon after he asked these questions and just cried before the Lord and answered these honestly before Him. I felt like the past few days I had been completely buckling under this trial – and was lashing out like never before. The preacher further spoke on the blessings of remaining UNDER your trials. He directed attention to 1 Peter 5:6-7 which says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lit you up in due time. Casting all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” This verse really spoke to my heart, along with a quote from the pastor that said, “The Christian who does not remain under the hand of God, will never see the purpose for the trial accomplished in their life.” So convicting. My immediate response to my trial was to bail, but the Spirit so faithfully drew me back to the Lord and encouraged me from God’s word to remain under this trial and to bear with it to see God’s purpose!
Soon after, we had our final meeting with our doctor, and he presented to us our only option to have biological children of our own: IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). We had previously read a bit about it and thought we were aware of the process.
We. Were. Sorely. Mistaken.
I feel like IVF is a blog for another day. Or perhaps a series of blogs, lol. Besides the enormous amount of hoops to jump through for IVF to happen and the moral and ethical decisions that we have to make – the cost is astronomical.
But we have been asking a TON of questions over the past few weeks since our final meeting and have prayed often as a couple and with our family and feel like at this point, God has opened the door for us to start IVF. We are so excited to see what God will do with this journey!
Please pray that we will PRAISE the Lord whether it is successful or whether it is not.
Side Note: We will be posting updates throughout our IVF treatment on our GoFundMe account. Here is the link if you are interested: https://www.gofundme.com/nt57xbt4 .