In an effort to be a bit more transparent and share a very personal part of our current story I thought I'd do ONE big post about our journey to get pregnant with a second child and how it's been more than just a biological journey...it's been a faith one. (Don't worry, I don't intend on turning this into an "infertility blog"- and just for the record I'm not in love with that term and I hope not to be in this state for too much longer.)
I knew "going public" on my blog about our desire to get pregnant and inability to would open up the door for people to see into our "private" life...but I was hoping to encourage others and perhaps get a little encouragement myself...
During this season I have been struck by how many people are in the same boat as me (and of course how MANY people really aren't), just as becoming a mother was a quick way to feel connected to other women, struggling with infertility has you connecting on a much more painful level. This season has also made me aware of how ashamed we can feel about not getting pregnant...how even sharing that you're "trying" feels like you're revealing such a huge secret. I often wonder why that is. Is it because we are left feeling vulnerable? Victim to a process we ultimately have no control of? Worried that we'll be pitied? Viewed as damaged, weak? I know I kind of cringe these days when I hear that one more person is pregnant before me...whose first child is several weeks, months, perhaps even a year younger than Wes. I HATE that I feel that way and am ashamed to admit it. (I am willing to admit that it's a struggle of mine, but I also want those out there who are pregnant to know that I truly am happy for you, but that yes, it is a reminder that I do not currently have my hearts desire, which is hard.)
Our biological journey:
Since having a c-section with Wes and not getting pregnant within 6 months of trying fear was slowly born...what if they put things back wrong? What if my fallopian tube got twisted? What if scar tissue has taken over my uterus? What if I have a unicornuate uterus? The questions kept piling up and in an effort to calm them my doctor suggested running a few tests. The first was an MRI that I did last May (ish). The shape of my uterus checked out fine- I had all the parts I needed.
And after that I thought I was being too paranoid and just needed to be patient and not waste our money...we'd try over the summer and surely, surely I'd get pregnant. But October rolled around and I had Wes' second birthday on the horizon (November) which had been my "I just want to get pregnant before Wes turns 2" deadline. (I'm supposed to be well into my 2nd trimester here people!) So, I made another call to my doctor and she suggested doing a dye test to check that my fallopian tubes weren't blocked...and they were great, but while I was at the appointment the doctor suggested they do an ultrasound on my ovaries to be sure that my body was preparing to release eggs. They said they like to see between 6-10 eggs being prepared in both ovaries. I had 9 on one side and 11 on the other. What's this about infertility? Not by the looks of it! Blood work? Maybe this is a hormone problem. Nope. No answers.
The doctor felt like over time Jeff and I would certainly get pregnant. BUT if we wanted a little assistance to make it happen faster we could try IUI (intra-uterine insemination). We weren't prepared to go that route. But believe me, there are months that I just chant "IUI, IUI" to Jeff, like it's my new mantra.
Our faith journey:
Shortly after the news that there was nothing "wrong" with Jeff or I we began talking about IUI. I was a little more interested in the idea, trying to convince Jeff that God was still ultimately in control of whether or not we got pregnant, whether the procedure worked.
It had been awhile since we had gone to church, but there we were sitting in the pew...listening to the story of Abraham. I feel like every direction I turn lately...church, talking with friends, etc. I have been confronted with the story of Abraham. How at 90 God promised he and his barren wife a son and how they just kept "doing the work" but it didn't happen in "their timing" and so he slept with the maid servant and had a child...he then asked the Lord to bless *that* child and God replied, that was not the child He promised him, Sarah would be pregnant in a year (I paraphrase), and Abraham laughed. He felt so discouraged (as I am often feeling these days) like having a child was never going to happen for Sarah...but God promised him again and Abraham had the faith that God could make a miracle happen. And he did. I remember looking at Jeff and saying, "is he talking directly to us?" Is this about IUI? Is this about pregnancy in general? I felt convicted and believe this is how the Holy Spirit works. (Note: I'm very grateful modern medicines ability to help people get pregnant, and though we feel called to wait on going this route for the time being, this may very well be something we explore in the future. I am making no judgment calls on IUI or other fertility procedures.)
Each month I have been praying that I will get pregnant, or that I will be fine with the Lord's timing...but I haven't been that faithful. I have found myself saying, well Abraham had God *actually* speaking to him and if I had God tell me "you will get pregnant" I would believe it and I would know that it was going to happen. Why can't I feel that way now? Didn't God put this desire in my heart? Hasn't God been speaking to me all along? Have I stopped to listen?
When Jeff and I were debriefing about this Abraham revelation he mentioned there was a Bible verse in the New Testament that had a similar theme. And would you believe that last week when I decided to read some daily scriptures on my iphone (which I seriously never do, but should) the following passage was on my list?
Mark 11 22:24
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Maybe God IS *actually* talking to me.
This past weekend, with this scripture on the forefront of my mind, I drove quite a distance to a childhood friend's baby shower (of course) and literally everywhere I looked there were mountains, the Olympics in my rear-view, the Cascades ahead of me, Mt. Rainier to my right. It was as if God was daring me to ask them to throw themselves into the sea.
I hope it doesn't seem like I'm over spiritualizing this experience, it's all very real to me. And like a good friend of mine said to me, after courageously calling off her wedding a year ago, I don't want to go through this experience for nothing...I want to come out changed, improved, praising God with a grateful heart.
I also wish that at the end of this I could say...ps. I'm pregnant...but I'm not even sure what's happening with my cycle this month (I gave up the ovulation kits since they weren't helping us get pregnant anyway).
Your prayers would be greatly appreciated. But I'm also hoping my prayers will be free of doubt in my heart and that I can give God the faith He deserves.
Thanks for sticking with this post through to the very end. Despite wanting to be pregnant we are still filled with much joy and appreciation for the blessings we have. Jeff and Wes are pretty incredible gifts and if that's all I end up "getting" I will remain one happy woman!