I never thought I would have trouble getting pregnant. Nor, did I ever think that infertility could affect me the way that it has. I have been severely depressed, ashamed, and embarrassed. I have felt alone, and hopeless. My journey is not over, but I now know the Lord will lead us to the right decisions about next steps, and I am totally at peace with that for the first time in two years.
Being a mommy is something that I have always dreamed of. The desire to have and love children has driven most of my decisions—from becoming a teacher, to marrying a man who would make a good father, to buying a house with a back yard to play in. So, when my husband and I married 2½ years ago, we began planning for children almost immediately. My husband began the financial planning, and I began getting my body ready.
Soon after our first anniversary, we began trying in earnest to conceive. We used ovulation predictor kits and timed intercourse. I put my feet up in the air, took Robitussin, and did everything anyone told me to do! But, month after month, my cycle would start, and I would become sadder and sadder. I would cry, and I would blame my self for my past sins. Eventually, intimacy with my husband became rote and for the sole purpose to reproduce. We were only intimate during the time when I was ovulating, and we both began to resent it.
After six months of trying, I felt something might be wrong and consulted my OB/GYN. He said the next step was a sperm analysis. So, through a series of steps worthy of a sitcom, I transported my husband’s sample in a warm safe place for a 45 minute dash across town and through the hospital….where, after being misdirected to multiple locations in the building, I ended up having to practically yell to a sweet, little gray-haired, hard-of-hearing nurse in the middle of the hospital, “I HAVE SPERM– WHERE DO I GO TO DROP IT OFF?” I think everyone on that floor heard me, but I was finally directed to the right “drop-off” location, and I began to realize that fertility tests and treatments are not for the bashful!
Unfortunately, the sperm analysis came back abnormal, and we found out that he had a low count of quality sperm. Additionally, through another test, I found out that while one of my fallopian tube was open, the other was blocked. I began taking Clomid, and we went through three failed Intrauterine Inseminations (IUIs) before my doctor referred us to a specialist to pursue In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
I was devastated. I didn’t want to go through IVF, and I thought God was punishing me. I was mad at God for not answering my prayers. I began to sleep 15-18 hours a day. When I slept, I didn’t have to feel the pain; I didn’t have to face the many, many people that seemed to be happy with their babies; and I didn’t have to face the nagging question, “Are you pregnant yet?” My husband would get agitated at me for lying around all day. I would get mad that he didn’t understand my pain.
The specialist diagnosed me with PCOS and recommended IVF with ICSI (a procedure assist the sperm in fertilizing the egg). We discussed the procedure, but I still wasn’t comfortable with it. She said that I needed to loose 15-20 lbs. before we could proceed with IVF, but indicated we could do another IUI in the interim. When we went in for our fourth IUI, I had two eggs in the ovary by the open tube, but my husband’s sperm count was very low–only 600,000. The doctor wasn’t hopeful, but indicated they would proceed with the IUI anyway. I cried all the way home and prayed for God to answer my prayers this time.
Then, two weeks later, when I took a home pregnancy test and saw a faint pink line, I thought my prayers had finally been answered. My husband and I were ecstatic! When I went for a blood test, the nurse reassured me that false positives were rare, but said they wanted to check my Beta HGC count to be sure it was a viable pregnancy. The phone call that came was filled with both joy and sorrow. After I heard the words I had waited so long for, “Congratulations, you’re pregnant!” the nurse cautioned me that my Beta HGC was very low, a likely indication that the pregnancy would not last. The numbers continued to drop, and six days later, I lost my baby.
I was beyond devastation and would cry and sob alone. “Will I ever have a baby of my own?” I thought. My faith in the power of prayer was crushed and even doubted that He would anser my prayers to be a mother. My husband tried to reassure me, and we began discussing the future possibility of adoption. We tried another IUI with no success, and I slid further into a state of depression. Our marriage was strained, and we didn’t like where it was headed. We had different ways of dealing with the emotions we faced and didn’t fully understand each other’s pain. We both felt we needed to take a break to recover emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
I saw a counselor who recommended antidepressants and a marriage counselor. I knew of another teacher who was also struggling with infertility, and I mustered up the courage to ask her how she was coping with all of it. She told me about a prayer group called Miracle Mothers that had helped her overcome depression. She explained the feeling she would get just to know that someone was praying over her! It sounded like the type of support I longed for, so I decided to attend the next meeting.
That first meeting was so amazing! Listening to all the women’s stories, their successes, and their struggles, it was nice to not feel so alone! I began to see that the Lord led me to this group. I began to understand that I was in need of spiritual healing. Karen was so dynamic and passionate about helping us through our struggles. The meeting left me emotionally exhausted, but with a sense of renewed faith and peace! Through Karen’s teaching, I learned that the Lord will fulfill His promises to me and that my past sins cannot separate me from His love—if I ask for His forgiveness. I learned that the Lord is never early and never late! He has a plan, which I can now see unfolding little by little. I now know that He will direct me to the path I should follow—whether IVF, adoption, IUI, or natural conception. WOW, what a weight that has been lifted off of me! Knowing that He is in control and I don’t have to be, I no longer feel pressure to do IVF or even know all the answers. I have put all my faith in Him, and I am giving Him my dreams!
In John 15:16, the Bible says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.” In John 15:7, He says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.” I believe God chose us and put this desire in our heart to give us children at His appointed time.
That first evening at Miracle Mothers, Karen spoke of “faith purchases” to prepare for the child to come in the same way a farmer prepares his fields. While the idea of buying baby stuff used to seem sad and desperate, it now feels like a step of faith! I bought an outfit for the baby; I cleaned out the room we will use as a nursery; I asked my mom for the rocker that she used to rock me; and I hung a cross that I had bought over a year ago. It feels so good to have a space for my child. I use the room as my praying room. I sit and think of my child and pray for the women that are struggling as I am. It feels good to pray for others, for their pregnancies, and for their families.
My husband and I have been going to counseling, and we are learning how to better love and support one another. I no longer feel alone in this journey, and I will continue to work on my life and my faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. We are praying for our miracle and looking forward to the day that we kiss our baby’s cheeks and cradle him in our arms. as we rock him to sleep in the antique rocker my mother has passed down to me.
I am so thankful that the Lord has led me to the Miracle Mothers Prayer group! I feel like I understand more of the lessons the Lord is trying to teach me and that maybe this infertility is a blessing. It has certainly brought my husband and me closer together. I feel like we can get through anything that comes our way. Most importantly, I feel that I am closer to the Lord, and I have a much stronger relationship with Him, as I depend on and trust in Him like never before!