February 2006, Matt and I had just celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary. We were waist deep in friendships with couples just a few years older than us that all had young children. My desire ever since I can remember has been to be a mommy, not just any mommy, but a stay at home mommy. All our friends made that challenge seem so easy, simple. I began asking Matt if we could try for a baby and he quickly responded, “No - I’m not ready.” My heart was immediately broken, but I pressed on. Eventually, Matt caved under the pressure even though he was still very unsure about the whole idea. We agreed that March would be a great time to start. I considered this to be my birthday present of sorts - so for my 24th birthday we began the simple task of trying for a baby. I was so thrilled to think that in no time I would be pregnant, I would quit my job, and I would finally have my dream. Unfortunately, that is not how it worked out at all!
Weeks turned into months and then 9 months went by and I had not become pregnant. If that wasn’t bad enough all of my friends had become pregnant in those 9 months (this is not an exaggeration). For nearly 12 months straight from the time I started trying for my own baby, I had 12 friends/family become pregnant, most with their 2nd child. I was devastated by their exciting news. At first it was easy to be happy and excited but if I’m honest, by friend number 4 or 5 I found myself becoming extremely jealous and hurt that God wouldn’t let me be the one with the exciting news.
My attitude had gotten so sour that I had to experience the swift hand of discipline from my loving Heavenly Father. I can look back now and be thankful for that discipline, but it was not a pleasant experience at all!
The straw that broke the camel’s back was the day all my girlfriends and I were out for our weekly lunch and I discovered, before anyone else , that my most favorite person at that table was pregnant. I held back the tears all the way through that lunch. There I was, poor, pitiful me, and 4 pregnant friends. I called Matt in hysterics that day, complaining about how unfair it was. Once I got home the Lord quickly dealt with me. He told me I had to call this sweet precious friend and apologize. I thought, “Apologize?! She didn’t even know I was jealous and angry, why should I have to apologize?” Reluctantly, I picked up the phone, trying to swallow my tears and with fear and trembling I had to admit my faults, apologize, and ask forgiveness. Instead of writing me off, this sweet friend became my #1 fan and my most committed prayer partner in my journey.
After this experience, I got myself up and dusted off my knees and got back to trying for a baby with a new hope. Then, the unthinkable happened to me! I ended up on a steroid medication to clear up a nasty skin irritation, when I finished that medication I found myself having one long period. “How long could it have been?”, you might be thinking 7, 10, or even 12 days; but I’m talking about 40 days! I was miserable and confused. On top of all that I quickly began gaining weight, an unreasonable amount of weight. Strangers and acquaintances alike began asking me if I was pregnant - so there I went, right back into my pit! On day 35 of that 40 day period I finally got in with my doctor. He got my cycle straightened out, but it required 3 months of birth control pills - not what I wanted to hear! When those 3 months were over, 1 whole year had passed since my journey to becoming a mommy had begun.
With Matt now 100% on board with wanting to have a baby, we decided to turn to a commonly known fertility drug called clomid. A simple pill to be taken 5 days a month - not too hard right? Well it required much more than simply swallowing a pill for 5 days. I had to chart my basal body temperature, go for blood work on a certain day each month and return for a follow-up appointment at the end of each cycle. We would compare charts, and blood work to see if my cycle was in line and eventually we discovered I wasn’t ovulating regularly. With this in my mind, my sweet doctor decided to up my dosage of clomid - basically doubling the amount I had been taking. My body, however, did not like this at all! You see, clomid triggers your brain to naturally release more estrogen into your system - as you can imagine, my emotions spun out of control. Happy one minute, irate the next and then weepy after that. BBT Chart Example
By now I had become a pro at taking my temperature at 3am everyday and my charts were beginning to look great - finally something positive! I was doing so good I no longer required the blood work to confirm what my basal body temperature charts were telling us. I had begun to frequent my doctor’s office so often that they all together quit charging me a co-pay.
Things were beginning to look up for us, but our hope began to dwindle - again. You see, no one ever suggested that my husband get checked out and tested. When we took this step we found out we had quite a problem. Our problem was low sperm count, and out of that low count there were not many strong ones. Thankfully, there was a solution, according to our doctors. So on to surgery we went. We picked our hopes back up to start again, but found ourselves to be quite exhausted by all the processes of the recent past.
Somewhere during that time I received that strong hand of discipline AGAIN - this time the Lord sent it through my momma - NOT GOOD! She opened my eyes to the fact that becoming pregnant had become my idol - WHOA that was hard - so on my knees I went. After I allowed the Lord to clean me up things got much easier, emotionally anyway. Now Matt’s problem was fixed, and I was working properly but nothing was happening. We decided to try an in office procedure - this was very exciting and stressful at the same time. We didn’t even know how it was going to be paid for since our insurance didn’t cover fertility procedures. There was one hold up - the doctor wanted to double-check that I was really in full working order - so back to surgery we go, only this time it was me. Good news, my tubes were clear, everything was in the right location, and he was able to remove a small amount of endometriosis. I recovered and the next thing you know the big day was finally here.
We had all our friend and family join with us to cover this procedure in prayer and fasting - our faith was big and it was loud. It was so loud that we proclaimed to everyone we WERE going to have a baby in 2008 (or at least get pregnant).The procedure we were having done is called and IUI - and it sort of hurt! I just knew this was it, it just had to work. Boy was I wrong - that was extremely disappointing, thankfully the IUI ended up not costing us a dime!
At this point 2 years have gone by and my emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual being were so completely exhausted. We made a tough decision to come off the meds and step away.
The journey did not end here but in this time of stepping away we learned some great lessons. We continued to actively try for a baby, but no longer allowed our efforts to be our immediate concern. We were able to get back to us and find our love for one another again. In that time, several more friends and acquaintances had babies and I was able to truly rejoice with them. God is so good, he took me from a place of spiritual immaturity and grew and stretched me in many areas.
The greatest lesson here is to try to step back and truly seek out what God is trying to teach you in times of heartache and waiting. Do you need to learn full dependence on Him? Do you need a true lesson in patience? Do you have an idol in your life that God does not want to compete with? Do you need to learn how to focus on other besides yourself? Whatever you think you can learn - try to learn it early. What I learned was that He will continually give you the exact same test over and over again, until you pass it with flying colors and a pure heart!
If you have walked this journey or are walking it today, please know you are not alone. Find a support group, open up to your friends and family. Don’t be ashamed of your trials, allow the Lord to use them for His glory and your testimony. Whatever your ending may be, I promise God can use it for good and His Glory. My story didn’t and doesn’t end here.
The next leg of my journey has never been put into words - so stay tuned…