Opening the Bottle and Sharing My Story…..
This is not an easy blog post for me, but it is one that I feel God is leading me to share with you guys. Believe me when I say that it has got to be God doing the nudging on this, because I am a “bottler.” Yep, I tend to “bottle” things. I don’t like to share really personal things, and I have a tendency to respond with, “nothing” when asked, “what’s wrong?”, even though my face cannot hide that something is bothering me. But alas, here I am about to open the bottle and share something really personal. Not because I want to have everyone know my business, but because I feel that God is wanting me to share my story so that it might help someone else. So bear with me if this post isn’t all “rainbows & butterflies”, and if I come across a bit spastic. It’s about to get real peeps.
April 10, 2010 was one of the happiest days of my life. The sun was shining. The skies were crystal blue. And I was about to marry the man of my dreams. Oh yes, to say I was overjoyed on that day is an understatement. Our family & friends all gathered to watch as we said our vows and committed our lives to one another. As I looked into my husband’s eyes I not only felt the love he had for me, but I knew it. I knew this man loved me with everything within him. I was totally smitten with him (and still am). The day after our wedding we headed off to spend a week in Savannah, GA. (If you have never been there before, I highly recommend you go at least once. It is a beautiful & magical place.) We had so much fun eating, touring, relaxing, and eating some more during that week. We also began discussing in more detail what we wanted as a married couple. And of course kids was one of our topics of discussion.
We already had three kids. He had two boys from a previous marriage, and I had a daughter from a previous marriage. But we knew that we wanted to have a child together. So, we thought that since we already had three kids there would be no sense in putting it off. We decided to go ahead and begin pursuing having a child together.
“This won’t be hard,” I thought to myself. We will have a beautiful baby in no time! Well, months passed and still no baby. I didn’t worry too much to begin with, as it did take me a year to get pregnant with my daughter. Then, a few more months passed. By this time, I was beginning to panic a bit. I shared my concern with my husband, who of course told me not to worry and that it would happen. I decided to at least consult with my doctor just to make sure. She told me that she saw no reason that we shouldn’t get pregnant, since I had one successful pregnancy (a had a miscarriage a year after giving birth to my daughter) and my husband had fathered two children already. She told me to give it to the following spring, and if I still wasn’t pregnant to come back. Well, spring rolled around and still no baby. I went back to my doctor, who then suggested having some tests run. “Here we go,” I thought. “Let the science experiment begin.” She also suggested that I begin charting and using ovulation predicting kits (OPKs). I began charting, temping, and using OPKs.
The first test was hysterosalpingogram (HSG). For those of you who do not know what this is, it is where you have blue dye released into your uterus to see whether or not you have blocked fallopian tubes. I was a bit nervous over this, as I didn’t really know what to expect. During the test, my blood pressure actually dropped a bit (I am guessing due to my nerves) but the nurses instructed me that was normal, and they helped me to balance out. I had cramps afterward, but no major side effects. My doctor came to talk with me after the procedure, and she informed me that everything looked good. I was relieved. She then explained that some women become pregnant after these procedures, as it actually flushes the tubes and uterus a bit. That got me a bit hopeful.
The second test was having my husband tested. His test came back normal, so nothing to sweat on his end. Ok, more hope! Then, a few more months went by and still not baby. By this time I was asking my doctor to test my hormones or anything else that could be tested. I wanted answers! She referred me to an RE.
The RE tested my progesterone levels, which came back normal. The RE discussed the next steps to take and all the possible outcomes of it all, but by this time it was appointment time. (My husband is a United Methodist Pastor, so we can be moved at appointment time). We got the news that we would be moving. So, I contacted my RE and explained that I could no longer continue with my appointments due to us moving, as well as it was getting to be super expensive.
I was losing hope at this time. Yes, I still prayed. Yes, I still cried out to God asking for our little blessing. Yes, I still believed that He was a God of miracles. But let me tell you, when you are walking through a very dark valley, it becomes very difficult to be a ray of sunshine. Anybody relate? My husband still was encouraging me and trying to be supportive and positive. He kept telling me, “We will have our child of promise, just like Abraham & Sarah.” I know he was being supportive, but when he said that all I could think was, “Dear God, please don’t wait until I am 90 years old and my husband is in 100’s before you bless us with our child of promise.” Just being real here folks. I kept picturing Sarah in her old age, and thinking that I didn’t want to be old when I finally got pregnant!
I have heard, “Oh it will happen”and “You already had one child, so you know you can get pregnant again.” Although these come from good motives and intentions (and sweet people), they cut like a knife when IT ISN”T HAPPENING for you. As you watch as your friends and complete strangers announce their pregnancies and post pictures all over Facebook, while you sit and wait and wait and wait and wait. All the while trying to cling to a God who you know is forever faithful, but you can’t understand why He is allowing you to go through this.
You cry out to Him daily asking Him, “Why?” You tell Him that you are mad at Him, and that you know He has a great and wonderful plan for you, but the life of you, you just can’t see it at the moment. You tell Him that you don’t want to be bitter and resentful, and you want to be genuinely happy for the ones who ARE getting pregnant, but you are just finding it difficult to do. You tell Him you just want to scream at Him. You find yourself praying to Him, not really sure if He hears your prayers any more. You question if this is a punishment for past sins. And the list goes on and on.
I have no idea why God is allowing this valley in my life. I have no way of knowing if I will ever have the joy of being pregnant again. Maybe God is leading us in the direction of adoption. I can’t answer that right now. But what I can know for sure, is that with all my doubts, tantrums, fits, insecurities, and questions, my God IS forever faithful. He has not left my side even though I have felt as if He has at times. When I cry, He cries. When I hurt, He hurts. And right now, I feel Him leading me to share my story. There are more women like me out there. Women struggling with infertility in way or another. Whether it is first time infertility, unexplained secondary infertility (my case), or some other form of infertility the hurt is just the same. The struggle is just the same. If you are one of these women, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And God has not abandoned you. I pray for you fellow sisters, and I hope that you won’t be afraid to share your story when the time is right.
I am still praying and believing for our child of promise (or children of promise). We even have names for them, Ada Willow Turner and Liam Eli Turner. Whether God blesses us with them through pregnancy or adoption, one day I will finally hold them in my arms.
Never give up beloveds. Never lose hope. Your Savior has you, cares for you, and loves you more than you can ever imagine.