“This cannot be happening to me.”
I said that numerous times to my husband as we walked through this season. Have you ever been there? Maybe your situation was cancer or singleness or loneliness or infertility. Most recently in my life, it was the latter. I had been through the dark waters of infertility, on my knees, pleading with the Lord for more friends and family members than I would like to count. This could not be my journey—but it was. My husband and I found ourselves on a road that quickly turned a little bumpier than we imagined. While we are not yet on the “other side,” I am hopeful that my story will be a source of encouragement to any of you walking through a gloomy season.
Infertility journeys, like all life situations, are unique to each individual or couple going through the experience. No two are the same. These experiences can be similar, maybe, but they’re always different. Some of my friends (and probably some of you) have journeyed for years to have children, including months and months of shots, medicines, procedures, etc., while others have seen progress more quickly or with less assistance. However, in every case, desires and expectations are not met within the time-frame we expect. Whether you find yourself backing out of the driveway on your journey to fertility or doing 80 m.p.h. on the interstate halfway across the country, metaphorically speaking, your journey matters.
Over three years ago, my husband and I were ready to start our family. So, naturally, I had the birth month of our first child picked out; we were going to have a baby in the fall of 2020. Then COVID-19 happened. Things were going okay for a while, and I knew it might take more time than I originally allotted, but in the spring of 2020 my cycles started doing some unusual things. My doctor confirmed that many of her patients were seeing the pandemic put stress on their bodies in similar ways. So, I started taking medicine. Because of the confidence of my OB/GYN, I scheduled an appointment with a fertility doctor for four months out and waited.
Three months later, I was pregnant! Relief and an overwhelming sense of gratitude poured over me. At our eight-week appointment, the ultrasound was a little concerning, but my doctor said to be “cautiously optimistic.” My blood work came back great! All my levels were increasing as they should, so we were optimistic. I returned a few weeks later, on my birthday, for a check-up to see how things had progressed. If things were good, we would finally share our news with family. What better way for us to share than at my own birthday celebration?
Then, the ultrasound tech looked worried. I was able to hold it together for the rest of our appointment. I even remember telling my husband that I felt sorry that my doctor had to share the news with us—a miscarriage. My doctor was gentle, compassionate, and encouraging. (Talk about a job with high highs and low lows!)
We grieved. Grief is a funny thing. I don’t mean it’s laughable-funny, but it’s strange-funny. Everyone grieves differently. My husband processed quickly, was very sad, but remained filled with tremendous hope trusting that “He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23b)” no matter what. I felt numb, worked to process all the things, and clung to that same hope. I did not previously realize the extensive process of recovering mentally and physically from a miscarriage at such an early stage in pregnancy, but I slowly reentered my normal daily routines. We were surrounded by an incredible community, many of whom also have stories of infertility and miscarriage, so we did not feel alone.
Visiting a Specialist
Months passed and I realized that my initial consult with the fertility doctor (that I had cancelled because I was pregnant) should maybe be rescheduled. At least we could get peace of mind that we didn’t have other fertility obstacles to consider for the future, right? The fertility clinic had a last-minute cancellation and we proceeded with the poking and prodding with thankful hearts. The kindness and wisdom of the fertility crew was unmatched.
A few months later, we were told yet again that my bloodwork showed that “we weren’t pregnant, but we were going to completely change up our plan for next month.” News was always delivered in the most encouraging and convincing tone, but it always left me devastated. Days went by, and I finally took a cheap pregnancy test. (It took me a while to be convinced that those work, but they do!) When it was positive, I upgraded to an expensive one, just to be sure. My nurse practitioner was surprised to get my call and said, “stranger things have happened, but this certainly tops the list.” We know it was the Lord. And, Lord willing, this June we will welcome our miracle baby into our family.
While this story appears to be tied up with a pretty pink bow, my story doesn’t end here. My husband and I know we will continue to face trials and hardships throughout our lifetime. My prayer is that we look back on this time as an ebenezer to remember what God has done and how he will continue to work for His glory throughout our lives, sometimes answering the way we hope, while other times allowing us to walk through trials that ultimately point us back to Him.
There are so many details left untold in my story, but I hope this gives you a glimpse into the faithfulness of God, the importance of community, and the significance of the journey. YOUR journey matters. Keep trudging forward.