GOD’S FAITHFULNESS THROUGH INFERTILITY
As I announced last week, Dave and I are expecting our first child! Baby Ly is tentatively scheduled to arrive on May 26, and we couldn’t be more excited.
For us, getting pregnant was not an easy task.
It was a journey filled with let downs, heartbreak, many cries on my dog (she is a great comforter), but also growth, peace, and eventually happiness. When I look back on the last 2 1/2 years I can see how God was with us the entire time, and how He was just waiting for us to trust in His perfect timing.
I want to write this to encourage and give hope to all those couples out there who are dealing with infertility issues. I want to share my story to let you know that there is always hope and that all things are possible with God. And although I don’t know God’s plan for life specifically, and I don’t know if He will bless you with a child, I can promise that if you trust Him He will fill your life with more joy and peace that you could ever imagine.
Here’s our story: (oh, and just to warn all my male readers, I’ll be sharing some personal girly things- just so you know)
When I was about 23 years old I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, or better know as PCOS. The diagnosis came after multiple trips to multiple doctors and some painful symptoms. I had so many cysts that they were pushing on nerves and causing terrible leg pain. Another tell tale sign of my PCOS was the fact that I had never had a regular period, or been able to have a period without medication (from the end of high school on). The doctors said my lack of periods could be causing the cysts to pile up, which was causing my pain.
The doctor put me on birth control in order to make me menstruate each month, and I stayed on it until Dave and I were married in 2010. When we got married we had planned to wait a year or two before “trying” to have kids. That was our plan, but God soon let me know He had another plan for us.
About three months after we were married I called my OBGYN to refill my birth control prescription, and I got an overwhelming sense that I was doing something wrong. I can’t explain it really, I was just being convicted by the Holy Spirit to not go back on birth control. I felt God saying that by being on birth control we weren’t trusting in His timing, we were just trying to manufacture our own. Now, before I go any further I want to say that I do not feel that using birth control while married is wrong. I think that it is a very necessary thing for many couples, and I don’t have a personal conviction against it in general—God was just convicting me of our own situation.
I told Dave that night that I felt I should get off of birth control, and he let me know he felt the same way. It was a very scary thing, let me tell you! I remember even crying because I wasn’t sure if I was ready to let go of that type of control. In my head I thought that as soon as we “pulled the goalie” I would get pregnant, but that’s not exactly how it happened.
You see, I wasn’t ovulating on my own. And since I stopped taking birth control, I also stopped getting my period and some painful cysts came back.
3 months went by, 6 months, 9 months, and then a year. Nothing.
At that point I was taking a pregnancy test once every month, and every time the test would come back negative it would break my heart.
A little over a year after we started informally trying, I started getting some early pregnancy symptoms. I knew it was too early for anything to show up on a pregnancy test, but I really believed that this was it! A few days later while I was at work I started getting really intense period-like cramps. I was sad because I figured I was just getting my period for the first time (in months!) and was not pregnant after all. A few hours after the cramps started I started bleeding very heavily (while I was still at work). It was not like any period I had ever known. The pain and bleeding was so intense that I was worried I wouldn’t be able to drive myself home. I remember praying the whole car ride, which thankfully was only 15 minutes, that God would stop the pain and bleeding and save my baby. But the bleeding and cramps didn’t stop, and I soon started passing large blood clots.
I was having a miscarriage.
Having to pass all of the blood and blood clots was traumatizing to say the least. I had to take off a week from work and spent most of the days crying or just staring at the wall. It was hard enough to know that we had lost a baby, but it was worse having to feel it all come out of me. Still, God remained faithful and I soon realized how good He had been in that situation. I realized how much harder it would have been to lose the baby at 12 weeks or even later, and He had saved us from that heartbreak.
Following the miscarriage I had several invasive procedures to try to figure out the source of the miscarriage, and they discovered I had a polyp on my uterus. So I went into surgery to have a D & C and polypectomy. Then a few months later we started trying once again to get pregnant.
I was worried that we’d have trouble conceiving due to my PCOS, so I asked my OBGYN if I could get on fertility medication to help me ovulate. Before they would give me the medication, Clomid, they had me endure another invasive procedure. I had a hysterosalpingogram to check my uterus and to see if my fallopian tubes were open. All looked normal, and I was excited to start the Clomid. However, I had a really hard time getting the medication. The nurse wouldn’t call me back, or they’d say they wanted me to take another test. It seemed like every time I tried to get Clomid a door was shut in my face. I was starting to panic because I was leaving my job and my insurance was about to expire. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get access to the same medication on Dave’s insurance and so it was like watching the clock countdown. I kept praying that God would help me get the Clomid, but it wasn’t happening.
Finally, at the last minute I got ahold of the Clomid. But once I had it, I had that same feeling I had had a year ago with my birth control. I realized that maybe the reason why it had been so hard to get was because God didn’t want me taking it. Once again I was trying to trust in my own power to make this pregnancy happen, and I wasn’t trusting in His. So the Clomid sat in my drawer and I decided not to take it.
In August (of 2012) I finally gave the whole infertility issue up to God. Instead of looking for solutions myself, I looked to Him. I felt compelled to get my body healthy and try to rid myself of PCOS naturally. I completely change by diet, taking out refined sugar and refined carbohydrates. I was eating tons of fruits and vegetables each day, and also working out more consistently. I started losing weight, and I felt absolutely fantastic! After about a month of my new diet I was shocked when I got (what I thought was) my first “natural” period in over ten years. I was amazed at how quickly my body had regulated itself, and it encouraged me to keep on with this new healthy lifestyle.
But soon I didn’t feel so great. I started feeling really nauseous and extremely tired all the time. I didn’t understand why all of a sudden I would feel this way when I had been feeling so good. A little voice inside me started saying “hmmm what if you’re pregnant?” But I didn’t think that was possible at all since in my mind I had just had my period. Still, the symptoms didn’t go away and I was starting to drive myself crazy with the “what if’s.” So on Monday, September 24th I took a pregnancy test—not because I thought it would be positive, but so it would say “negative” and could just stop obsessing about it.
You can imagine my COMPLETE surprise when it was positive! In fact, my first reaction after I saw it was to throw up. Yeah, I know, not the best story. I called Dave at work to tell him, and the rest is well…a story for another blog post.
As soon as we gave up control and stopped trying to get pregnant in our own strength, He stepped in and granted us the desire of our heart. It’s so beautiful to look back and see the ways He was quietly preparing us for our pregnancy at this time, and how perfect His timing is. If we had gotten pregnant earlier, or instead of having a miscarriage, we probably wouldn’t be going to Taiwan. I’ve learned through all of this that God just wants us to give up control, be willing to be a part of whatever His plan is, and He will do the rest in ways that are more wonderful than we could ever dream up ourselves.
If you’re struggling with infertility I know how hard it is. But I want you to know that there is a God who loves you, knows you, and knows what you’re going through. He is right there with you, even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes. He is just waiting for you to give everything up to Him and He’ll be there to wrap you in His arms and carry out His perfect will for your life.