What if God Does Not Provide?

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One of my favorite infertility bloggers, A Sweet Aroma, graciously allowed me to re-blog one of her posts.  I was scrolling through her posts and this one stood out to me.  It truly encompasses so much of what this journey is like and I for one needed (and still need!) that faith booster.

Thank you, Brandy, for sharing your blog post!!

What If God Doesnt Provide TTC

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Husband and I were on the last leg of our trip to San Diego.
It was a late evening flight on the Eve of Thanksgiving.
Most of the cabin (including Joel) was asleep.
I couldn’t seem to quiet my brain to join them so I pulled out my Bible, journal, and devotion.
The first real bit of peace and quiet I’d had all day.

I was a day behind on my Thanksgiving series so I decided to play catch up….
Interestingly enough the 2 days were “Give Thanks in Plenty” and “Give Thanks in Want.”
Just that morning I had shared my few day old letter to the Two Week Wait.
I knew that during our time with Joel’s family we would know one way or the other….
Was my womb filled with plenty or filled with want?

The perspective from the devotion left me in tears.
The moment held such chilling intimacy that’s not predicted on a plane packed with passengers.
As the tears faded and my eyes grew tired, I turned on my music, laid over on the window
and hoped to get some rest.
I dozed off while dreaming of having good news to share with our California family.

But that dream was short lived… even shorter than I expected.

I woke up on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, to find out that my womb was filled with want.
My baby-home was still empty and next summer would not hold a child for me to hold.

Visit A Sweet Aroma to read the rest of her wonderful post.31 Days ttc infertility

Secondary Infertility – Guest Post

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The National Center for Health Statistics states that 300 million women of childbearing age in the US have secondary infertility.  Secondary infertility is when a couple is able to get pregnant and have a child but they experience infertility when trying for another baby.

I met Kaitlin before our last move and I knew that she was one of those 300 million.  I asked her to guest post for my series.  Her honesty really blessed me and brought tears to my eyes.  I hope that it blesses you as well!

Thank you for sharing, Kaitlin!

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secondary infertility TTC

When my husband and I decided that we were ready to try for baby number two, we assumed that things would happen quickly. After all, I had gotten pregnant with our oldest daughter quickly, within three months of stopping birth control. So once we began trying, we eagerly began to plan for our sweet little girl to have a sibling very close in age. We dreamed they would share toys, a room, and have a playmate there at home.

Even though my cycles had returned early after the birth of my daughter (we had not been successful with breastfeeding, so it returned early) and were regular, each month I was disappointed when my period came. It became harder and harder to deal with the disappointment each month. In the spring of 2013, when we had been trying for about ten months, I began to admit to myself that something might be wrong, that there might be a medical reason that I was not pregnant. Until this point, I hadn’t been ready to admit to myself that anything was wrong. I began to research trouble getting pregnant and infertility. I was recommended the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility (a very informative read). I learned about charting and temping, and began incorporating these into my daily routine. This gave me new hope that maybe this was the key I had been missing all along. I became confident that I was going to get pregnant this time.

However, several more months passed. When we reached the year mark of trying to get pregnant, I went to my doctor and requested a referral to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. This is key when treating infertility. An Ob/gyn is not skilled in treating infertility. An RE will order the correct testing, perform the correct monitoring (there are side effects associated with some fertility medications that can be detrimental to your body if they are not monitored properly), and offer the most insight into treating infertility.

When we saw the RE, he ordered blood work, and ultrasound, and a semen analysis for my husband. When our results came in, we received the diagnosis of Unexplained Secondary Infertility. Our first course of treatment was Clomid.

We ultimately did two cycles of Clomid alone, and then one with progesterone supplements in addition to the Clomid. The progesterone caused a lump to appear in my breast, which led to me stopping the progesterone until the lump was checked out (it was a cyst). This cycle was unsuccessful, and after this we began to financially think about and prepare financially for IUI (intra-uterine insemination). We took a break for the cycle after the progesterone scare, allowing us to enjoy the holidays without the stress of timing sex and monitoring appointments. Shockingly, this was the cycle that I became pregnant.

The hardest part of this journey, which was short-lived compared to many couple’s, was the impact this had on my faith. When we began trying to get pregnant, I was still dealing with some trauma from my daughter’s birth/postpartum and my failure to breastfeed, and now I felt as though my body was failing me in yet another way. I struggled with bitterness, as I watched friends and family members become pregnant and give birth. I was asked by well-meaning family members when we were having another baby.

It was all I could do to not scream every time someone asked me. I couldn’t talk about my hurt, especially with people who were pregnant, because it simply hurt too much. Every time I saw someone announce they were pregnant on Facebook, I cried. I lost friends during this journey. I felt isolated and alone. The place where I found a lot of support was a Facebook group for women dealing with secondary infertility. I could say the things there that I couldn’t say to other people – such as that I was angry with God. I was angry when I saw people who didn’t take care of their babies get pregnant again. I was angry that I had such a hole in my heart that seemed like it would never be filled.

Despite my anger and bitterness, I did believe that this desire for another child was from God. I believed that He would see me through this. How it would end, I didn’t know. But I kept praying. I had a song that really spoke to my heart during this time – The Civil Wars’ “From This Valley” has a line that goes “Oh I will pray pray pray until I see your smiling face”, and that line resonated with me deeply. When I heard this song for the first time, I felt a deep reassurance in my soul. It helped me to keep praying, even through the moments that I felt like I was screaming and God wasn’t listening, when I felt like my prayers were hitting the ceiling. Infertility was a huge test to my faith in this way – it was the first time that I felt as though God wasn’t listening. Dealing with this forced me to truly apply my faith and to truly trust God even when I could not see how this would end.

I got pregnant with my second daughter after nineteen months of trying. Over the nineteen months, I struggled with bitterness, loneliness, and anger. It is important to seek support when going through infertility. Whether it is through an online group, a counselor, or a close friend, it is important to have somewhere to talk about it. It is also important to do your research. You have to be your own advocate in your care. Take care of yourself emotionally and physically – go for walks, eat healthy foods, and take time to do something relaxing that you enjoy. Keep praying, even when it is hard. God promised that He would never leave us or forsake us, and that holds true even when we do not understand the situation or can’t feel His presence. He is still there.

Hugs and prayers to all women facing this struggle. You are not alone.

31 Days ttc infertility

Finding Peace When Trying to Conceive – Guest Post

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Today a fellow blogger shares about how to find peace when trying to conceive.  Martha shares a bit of her story as well as some practical ideas on ways to work through the grief.  Thank you so much, Martha!!

Finding Peace when Trying to Conceive

By Martha Artyomenko

infertility TTC peace

 

You don’t have to look far to notice that you seem to be surrounded by pregnant women. If you didn’t know you were imagining it, it can almost seem they are taunting you with their good fortune.

The worst are the women that complain about pregnancy, moan about how their birth control failed or even the articles about abortion that fill the Internet.

While your arms ache to just have those aches and pains, you also struggle with finding peace in the lack, and possibly even anger in the interim.

The question of the hour is how to find peace. I don’t claim to know the answer to that. I cannot say that I have discovered that.  I have never experienced infertility in the true sense of the word, but I hope that this somehow encourages you anyhow.

For me, my life took a drastic turn after my own pregnancies. I realized that my husband would never be mentally able to help me raise our children that we had. This also went for any future children that I had assumed we would have.

One of the things that helped me to find peace was the stages of grief. Realizing that it was okay to grieve, even though I did have children was helpful for me. Now for those of you that have no children, it can be extra difficult as it can almost feel like you are giving up to get to the acceptance stage.

Here are our five stages:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

For each of us, it will look different. In my case, it was between God and I. I found that though, as I walked through these stages, some practical things were very helpful as well.

Journaling-

When I released the anger onto the page, it seemed to lose some of its power. It was similar with the depression, the bargaining, and the denial. Acceptance went down easier than the others, but in looking back, you could see the progressive journey.

Focusing on others-

We can often focus on what we need, and forget that others around us have needs we could possibly meet.  There are times when it seems to rip your heart out to see a happy mom and baby. But what if you knew that mom was in her own stage of depression and really just needed you to hold the baby? Reaching out to others around you can bring a healing balm when you least expect it. MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) were a group that did this for me. I ended up volunteering and was a leader for several years.  It was out of my comfort zone, and I refused to talk and stayed in the background for the first two years. But slowly, after healing began to set in, it worked on my heart. I began to see how even though I didn’t believe it could happen, I was seeing the pain in others and not just my own.

Look to those that are ahead of you-

I have learned so many great lessons from those that are referred to as elderly among us. They have no reason to have a façade often. There are many people that are forgotten, unheard, and sometimes unvisited. Their lessons can give us peace that things can change, and quite rapidly. Sit. Listen to their stories of their own struggles as they lived with their loved ones. Learn how they discovered peace in their lives. The one vast difference that I have noticed is between the ones that depended on the Lord, and those that did not. We can learn how we want to live and how we do not want to live in these visits.

 

To sum this up, before you lose interest. Seek God as you journey through your stages of grieving. Realize that grieving does not mean losing hope. It can be once you find acceptance with Joy, (to quote Mountains of Spices by Hannah Hurnard), you can discover you have the most hope and peace.

Martha Artyomenko is a labor and prenatal support doula. You can find her on her blogs or on FB.
http://homeschooling4boyz.wordpress.com

http://laborpainzsupport.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Labor-Support-Services-433940003350261/timeline/

 

31 Days ttc infertility

Guest Post: True meaning of a SAHM

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Today I have a guest post from my sister, Melinda.  She is an
amazing Mom of two.  I appreciate her sharing this and I

am sure many of us can relate.  I hope you are encouraged!

 

As I held my six-week-old son, I found myself frustrated. I was stuck holding a fussy baby while there was so much else I needed to do. Rather than holding him, I could have been busy reading, writing, working on business related projects, cleaning, or enjoying time to myself. Who knew how long I’d have to hold and rock this baby until he fell asleep? Who knew how long I would be distracted from other tasks while I comforted this little one?

In the first weeks of my son’s life, I found myself thinking similar thoughts countless times. Motherhood was distracting me from my real job. It kept me from working, and I would get stressed that I wouldn’t make business deadlines. Laundry piled up, and I felt like I would never be on top of it again. The apartment was in complete disarray. There was so much that I needed to take care of, but my son kept me from doing it.

Then one day when he was six-weeks-old, I caught myself as these rushed thoughts ran through my head.

He was my real job.

The laundry, the cleaning, the work—it could all wait. I am a stay-at-home mother, not a stay-at-home housecleaner or stay-at-home launderer. My primary job is to care for my children, and in this particular case, my primary job was to hold my son until he relaxed and fell asleep.

I find it so easy to get distracted. I want to be able to do it all. I want the laundry clean, folded and put away. I want the apartment spic and span. I want time to focus on me. But all those desires are distracting. My child needs me. He is the job I have chosen. He is the one that I must choose on a daily basis to dedicate my time to.

He is my real job.

When I think of motherhood as my primary job, my primary focus, I want to slow down. I want to enjoy the cuddles with a six-week-old baby, knowing that he won’t be this little for long. Yes, the laundry piles up, and the apartment could use some attention. But the laundry will always be waiting.

My son needs me.

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