I met Kristy in the lobby of our church last fall. I was immediately drawn the adorable baby she was holding in her arms at the time. For months she sat across the aisle from me in church and I didn't know her story. I joke with her that in a "longing to be a mama" kind of way, I was jealous of her. (Wait till you see the pics at the end... you'll understand.) But one morning after a women's Bible study in Chick-fil-A, the Lord had prompted Kristy to share her story with me. I tear up even now as I think about that morning and how much I needed to hear from her in that moment. Since then this beautiful momma has poured out love and prayers and encouragement on me in a way that only someone who's been there can. She knows the ache of an empty womb but also the extreme faithfulness of our God. I hope today you'll be as blessed by her story as I was that morning.
Looking back, it is very clear that I longed to be a mom from an early age. I spent endless hours pushing my cat around in my toy baby stroller, forcing my brother to play house and writing baby name lists in every notebook that I owned. I just assumed that someday I would get married, and we would have children when we were ready. I had never heard of anyone that struggled to start a family, so that was not a possibility that I ever considered. I certainly never dreamed of an almost 3 year struggle to get pregnant with my first child, but that was the path that I was led down. It was a lonely path paved with tears, disappointment and heartache. Each step that I took was painful and difficult, but ultimately brought me closer to God, and molded me into the wife and mother that I am today. I pray that sharing my story will give you hope, a little bit of peace, or simply the strength to face yet another day.
My husband and I met in 5th grade and started dating in 11th grade. We graduated from the same high school and same college. We got engaged a few months after our college graduation and got married a few months after that. We moved to Delaware and started getting very involved in our local church. We were enjoying life as a young married couple, serving in various ministries, and keeping busy with work and grad school. About a year and a half into our marriage, we decided it was time to stop preventing pregnancy and just see what would happen.
As soon as I knew that the possibility of pregnancy was there, I started to get excited. My husband wasn’t in a hurry, but would have been happy if I got pregnant. I, on the other hand, almost instantly started praying and hoping it would happen right away. It didn’t take long for the thought of pregnancy and my future children to start consuming me. I made it about 6 months before I started to take things into my own hands. I started tracking my weight, daily temperature, signs & symptoms, my mood, and when we were intimate. Since I have always had very irregular cycles, trying to determine when I was ovulating was a huge challenge. My husband started to feel like I had him on a schedule, and I started to pull away from him because he wasn’t as emotional about the situation as I was. Our marriage was never in trouble, but we were certainly not enjoying the married life that God had intended for us.
Fast forward a few months. After discussions with my husband, prayer and consideration, we decided that I needed to do a lot less tracking. The only thing I tracked from then on was days between cycles, which ranged anywhere from 31-84 days. This resulted in only 20 cycles between May 2007 & March 2010 and more than 15 negative pregnancy tests. It was so hard. Every time I took a test was a result of being completely sure that I was pregnant, again, only to find out that I wasn’t, again. I dreamed. I hoped. I rarely thought of anything else. It consumed me.
During the years of struggling with infertility, I often prayed, “Lord, have Your way in our family”. I felt like I meant it each time, but looking back, I now know that I was really saying, “Lord, I want Your way to include a child for me. Please give me that child soon.” Finally, in January of 2009 while at a retreat, I put my family into God’s hands completely and fully. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Between sobs, I whispered, “Lord, I want what you want. If that means I will not ever carry my own child, I will still praise You.” In that moment, I felt different. Trusting God, and truly allowing Him to have full control over my family, released the pressure of feeling like I could do it myself. I’d love to say that the next month I got pregnant, but that was not the case. The pain and desperation didn’t go away as I continued to read negative pregnancy tests each month or two, but now I truly believed that God was carrying me through it all. Trusting in the Lord did not take the pain away, but it made it bearable.
Another few months passed and my husband reached the point where he was truly desiring and praying for a child. Again, I thought that we would certainly get pregnant right away because he was fully ready, but again, that was not the case. We were now over 2 years into our battle with infertility. We didn’t talk to many people about it, except for those closest to us or the ones that pushed us too far by asking too many questions. Most people that we talked to suggested that we go to the doctor for testing, but neither of us felt at peace about that at any point during our struggle. We chose to follow what God had laid on our hearts, and we never had any medical testing or intervention done. (Side note ~ Each journey is different. The only “right way” to handle infertility is to follow whatever God directs you to do and not allow outside influences to steer you away from what He desires for your life!)
We continued to seek after the Lord together. Sometime nearing the end of 2009, we both felt like God laid on our hearts to never interfere with His plan for our family. It seemed so opposite of the world we live in today, and even what I had planned, but we decided that unless we heard from God again in the future to change the plan, we would never try to stop a pregnancy. It was certainly a huge step of faith. In January 2010, the Lord led my husband to give up a video game that had consumed too much of his life. That was a very difficult step for him, but he was faithful. A few weeks later, we were attending the same retreat as the previous year. This time, my husband was the one at the altar. That night, he was completely delivered from an almost 15 year battle with a pornography addiction that he had never told anyone about. What could have been something to tear us apart, brought us closer than ever before because of the work that God had done in our lives leading up to that retreat. I truly believe that the steps of faith that we made amidst our deep struggle, allowed God to play out His perfect timing and plan in our lives. In the weeks that followed, despite the ever-present longing for a sweet baby to add to our family, we were at such peace because we were seeing the amazing ways that God was moving in our lives.
Two months later, the moment that I had dreamed of for years came to life…a positive pregnancy test. That was almost 5 years ago today, and I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was amazing. The early ultrasound confirmed that I had a “normal” 28 day cycle. I had not had a 28 day cycle AT ALL during the 2 years and 9 months leading up to this one, proving yet again that God was in complete control. I felt like my struggles were finally over. However, I quickly realized through a suspected miscarriage and a few other health issues throughout the pregnancy, that our struggles are never gone, they are just different. I have had to continually put my family into God’s hands over the past 5 years, and it doesn’t get any easier to give up control!
I am so blessed and happy to report that I did not miscarry that first pregnancy. Our first son, Jordan, was born in November 2010, nearly 5 years into our marriage. A year after his birth, I was pregnant again with our daughter, Lily. And, a year after she was born, I was pregnant with our third blessing, Isaac, who is now 10 months old. We still feel that God is asking us to allow Him full control, so we have no idea if, or when, another little one will join our family. We have no idea how we will financially, and sometimes emotionally, provide for our little miracles, but we know that God does…and He will. Just like He will for you. Somehow. Someday. You will look back over these difficult months or years and be able to say, “Wow! God, You are so good, so loving, so creative and so amazing! Thank You for loving me this much!” Until that day comes, know that you being prayed for, that you are loved and that you will make it…one day at a time…one step at a time.
What is Wonderfully Filled Wombs all about?
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