Last Fall I had just began opening up about our struggle to conceive. I was struggling to find other bloggers that approached infertility with a faith-based focus and was starting to wonder if I'd ever find blogger friends in my niche. I needed encouragement and motivation and was praying God would lead me to a blog that I could relate to. After a post by a cooking blog I follow about verifying your blog on Pinterest, I started Googling how to accomplish this with a Blogger blog. I followed the first link and was thrilled to check it off my to-do list. Right as I was about to leave the page I noticed a tab that said "infertility." I had already established it was Christian blog from the name "A Royal Daughter." Not only did I find tons of Christ-centered encouragement for my struggle; I also found a long list of other infertility blogs. When I read the title "With Great Expectation," I immediately clicked on given that I feel the Lord has commanded me to wait expectantly every month. Logan's page stayed open for weeks on my computer as I read her story and her incredible perspective and vulnerability in infertility! I'm honored to have her share her story with you today!
As far back as I can remember, I was that girl: the little girl who had a baby doll attached to my hip 100% of the time, the little girl who pretended to be a mommy before I could articulate full sentences, the girl who wanted to be everything that my own mother was.
Then I grew up. I met my husband when we were in college in Nashville, Tennessee. We dated casually, off and on, until our senior year, when we started seriously dating, and eventually praying about and discussing marriage. We both graduated in May of 2010 and got married in August that same year. And I was still that girl. I had a job that I enjoyed. I was a hard worker and a good employee, but I was not career-minded at all. Instead I dreamed of us having children and my staying home with them. I did not know what that would look like given my husband's salary as a teacher, but I knew that was the desire of my heart, and I knew it would happen.
I even had a nice little, organized timeline (insert eye roll here.)
A year into our marriage, Andrew and I bought a house outside Nashville, near the high school where he taught. Fast forward another year later, and Andrew was in such a state of unrest regarding his job. He felt unfulfilled, and knew that he did not want to teach school long-term. After lots of prayer, several closed doors, and several opened ones, Andrew applied and was accepted into chiropractic school in Atlanta, Georgia.
So we put our house up for rent, Andrew finished out the school year, and then we moved to Atlanta for us to start what would be a long, challenging, and scary season of our lives and marriage.
By the time we moved to Atlanta I'd already had five cycles of Clomid under my belt. I'd started seeing doctors very shortly into my marriage, because I'd not had a period in years. I knew we wanted to start a family soon, and I knew that could not happen if I was not having cycles at all. My body had been completely unresponsive to Clomid, and doctors were, more or less, unresponsive to my concerns, dismissing them due to my young age and otherwise good health.
You are so young.
You have plenty of time.
You just have lazy ovaries.
I heard those things over and over and over again. When we moved to Georgia, I was determined to find a doctor who would take me seriously. My first step was to find an OB-GYN that I liked. This never did happen! I saw a doctor who again prescribed Clomid. I took it for the sixth time, before finally deciding that I'd had enough.
At the time, I was working from home, and going into an office only once a week. My commute to our weekly office meetings was really long, and every Thursday, halfway between home and office, I passed a huge billboard with the face of a sweet baby on it. All it said was "IVF.com." I knew nothing about IVF other than that it was a pretty extreme process, and although I was certain we were nowhere near that point, God kept bringing that billboard back into my mind. For months, when I agonized and prayed over what we should do, that billboard came to mind. Finally, in November of 2012, I visited the website, picked up the phone, and made an appointment. I felt like this was it.... the doctor I'd been waiting for.
Several tests confirmed PCOS, and my doctor prescribed Metformin. She felt certain that a few months on Metformin would do the trick, and that we'd be pregnant in no time. I had a new lease on life, and was so hopeful. But after my third month on Metformin, no periods, and of course, no pregnancy, I began to feel disheartened again.
At one point, when I was wondering if maybe I hadn't found the right doctor after all, the fertility clinic called me to let me know that my doctor had left the practice, and that I was being transferred to another doctor in the practice. My heart leapt, and I just hoped this was a God-thing. After Andrew and I met the new doctor, we both knew God had sent us to her.
After three frustrating and unsuccessful IUI procedures, we began to pursue IVF. We jumped right in not knowing much about it at all. All we knew was that we had been praying for our future children, we'd been praying for this wonderful doctor that God had brought into our lives, and we'd been praying for wisdom. When the idea of IVF was presented to us, we didn't hesitate. I did not research, or take time to make a calculated decision (which is so unlike me.) We went for it with complete peace of mind.
Our IVF story is long, and we hit so many road blocks. But we saw God though every moment. We began the process in June of 2013, and found out we were pregnant in October, after a frozen transfer. Our fresh transfer was cancelled due to severe ovarian hyper-stimulation. We went through so many discouraging moments during those months. And looking back on them, it is incredibly obvious that God's hand was in all of it. All of the hard moments of IVF served a purpose that eventually led to our daughter's life.
God is constantly interrupting my well-laid-out plans and timelines with His downright insane ones. And if there is one thing infertility has taught me it's this: When we open our hearts to Christ, we open our lives to the unexpected. We open our lives to plans that are so much bigger than ours, plans that are out of this world, and out of the realm of our comprehension.
Infertility is so hard. Wanting and waiting for something with no guarantee that it will ever come is indescribably hard. But the hardness of it taught me so much. It taught me not to wish for another time, or another season. These moments, weeks, months, and years of infertility feel heavy. That is the love of a mother. It is so heavy. All of you mommas-in-waiting are being conditioned to carry it. Love is conditioning you before you have a baby to hold in your arms. Your love for your children is growing before they've even been conceived.
Mine and my husband's struggle with infertility was painful in every way, but God used that storm to bring so much sunshine into our lives. He used infertility to cultivate a richer relationship with Him. He used it to bring my husband and me closer to one another. He used it to bring so many amazing women into my life who are going through similar struggles. God used infertility to change me... to change my heart, and to change my life. While I was waiting, and wading through the muck of infertility, God was working. He always works while we wait.
On June 15, 2014, my waiting ended when our own little ray of sunshine came into this world. Holding that little 6 pound, 14 ounce bundle in my arms for the first time lifted the heavy weight of infertility that had been such a part of me for so many years.
Bonnie is my constant reminder that God is a God of grace. He is Hope and He is Love. He is a God who loves to give good gifts to His children. And He gave us the best gift when He gave us His son, on a cross, dying for sins that were not His to bear.
Every gift beyond that is just extra.
Make sure to head on over to Logan's blog (With Great Expectation) for encouragement, PCOS info, and updates on Bonnie!
If you are struggling with infertility I would love to hear from you and pray for you!
To read the heart behind Wonderfully Filled Wombs & other inspirational stories see the links below:
Rachel: "I had to walk through the darkest loneliest of days before I saw that I was not truly saved."