I'm so glad you've joined us here for another awesome testimony on Wonderfully Filled Wombs! Angela's story is one of valleys and mountain tops. Her perseverance and honesty are such a blessing to me and I know they will be to you!
As a little girl, I imagined I would be married young with three little girls and live happily ever after. As an adult, my dreams didn't change in fact they started coming true. I met Ed at my corporate job and after having a few confirmations along the way, realized pretty early on that he was the man God had chosen for me. We were married in July 1999 and I was 27 years old. Two months prior to our wedding night, I started taking birth control pills. We wanted to wait a little while before having children and were looking forward to a time of being a newlywed couple.
We weren't a few weeks into our marriage when we figured out marriage wasn't exactly how we thought it would be. We were struggling to find our roles in the marriage, did a lot of arguing and were really having difficulty communicating with each other. We were two months into our marriage and I was secretly thinking I had made a mistake and should end the marriage. I am certain that Ed was thinking the same thing.
The stress of our marriage discontentment was compounded by the health problems I started having. I was waking up in the morning feeling exhausted and was beyond tired by the end of the day. I was thinking my iron was low and my past diagnosis of anemia had returned. I told my doctor my symptoms and she ordered blood work. When the results came back, she told me I was anemic, had an under active thyroid gland and that I was pregnant. I reminded her I was on birth control and she maintained that I was pregnant. We were shocked by this news and Ed was ecstatic! This completely changed the direction of our marriage. We believed that God had given us this baby despite the birth control, and we were supposed to fight for our marriage.
All the pregnancy milestones were fun and exciting and it eased the stress on our new marriage. Nine months ended quickly and Elonne Gabrielle was born in June 2000. After Elonne was born, I left my corporate job and stayed home to be with her. Everyday was an adventure and I felt so blessed to be her mom. One Sunday, after church, our pastor asked if he could hold Elonne. Of course, we agreed. We loved and respected our pastor very much. He sat down and gently held her with such a loving look. He then looked up to Ed and I and said in the most peculiar way, " You will have more children." We smiled at him while thinking, of course we will - we got pregnant with her while taking birth control.
We started considering the idea of having another child. And within a few months we were pregnant. It seemed I was very fertile. Ed and I couldn't wait for our first ultrasound. The technician started with measuring my uterus and then started looking for the baby. They couldn't find it. There was no baby. We found out that day that we had a blighted ovum. We were really taken off guard and were confused and sad. The doctor consoled us and assured us that this can be common. She encouraged us to try again and had no doubt that we would be pregnant again soon. We trusted the doctor and started trying again right away. Soon we were pregnant again, but we were much more guarded and not carefree. Actually we were nervous. I scheduled my eight week appointment and preliminary ultrasound but a few days before we were supposed to go, I started spotting and it led to a full on miscarriage. We were in disbelief.
Again, the doctor advised that miscarriages are common. I believed her but was praying that this was not going to be my story. As the months passed by, I became obsessed with having another child. I became the woman who had ovulation charted out monthly. I was scheduling out intimate moments with Ed based on my fertility cycle. Over the next three years we had four more pregnancies that became four more miscarriages. After a point, I stopped calling to schedule my eight week appointment. I would just wait and see if I was still pregnant at eight weeks and call then. Devastated does not really describe how I felt; numb was more appropriate.
Almost everyday of the prior three years, I was in fear. I was perpetually checking toilet tissue for blood. I was desperate, very depressed and scared. I had miscarriages at the most awful times. One happened during Christmas vacation and another happened on a the way to Disney World. I felt like a failure and I was so lonely. Don't get me wrong. Ed was there for every moment and by this time our marriage was so much stronger, but at times it seemed like I was having a personal battle with my own body and there wasn't any comfort that Ed could give me. I just kept praying and believing that we would have another child.
In the midst of this our life was undergoing some big changes. Ed got a new job and we relocated to another state. Once we were settled, I met with my new primary care doctor and she really helped me to investigate the miscarriages. I was referred to a hematologist who ordered an extensive blood work panel. That set of blood work revealed an extremely high homocysteine level and Hematologist suspected that during pregnancy, I developed a blood clotting disorder that caused the blood flow through the umbilical cord to slow and eventually clot preventing any nourishment for the developing baby. While he was reluctant to make any promises, he thought that he could treat the problem. For the first time in a long time, I had hope.
The treatment plan included taking an incredible dosage of folic acid, B-6 and B-12 for four to five months before trying to get pregnant again. I followed the plan exactly. He rechecked my levels and eventually gave the go ahead to start trying for a baby again. In a short while, we were pregnant. Once pregnant, I started doing blood thinner injections daily for the first eight weeks. We were so excited!!
At around nine weeks pregnant on Father's Day weekend, I started spotting and then bleeding. I was losing this baby and felt like I was losing my mind too. I was heartbroken. My doctor put me right back on the vitamin protocol and after a few months suggested we try again. I had finally reached the point in this awful journey where I relinquished control. I stopped charting my ovulation and stopped scheduling intimate moments. I was tired and decided that if it was meant to be it would be. It wasn't too long after that I became pregnant for the eleventh time. I was excited, but I was so nervous. We started the blood thinner injections immediately and we waited and prayed. Eight weeks came, ten weeks came, twelve weeks came and past. I made it through the first trimester!! Small bits of hope creeped in. The healthy pregnancy continued and at thirty-nine weeks, Jonathan Edward was born in March 2006. Praise God!
Leaving the hospital with Jonathan, I had this intense unmistakable feeling that we were supposed to have another baby. I wasn't sure of God's timing but I was sure I wasn't going to plan the pregnancy myself. We did have another pregnancy that ended in miscarriage within a year of Jonathan's birth and I was sad but didn't dwell on it. We were blessed with a surprise pregnancy a year later. I was so consumed with raising Elonne and Jonathan and not consumed with the idea of having another baby that a positive pregnancy test actually took me by surprise. We followed all the medical steps and I was able to carry the baby to term. Joshua Ethan was born in November 2008. After Joshua joined our family, we felt complete. I was 36 years old and was the happily married mom to one daughter and two sons, and it was God's plan for my life come true.
Looking back over our experience, two things really stand out. First, God planned our family. He told me through my pastor that we would have more children. That statement revealed the end of the journey, but didn't reveal the process to get there. God gave me hope to continue and not give up.
Second, even though at times I felt completely alone, I never was. The Bible says in Psalms 34:18 that God draws nigh to the broken hearted. God was always there.
How many of you can relate to that? God has revealed the end but not the journey? Today I'm praying that God will give us HOPE to continue and not give up.
Rachel: "I had to walk through the darkest loneliest of days before I saw that I was not truly saved."