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BARRENNESS, LOSS, HEALING, AND HOPE PART 1

The husband and I started our "Winter Project" in February of 2013.  We were excited to expand our family and we had expectations that the process wouldn't take very long.  All of our friends had gotten pregnant within 1-3 months so we thought we'll probably take that long too since we're young and healthy.  I felt like singing from the rooftops because I was so happy to get off of birth control.  My humble opinion is that birth control pills should really be made for men.  It makes more sense to unload a gun than to shoot a bullet proof vest.  Just sayin'!!

From the very beginning, we decided that we would take care of me as if we were already pregnant.  Prenatal vitamin-check. No alcohol or coffee-check. No sushi-check. And so on and so forth.  We prayed and asked the Lord to bless us with a child in His timing.  And we trusted Him.

I charted my periods, fluids, and temperatures daily (I recommend Fertility Friend and make sure to get the free phone app) and read books (I recommend Taking Charge of Your Fertility), and blogs.  In case all of that wasn't enough, we used an OPK.  I also decided how I wanted to tell my husband that we were pregnant and even created part of the announcement in advance.  But, I would learn that I wouldn't be having anything to announce for some time...and every month we didn't conceive was devastating for me.  I cried.  I cried a lot.  Seeing friend after friend after friend announce their pregnancies, planned ones and surprise ones, and posting their baby bump updates online was all the more heart breaking.  At one point in time, I had nineteen pregnant girlfriends.  Yes, you read that right.  19.

Winter turned to Spring and then to Summer.  To shift our focus a bit, my husband and I decided to sign up for CrossFit and workout together.  I had always said I wanted to be in the best shape that I could be once we did get pregnant and felt like this was what would help get me there.  We also decided to stop reading those pregnancy magazines and books in hopes that there would be less pressure and stress about trying to conceive.

For so many months, I swam in the cycle of stability, frustration, heartbreak, and doubt.  We never told any family members that we were trying because we wanted it to be a surprise since my two older siblings have growing families and we were the last ones.  Some of our friends and coworkers knew that we were trying and knew that I had been struggling emotionally.  Though they tried to be encouraging and of course their intentions were good, nothing seemed to help.  Aah, the unsolicited advice.  They'd say "just relax", "don't worry or stress about it", "go on vacation", "it will happen, just don't think about it," or even better, "it will happen once you stop trying."  Ah, or this one, "you're still so young; you have plenty of time."  Every word felt like a slap in the face.  First of all, while stress might be a contributing factor to infertility for some, "just relaxing" is really not the answer.  Relaxing won't heal a uterus or help sperm swim.  Second of all, how can I not think about it?  Because ya know, it's not all consuming or anything.  Thirdly, I'm in my 30s and at age 35 your eggs are considered "geriatric."  My doctor two years ago told me to "get on the stick" as if my time was already running out.

When you as a couple decide that you want to start trying for a baby, you feel ready no matter your age. And adding years won't do anything for infertility besides make it worse.  It became difficult to respond to questions about when we wanted to have children and it was even difficult hanging out with my pregnant girlfriends.  Not to mention seeing daily, yes daily, posts on social media from friends and their pregnancy updates.  UGH.  And.  Their.  Complaints.  About.  Being.  Pregnant.  I made excuses for why I was unavailable to hang out with my pregnant girlfriends, and even declined baby shower invites.  I began getting really caught up in negative thinking.  And jealousy.  And bitterness.  And anger.  It became all-consuming.  So, I did what anyone would do...I hid every single pregnant friend on all of the social media outlets!!

My husband gently spoke to me and reminded me that everything happens for a reason.  That we're in this together.  He reminded me that God is faithful and that we get to trust in the Lord.  We may not understand what God's doing but we know who God is.  I am so grateful for my husband's encouragement and love.  He isn't the perfect husband, but he is perfect for me.  I am not the perfect wife, but we are perfect together.

Stress began to build up again.  I was transferred to a new position at work with more responsibility and my husband was temporarily laid off...right during the holidays.  I started studying my schoolwork again for that someday time when I would be blessed to work from home like we had planned for the last few years.  So much was going on.  I began working longer hours.  Exhausted all the time.  Emotional.  Depressed even.  But God carried us.  We were carried by His constant grace.  I didn't realize this until my Mom pointed it out to me, but God really provided financially for us while my husband was laid off and I was working all of those extra hours.  Thank You Lord.

2013 came and went and here we were at the one year mark.  At the end of February I decided that two years was long enough and scheduled my annual pap exam. Initially I thought a year ago I'd go in once we were pregnant.  That of course didn't happen.  During the phone conversation with the receptionist at the doctor's office, I requested that she please document a note in my chart for the doctor informing him that we had been trying to get pregnant for the last year.  Almost without taking a breathe, she responded with, "He will not address any of those issues or questions during your visit.  You must schedule an infertility consultation..."  She continued with something about payment and medical insurance though I was too fixated on the first part of her statement.  I was blown away at how insensitive her response was to me, but more importantly I was caught off guard by the title of the consultation.  infertility.  We ended the conversation and I really didn't know what to think or say.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would be in a place where we might need infertility treatments.  I believed in my heart that the Lord was up to something and I knew we were waiting on His timing.

Click HERE for Part 2 and HERE for Part 3.

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