So after much thought and suggestion from someone (wink wink... Amanda) to write about our story...I finally am going to take the plunge. Because that is what it is. A story of pain, confusion, anger, contentment, discontentment, hope, joy, encouragement and peace. Our story.
Infertility. A word I never thought would be apart of my life. A word that I don't like and yet has changed my life incredibly.
It has been three years since Ben and I started trying to have another little kiddo. For those of you who don't know...it took us about a year to conceive our beautiful Addison Rose. While pregnant, at 12 weeks we found out Addy was a twin and we lost the other baby. When Addy was born the doctors found a few cysts on my ovaries and cut them out at the time of the C-section. I gave little thought to what those cysts might mean.
Once Addy turned one we decided to try for another little blessing. However, after a year of trying we decided to go see my OBGYN to see if anything was going on. The first of many steps was to try a medicine to see if that would help the process since there was no indication of prior issues. When that didn't work we proceeded to some tests that would later tell us that I had severe endometriosis that went into my reproductive organs and liver, my tubes were closed due to the endometriosis, my uterus was retro flexed and my ovaries were on top of each other. My insides were just a big hot mess. After all this treatment/tests my OB had me seek care with a Reproductive Endocrinologist. After many tests and different medication treatments, they decided in March 2013 for me to have surgery to remove cysts, open my tubes and also make sure the cysts were not cancerous. The surgery was a success and there was no cancer. After the surgery, we did a few different medication treatments while trying to conceive naturally but none of those worked. My cysts continued to grow and everything just felt hopeless. Getting my period ever month just killed me. I felt overwhelmed. The doctors said my only option would be IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).
In May, we decided to stop treatment and just pray about what the Lord might want for us. Pray for a miracle, since God is in that business anyway. So, summer came and went with no progress and we gave it much thought and in September we decided to proceed with IVF after much thought, prayer and guidance from family/friends. In order to prepare for IVF, one has to be on birth control first, then lots of medications and shots. I got up to taking four shots a day. I remember each day thinking and telling myself, "keep going because this could help you have your baby" and yet wanting to quit each day I woke up.
As this journey has gone on...I started by praying for a baby because that's what "I" wanted. As time went on I started praying for specifically and also for HIS will. And in November I actually prayed that the Lord would stop the IVF cycle if it wasn't going to produce a baby. I felt like that would make things easier to cope with. Well, he answered that. On November 11, my doctor called and said they would have to cancel the IVF cycle because I wasn't producing any follicles (eggs). When that call came, I was devastated and yet part of me knew it was going to happen. I have tried through this process to remain hopeful but honestly it was hard. The doctor told Ben and I that since I went through all the shots that we could try and IUI (Intrauterine insemination)instead of the IVF since we had come all that way...so we proceeded with that. On November 27 we would find out if it worked and if I was pregnant.
For the first time I felt incredibly hopeful but again I prayed, "Lord, if I am not going to be pregnant, help me get my period the day before that appointment on the 27th." Well, on November 26th I got my period. Although, he answered my prayer, I was still heartbroken because I truly wanted another child but didn't want to keep getting disappointed each month.
Today, I was scheduled to meet with my reproductive endocrinologist via phone call. He called me and began the conversation by saying, I am sorry this didn't work out. He said that he just doesn't think that I am able to get pregnant via IVF, medications,etc... He talked with me about donor eggs (which Ben and I already agreed we are not doing--personal preference), he mentioned adoption and also treatment for my endometriosis. He suggested me to see another doctor who deals with endometriosis and possibly doing another surgery because my issues is so severe. However, he asked me how I felt about all of this and I said, "You know, God is bigger than all of this, He is a God of miracles and I will continue to believe that whatever happens the Lord has my best interest at heart." Let's just say there was a silence on the other end but then he said, "That's why I like you Katie, you don't give up, you have a hope that other's don't have." He told me to say hi to Ben and that was the end of the conversation.
Now, if you asked me even a week ago how I felt...I would have said I was angry with God...Why would he do this to me? Why is it so hard to just have a baby when it is such a natural thing? In the last three years, I have had a flood of different emotions: jealousy, discontentment, anger, bitterness, sorrow, peace, joy and contentment are just a few...
Last Tuesday when I was told we were pretty much done trying to have kids, the anger in my heart was horrible. I didn't really want to talk with anyone and yet I was flooded with emails from family, friends, my BSF (Bible Study Fellowships) ladies, and wonderful ladies from my church. Every email had bible verses of hope and encouragement. I also had a wonderful phone call with my sister in law, Katie encouraging me not to give up hope...that our hope is in Christ. My identity is in HIM, not in my infertility.
Over the past three years my trust in the Lord has increased, my attitude has changed, my heart has become more obedient to him. On this journey, I have neglected people, I have put my thoughts/wants ahead of what God's plan is for me. I have been discontent with what I already have; I have taken things for granted. It wasn't until a year ago at BSF did I truly understand how much I needed HIM and how much more I needed to trust in him. As we studied Genesis, I watched how Sarah and Abraham waited and waited for their child...for MANY YEARS!!!
It wasn't until Tuesday through different people did I truly understand where my hope was and who it was supposed to be in. I really still had a heart of discontentment. I didn't realize how I really hadn't been obedient, fully obedient to what he wants for my life. So much of my last 3 years was about my wants/desires and what I didn't realize is that maybe that wasn't apart of HIS plan.
God has done a work in me and it isn't finished yet. I am extremely thankful for the amazing patience and understanding of my WONDERFUL husband through the last three years. I am thankful for the grace/mercy both him and Addy have shown me when I haven't been the best wife and mom. I have taken for granted what is right in front of me. My husband is amazing...to put up with my hormones raging and my craziness...not sure how he lived through this. I am thankful for him, beyond belief. He has been an amazing rock. He has been a huge support, always trusting in God, always hoping for the best and always trust HIS WILL for us. Ben is an amazing man of God, someone that is quiet in his faith but lives his life for Christ by example more than anyone I know. He has been an example to me of how to be a better person. He has shown me how to be content with what the Lord has given me.
I have been so thankful and overwhelmed by the amazing people in my life that have taken time to care, have listened, have come over and even brought ice cream (Krista...wink wink). I am EXTREMELY thankful for my family who have stood by us through every step of the way. As my mom and Ben's mom watched Addy numerous occasions while I went to endless appointments. As my wonderful father in law sat with Ben as I had surgery, came with me to numerous appointments as he fought for his own life. As my wonderful dad who always had a word of encouragement or bible verses that always just fit what I needed to hear, Romans 8:28 being one I have held dear to, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." To our parents and siblings who have been there for Ben and I more than we could have even imagined. To my wonderful sister in laws, Amanda and Katie who every step of the way have called, taken time to care and show their love. To my cousin Molly, who has sat with me through BSF and encouraged me through the different teachings to trust in him. For all my other family, who have gone out of their way to pray and be ever present in our lives during this time. To my friends, who just took the time to email/call or whatever it might have been. We have been blessed tremendously. God has really used other's to show me how much HE loves me. God has spoke through others and HIS word in a way I could have never imagined.
On Wednesday, November 27th after a day of being with my SIL, Katie and spending time with my parents, I felt a peace, a contentment like I have never felt. It is Jesus, dwelling in me and me seeking him more that I ever have. Being in His Word and praying daily for him to be apart of every moment of my life. I know God is not done with me yet and although the doctors say I can never get pregnant, I know I serve a God who can move mountains, can tame a lion, can walk on water. But if he chooses not to do that for us, boy am I glad he gave me my one miracle.
Thank you Lord for blessing me this past three years with hardships because it all led back to YOU! May I always give you the Glory!
We are so thankful for our miracle!
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."