A prayer and a Decision

I thought I might not have time before Christmas to write another entry but here I am sitting on the floor of the Austin Airport, waiting for a delayed flight with nothing but time! Funny how that happens. I talked In my last couple posts of our struggle to come to terms with the “I” Word (infertility) and the pain that comes with that both mentally, physically, and spiritually. I am now relieved to write about what that looked like moving forward.

Before I do move forward though, I need to go back for one more thing. When I was young, probably around 13, I had a fear/thought that I wouldn’t be able to biologically have children. Everyone said I was crazy and it was just a fear brought on by my incredible love for children and the desire to have a big family. I don’t know if many woman have had that thought in their youth, but I was reminded of it while going through our ordeal. I remember calming myself down back when I had that initial thought by thinking that if for some reason that was true, I could always adopt. I remember talking to God about that, and promised Him that if I couldn’t carry a baby,(though I pleaded for that not to be true) I would adopt. After that prayer, came immediate fear. What if He would take me up on that?! I have found that there is always a little uneasiness when you release something like that to God. When Steven and I were dating and even into our marriage we talked about adoption and I asked him what his thoughts were. He was in a place where I think the majority of people are. His view was that while he loved the idea of adoption, and fully supported those who did it, he wasn’t sure it was for him. It just seemed too hard.

About 2 years into our “struggle”, we went on a missions trip to South Africa with our church. We were to spend some time in an Orphanage there, and were going to be doing many different things with and for the Children during our stay. The flight was brutal and gave me a lot of time to think and journal. I have a prayer journal where I write down my prayers to God, and in one entry I prayed that if God wanted us to adopt, and if that’s was in the plan, then He had some work to do on Steven. I asked that this trip would change his heart and that he would come out with a new perspective. I would then take that as a green light to pursue adoption. Now, while I do not usually recommend the “If you, then I” method when talking with God, this was something that needed to happen at this time and in our situation.

About 2 days in to our stay at the orphanage he was hooked. He came to me and said that he had a strong feeling that we were supposed to adopt our first baby. I then told him what I prayed, and it was one of those “hallelujah chorus” moments 🙂 A monster was created because he left wanting to take home a baby AND a teenager. Heheh. I felt the same way. It’s hard not to feel the weight of it when you are face to face with a little girl who asks you flat out if someday you adopted, if you would maybe consider adopting her.
It’s really not a hard choice at that point. She didn’t want a perfect family, or a rich family, all she wanted was a family to call her own And at that moment the choice of adoption doesn’t seem very hard at all.

We came home and some time passed. It’s so funny how easy it is to come home and fall right back into a selfish way of thinking. I put up pictures of some of the kids so that I wouldn’t let myself forget. Before I went forward with adoption I wanted some kind of closure to our infertility, I decided to see a specialist and he was able to come to a pretty good reason for our problem with just a few more blood tests. Steven and I came in to discuss our results and I honestly expected another “we have no idea why your not getting pregnant” response. I’ll never forget the moment because it felt so final. He told us that I was born with a lesser amount of eggs then most woman and so I was left with the fertility of an older woman. Saying that it wasn’t impossible but we would need help.  Right after that blow he scooted us to financial room where she explained the IVF procedure and all the costs. He said that was probably my only shot. We left, paperwork in hand, feeling numb. On the car ride home I lost it. I cried, and I apologized. Steven will tell you that my apologies made him crazy. He was so supportive and loving, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from him.

After 2 weeks when the dust had settled, we went to dinner to make some decisions.  We sat at a local hamburger place and we both agreed after a long discussion and some tears spilled on my ahi salad that we would not pursue medical help and that we would decide to whole heartedly move forward with adoption.  What a feeling we felt.  It felt soooo good to finally have a plan. And not just any plan, it was a plan that felt right and I felt like I could breathe for the first time in a long time. It took awhile to get there,  but we knew this was where God wanted us, at just this time.

Thanks for letting me share, here are a few pictures from our time in Africa- until next time!

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Poked and Prodded

The title of this next entry reflects how we felt both physically and mentally when it came to the medicinal side to our infertility. About 6 months into our “trying” I felt anxious to know what was going on, and didn’t want to wait a year to see a doctor, which is the recommended amount of time they say to wait before coming in. (My impatience is one of my less admirable qualities and I can barely go to disneyland due to the maddening length of lines).  I took a deep breath as the doctor scooted me out of the office and said to give it 6 more months. She said she was sure everything was fine and that we were a healthy young people who shouldn’t have any problems getting pregnant.

Well 6 months went by and I was given referrals to see specialists but for some reason I was procrastinating on it.  It took us about 2 years to complete all of our procedures. As I look back on it now, I think a part of me was trying to listen to all the people in my life who said “Just relax and it will happen”.  I also felt a tug on my heart to let God’s timing rule out, and was wrestling with that and the choice to pursue the quick fixes the world was offering.

In my “I’m over this” moments during these years I would go to the Dr. for the next step in testing.  I had every blood test you could imagine, some of which cost a small fortune.  I had some incredibly invasive procedures done that included a small tube making it’s way into my uterus to fill it up with a dye that caused me incredible pain and cramping. This procedure is called an HSG, and it is one that many infertile woman have done in order to see whether or not their fallopian tubes are open and able to empty in to their uterus (my apologies to the guys for saying uterus so many times, hehe).  When the procedure was complete they sat me up and told me that the incredible cramping was due to the fact that my left tube was blocked and they weren’t able to move the dye through.  The unexpected feeling I then felt was relief, finally some kind of answer.

I took this information to my doctor who said you only need one working tube to get pregnant, it just might take longer. So he put me on a drug called clomid to stimulate ovulation.  I was ovulating fine it seemed, but this was the next step.  This drug made me feel like my ovary was the size of a basketball. I tried this for 3 months and nada. They say trying it longer than that can actually cause your uterus lining to thin, making carrying a baby harder. So wait, the thing I’m doing to get pregnant, can potentially make it harder??? WHAT THE?? Anyway, after that we stopped for awhile again, and just let be.  And when I say “let it be” I mean as it appeared to the outside world. My head and heart never stopped.  I was putting so much pressure on myself every month to do the right thing to get the right result, and man was it exhausting.

I have to say that my husband was pretty great during all this.  For all those guys out there in his situation, I feel for you.  I know that it is a helpless place to be in and you aren’t quite sure what to say all the time. Sometimes I would look at Steven looking at me during one of my “bad days” and I could see that he wasn’t sure if saying something would send my head spinning into a fit of tears or if it would help.  I’m laughing as i’m writing this because, I am thinking how I can never see my “crazy” more perfectly than when I see it in his face.  Man I’m lucky to have him 🙂

I would have never thought I could endure this kind of thing whilst keeping my sanity, but I have to say there was peace that saved me in the darkest of times.  A peace that came from knowing I have a God who is sovereign over my life, and ordains every day of my life.  I can praise him in the hardest of times, because I know the big picture. He doesn’t promise this life will be free of pain and trials, but he does promise me joy and peace knowing that His plan is perfect. Even when it looks nothing like my own. Through this trial my walk with the Lord has grown and deepened, and that is something to rejoice over.

I can’t wait to share what happens next! Till then 🙂

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater value than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7