When the Unexpected Happens
Four and a half years ago, the realization that my husband Matt and I could be pregnant hit us in the face like a sledgehammer. We weren’t trying to have a baby and had not even thought about trying at this point in our marriage. We had only been married six months and were excited about being newlyweds, traveling, and basically living in freedom for at least a couple of years before children came into the picture. We had been using the Natural Family Planning Method (which I highly recommend), but ended up being together during a fertile time without giving much thought to it. Initially, I freaked out when I realized the timing. Now we had to wait. Two more weeks and we would find out if we would be parents. The clock was ticking … that long, two-week clock. I almost felt taunted by it. To say the least, I was a bit anxious, but I found myself experiencing more excitement as the weeks drew to a close. The test was negative.
One might think I breathed a sigh of relief. What I found out in that moment was how surreal it is that something — someone — you weren’t planning for could cause such a sense of loss by not actually showing up. Although we didn’t comprehend it at the time, that moment was the first step in our journey of walking in hope deferred.
The Sledgehammer Pounds Harder
We sought out the care of my OB/GYN. I started to go through a myriad of lab tests, ultrasounds, and intrusive exams. (Matt had his share as well.) I was placed on medications that my husband might say made me “crazy”. I don’t know … calling him a terrorist, crying over spilt milk (literally), and apparently accusing him of talking too much and then not enough might qualify me accordingly. After six more months of unsuccessful treatments, we were sent to a reproductive endocrinologist where the lab tests, ultrasounds, and intrusive exams multiplied … along with the “crazy” meds. (Sorry, Hun!) I left every visit feeling like a human pin-cushion. It truly was a mixture of some of the most miserable and the most hopeful days that I’ve experienced. We ended up suffering the loss of three babies during those years.
My Hero and a Strengthened Marriage
Let me stop right here for just a moment and praise my husband. He endured being called a terrorist (by me), emotional breakdowns, months of scheduled intimacy, and so.much.more. He was in the room to hold my hand during very painful procedures, to which our doctor said most men never show up. He never left my side during any of it. Although he, himself, was suffering greatly in the sadness that ensues from hope deferred, he continued to hold my hand and walk with me through it all. I know the statistics. Many marriages can easily be torn apart by the stress of infertility and constant loss, but praise the Lord, our marriage was actually strengthened. Matt prayed with me, sought me out, listened to me, and simply loved me. He had the support of men of God who actively prayed for him and with him. I had the same with my tribe of women. By God’s grace, He kept us moving forward instead of backward.
The True Gift
Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “I have learned to kiss the wave that tosses me against the Rock of Ages.” This is the beauty of trials. This is what we have found to be true during this long journey. I have cried buckets of tears before my Lord, and I have poured myself into His Word, searching for Him, begging, pleading, seeking some solace to my pain. He has faithfully met me in every single sad, dark, indescribably painful moment. In moments when I could not pick myself up off of the floor, I would hear the Lord’s voice whispering to me in the deep recesses of my heart, beckoning me to Him. The sweetness and gentleness of the Lord became very real to me during these years. Truths about Him that I would have told you I believed before this, He made me own because of this. He is GOOD. He is FAITHFUL. He LOVES ME. He will NEVER LEAVE ME NOR FORSAKE ME. Even now, my heart is so deeply thankful for this journey, that I am once again brought to tears before my Lord in complete humility that He chose me to walk through this so that I might know Him more.
Does any of this mean that the desire to have a child that is the perfect mixture of my nose and Matt’s brown eyes with my fire and his steadiness has left me? Not by a long shot. Does it mean I no longer experience sadness over infertility? Nope. I can’t even say that, although I truly am happy upon hearing of friends getting pregnant, I don’t still cringe inside and feel that same sense of loss over again each time it happens. But, I am stronger in the Lord than I was four and a half years ago, and every day, when I look at my daughter, He reminds me that His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts higher than my thoughts. A little over two precious years ago, in His perfect timing and in His perfect way, He gave us a daughter through adoption. It is a beautiful story of redemption and God’s hand at work that I’d love to share with you in part two.
(**Oh! Just to clarify … my husband is not a terrorist, has never been a terrorist, and will never be a terrorist. He is, however, a gun-owning, Jesus-loving, all-American who loves football and Topo Chico. Glad we got that cleared up .<Wink> You’re welcome, Hun-Bun.**)