Category Archives: Infertility

The Journey of Your Birth

Toddler And Mom FeetOn this day five years ago, you came into our world.

You came, your birth much like that of the brother before you. In fact, you even looked much like the brother before you. But the moments that led up to your birth were special. Unique. Refining.

Your journey– my journey– was littered with frustration, heartache, and tears.

You see, my son, you were not easily conceived.

God made me– us– wait for you.

As much as my heart longed to see you, my body longed to carry you, my arms longed to hold you, we had to wait.

So many medical questions, so many fears, so many unanswered prayers. So much misunderstanding. So much longing.

That longing became my focus. That longing became my reason for living. The longing consumed me.

But the longing was only the tool. That longing was changing me, shaping me, refining me.

I had a choice in that longing– let it destroy me or let it push me to the One who destroys all fear.

In that longing I sought God’s face in a way I never had before in my life. I sought to know the One who would send his own child to die for me, when all I wanted was another child of my own.

In that longing I looked for his beauty. In that longing I wanted to know Him, to understand him in a way I never had before. I wanted to truly see His face for the first time in my life.

That longing became desire, not only for a child to fill my arms and make your brother a sibling, but to seek a God who reigns– a God worthy of being glorified.

And I found Him. Oh yes, precious boy, I found Him. Bible Verse Nursery Print 1 Samuel 1:27. $10.00, via Etsy.

I found Him in the frustration. I found him in the pain. I found him in the longing. I found him in the doctor’s negative news and in my own hopes.

I found Him. I found the God I had always known but never experienced. And then He gave us you.

On this day five years ago I celebrated the desires of my heart. I celebrated your birth, your beautiful entrance into this world.

I celebrated a relationship with a God more loving than I could have ever imagined. I celebrated not just because he had answered my prayer, but because on the long path to the answer, he revealed himself to me. Because for the first time in my life, I truly felt His presence.

And five years later I celebrate still. For in bringing you to our family God almighty has given me a glimpse of heaven. He has given me a glimpse of the eternal and made me yearn for it in a way I never had before.

You, the boy before you and the boy after you are the greatest gifts I could have ever been given. God knew I wanted you, but that I needed HIM.

You are a gift, my beautiful son. A gift from a God who yearns to know us, to take our pain and replace it with joy, to be glorified in our journey. You are a gift from a God who wants to be known and experienced.

In the five years since you came into this world my prayer has been that my life, your life, the lives of your father and your brothers, would be pleasing to God. That we would glorify Him.

You will face trails of many kinds. You will face joys and heartaches, many expected, many an unwelcome surprise.

But know this, my precious one, your very life is proof that the journeys He allows, the ones with the twists and turns, with moments we can use to refine us, with moments where we must choose between leaning on our own understanding or praying for the divine inspiration of the Eternal; those journeys reveal the perfection of Christ. In those moments he reveals his very character. And in those revelations, we see His glory. And once we’ve seen it, it is all we will long for.

I would not trade one moment of my journey. For bringing me to that moment of your birth brought me a greater understanding of The One who loves me most and the sacrifice he made for me.

And he loves you.

He loves you enough to refine your parents through the journey that brought you here.

Happy Birthday, my courageous, spontaneous, mischievous, loving, snuggly little man. My love for you knows no bounds and I thank God for you.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Infertility, The Christian Walk

How To Survive a Season of Waiting

departure_lounge_sign

Remember when you were little and all you wanted was to get older?

Maybe you couldn’t wait to drive. Or go to college. Or vote. Or get your first “real” job. Or get married.

When I was little I couldn’t wait to turn thirteen. It wasn’t until I turned thirteen that I would be allowed to get my ears pierced. For years I anticipated that day–I waited on it like it was going to be the greatest day of my life.

I was not patient, either. I begged my parents to allow me to get my ears pierced long before my thirteenth birthday. I pleaded. I offered to do extra chores or never do anything wrong again for the rest of my life (that was a mighty offer when I was ten). I. could. not. wait.

My ears were pierced on my thirteenth birthday, just as my parents had promised, and I was overjoyed. I also immediately found a new “something” to have to wait on. Life is a series of waiting games.

My seasons of waiting are now centered around more serious issues, and the periods of waiting are much, much longer and seem more difficult to manage.

waiting_roomWe wait on things daily. We buck against the system of waiting, whether it be in a doctor’s office, at an airport, or even receiving a piece of snail-mail.

In our society of instant gratification, we’ve become accustomed to getting what we want with speed. We shave time off of waiting in every possible way we can find.

But there are some seasons in our life where shortening our waiting time is impossible. The season of waiting is, in itself, out of our control.

Have you faced a season of waiting? I certainly have.

I’m waiting now. Some things I’m waiting for seem trivial while others are life-changing.

I’m waiting for this baby weight to come off.

I’m waiting for my first publishing contract.

I’m waiting for God to answer several prayers about very important life issues.

My husband has recently gone through a season of waiting–one that has been really trying.

The most difficult season of waiting that I’ve ever experienced was certainly when I went through my struggles with infertility. There is nothing–and I mean nothing— that is as difficult as having ZERO control over a situation and it’s outcome.

But this isn’t a post about control.

So what shouldphotographer we do in a season of waiting? Pray for more patience? You know what they say about praying for patience…

Seasons of waiting can be made more bearable when we change our focus.

1. Forget about passive patience and focus on active perseverance.

We are full of joy even when we suffer. We know that our suffering gives us the strength to go on. The strength to go on produces character. Character produces hope. And hope will never let us down. Romans 5: 3-4 (NIrV)

“…the strength to go on.”  In a season of waiting, the best thing we can do is keep moving. Instead of sitting around, putting our lives on hold until we receive the answers we seek, we must forge ahead and live, enjoying each precious day as it comes. Seeking the joy that comes in the little moments of each day will encourage hope. So keep going, friends. Instead of putting your life on hold, get out there and do. You won’t regret the memories, relationships, and experiences you’ll have while you wait.

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36

2. Focus on the lesson. Seasons of waiting don’t come upon us simply to teach us patience alone. 99.9% of the time there is another lesson imbedded in the wait– we must identify it and learn from it. As our bodies grow and change over time, so must our hearts.

I have no doubt that my seasons of infertility and all the trials and anguish that came with them were meant to teach me about control. (Mostly that I have none.) The soul-searching that I did, seeking answers as to why I couldn’t get pregnant and when God might answer my prayers about adding to our family, led me to the blinding realization that although I was a follower of Jesus Christ, I had never truly given him complete control over my life. I’m a different person now than I was just five short years ago– like the potter molding the clay, he changed me through that season of waiting. I thank God for it now.

 3. Thank God for this season. That’s right, I said it. Be thankful. I’m sure you are stressed. I’m sure you’re exhausted. I’m sure you’re frustrated and annoyed and tired and maybe even ready to give up. You should also be thankful. A thankful heart is a happy heart (sorry to quote the Veggie Tales here, but it’s appropriate) and a happy heart is an open heart. An open heart is one ready to receive the blessings of the Lord however they may come.

4. Put the focus on helping others. When time moves like a John Deere tractor on a freeway, the best way to survive is to focus our energies on helping others. Something happens when put our effort into doing for others. Not only are we active, but our emotions are no longer solely trained on our own problems. Helping others not only passes the time, it lifts our spirits and develops an attitude of outward concern instead of inward frustration.

5. Focus on praying. Make your prayer life not only about whatever issue has caused your season of waiting, but about how you can pray for others. The same with doing things for others, pray for others. Develop an attitude of seeking God’s response in your prayer life, not just listing all the issues you might have. Pray not for patience, but for perseverance and strength of character (Romans 5:3-4). Pray not just for an answer, but for what lessons you can learn during your season of waiting.

6. Focus on the promise. The promise is that no matter what your issue or how long your season of waiting, God will answer (Hebrews 10:36). Whether or not you receive the answer you seek is up to Him, but he will respond. Until then, you need to prepare.

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

When we give ourselves over to the Lord, completely focusing on Him, when we seek him with our whole hearts and yearn to understand his word, our will conforms to his will— he will give us the desires of our hearts because our hearts will seek only him. It’s an amazing, beautiful thing.

7. Focus on preparation. Be mentally prepared– get in The Word. Seek God’s truth and his answers. The Bible is the only book that’s got everything we’ll ever need.

Be physically prepared– exercise is good for you, not just because of what it does for your body, but what it does for your mind and spirit. I’m sure you’ve heard that exercise releases endorphins, and those endorphins will help you feel better. Exercise has tons of benefits, and taking care of our bodies honors the gift of life God gave us.

Be emotionally prepared– God has three answers to our prayers– yes, no, and maybe (or in this case, keep waiting). No matter what answer we get, when we do the things listed above, focusing our attentions on things other than our own season of waiting, we can prepare our minds and hearts to receive his answer.

butterfly

Waiting is difficult. Waiting can destroy our faith, if we allow it. But shifting our focus during that season of waiting can change us into the person God wants us to be– which might be the reason for the whole season of waiting to begin with.

Share with me: What truths did God reveal to you during a season of waiting?

Real Signature

Love this song from John Waller– sums up waiting perfectly. (Video from the movie Fireproof.)

12 Comments

Filed under Infertility, The Christian Walk, Uncategorized

It’s Never Good When the Doc Says, “That’s Weird.”

My three precious boys!

My three precious boys!

It’s been one month since we welcomed the newest member of our family, our sweet baby boy.

One month! My how time flies!

So much has happened in this month. Not only did we celebrate Baby Boy’s birth, but we celebrated our oldest son’s seventh birthday, celebrated my husband as Teacher of the Year from his school, and lost a dear friend to cancer. We also saw our baby son’s first smiles, first bath, and first moments with his older brothers. Nothing could be more precious.

Like I said, so much has happened.

Since I’ve been away from the blog for the past month, I hope you’ve been enjoying the guest posts. I have to thank Jessica Patch, Beth Vogt, Wendy Miller, Amy Simpson, Melissa Tagg, Lindsay Harrel, Katie Ganshert, and Olivia Newport for their brilliance in guest posting while I was on “maternity leave.” I appreciate you ladies more than you know!

So let me tell you a little story about how we welcomed our son into the world. It’s a good one.

I went to the doctor the day before my due date (which was April 3) still showing no signs of labor. I was frustrated, of course, because I was too close to my due date to be showing no signs. After all, with both of my previous pregnancies, I was dialated and effaced by 39 weeks.

Going on my previous experiences, I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t ready to give birth so close to my due date. After all, both of my other boys were born at 39 weeks, induced because of my gestational diabetes.

So after seeing my doctor that day, he decided that I could be induced on Friday, April 5, even though I was showing no signs. After all, he was taking pity on a woman who was at the end of her rope pregnancy-wise.

Here’s the kicker, though– my doctor wouldn’t be there to induce me. That week was Spring Break around here and he was going on vacation, leaving me to be induced by the doctor on call. My alternative was to wait an additional week before an induction, so I was fine with the doc-on-call. I’d seen him before and had no reason to doubt anything would go wrong. And to be honest, I just wanted to hold my son. ASAP.

Fast-forward to that Friday. We show up at the hospital at 5:30 am. I’m expecting the induction to go just like the previous 2. First a pill, lots of walking the halls, then when the contractions really start to kick in, the Pitocin would be introduced. By then I was hoping to have my epidural.

When the nurse checked me that morning, I was dialated zero. ZERO. Still no signs that our little boy wanted to be born. So she hooked me straight up to the Pitocin which not only kicked in contractions right away, but I was tied to the bed because I had to be on monitors because of the Pitocin. So no walking.

**Side note– I had the greatest nurses ever, praise God.**

Immediately I knew something was…different. I had this feeling… I told my husband, “This isn’t going to work. Something isn’t right here.” The contractions didn’t hurt.

Now let me just share with you that in my previous 2 inductions, Pitocin was known as “the devil’s juice” because it made my contractions nearly unbearable. The epidural was my saving grace.

I expected that this time. I waited for it to happen. But while the contractions finally built up to being about 2 minutes apart, they didn’t hurt. They were uncomfortable at most. And with each contraction, I felt the baby moving up into my rib cage. This is the opposite of what should be happening, yeah?

So I told the nurse. She checked me. Six hours on Pitocin and still no dialation. She said she would contact the doctor. First she cranked up my Pitocin to the max amount.

Keep in mind that I had been at the hospital six hours and still hadn’t seen the doctor on call. I was feeling pretty rattled at this point, wishing my doctor was around, and wondering if the baby would ever be born.

Two more hours go by. The contractions STOP. No joke. Eight hours on Pitocin and my body was overloaded. The contractions simply stopped.

At this point the nurse tells me that I have two options– one, go home. They’ll label it a “failed induction,” I’d see my doctor again the following week and then re-try the induction at his discretion. Option two– I could stay at the hospital overnight, they’d give me the medication to soften the cervix, and then start the induction over again on Pitocin in the morning.

At this point it’s 2 pm and I’m on the road to Freak-Out Town. Go home? Stay overnight to start again in the morning? Neither of those options was acceptable to me. I was supposed to be holding a baby in my arms already.

Since I was feeling especially frustrated and really tired, I decided that I wanted to go home. I had pretty much had it. Plus, I was starving.

My awesome nurse brought me some crackers and peanut butter and encouraged me to eat, feel better, take a few minutes to think it over, and hopefully decide to stay.

I ate the crackers. I still wanted to go home.

My nurse (seriously, she was fantastic) insisted that I see the doc on call before I went home. She called him and he came right over.

He checked me and said, “That’s weird.”

Yeah, words you don’t want to hear from a doctor. He looks at the nurse and asks for the ultrasound machine.

“I don’t feel a head,” he said.

Immediately I felt better. Know why? Because I knew it. I knew that our little stinker wasn’t in the right position. Why else would I be feeling him move up rather than down?

So the doc does an ultrasound and sure enough, Little Man has his head firmly wedged in my ribcage (which I could totally feel). He is what the doc calls “weirdly transverse” and not at all in the position to be born.

“C-section time!” Doc says.

Woo-hoo! I celebrate. Not because I want to have a c-section, but because I have an answer as to why why why why why this little boy wasn’t ready to be born.

Enter the anesthesiologist to prep me for surgery. “I ate crackers,” I say. He hangs his head. “Six hour wait time,” he says.

7 pm nursing shift change. Enter my angel, my friend Camille whom I have known for a few years, a nurse in L&D at the hospital. She’s going to be my nurse for the night. Praise the Lord!

So finally, just before 8 pm, I’m wheeled into the operating room.

I didn’t handle the c-section so well. My blood pressure bottomed out and for the entire length of the procedure I felt like I was going to lose consciousness. I never did and I was assured that I was okay, but it totally felt like an out-of-body experience to me.

“Hang on,” says the doc. “I can’t get a grip on him. He doesn’t want to come out.”

Clearly our youngest son likes to do things his way– including his birth. He simply did not want to be born!

Anywho, long story short, our son entered the world at 8:02 pm that night.

Here we are! That’s my hubby holding the baby.

DSCN7205

Not at all the way I’d planned or the way I thought it would go, but the way God knew all along. I wouldn’t have chosen a c-section myself, but He had other plans.

When I finally saw my regular doctor the next week and told him this whole story he responded with, “No way. That is so weird!” He also told me that he was positive that every time he checked he felt our baby as head down. I’ll cut the doc some slack since his right hand was broken and in a cast and he had to feel with his left. Perhaps a bottom feels like a head when you’re using a different hand than normal.

So Little Man is here, he’s safe and healthy and perfect, and we have a good story to tell about his birth. “Weirdly transverse” has become a regular part of my vocabulary now.

Once again I’d like to say that I am sincerely grateful to the nursing staff at the hospital. Every single one of them was a huge blessing to me. Thanks, ladies!

Whew! What a month we’ve had!

Share with me: What’s the big news in your life in the last month or so?

Real Signature

17 Comments

Filed under Family, Infertility