Life Changes For Us Too!

Thomas Rhett couldn’t have said it better, “Making plans and you hear God laughing because… life changes.” I think Seth has said those words at least 10 times a day in the past few weeks.

It has been a while since my last post, it has been crazy and fun adjusting to life as parents. Sturgeon’s homecoming happened within days and we have been full speed ahead ever since. Our little seven-month-old has two teeth, loves bathtime, is eating solids, and is very close to crawling! Every day is an adventure and we truly couldn’t be happier that God chose us to be his parents.

And, we had the best first Christmas as a family of three! We didn’t even ring in the New Year when I found out I was pregnant.

Yes, WE ARE EXPECTING! A little girl to arrive in August of this year. No treatments, no medication, no procedures… just the birds and the bees. And of course, the work of our good Lord!

There are 2 thoughts that I believe to be true when I think of this blessing:

  1. Sturgeon was put on this earth to be my son and I had to receive him as my own before I could conceive. I believe this because I can say without hesitation that if I had a child three years old or younger, I would have never considered adoption and Sturgeon would have never come into my life.
  2. Having the desire to be a mother fulfilled has brought more joy, goodness, and happiness into my life than I ever thought could be possible. The stress and worry disappeared the moment Sturgeon was put into my arms and that is treatment and medication that no doctor could ever prescribe.

In the midst of the joy and celebrating this unbelievable news with family and friends, sadness overwhelmed us as two of our family members went to heaven just days apart.

Seth’s great grandmother “Mimi” went home to Lord at almost 101 years old and Seth’s grandmother “Grandmama” went home four days later after living several years with Alzheimer’s.

Although we rejoice the good news of their long-awaited homecoming and we celebrate the peace they have found as they are living their best life in heaven, we experienced sadness like we never have before as husband and wife. When I think about the two women I had the honor of calling family, I am reminded of the legacy they have left behind. Women who have trusted in the Lord for almost their entire life, who have raised children to trust in Him, who have then raised children to trust in Him. I pray that I will leave such a legacy as they have.

And just as life ends, we are reminded that life begins. We see life begin every time we look into Sturgeon’s eyes, he lights up the moment he sees a recognizable face. We also see life begin as we hear the heartbeat of our baby girl growing inside my belly. The work of our maker is far more than I could have ever imagined.

I share the good news with you with a cautious heart because I know many readers are still waiting for a miracle, praying for the same blessing, and longing for a happy ending. I know there is nothing that I can say that will take the heartbreak away but my prayer is that my story will provide hope. Hope can go a long way in the journey of infertility, I know that because that was the only thing that got me through the three years of suffering.

A wise woman once noted “Do not rush through the challenges, for God is working even in those days,” today, I believe that to be true more than anything.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. – Romans 15:13

 

 

25 Reasons Why Infertility Sucks

“Sucks” is probably one of my top ten least favorite words and yet I still cannot think of a word to better fit my current situation.

Because, it really sucks.

Here are 25 reasons why infertility sucks:

1. you have to take a lot of medication
2. you go to the doctor more often then you go to the gym
3. you are always counting the days
4. you are at the mercy of the doctors, nurses, and pharmacist
5. your insurance doesn’t pay for anything
6. you can’t make any plans further than 2 weeks out
7. you cannot travel further then south Florida
8. there is always an issue when it comes to getting the medications
9. everyone has or knows a success story and they feel the need to share it with you
10. you are always on the verge of tears
11. you are always questioning that glass of wine
12. you live like you are pregnant even when you aren’t
13. the doctor’s office is on the other side of town
14. the inside of your elbows are always bruised from giving blood
15. the ultrasound machine gets more action than your husband
16. no matter how many ways you try, you can never fully explain how you are feeling
17. you worry your friends will use the baby name you have picked out
18. sometimes you cry when you hear a good song on the radio
19. you are constantly questioning what your priorities are
20. the hormones are awful
21. you believe that every procedure is “the one”
22. you spend way too much money on pregnancy tests
23. your PTO is spent on doctors appointments and procedure days rather than vacation
24. you are always giving bad news
25. no one really understands what you are going through unless they lived it themselves.

There you go, 25 reasons why infertility sucks. You may be reading this and have a few more to add to the list. Because the truth is, there are many reasons why infertility sucks and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.

Lately, the journey has been much harder to understand. Last week, Seth and I were with our family to begin a long-awaited vacation on a cruise to Cuba. We were on the ship, checked into our cabin, and sitting down for lunch on the top deck when I got the phone call.

Long story short, Cuba has had known cases of the Zika virus and if we travel to Cuba, our doctor would not see us for another 6 months and we would need to restart the treatment from the beginning. We weighed the odds then took a walk to the concierge to be escorted off the ship before it was to depart in less than 30 minutes.

Can you imagine what an emotional moment this was?

This is just one story of the anger and sadness I have felt over the last three years. I could share a number of stories but I won’t torment you with all the negativity.

I share this list with you because it is not an easy subject to navigate. I share these thoughts with you because I tend to say what everyone else is thinking and today, I want to be the voice of the one in eight who are struggling with me.

Friend, here are 25 reasons you can pray for me and for the woman who is fighting the battle of infertility.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. -Romans 12:12

I Said Yes!

This week marks 4 years since Seth got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. The picture above is from one of our engagement shoots. Oh, how time flies when you are having fun! I can honestly say, I love him more today than I did four years ago and I would say yes a million more times!

Four years later, I am now asking myself: Is it worth it? Should I keep trying? How many times do I try before I give up? Can I even do this anymore? Do I really want to take those hormone pills again?

These are just a few questions I have asked almost every day… sometimes multiple times a day. They stay in my mind, consume my thoughts and I literally think about it every minute of every day.

And four years later, my answer is the same: YES

Yes, it is worth it. Yes, I am young so I should keep trying. Yes, I need to try a few more times before giving up. Yes, I can do anything I set my mind to. Yes, if I want it to work, I must take the pills.

Okay so, YES… Let’s do this God.

Today I am saying yes again because today is the day I start the hormones again.

Today I am a little nervous and kind of anxious because I know what happens when I take the hormones. I cry, I cry A LOT. I get sad when I should be happy and I get giggly when I should be upset and the tears come out of nowhere.

Seriously, OUT OF NOWHERE.

But starting the pills today means a procedure is in the horizon, and it is… hopefully sometime in May.

First things first, another surgery is scheduled next week.

After 5 failed IUI’s, it has been decided that there are a couple adjustments that I could make in order to increase the success rate of the next IUI, so I am “going under the knife,” again.

We are hopeful. My doctor, my husband, my family, and myself… we are all hopeful.

As hopeful as I am, I am still trying to convince myself that the answer is YES. Because the reality is, every day I am manipulating my brain to believe that I can do this.
But the truth is, I can’t do this… GOD CAN DO THIS. I can’t do this. Only GOD can do this! If I live this life that God has provided, with full trust in Him, then He WILL DO THIS.

I recently discussed with friends what it means to “take up the armor of God, and stand firm,” and how to apply that in our daily lives. What would it look like to begin each day with figuratively fastening the belt of truth?

This has been another thing lingering in my brain of thoughts these days.

I have been challenged to begin each day with prayer. Asking Him to lead me, guide me, show me what it is I need to learn today and perhaps be a blessing to someone else.

I have had these talks with God and let me tell you, it’s so hard to hear what He is trying to tell me! It is difficult to know what He wants for me in this season and I have a hard time understanding what his plan for me is.

GOD CAN DO THIS. And I will talk with Him daily to understand who, what, when, where, and why as I continue to navigate these thoughts of what it means to say YES.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. – Ephesians 6:13

But Who’s Counting?

It has been five months since my first blog post “Everyone is Pregnant But Me,” and for some reason I thought it was much longer. Honestly, I thought it has been closer to a year since I started writing my feelings in this blog. I don’t know why I thought it was that long or why I felt the need to start this post with that but I think it has a lot to do with where I am at right now.

It’s only been five months since I first started sharing with you.

It has been a long five months of sharing with you.

Truthfully, five months has felt like five years some days… but who’s counting?

Today, five months after my first blog post, I could simply title this “Everyone is a Mom But Me.” Because God is so good, He has turned all those pregnancies I wrote about in my first post into motherhood. Those who were pregnant five months ago, are now tired, sleepless, yet wonderful moms.

Also, some of you who were not pregnant five months ago, are now pregnant so I guess I could call this post “Everyone is a Mom or Pregnant But Me.” (wow, that is a mouth full)

But the truth is, not everyone is a mom. Not everyone is pregnant either.

This blog post could easily turn into a “poor me” article but I refuse to let it go there.

I am simply saying the words out loud as I type them, I AM NOT A MOM AND I AM NOT PREGNANT.

Whew, that felt good to say out loud. And I didn’t even tear up! Weird, five months ago I don’t think I could have said it without crying.

In addition, I feel good in knowing that this is my life right now. I know that in the last five months, God has used me in ways I never thought possible. I never thought my words could be articulated in a story of hope that would provide comfort for someone else.

I have a sense of peace because I know that I am not (physically) alone in this journey. Though many days it feels like I am the only one who is not a mom and sometimes I feel like I am the only one who cannot get pregnant, I know that is not true. The truth is, there is a community of women out there asking the same questions and crying to God in the same way I have.

But, this is where I will get real with you.

It still isn’t easy.

I still get jealous when a friend announces their pregnancy. I still feel uncomfortable when friends talk about their mommy problems. I still feel like I am the only one in the room who hasn’t received an answer to prayers. And I still feel like I am getting left behind.

When I feel jealous, sad, heartbroken, alone, or hopeless… I still freeze up. I still don’t know how to talk about it and I still don’t know how to be a part of the crowd without being the “elephant in the room.”

But please don’t misinterpret my words because through all the emotions… I am still okay. I am still happy for the miracle you have been blessed with and I still love being with my mommy friends.

I still have hope because I know God is using me during this time.

God is using my writing to provide a community to those who feel alone on this journey. God is using my wisdom to poor into the lives of the next generation. God is using my marriage to be an example of what true love is when you first seek Him and not each other.

And God is using my story as a testament of His unending love because He is the only one getting me through this.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called- Ephesians 4:1