Tuesday, December 29, 2015

In the shame and silence

I have really struggled these past few weeks. Sometimes I feel like I can't catch my breath and I am just suffocating in my despair. I have hit rock bottom. I have rolled around in my hurt and pain long enough. I can't survive this way. I am a person that loves control, but I simply can not control this or anything really. "I surrender it all to you Jesus. Take my hurt and pain away and fill my heart with joy and hope again!" I can't tell you how many times I have prayed these words these last few days, and slowly but surely I have begun to feel better. I know that God has a plan for all of this and me, and that I am just going to have to trust him. Infertility has a way of making you feel shameful, and that shame can take over especially in the silence of this  infertile world. In fact, if I could define infertility (despite the obvious of having trouble with getting pregnant) I could define it in those two words alone; silent and shameful. I feel the devil takes over in these areas. The devil sows seeds smack dab in the middle of your hurt and tries to make us despise our creator and Savior. We must be ready and know who has our back! Jesus will fight for us!

Psalm 34:4-7

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrenders
and defends all who fear him.

"His love roared louder than her demons."

"God wouldn't have allowed it unless He had a purpose.
Don't just go through it ----- GROW through it!"

I recently came across this blog post and it describes so many of my feelings and emotions perfectly. Hope this helps you too!

From Dreaming of Dimples:

This Christmas I preached through the Christmas story as told by Luke. For all the times I’ve read the story, I’ve never noticed this small line hidden in the middle of the Christmas narrative. But this year was different. This year, that small, innocent line refused to go unnoticed and forced me to see it.

After Elizabeth became pregnant with John, she praised God saying, “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

We know that disgrace. My wife knows that disgrace. I know that disgrace.


No, it isn’t the same type of disgrace that Elizabeth experienced. In that day, an inability to bear children was equated with sin. It was assumed that the reason for barrenness was your own doing. You must have done something. You must have something to repent of. Some sin you committed. Some reason God was withholding his blessing from you.


You created the problem by your disobedience, and now God is punishing you.

Thankfully, the shame of disapproving eyes and rumored gossip doesn’t surround infertility in America anymore. But shame still exists.

Shame grows with constant thermometer readings. Peeing on countless sticks. Needles. Probes. Tiny plastic cups. Forever counting days. Sex that feels mechanical and forced because “It’s time.”

Shame slips in with the silent words spoken as another, month pregnant only with hope, passes by. It is amazing how much silence surrounds the struggle of infertility. The silence of not wanting to talk about it. The silence of wanting to talk about, but being scared. The silence of trying to avoid the one thing you are wondering about, but not wanting to focus on it, and yet having your mind dominated by it. The silence of not feeling comfortable talking with others about it because it involves sex. The silence because you just don’t want to deal with the questions.

That silence gives shame all the voice it needs to whisper silently, “Something is wrong with you.”

Infertility is a shame-filled, silent trial, isolating couples in closed bedrooms of pain.

As a man, the pain of infertility is difficult to talk about it. While my wife and I walked through our experiences together, she felt the pain of not being able to conceive more acutely than I did. Pregnancy was failing to take place in her body. Even though the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with either of us, she was the one scheduling the monthly ultrasounds. She was the one taking medications. She was the one physically being reminded every 28 days of the failure to conceive. The pain was much closer and much more tangible for her. And all I could do was stand back and watch. I felt hopeless. Unable to do what I normally do when situations aren’t what I want them to be: fix it.

We stood in the kitchen having the same discussion we’ve had every month. The sadness was making Sarah cry and I stood there helpless. I hugged her, but I couldn’t do anything else. I couldn’t fix this. This was out of my control.

Helplessness is not a feeling I do well with.

As I held my crying wife, I didn’t cry, but quietly grieved and pulling back from hope. The grieving brought on by infertility is different than other grief I have experienced because you do not grieve what was lost, but what never was. At some point you start grieving for what never will be.

Men don’t talk often about infertility. My guess is that, if we started the conversations, a lot of guys would feel helpless. When people dream of starting their family, no one sees years of disappointment and frustration as part of the process. No, when we dream of starting our family it is a nice and tidy schedule. “First we will go off birth control, then in 3-6 months we will get pregnant.” Wouldn’t that be nice?

Instead those struggling with infertility find themselves dealing with resignation, bitterness, anger and exhaustion.

Exhaustion from fighting to hold on to hope.

Infertility is a brutal cycle that steps on hands gripping hope. The cycle begins each month with hope only to be followed by disappointment.


False alarm.









At any point in this cycle you are constantly reminded of what you cannot do by running into countless pregnant women in the grocery story, at church, or at the gym.

Church is a good place to find support, but it isn’t always a tower of refuge. The American church is one place in our culture where marriage and kids is an expectation. Singles are constantly met with questions about when they will get married, and unnecessarily pitied or prayed for when a potential spouse isn’t in the picture. Young married’s are bombarded about when they will start having kids, as if their marriage doesn’t really matter until a child validates it.

Around church, having kids is talked about as if it is like scheduling a tune-up for your car. “Isn’t it time the two of you start having kids?” is one of the most painful questions a couple dealing with infertility can hear. Because thats exactly how they feel! It is time for them to start having kids. They’ve been hoping and praying and wanting and waiting for a long time for God to respond to their request. So yes, it is time, but no, kids don’t show up on a time table.

My wife and I struggled for 14 months before we surprisingly found ourselves expecting our now 3 year-old son. We were literally starting to have all the testing done the next month when my wife woke me up with the news that she was pregnant.

So many couples never wake up to that news.

It’s now been over two years that we have tried for another child. Two years and an ectopic pregnancy that we had to end. I’m not writing because my wife and I have discovered some secret to living with infertility. I don’t think there is any. I’m not writing because I have some great pastoral wisdom to help comfort those who are struggling with infertility. In fact, I don’t even know how to end this post. All I have is this:

You are not alone. Your struggle may be in silence, but you are not alone.

I don’t have a magic Bible verse of comfort, or prayer of peace, or words of wisdom, or any answers.

I only have “me too.” Us too. We know. We understand. And we mourn with you.

So may we, together, accept that there is nothing wrong with us and see we are simply sharing in the human experience – which is simultaneously beautiful and painful, disheartening and hopeful.

So may we, together, accept that there is nothing wrong with us and see we are simply sharing in the human experience – which is simultaneously beautiful and painful, disheartening and hopeful.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Keeping Hope

It's been a little while since I've posted but I didn't know quite how I would respond to this ache in my heart without sounding so bitter.

Where to start? Well this past month has definitely been a roller coaster of emotions for me and it feels like I may never get off this ride. On December 8th, I got my first BFP (big fat positive)! I have taken so many tests over the last 15 months that I honestly didn't even think I would get a positive this time. But.. there it was and I just couldn't believe it. I can't even fully describe to you what I felt in that moment, but it was mostly disbelief. I know the pregnancy test says positive (I had taken two) but does that REALLY mean that I am pregnant? The first thing I did was call my nurse and she sent me for blood work that afternoon. I then called my friend(also my boss) not just because I needed to make sure I could leave work but also because if I was going to tell anyone before my husband it would be her. I needed to tell someone so I wouldn't feel so crazy! I then had to figure out how I was going to tell my husband! I was so anxious/excited/nervous to tell him. That night I had him open a early "Christmas present" with a card, book and onesie inside that said "#Best Christmas Ever". We were both so excited, but deep inside I was calm. I didn't want to get too excited before I heard back from my blood work. The next day I heard from my nurse and my HCG was at 45 and my progesterone was at 6.4, which is really low. She said we couldn't really tell if this was a viable pregnancy yet until we took more blood work on Monday to see if my HCG was rising. So I just tried to keep a positive mindset.
On Friday night, my happiness and joy turned into anger/sadness/guilt all in an instant, when I began bleeding. I just knew. On Saturday, I took another pregnancy test and it was negative. I knew then that I had had a miscarriage. I think that whole weekend my husband and I was in a zombie state. So many emotions in such a short time. I felt like I had just played the most horrible joke on the one person that I love the most. I felt so guilty. I couldn't understand why God would let this happen. Why after so long of waiting to get pregnant and then this one end like it did? I don't think my human mind will ever totally understand. BUT- even through all of my hurting and waiting I know that we still serve a faithful and loving God. I just need to keep HOPING and praying for our little baby everyday, and we do. We pray for a little miracle every single day. This journey has brought us closer to Jesus and has made our faith so much stronger, so we will hold our hope in Him.

"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." -Psalm 33:20–22

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"When are ya'll going to have a baby?"

"When are ya'll going to have a baby?"

Ohhhh, so that's what happens after marriage? We must have forgot! <insert sarcasm>

I can't tell you how much I despise this question. I hate it. I fear it.

Only some close friends even know that we have had babies on the brain for the last 16 months or so. We are very hesitant about who we let in on our "secret" of  ttc. We haven't told any of our family. Infertility is not something that people talk about casually. It's a tough subject, especially for the couple in their season of waiting. Why? Because pity comes sneaking in and the gossip starts. If our family did know, they would always be on the edge of their seats for that pregnancy news, which means more guilt each passing month for us. There would be no surprises of a baby. So, people without knowing our situation ask us 30 times a day about babies. What do you say? I feel like each time I answer that question they can see the lie across my forehead. I want to scream WE ARE TRYING! Medications. Shots. Procedures. All of it. We are trying! But I can't.

People that have had no trouble having kids may see nothing wrong with that question, but with me- it makes me want to crawl in a hole. Just stop with all of the personal questions already!

Rant from a girl on Clomid. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Clomid Round 2

Another month has come and gone, and still no news of a baby to share with you. As I stated in my last post, I began 50mg of Clomid this past cycle. A week after I was suppose to have ovulated I had a appointment with one of infertility nurses to check my progesterone level. About a week after a woman ovulates her progesterone spikes, which indicates that ovulation did indeed take place. My progesterone level was good, but not up to level she was hoping for since I was on Clomid. She believed that I did ovulate but not on the day we thought I did. On Friday night, another cycle began. Not pregnant.

Today is Day 4 of my cycle and I was scheduled for a ultrasound this morning to make sure there weren't any cysts on my ovaries. My nurse explained that some women while on Clomid produce cysts, and when this happens we would have to take a break on the medication for a month or two. Praise Jesus for no cysts!!! Round 2 of Clomid starts today, except this time they are doubling my dosage to 100mg. (Say a prayer for my husband.) On Tuesday, I'll go back for some more blood work and to see how my follicles are maturing. If the nurse thinks that I am ready to ovulate, then I will be given a HCG shot (booster shot) to have a nurse friend administer that night at home. If not, then because it will be the week of Thanksgiving and they will be closed next Thursday and Friday, I will have to wait another month to administer the trigger shot. I wasn't very enthused by this but sometimes that's how it goes. We continue to pray for that sweet baby we know the Lord has planned for us. For now, we may not understand why but we know that this process is apart of His plan and we will trust in Him.

These Ecards are on point!

"When You don't move the mountains I'm needing You to move
When You don't part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don't give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!"
                                      -Lauren Daigle

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Journey I Didn't Plan

In October 2012, I married my high school sweetheart! He is literally my best friend and life couldn't have been more perfect. 
In August 2014, my husband and I decided we were ready to begin trying for a baby. In a sense I can see God smiling at that sentence, because we all know that He is the ultimate decision maker - not us. The first couple of months were full of excitement, thinking this may be our month! Then, as the months kept passing us by I became really discouraged. Was something wrong? Everyone that has ever been apart of this journey knows the feeling you get every time someone else announces their pregnancy. That deep, heart wrenching failure moment. Its the worst feeling. You are excited for them, but in a sense still hurt- not at them but at yourself. Why is it so easy for everyone else? 

Its been 15 months. 15 LONG months. 

Back in August(the 12 month mark) I decided to talk to my OB-GYN about what was going on. I remember going to the doctor's office so worried that my doctor would just shrug it off and say to go try for another 3 or 4 more months. When you're ttc 3 or 4 months is a long time. She didn't, thank goodness!! She referred me to the infertility department that day, and even had a infertility nurse come over and talk to me. I love information, so the more information I can get the more comfortable I am about a situation- and the nurse (my nurse) gave me lots of it. My emotions were out of control that day, but when the nurse came in and handed me that infertility pamphlet, it all became real. The word INFERTILITY written on the front of the pamphlet hit me like a ton of bricks. Even as I type it out it still kind of puts me in a state of shock. This was never a part of my plan. Infertility had never even crossed my mind. I had just always imagined that when we were ready to have a baby we would have one. How wrong was I? How foolish my plan must look to God. His plan is greater than what we could imagine, and I truly believe this was his way of opening my eyes. I see things a lot clearer now. Anyways, back to the story. Since I was already far along in my cycle she scheduled me to come in on days 9, 11, and 13 of my next cycle for blood work, a ultrasound, and a consultation. I remember leaving that room feeling anxious, excited, but so sad at the same time. The tears were on their way, so I was in a rush to get back to my car. Of course, of all days I couldn't remember which parking deck that I had parked on. Three parking decks later I finally found my car- and the dam broke. 

I went in as scheduled on days 9, 11, and 13. My ultrasound showed good results, but my blood however showed that my estrogen was too low. If my estrogen was low my progesterone was sure to be low as well. I was excited about this news. If this is all that's wrong - easy peasy. That's an easy fix! During my consultation i was given a ton of information. Yay! The only thing I left bummed about that day, was that my rubella vaccination was low. So, the next month I would have to take the MMR vaccine. After being given the MMR vaccine, you can't get pregnant. It could do serious harm to the baby. I had to wait a whole month to start anything baby related. During this month of wait, I underwent the HSG test(dye test). This test checks for blockages and scarring on your Fallopian tubes. Warning: it's very painful. The test came back normal!! No obstructions! Also, during this month my husband got his semen analysis done. This is where they check your sperm count, motility, and mobility. NORMAL! Praise Jesus! 

My next cycle, which was this month was medication time. I started 50mg of Clomid this past week. I could write a whole blog post about Clomid itself, and I probably will. My side effects included, hot flashes, headaches, mood swings, and stomach cramps. It's been a week that's for sure! My poor husband. 

Hopefully this will be our month! I would LOVE to have to only do one month on Clomid!

-What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.-
-Romans 8:18