This past year has been one of the most difficult I have ever been through. I ran the emotional gauntlet on this issue, ranging from intense sadness and heartache to anger towards God to total peace about what He is doing. God began to show me how He was using my infertility as a ministry. It is my hope to share my testimony with others so that they may either be encouraged as they face their own infertility or educated as they learn what infertility entails. More than that, though, I hope that the things I share point others to God regardless of what they are going through.
When I first began this blog, the entries were kept private. But I have decided to open everything up in order to let people see the raw truth of the struggle. I strive to find the fine line between sharing the truth and sharing too much information. However, it is my desire to share my heart, regardless. And I have learned that there is never "too much information" in the world of infertility.
After being diagnosed with unexplained infertility on November 17, 2008, I was put on a round of 50mg of Clomid to strengthen the quality and quantity of my eggs. I suppose it was how God chose to work because I became pregnant that very cycle.
In order to be sensitive to those who are still going through infertility, I have opened up a new blog about my pregnancy. I am maintaining this one, though, hoping that it serves as a testimony to anyone who may be going through infertility at the time they come across my site. If you want to follow my life's journey, check out my other blogs. And if you would like, please don't hesitate to email me:
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
If you WANT to follow me through my pregnancy, please come over to my new blog at www.baby-blessings.blogspot.com. And, I'd love to know that you followed me over there. If that's too much for you, though, and you still want to keep in touch, I still have my family blog where I will continue to write about the things Jesse and I go through: www.thepetersons07.blogspot.com. And if you want to keep up-to-date on my personal thoughts of random things that happen in my day, I will be writing at http://my-bombastic-blog.blogspot.com/. All of these links will be on my sidebar soon. And, since I am just beginning the process of moving everything around, give me a bit of time to get things organized and settled. It is my prayer that the things I write will continue to be a blessing to those who read them regardless of the topics they cover.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
The first point that both of them make is that they both had to surrender their rights. Melissa had to surrender her rights to not feel bad about having a family, her rights to not have to walk on eggshells regularly, and her rights to be able to talk about her pregnancies or children whenever and however she wanted. She had to remember that if her sister hurt her, it was unintentional. And if it was intentional, then it did no good to be vengeful back. Rachel realized that she really had no rights either. She wasn’t entitled to a baby. She’s not even entitled to be saved by the grace of God nor entitled to the life she has. I think that remembering to surrender my rights will help me a bit to know how to write on my blog. I don’t want to just close it down and start a new one for pregnancy after infertility. So, instead, I just come at the issue cautiously, surrendering my right to blab to the world everything about it. I have not changed my layout to be all babies all the time nor have I added a bunch of blinking graphics to show off my bundle of joy on the way. I share the important pieces of news about landmarks I reach in my pregnancy, but refrain from writing each day of every symptom I feel or baby item I buy. I try to balance things out between my two blogs and use my family one to write about the more elaborate details of my pregnancy rather than just the medical milestones. Melissa adds,
“Being pregnant two times while Rachel was trying caused us to deal with this exact situation in great depth. As much as she had to battle her selfishness, I had to battle mine too. I, of course, had every “right” (there is that word again!) to talk about my baby, how I was feeling, what I was excited and anxious about. Rachel asked me very specifically to NOT talk about these things with her. Was this an easy request to hear? Absolutely not. It was not my fault, after all, that she could not have a baby. It was not my fault that I could. So, why should I have to be “punished” so to speak? Of course, these thoughts came into my head for about 5 minutes and then I started to attack them with prayer. I was NOT ok with staying there. I was not ok with putting my needs above Rachel’s. Were her needs ok to ask of me? I have no idea…but that wasn’t the point. As Rachel said, living and staying in selfishness is NOT ok. So….I turned to God for his strength. His healing. His grace.”
From there, the most helpful thing I have encountered in this blog is the idea that EVERYONE has their own battles. I wish I would’ve remembered this more when I was still going through my struggles. Melissa writes,
“...no matter how easy of a time one of your friends or family members had in getting pregnant….they have their struggles. So, as hard as it is for you to watch them get pregnant, it may be that hard for them watching you in a happy marriage. Or have, not only enough money to pay your bills, but also enough to go on vacations, or remodel your house. Or, they may see you with your parents or siblings and grieve to the core that yours are still alive. Or in your life. Or or or…..I obviously could go on and on. One thing I DID struggle with in this journey is feeling like to Rachel, NONE of these things compared to her struggle. For me personally, finances have been a veeerrryyy hard thing for my husband and I (some our own doing…most not). It was SO hard to watch Rachel and Joey go on vacation after vacation amongst other things, but I knew that they had every right to do so. But, it was so hard when Rachel would say things or insinuate things such as “well, at least you have kids”. Her hurt and my hurt were not comparable…but that didn’t mean they weren’t both real. And I wondered, if her hurt was so bad, why did it make her ANGRY that I did not have to endure that same hurt? Would it be easier on her if I had had to struggle for years to get pregnant? I pray that she NEVER knows financial struggles the way we have. I know full well that no matter what, you will hurt over the struggle to have a baby. I know full well that what I am about to suggest will NOT take that hurt away. However, the more you can look at other people, the less your hurt will consume you. So, my encouragement would be that you look at each of these friends and family members…I mean REALLY look…and see what is in their lives that is hurting them…possibly to the point of consuming them. And, in doing this, reach out to them. Walk through their pain with them. It will make them walking through your pain with you much easier.”
I have seen the truth of this recently when I saw how waiting on a pregnancy to occur can be easily related to waiting for marriage to come your way. I know the truth of this because long before I ever wanted a baby, I wanted to be a wife. I was tricked by all of the Disney movies and convinced that I needed to find my Prince Charming who would sweep me off of my feet and take me away so that we could live happily ever after. Most people thought I was utterly obsessed with love and boys and everything in between. I looked at every encounter with the male specimen as a possible opportunity for love to brew. I spent my days and nights dreaming of falling in love and getting married. I was certain that I would get married at a very young age and would’ve thought I was ready at even 17 years old (had the opportunity presented itself). But at 17 years old, God told me that I would not have a boyfriend until I was 20. Not an easy thing to hear as a teenager, and while it helped in many ways, I still couldn’t help desiring it with all of my heart. When 20 came around, I thought, “This is it!!!” And God did answer my prayers at that point and I fell for the man of my dreams. It wasn’t that easy, though, and after 5 months of being together, we broke up, leaving me absolutely devastated. I spent the next 16 months broken, lost, and struggling to see God at the end of my dark tunnel. I was now 21 years old and even further away from ever getting married. I told everyone that my biological clock was ticking, and I was convinced of it. In my head, I should’ve at least had a prospective mate at this age. At the end of that 16 months, God brought my love back to me and all of my wildest dreams came true. It’s a true story with a lot more details than just that. It was the hardest thing I ever went through. In all honesty, most of you may not understand this, but it was even harder than the infertility. The emotions were just as raw and the hurt just as heavy, but the reason it was harder was because I felt like I faced my singleness and heartbreak alone, at opposing ends of Jesse, whereas I had him by my side every step of the way through our infertility. The amount of support he gave me through the childlessness is more than I can describe. But my point remains the same that both were very similar hurts, and just as no one could promise me that God would bring me a child, so no one could promise me that He would bring me a husband. And just like I could do everything possible to conceive, but couldn’t fertilize the egg and produce a baby, so I could also do everything to increase my chances of finding Mr. Right, but I couldn’t make anyone fall in love with me.
Now, at 22 years old, my brother faces the same insecurity. He watches all those around him cuddle with their significant others, sneaking kisses and holding hands, while he sits alone. He probably, just like I did, gets sick of hearing the engagement announcements and dreads the holidays like Valentine’s Day or midnight on New Year’s Eve where his lack of a date seems more magnified. In all truth, my brother is an amazing guy. He’s got the best sense of humor and is really charming, but God is doing something in him right now, just as he is doing/has done in our infertility.
Likewise, the most fertile person I’ve probably ever been close to is also the most unhappy person I’ve ever met. She had 2 kids in 2 ½ years, the last conceived only 6 months after the first was born, without ever having to try. She’d probably be pregnant again if she wasn’t in the midst of a divorce at only 21 years old. Her marriage has been an awful one, full of deceit and bitterness and strife. Throw in a batch of crazy hormones and you’ve got a person who thrives on drama and finds negativity anywhere she can. She may have had kids like I wanted, but I could easily look at her and recognize that I would NEVER want them the way she’s had them. And, in the midst of sobbing over my empty womb, I could wrap my arms around my wonderful, loving husband, and be absolutely proud and honored to be able to be walking this path with him rather than in the marriage my brother-in-law and sister-in-law shared.
Everyone has their own issues. I don’t ever want to forget that. It’s not a matter of whose issues are more gut-wrenching. Some may not even compare. But the truth is that their pain is just as real to them as your’s is to you. If we can keep that mindset, I think it would change the way we look at those around us.
So, I encourage you to check out the few entries that are listed in this blog (linked at the beginning) and I hope it helps you on your journey no matter which side you are on.
Oh, and please check out my most recent entry on my family blog. I would appreciate prayers for my family.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Furthermore, as I've thought about how God DOES answer prayers and give you the desires of your heart, I've questioned how this can be true when some people may never conceive. In fact, I've kept in touch a bit with one of my aunt's old friends. She, too, battled infertility and underwent many tests. Today, in her 50's-60's, she still remains childless. Having said that, though, she has inherited step-children and still plays the role of a mom. You could argue that even though it wasn't in the way she prayed for, God still answered her prayers. Yet, it's not an answer that comes with peace and assurance, even for me. She sought God whole-heartedly and, from everything I can tell, has been a strong woman of faith. Why didn't God give her a child? I don't know. And I can't tell each one of you what He is going to do in your life either. Some may experience the blessing of children really soon. Some may have to wait for more years to come. Some may never experience biological children, but come to enjoy the fruitfulness of adoption. Some may choose to re-think their idea of "family" as a 2 party system and live their lives out in a partnership with their spouse instead of pursuing children further. Some may experience children only in a spiritual sense as God opens up doors for you to minister to others in their faith. This may be in ministering to others with infertility or to just children in general in youth ministries or to fellow women in Bible studies. Some of those outcomes don't seem to suffice in my mind, but I do believe with all of my heart that when God allows us to go through something like this, it is for a greater purpose. And some of you may experience the answers to your prayers when God knows that it is significant for THIS moment in history for your child to be conceived and born. Others may experience the joys of adoption, growing in understanding of how God adopts us into His family. Others may face long-term infertility, but I believe that even in this God will be doing something.
I know how much the lack of assurance that it'll ever happen for you breaks your heart. I know how much you just want someone (who really knows) to tell you that it WILL happen someday, and preferably WHEN! My greatest struggle was in the fact that no one could assure me that it would ever happen, and I didn't feel any assurance from God that it was His will for my life either. It wasn't until God began to show me how He was working in my infertility, and then teaching me to be okay with it as I let Him work in it, that He began to speak to me about anticipating it. You can read it in my entries. I was lost until then. Devestated. Confused. And when I poured it all out to God in surrender, I began to hear His direction in it. I'm not saying that the moment you surrender to God, He'll give you what you're asking for, but that I AM sure you will begin to hear His voice concerning your situation.
Wow. I didn't really mean to spew all of that out, but my heart was just aching for those who are still facing infertility, and I felt torn with how to share my joy with them in the midst of it. So, having said all of that, I posted an update on my other blog as to the baby's development and recent occurances. I put it there to announce to our family who is more distant about our news, but also to give those who are struggling some space, not overwhelming them with tons of baby talk. I love each and every one of you, truly, and pray for you regularly.