I began this blog when I was 23 years old and my husband, Jesse was only 21. That was in December of 2007 when we decided that we wanted to bring a baby into our family. We had no idea all that decision entailed. Back then I had a false assumption that I was super-fertile and would get pregnant even while on birth control. Well, I was off of birth control for over a year, went through all of the fertility testing, and then was diagnosed with "unexplained infertility".

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:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday, Best of Intentions

[Edit] This blog was originally written and posted on my myspace profile. The previous blogs were all written in my private journal, so no one had ever read them, but many people knew I had been struggling with trying to have a baby. So I posted this for them.

As many of you know, Jesse and I have been trying for some time now to have a baby. And many of you know, as well, that this has been a very difficult process for us. What most don't realize is truly how difficult is has been. It is a whirlwind of emotions, to say the least. We have done absolutely everything that we know how to make it happen, and while we know that we are still in the normal realm of conceivable time frames, there are still many questions that arise in the process. A normal person, with no fertility problems, has a 20-25% chance of getting pregnant each month just by not using birth control. More than 50% of couples conceive within 3 months. And this increases to a 75% chance of conceiving after 6 months without birth control. When you are actively trying by charting your fertility information including taking ovulation tests and recording your temperature everyday, and timing everything at the right time of your cycle, your chances of getting pregnant go up even more. This means that now having been trying for 7 months and doing all of the fertility charting, we have more than a 75% chance of getting pregnant, and yet we still haven't. And all of the statistics in the world don't mean that we won't be one of those couples who simply can't have a baby at all. There's nothing you can do to promise me that it will for sure happen.

We can rationalize that everything is still in a normal time frame and accept it, but our confusion grows even more considering that we have infertility issues on both sides of our families. It took my mom 4 years to get pregnant and she ended up having a miscarriage the first time, before getting pregnant with me. It took Jesse's dad 10 years to get his wife pregnant with Michael and when trying to have a baby with his second wife years later, he was diagnosed with specific fertility problems. Not knowing how these factors affect us or how long it will take us, brings fear into the situation. Yes, we've only been trying for 7 months, but that adds fear when we realize that it could take up to 10 years for it to actually happen. I can't imagine going through this 113 more times (which is equal to the number of months remaining to sum up to 10 years)!

And, despite how normal everything may be right now, that doesn't change the heartache I go through every single month. My weeks are spent calculating the most fertile times, doing everything accordingly, and then anticipating the arrival of an answer to discover if our efforts worked this time around. And, each month when the pregnancy test turns up negative or I face that time of the month, my heart sinks in absolute disappointment. I can't even describe the emotion. I can feel it physically. It's a sinking, crushing feeling- that everything I've been anticipating just came crumbling down. I spend some time in the following days sobbing, in utter confusion and sadness and then try to put myself together and move on. The truth is that while it is something that is always on the back of my mind, I live my life apart from it. I spend my days doing what I want to do. I do crafts and work on my house and go to work and enjoy my time with my husband. It's not something that generally interferes with my happiness and my ability to live life. And each time something threatens my peace about it, I have to deal with it, collect my emotions again, and move on again. It's a daily process. And I find things on a regular basis that cause me to question and bring up everything I'm holding internally. The hardest of these things being the discovery that one more of my friends is now pregnant, especially those who have been married less time than I have or those who were not even trying. As excited as I am for them, the overwhelming flood of sadness that comes over me can't even be described. But, once again, I process it and deal with it and move on.


But I write this blog not to pour out my heartache in the process, but to address those who are trying to encourage me in the process. I know that your intentions are well-meaning, I love each one of you and appreciate your concern, but your advice and "encouragement" often makes me feel like crap. I'm tired of brushing it off and allowing it to go on in ignorance.

First of all, stop telling me to stop worrying or stop stressing! It doesn't work that way. I can't just be like, "Oh ok, because you said it, I can let go of every emotion i feel and move on without any concern." In addition to that, as I previously said, it doesn't affect my ability to live my life. I make a very conscious effort to not stress out about everything. In fact, I am the least stressed that I have been in years. I am no longer working two jobs and going to school full-time while writing hundreds of pages of essays (literally), babysitting my little cousins, and planning a wedding or baby shower at the same time. I have things relatively very easy right now and LOVE the life i am living.

Secondly, stop telling me to trust in God. I am trying to trust in God with everything I have in me. And it's a continual process to trust. With every doubt, I have to declare that I know God is in control and surrender to Him again. And knowing that He is in control doesn't alleviate the questions. In fact, it presents more questions than it ever answers, causing me to wonder why He hasn't blessed us with a baby yet, why He may be withholding from us. It causes me to question God's character and to dig deeper to discover the truth about who He is and what that means for my situation, in turn.

Third, don't tell me that we should stop trying and just enjoy our time together or wait until we've been married longer. We've been married nearly a year now, and our decision to have a baby was one with much thought and consideration. We have an amazing marriage. I love my husband so much and we want more than anything to bring a baby into our marriage, that our love will overflow into loving this child and bringing them up to honor God. I can't help feeling that with the love that we feel for each other, that there is a missing piece in our lives. And Jesse has expressed the same feelings. He wants a baby as much as I do, he just expresses it in a different way. Regardless, our decision is our business, not your's.

And finally, please don't tell me the experiences of every person you've ever known when trying to conceive. Most of the time, the stories are from polar opposite ends of the spectrum. On one end, you have a person who didn't try at all or got pregnant while trying to do everything they could to prevent it. And on the other end, you have the person who tried for 10 years to have a baby, ended up with a still-born baby, only to try 5 more years for a baby. Trust me, I've heard it. The first end of the spectrum leaves me feeling like something is wrong with me, that it didn't happen for me so easily. In contrast, the other side scares me, making me fear that i too may end up like them- that the frustration and pain I am going through now will carry on for years to come. Instead, it's much more helpful for someone to say that they tried between 5-8 months and conceived normally after that amount of time, letting me know that where I'm at is still normal. Or, even better, is to keep your stories to yourself. I recognize that every person and every situation is different. Some people conceive without any work while others must try for a long amount of time. Some need other assistance while others can do it naturally. Therefore, allow me to be my individual situation or only give me examples that may actually aid in my attempts, such as "this worked for this couple, have you tried it or could you?"

I don't want this to be a complete bash on everyone who's ever tried to give me comfort or advice. Instead, I simply couldn't go on sitting silently as you go on saying things that truly only end up hurting me. While I know that you want to help, I also know that many of you may have no idea what to say. So here's what you can do that is helpful:

First of all, tell me that you are sorry I am going through this. If, in contrast, you try to convince me that I have nothing to worry about, it makes me feel as if my confusion and heartache is invalid. By acknowledging that I am going through something and that you are sorry, tells me that my feelings are legitimate and that you care that I'm hurting.

Secondly, let me know that you're here for me if I do need to talk about it or if I don't. I want to know that I can turn to you without fear of burdening you or of ending up feeling worse than I already did.

Third, tell me that you are praying for me and let me know that you truly are. It doesn't help if you just say it and I don't see any evidence of it afterwards. If you want to, and the situation is appropriate, offer to pray with me right then. I have believed for years that the most loving thing you can do is pray for someone. it says to me that you care so much about me that you are willing to take my needs before the only one who can meet them.

Next, tell me that you are excited to see God answer those prayers. Look to the future optimistically. Be careful with this, though. It's different than trying to convince me that it'll happen someday. Instead, it acknowledges where I'm at now and offers hope rather than denying how I feel and trying to convince me that I'm wrong. I don't know if that's clear to you, but there's a difference. One way to do this is simply to talk to me about my future plans with my kids. Ask me what names I've picked out, what decor I want for their nurseries, how far apart I want their ages to be. I've thought all of this through and have hopes and aspirations for my future children. By discussing it, it makes me feel optimistic that it will happen someday.

Finally, just be there for me. Most of the time, as long as you acknowledge that I was talking to you and that you heard me, you don't NEED to say anything. Put your arm around me, hold my hand, pat my leg- something that just says that you care and that you're here for me, without necessarily saying anything at all. You can even verbally say that you're there for me if I need anything. It's simply comforting to know that I have a support system around me full of people that truly love me.

In the end, I know that each of you truly does care. I just think that often people who have either never experienced it or don't remember how hard it was don't realize that the things they say can be offensive or cause more questions. Many of the things I listed are the exact same things that others who struggle with infertility say they've heard as well. So i figured that speaking up would hopefully alleviate the problems in the future. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, I can proudly announce that the issue is resolved and that my fears are gone due to an answer to prayer. Meanwhile, I know that you mean well, so here's what I'm dealing with and the support I need.

P.S. There are a select few who really have been very helpful. I appreciate your love and support. Thanks for being there when I needed you.

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