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, September 23, 2008

Tuesday, Stepping Stones

I went to my doctor's office (Dr. Balsom) for a check up on a minor earache. The pain or discomfort wasn't so bad, but because of my chronic ear infections growing up, I wanted to make sure that it wasn't worse than what it seemed. Meanwhile, this is the same doctor Jesse and I saw in April concerning having a baby, so I figured we could do a follow-up appointment since I'm still not pregnant. In addition to that, I called an OB-GYN (Dr. York) today to get set up as a new patient, but they said that I might need a referal to become a patient for her. I specifically wanted Dr. York, too, because she comes highly recommended by others I know who go to her, and she also shares a clinic with the only infertility specialist within 200 miles, Dr. Austin, so if I ended up going to him, I'd be going to the same clinic.

So, while I almost cancelled my appointment since my ear was not really that bad, I figured it was worth it to go just to ask about the fertility issues. So, after my initial check up for my ear, Dr. Balsom began to ask about where we were at in our fertility process. I reminded him that we had been there in April and were yet to get pregnant. At this point, if I don't get pregnant this month, we will begin cycle 14 and month 12 of trying to conceive- and a year of not getting pregnant is defined as infertility. His first response was to make sure that I am ovulating. The fact that I take my Basal Body Temperature (a common method in trying to conceive) everyday shows that I do in fact ovulate, and taking ovulation predictor tests show when I am about to ovulate. He asked about how long my cycles are and when during the cycle I ovulate. From here, he said that the first steps to take to determine if something is wrong or not is to start examining my reproductive system and making sure there isn't something abnormal. We can tell, so far, that the egg is at least being released. But there could be some reason why its not travelling down the falopian tubes or a reason it's not making it to my uterus. This examination is called a hysterosalpingogram. In addition, they can also test my hormone levels and make sure they are correct as well. They can also do a really simple sperm analysis on Jesse to make sure that things are good on his side of it all.

Dr. Balsom said that because of where I'm at in my current cycle, it is actually the perfect time to have a blood test which tests my progesterone levels, and they could do it right then and there in the clinic. So he wrote up a lab order for me to have my blood drawn. He also sent in a referral to Dr. York and talked like he knew her personally and thought she was a great OB-GYN to go to. As we get the results of some of the tests and begin seeing Dr. York, then we will have more direction with where to proceed from here.

I hope to hear back within the next few days about my blood test as well as receive a call from Dr. York's office about becoming a patient there. They said, initially, that it could take a minimum of 6 weeks to get into her office, but I'm not sure how Dr. Balsom's referral will affect that time. More than anything, though, I'm relieved that we can finally start getting some answers and do something different than what we've been doing for the last year.
While nothing has changed physically with our trying to conceive journey, a lot has changed mentally and spiritually. Often, I've wanted to write about the things God has been teaching me, but it seems like too much to write about. To start with, I began doing a study about a month and half ago about infertility in the Bible. I discovered that there are many more accounts than the ones of Hannah or Sarah that we typically hear about. I also learned much more about what God was doing behind the scenes in each couple's lives. For instance, some women were barren as a way for God to reveal his power in their impossible situations. In one story, one woman's fertility was compensation for her loveless marriage, while the wife who was loved remained infertile because she had her husband's undying love. In other stories, it was a result of faithful prayer that led to a child for the infertile couple. So much before, I struggled with understanding what it meant about God for us to be childless. However, these stories helped me to understand why God may be allowing it in our lives. I also began to find infertility support groups for Christians, and verses of encouragement to post around me as reminders.

I have also been reading a few things which have brought out some new ways of thinking about things which have really helped, such as recognizing my difficult/impossible situations as not saying that God is good despite the situation, but as actually proving that God is good. Also, they enable God to redefine what impossible really is. Furthermore, to trust in God means that I am trusting in who He is- that He is good, not trusting in Him to respond to my situation in a specific way. If I am expecting a certain outcome, I am not really trusting Him. I am, instead, hoping and wishing for Him. So, when it comes to infertility, I can't trust God to bring me a child. This means that I am really only hoping and wishing for Him to intervene this way. Instead, to truly trust in Him would be to trust that He is good no matter what. He is good in my infertility, and He is good no matter what happens. And, if I am infertile now, then it is God's best for me now, and if He brings me a child later, then it is His best for me then. Meanwhile, I just have to seek Him in where I'm at, for His best for me today may change tomorrow.

In the midst of it all, I still struggle, but it's not the same as where I was before. I get discouraged when I browse through my friends' profiles on myspace and see so many pregnancies, ultrasound pics, and newborn baby pics. Sometimes I have to abstain from putting myself in a place where it brings up too many emotions. And I get tired of trying for so long without seeing any results. I wonder how much longer I'll have to try and when, if ever, I'll get what my heart desires. It still makes me sad when I discover I'm not pregnant again, but it doesn't get me down as far and I can find encouragement again much quicker. Today, before getting off work, I found myself getting discouraged about my infertility before even finding out whether I'm pregnant this month or not. It was a feeling of defeat that came before even knowing if the defeat was real or not. In response to this, though, I posted verses of encouragement all around my desk. I'll end with this, my favorite one right now:

Habakkuk 3:17-18 "Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; $even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!"

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