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, November 11, 2008
My Script was Stepped On
He had a script and you stepped on it. Let me explain.
I think that even the most laid-back person still sets for a plan for himself. The number of pages he writes out ahead of time could be anything from “I will wake up in the morning whenever I wish, and then do whatever I want throughout the day” to “After awaking at 6:35am, I will eat my breakfast and read my newspaper before walking out the door at 7:15. I will stop at exactly 3 red light before arriving at my work at 7:30…” Each of these agendas make up his script. And anger (or any kind of upset feeling) arises when this script is stepped on. For instance, after deciding that he wants to do whatever he wants all day long, suppose someone calls him up and asks for a favor. Now, despite the fact that he had nothing in particular to do, being asked (feeling obligated) to now complete this task for another ruins his plans for the day. Or, for another instance, take the script spelled out to the letter. What if there ends up being an accident on the road that delays the trip? Despite the fact that it was uncontrollable, the inconvenience sets the guy on edge because it ruins his plan.
You may think these scenarios seem over-simplified, but when I heard this speaker suggest such an idea, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. I realized that often the moments that I get irrationally irritated at someone boils down to the simple fact that they stepped on my script. My brain never stops working. Every moment of my waking hours, and much of my sleep-time, I spend over-analyzing every detail of every scenario. But when I come to a conclusion after all of my deliberation, it’s difficult for me to face the prospect of someone throwing my whole plan up in the air. I realized that there are those moments when the day just isn’t going the way I wanted it to and I feel this intense rage boiling up within me and I can’t really put my finger on why exactly. But it makes sense when I realize that often the source of it all is a stepped-on script. That’s why I can be on the verge of tears just because Jesse suggests a plan for the day that was different than what I had in mind. That’s why, when I described my argument with him over future adoption plans, I was so upset by his inability to discuss such a matter with me. I needed his help to write my script and he was rejecting the script all together! I need my script. I hold on to it very tightly, and it’s difficult for me to edit it and, especially, to let go of it.
Now that I think of it, for the past 5 years, God has been trying to get me to surrender all of my scripts. When I graduated high school and set out on my own, I had grand plans of finding love in my freshman year of college, getting married before I graduated, and being a psychology professor after getting my doctorate degree, while raising our beautiful children. God not only stepped on my script. He then laughed at it and tore it into pieces. I want to stress that I don’t believe God did any such thing in spite. I believe that it was His unfailing love for me that knew His script was better than mine. So, He humbled me to the point where I could exchange my script for His. He made me wait until I was in my sophomore year of college before I even began dating my future husband. He allowed us to go through an awful breakup that lasted almost as long as the amount of time we’ve been married to-date. He completely shook up my plans for school, and by the time I graduated, I knew I was supposed to maintain my degree in psychology, but am STILL left wondering how it’ll all pan out. In fact, I’ve considered going back to school and starting all over again in another field. And when we set out to have kids… well, you should know where that one led us.
But the hard part about God’s script is often that you can’t see past the line you are on right now. So, here I am, not sure about where I’m supposed to go next. I had it all written out:
“Probably not pregnant this month, so one more blood test that I’m sure will come back just fine. A teeny, tiny cyst that will no longer exist by the time I go in for my next ultrasound. Several rounds of Clomid that would either give me the child I long for (maybe even 2!) or by the time I reach Spring time, Jesse and I would be seeing the fertility specialist and receiving IUI’s, sure to work because there’s nothing else wrong with us!”
But, as I did some research on explained infertility yesterday, I began to settle on the idea that this diagnosis isn’t as reassuring as I once thought. I had previously thought that this diagnosis simply revealed that there REALLY was nothing wrong with us and that God just wanted us to wait for kids. But much of what I read suggested otherwise, saying that there most likely is something that is at the root of it all, and often it’s not easy to find. I struggle with this notion. It means that after my script is complete, I will find myself on the pages of another script- that I may be starting out on a whole new plot line- not having yet reached the grand finale that I hoped for. Last night I was reading the advice 2 fellow infertile girls gave me regarding the next part of my script. They agreed together that I should skip the Clomid with Dr. York and jump right over to the Reproductive Endocrinologist, who is better educated and can do more to help me on my way. One even said that she had ignored such advice from someone else and it is the only thing she regrets in the process she’s been through. They both also mentioned the fact that they underwent numerous IUI’s before having laparoscopic surgery. To me, it seems so backwards because their IUI’s may not have failed if they had done the laparoscopic surgery first. But they explained that often the doctor wants to try the IUI first just to see if it’ll work before doing a riskier surgery. I so much appreciate their advice, and I think it’s important to mention that each girl stressed the importance of seeking God regardless of which way I go. But the whole suggestion made me question my entire script. All of the sudden, I wondered what might happen if the Clomid doesn’t help me. Would I have just wasted 6 more months that didn’t need to be wasted? But if nothing else is wrong (or severely wrong) then what if the Clomid is exactly what I need to boost my chances of conceiving? I have a few former co-workers who got pregnant by taking Clomid by itself, both within a short amount of time. And I REALLY don’t want to undergo multiple IUI’s only to find out that they were pointless because there was an underlying problem that wasn’t even addressed until after the procedures failed. I have such high hopes of this procedure working for us (if we get to that point), and the emotional roller coaster that goes with such a procedure may be really hard for me to cope with. And, I had felt so certain that chances of having a baby by my 25th birthday (next November) were so high. But all of this gave me doubt, adding in the possibility that something deeper than we’ve discovered thus far would hinder us from reaching our dreams. I read their stories everyday online of those who are still struggling through infertility 2-5 years, even 10 years later. And while their stories give me hope, through the faith they express despite their circumstances, and while my heart goes out to them in love empathizing with their despair, I don’t want to be one of those people.
I believe that God can take the most impossible reproductive problems and still create a baby from them. He could take a man with dead sperm and a woman who doesn’t ovulate and create life from their nothingness. He did it in the Bible… twice (at least!). I’ve often believed that no matter what health problems Jesse and I may have (even factors like obesity which could lower our chances of conceiving), God could create a baby despite of it. (I’ve seen a lot of fat girls get pregnant.) I’ve seen a lot of women who are old or who don’t ovulate regularly or who have endometriosis, etc., still all conceive. One of my best friends was told from a young age that she would never have children. She had laparoscopic surgery, revealing endometriosis and was still told, after having it all removed, that she’d never be able to maintain a pregnancy… all before she was even 16 years old. Today, at 21 years old, she holds her 7-month-old daughter in her arms. I even read today as Abe announced his wife’s pregnancy after endometriosis, poor sperm quality, and 2 rounds of in-vitro fertilization. Praise God! He’s not alone. J waited a year and a half for his miracle. And despite his poor semen analysis, God created a child, now 2 weeks old, without any assisted reproductive therapies.
And yet, knowing that God has the ability to knit a baby together in my womb regardless of anything else that is wrong doesn’t mean that He may not choose to work through a doctor and correct anything wrong before giving us that special gift. The whole thing is unsettling, as I think of how much longer I may have to endure childlessness, how many more tests or procedures I may have to go through. And I’ve felt so certain lately that God was speaking to me to get ready for Him to give me my miracle, telling me to anticipate a move of God soon. I sat in the middle of a circle of mighty women of God who laid hands on every part of my body and prayed boldly for God to intervene and give us a child. My doctor said that she felt optimistic that we’d be pregnant soon, and even added that she had a good feeling about this month. My best friend told me that same day that she had a good feeling too and that I had been on her mind and in her prayers a LOT lately. While “good feelings” don’t mean anything in the physical realm of things, each could be a whisper of encouragement from God to my heart. All of these things were in the last 3 weeks, all in this same cycle. And I will find out in only a matter of days if God really did move this month despite the odds against us. But even if it’s not this month, I have such an eagerness about it being soon. I don’t want all of these new factors to discourage me in my excitement for God’s plan. I think that, instead, I just have to remember that my script remains best written in God’s hands. So, for now, I think that I will just first see if I’m pregnant this month. From there, I will take the one final blood test and see how that goes. If my doctor wants to put me on Clomid after that, I’m not really opposed to trying it for a few cycles (as long as the side effects are worth it). And, in the process, we’ll see how long we want to continue that before jumping over to the fertility specialist. With prayer throughout the entire process, I have to trust that God will lead us to the right places and the right treatments at the right time. My optimism is mixed with some realistic oppositions, but I know that, ultimately, where God takes me will be for my best. He’s led us this far, hasn’t He?