Tuesday, October 19, 2010

no pictures, lots of words, but from the heart...

Things are about to get real personal (and a little lengthy too).

What I’m about to discuss is something that it typically not talked about. It is kept hidden until change occurs…then, it’s not as likely to upset or offend. I don’t think that should be the case. Instead, I think it should be something that is openly spoken of and prayed for. You may choose to disagree, and that’s okay…perhaps a bit sad, but acceptable none-the-less.

Some may already know this; others, might not have a clue. Regardless, it’s a huge part of my life and that’s why I think it’s worth sharing. I can post a million crafts, a ton of family pictures, stories about my role as a teacher, what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, and gush over my husband. However, if I fail to mention this, I’m leaving out a huge piece of my story…the one that God is knitting together.

It is my hope and prayer that this post would allow others to see that they’re not alone in their struggles. This isn’t something you have to be afraid to share. I also want those in my life to know that they should not feel as though they have to hold back and avoid the topic altogether. The Lord has designed my life and this is obviously part of His plan. I trust Him fully, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t experience some pain and frustration along the way.

Here it goes…

In May of 2008, Ben and I decided that it was time to open up our lives to the possibility of having children. We knew it was something we wanted, but we also had a strong desire to wait until we had an opportunity to experience some time alone in our marriage. We felt it was important to wait a bit before having children. During those 21 months, we grew in our relationship and felt more prepared to welcome a child into the world. We also felt the Lord prompting us to pursue this avenue.

Now, if you’re any good with numbers, you can see that it’s been almost two and a half years and we still don’t have any kids.

For the first year or so, we didn’t really think too much about trying to get pregnant. We felt like the Lord would bless us with a child in His timing. However, once May of 2009 rolled around, we started to wonder. I found a specialist and decided to ask her about our struggle. She ran a bunch of tests and it looked as though everything was “normal.” She didn’t see the need to test Ben. Instead, she suggested we try for a few more months.

It’s important to note that I’ve never been regular…never. So, the fact that I was only having my period once every few months left us with a smaller window of opportunity. In the hopes of getting my cycle on track, the doctor had me try one month of birth control followed by one month off. Did you know that you’re most fertile when coming off birth control? Unfortunately, that didn’t work for us.

Flash forward a few more months and I’m back at the doctor’s office. This time around, she wants me to use some ovulation kits to see if I’m even ovulating. Really? Obviously, I wasn’t paying close attention in my high school health class. I didn’t know you could have your period and still not ovulate. Shows how much I know.

Since those sticks can get rather pricey, I found a place online and ordered in bulk. I just had a feeling (call it a prompting from the Lord) that we would need a large supply. So, my batch of 50 ovulation sticks arrived and we set off on the next leg of our journey.

During this time, I can honestly say that although I was discouraged and upset on occasion, I could also see the Lord’s hand in it all. Ben and I would talk about how difficult it would have been to have gotten pregnant right away. Since he was in school and gearing up to go back for another round, it was a blessing to see that the Lord kept us from conceiving. We were also able to take a few trips, get more involved at our church, cabin lead at Lakeside, love on our nieces and nephew, and take on more at work. With a child in the picture, those things might not have been possible.

Two years into it all, and I find myself back at the doctor’s office. That’s when things got a bit more serious. I wasn’t ovulating. As a result, the doctor prescribed some Clomid. I waited for a few months (since I didn’t get my period regularly) and then finally had a chance to take the medication in July of 2010. Nothing. The following month, nothing.

Since the first few cycles of Clomid didn’t work, the doctor increased my dosage. Instead of taking 50 milligrams, I was now taking 100 milligrams. Thankfully, I haven’t turned into a monster or anything. I know several women who openly admit to having been rude, mean, and cranky…all thanks to the Clomid. I’ve been able to avoid that side effect.

This pretty much brings us to today. We’re gearing up to try the third round of Clomid at 100 milligrams. I called my doctor (it was after hours, so I left a message) this week to see where we go from here – assuming that I don’t ovulate this next month. I’m supposed to call back today, after work. (By the way, I absolutely love this woman…she is so calm, and reassuring. If anyone out there needs a doctor, let me know. I will give you her info. At this point, she only accepts referrals – that’s how good she is.)

What am I supposed to say when people ask when we’re planning to have kids? Up until now, I’ve just kind of laughed it off and made comments like, “Any day now.” Otherwise, it makes for an awkward conversation. What am I allowed to share and what’s considered too much? How do I let people know that the Lord has blessed me with the ability to see children as a gift and a true miracle? I know many women who have struggled with infertility and as a result, they can’t go to baby showers, they get upset when people announce they’re pregnant and they find it difficult to rejoice in the addition of a new life. Not me! If anything, I feel as though I am able to see just how much of a miracle a baby can be…not all of us are guaranteed this gift. This is something that obviously comes from God!

On the flip side, I can tell you that I struggle when folks complain about how long it took them to conceive – four months, six months, etc. Inside, I’m screaming out, “Talk to me when you’ve been trying for two and a half years.” I know this isn’t a Godly response, but I’m being honest. I’m sure there are others out there who have been battling this for much longer. To them, I am certain that my voice is rather annoying.

I also find myself getting upset when people speak of their accidental pregnancy. That’s hard to hear. Again, I know this isn’t the right response, but I’m laying it all out on the table right now. Those who have struggled with infertility probably have their “hot buttons” as well…maybe they’re the same, maybe they’re different.

We might not know exactly what the future holds for our family. However, we are trusting in the Lord and His perfect plans. We know there are options out there, but we don’t yet feel called to pursue any of those (other than what we’re currently doing). There are many people surrounding us who have adopted – and rather recently. So, perhaps we will be contacting them in the near future for advice and feedback. Maybe this journey will come to an end next month?

Now you know what’s going on in our lives…the good, the bad, and the ugly. We have hope in Christ Jesus and without Him I can’t imagine traveling this road. We have learned so much about who God is and what He wants for us. We have been able to see blessings where it is often difficult to see at all. We will continue to praise Him and seek out His plan for our family…whatever that may look like. Please, feel free to join us in prayer!

If this is something you’re struggling with, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment – I would love to be able to lift you up in prayer! There’s something so freeing when you realize you’re not alone.

I’m tired of tip-toeing around infertility. Sure, I could have waited to mention this until we found out we were pregnant, but that doesn’t help to paint an accurate picture of our lives. Instead, the Lord calls us to share our story so that in turn, He may be glorified! We continue to praise Him in this “storm.”


   

32 comments:

Kara said...

Thanks for sharing, Anne. We will continue to pray for you guys. I hope that your post can bring comfort to others who struggle with this same thing too.

Anonymous said...

Your sharing touched me in a deep way, thanks for being real Anne, and I know your lives reflect the glory of God by your living testimony. I'll be praying for you as you continue on this journey. Peggy

Jess said...

Anne, You are absolutely not alone. Both my boys were clomid babies, on the maximum dose with a few other fertility cocktails thrown in. You being open about this will open you up to a whole sisterhood who have walked a similar path. Keep the faith and I'll be thinking about you.

J Yo said...

I know we've already talked about this, but Todd and I were in that place for a long time, too. It was a long road for us to get pregnant, with two losses along the way. I will continue to pray for you and Ben.

Love you, Anne! :)

Sarah said...

Anne- I second what Jessie said. Colin was also concieved with clomid and the other cocktails she was talking about. If you ever want to talk about it, feel free to email me!

Nicole Lee Smith said...

Praying for you lots. I agree with Peggy about your and Ben's living testimony. You are an amazing woman, thanks for sharing. Love you friend :)

Chris/ty said...

I love this. There is someone so freeing about being real, open and honest about life. God will use this. Thanks Anne. I will keep praying for you guys!

Sherri said...

Anne, your honesty and strength amaze me. We will continue to pray for you and Ben as you walk through this. Now that you've shared your struggle and your story, we will all be able to rejoice together and give God the glory for what He's going to do. We love you both so much!!!

Laura (BFF) said...

Anne you are always in my prayers. Even though this isn't something that I have had to go through, I hope you know that I am always here with an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on. I love you so much, and I want to be there for you!

Madeleine said...

Anne - Thank you for sharing. Your story realy touched me as I am dealing with something very similar. I was diagnosed with PCOS & am struggling with getting pregnant & all the other joys that come with PCOS. I can totally relate to what you said though about having to believe that it is all in God's hands & his timing. Although sometimes it's hard to remember that. Thank you for being brave enough to share.

winegarg said...

What a beautiful plan our creator has for you and for Ben...a plan to give you a hope and a future orchestrated just for you guys...a plan that will bring glory to his name as you share your journey with others! Your words from the heart are an encouragement to me and to others. I'm thankful that you have shared this tender part of your journey with us, because, my friend, I'm so committed to lifting you up in prayer for peace, patience, and God's continued work in your lives! I am here for you anytime...down the hall an to the right! Hugs sweet lady!

Ms. Connie said...

I love you Anne. I'm so glad to know you. you deserve everything you want and I pray you and Ben have the family you dream of. You'll be great parents.
One thing I know for sure, none of us get to write our story exactly the way we want it. It's how we write our sentences...oh brother, trying to be poetic I guess. Anyway, writing and sharing will help reduce the stress around this disappointment so I think that it is the right thing to do. Stress in your mind, body and soul does nothing good.
And, continue to make love often. :-)

Stacy K said...

Dearest Anne,
You have just told my story over 30years ago. We tried for over that amount of time. All of the doctor appointments, all of the comments made, month after month trying not to let it change who I was. It was hard not to be rude to people who said things. What were they thinking?
I was one of those that was on Clomid and told my doctor that he should take me off before someone got killed. There is more to the story that I will share with you one on one. Hang in there. Thank you for letting us pray with you. God has you in His hands and has a plan. I can wait to see it unfold. Bless you both!

Liam & Karen said...

Dear Anne, Where to start. I know what you are going through, and have been there. After 7 years of being told "you can't get pregnant" and "we don't know why" I was finally able to have a test done that confirmed that I have blocked fallopian tubes. Honestly it was a complete blessing to have an answer, and to have peace about it. Now here I am, 10 years after beginning this journey, with a beautiful 2 year old who was knit together by God for Liam and I. He wasn't made of our bone, or our flesh, but he was created to fit in our hearts. If you have any questions, or need to cry, please let me know. I will pray for you. God has a plan, and whatever path you chose will be blessed by him abundantly. Love you.

Stefanie said...

Anne, for you to let your struggle out in the open is incredible. Thank you for sharing something so intimate with us. You and Ben are in our prayers.

kate said...

Bless you Anne for your transparency. I appreciate your heart and longing to see the Lord glorified.
Our God has Good things for you and Ben and it might not always look like the normal package.
Infertility can make women bitter, but in you, I see hope. I see a woman who longs after the heart of the Lord and that is the most inspiring piece of it all. It wouldn't be the baby in the end (which is super great) but it's HIS name being shown through your suffering.
Remember this: God is a GOOD God and I'll obey and see GOODNESS in HIS choices for me.
That got me through many times of suffering and I know he'll carry you through as well.
Love you friend.

Jordan said...

Hey sister...I love you and I love that you totally broke some personal barriers and came out and laid it down like it is. We love you and Ben and we too trust in the Lord that he is going to do some pretty awesome things with you two. We are always here and you have our love forever.

Christie C. said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Anne. You are an amazing woman of God, your faith is so inspiring. I will be lifting you and Ben up in prayer. I know He has amazing things planned for you both.

waiting and wishing said...

I've happened onto you blog pretty randomly and keep checking back (stalking!) for fun crafty ideas. I had to comment on this post though- I commend you for sharing this part of your life! This is a difficult road to travel, but please know that you are not alone. There is a fantistic IF blogging community that I've learned endlessly from throughout my stuggle with infertility.

I'll be praying for you.

Jame said...

Sis... I love you so much. I am so blessed to have a sister who can be open and honest about the hardships of life. More often than not we only share the postive when we are creating our "social networking" personas, which if we are honest, like you have shown, is a complete misrepresenation of actual life. Life, while full of many blessings, for the most part is hard, for all of us. Thank you for reminding us and especially me, that it is okay to represent ourselves honestly... especially online where it is so easy to create a false reality.
God's timing is perfect. May your season of waiting upond the Lord be fruitful in ways you could not expect or imagine.
I am blessed to have a sister who follows the Lord the way you do.

Alec and Becky said...

Hey Anne,I haven't talk to you in YEARS!! I'm living in Alaska right now with my husband. Val sent me your blog link because we're going through a very similar struggle!! I've NEVER had cycles on my own. All my tests are "normal," but I'm not ovulating either!! We just finished the first set of Clomid and are hoping and praying for a baby. I'll start ovulation testing tomorrow to see if the Clomid "worked" this time. As you said, it's totally in God's timing and control, but it's so hard waiting! I'd love your prayers, and will lift you up in mine. It's not an easy road, but I know God has good plans for us. Thanks for sharing your struggle!
~Becky (Wanamaker) Paul

Alicia said...

Anne, last time we got together we talked about this and I pray for you guys daily. You are so brave for sharing your story. I love you!

Maria said...

Oh Anne, I have just adored everything about you since I first met you, as you supported the dance team in every possible way. Your transparency as you shared your deepest longings touched me so deeply. I know that you will probably hear from many others who have walked a similar path, and hopefully they will be able to share their stories or bare their souls as well to you, and the effect will be cathartic. I will be praying for you and Ben, and I know that He loves you unconditionally and will keep you wrapped in His loving arms!!

kto said...

You know how much of a blessing I think you are in my life. I know this hasn't been easy and you are amazing for sharing it with everyone. I have no doubt in my mind that you are supposed to be a Mom in some way, shape, or form. I can't imagine all you feel, but I know that there is some wonderful plan in store for you and He will unfold it for you at some point.

Kelli Weber said...

Oh sis...thank you for sharing your story! You and Ben have been so strong and patient throughout the last two years! We all must continue to trust in the Lord and believe all things happen for a reason! Never give up hope my dear cause miracles do happen! (Just look at Ryan and Katie) We love you both so much and will continue to pray for you! See ya soon! XOXO

Michael Perez said...

I love you Anne! I was not aware that you and ben were trying for children until a few months ago. I pray for you often and trust that god has a plan for the 2 of you. I know that you will be an amazing mother as our mother was/is. Stay the course young lady. I miss you and will see you soon!

Chelsea Bell said...

Opening up your story is going to be a testimony of epic proportions, I couldn't be more proud to call you a friend. Waiting on God with you...

Krista said...

Anne, thanks for posting this and being so open! Will pray for you guys. your attitude is pretty amazing! thanks!

The Tasa's said...

Anne, I was waiting in the office of the fertility clinic and thought I would check some blogs on my phone. I happened upon yours and felt so relieved that someone else I know is going through the same thing.We are 2 years in as well. Truly, God lead me to your post yesterday. We definitely can relate and you are awesome for sharing your story.

Robica said...

I'm reading "Taking Charge of your Fertility". Anne, I highly recommend it. It covers natural birth control, pregnancy acheivement and infertility (including Clomid, ovulation, etc). I found it at WalMart.com for $13. I've learned so many things about my body and why it does it what it does and what it means, it means something! I think every woman should read this. I don't think you'll be disappointed. If you are, I'll send you $13 :)

www.tcoyf.com

anne said...

Hotica, I totally agree...the book has taught me soooooooooo much! About a year and a half ago, a friend recommended it. Since then, several others have suggested it too. I enjoyed LEARNING SO MUCH! It's too bad they don't make you read this in college as part of a health class...so informative. Thanks for thinking of me. :)

Robica said...

Thanks for the comment response! I'm so glad to hear you have read it and agree. I'm really enjoying reading it. I thought of you when I was reading certain sections. Agree, they should have taught us this in school! Praying and thinking of you...