Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Woman's Curse

At the fall of man, God said to the woman, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.” Genesis 3:16

Each month I got a negative test result and my period came, there were several days of sadness surrounding it. One month Andy was holding me as I cried and admitted that he couldn’t understand this sadness. He wanted children just like me, but there was a definite difference in the way it affected us. I explained to him that pregnancy was something I thought about every hour of every day. I couldn’t help it. I was even charting my fertility online daily.

We realized that because pregnancy happens within the woman’s body, she is forced to take notice of every sensation felt, and when she’s trying to get pregnant every twinge of sickness brings hope. The man doesn’t have to think of it unless the wife brings it up or he sees a father with his child.

Although I have never experienced the pain of childbearing, I have experienced the curse of being a woman waiting for God to implant a child into her womb. Fortunately I have a husband who is sensitive to that. He recognized that he couldn’t begin to understand the emotional pain I experienced each month when my period came. But when he held me it felt like the arms of God wrapping around me, comforting me.

Next Post, by Andy: 4/3/07

Monday, March 26, 2007

Wisdom From Fortune Cookies

I remember when I was a kid I used to shoot basketball in our backyard. I would say to myself, “If I make this shot _________ will happen.” I built the same kind of false hope on things I saw or things that were said when I was trying to get pregnant. Even though I knew it was false hope, I couldn’t help but get excited when I read a fortune that told me I would get something I’ve been wishing for very soon or that there would be a great life change in the near future. Silly, I know. But, when you want something very badly and you’re not getting it, you’ll seek hope and encouragement from anywhere.

Once I was helping with a kids’ play at church and out of the blue a woman came to me afterwards and said, “You’re going to be a great mom!” I took that as a sign that it would happen soon.

I went to have a fertility test where they flush your tubes to make sure there is no blockage to keep the egg from passing. The technician said that many woman he had performed this test on got pregnant the following month! This is it, I thought!

I started going to the chiropractor who told me that the area of my spine that affects my reproductive organs was out of alignment. He adjusted that area and said that many women who have had trouble getting pregnant come back the next month pregnant after an adjustment like that!

People say all kinds of things. You get your hopes up. Eventually you decide not to take it to heart, because it hurts too badly at the end of the month when you find out it wasn’t true.

Next Post: 3/29/07

Thursday, March 22, 2007

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?

Before I post my next entry, I want to thank you for reading each week. Just know that this is NOT the end of the story! This blog has a different format than most blogs because the thoughts you are reading are not my current thoughts. I have already written all of the entries (which is why I posted the Index at the beginning), I just haven't posted them all yet. I encourage you to read this blog as if you're reading a story, understanding that it's a process of thought stretching over several years. Each new post is like a new chapter of the story. You will not get to read my current thoughts and feelings on these issues for another 17 entries. Thanks for walking down this path with me, encouraging me, and being so understanding.

Now for today's entry...

When you’re planning to grow your family, you start considering the child in all decisions.
• We were hoping to be in a situation where I could stay home once the baby was born, so Andy was considering taking on an additional part time job.
• We hoped to get a mini-van to make travel easier. We planned to get Andy’s parents’ van when they got their new car.
• We weren’t sure we could commit to a cruise with Andy’s family the next year because I might be pregnant or have an infant.

When you start thinking like this on a daily basis, your paternal instincts kick into high gear. You love things that are cute and little. You walk through the baby clothes sections of stores. You get excited to see and hold babies, kittens, puppies. You desire to nest and nurture. The desire is unsatisfied month after month. So, you find a substitute.

Just before we started trying to get pregnant we got a puppy. We have as many pictures of our dog as most people do of their first child! It helped for us to take care of him and satisfy the needs of a living being that couldn’t care for itself. Some people pour themselves into their animal(s); some make themselves busy with work, friends, or even church…anything to satisfy this hole in their lives. A substitute can certainly distract you for a while, but it will never fill the gap.

I started to realize how big this gap was and that there was a chance it might never be filled. I started to ask myself, what if I never have a baby? Would I be OK if it were just God, Andy, and me for the rest of our lives? Shouldn’t I let God fill that gap?

Next Post: 3/27/07

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Negative, Negative, Negative

Pregnancy tests get expensive month after month, so do ovulation predictor tests.

It’s especially hard to get a negative test result when you’ve done everything possible to ensure conception that month. You’ve counted the days, took the predictor tests, recorded your basal body temperature every morning, etc. The worst times were Mother’s Days, Father’s Days, birthdays, holidays…anytime I knew we would be with groups of family and friends in situations where it would have been perfect to tell everyone that I was pregnant.

Last February I went to a fertility doctor who saw two eggs in my right ovary through an ultrasound. Emmie & Addie! That month we did everything we knew to make this the month!

I counted that I should expect my period a couple of days before Andy’s birthday. I sat down and made a list of things he liked and things I wanted to give him for his birthday and I realized that many of them started with the letter “B”, so I went with the theme “B if for Birthday.” I was going to start out the day with a birthday banner, balloons, and breakfast in bed. Then, before he was off to school I would give him books and a bonus (a subscription to his favorite magazine). I would then decorate the inside of the trunk of his car and send him an e-mail at work telling him to go out and look inside where he would find a basketball and ball cap. Then, after we went out to his favorite restaurant we would come home for brownies and berries. And, finally I would reveal the grand prize to him…a BABY!

His birthday came, so did my period.

My friend found out she was pregnant again. They were in a tight place and didn’t have enough money for maternity clothes. After I talked myself into it and shed a few tears, I gave her mine. Another friend found out she was pregnant (surprise!) and didn’t have any reading materials. I gave her mine. I didn’t need them after all and she did.

By the way, it’s not a good idea to watch “A Baby Story” when you’re going through this. It only makes you angry.

Next Post: 3/22/07

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Next Month

I remember in 8th grade staring at this girl in my English class who I was afraid would go into labor right there in class!

When he was teaching, two of Andy’s high school students confided in him that they were pregnant and needed some flexibility with their school requirements.

Almost none of my married friends and family planned their pregnancies. Some of them even got pregnant while on birth control. Getting pregnant must be easy, right?

I began counting down the days that I should expect to take a pregnancy test. I was so psyched and started planning how I would tell Andy that I was pregnant. I could see it all in my head and it was perfect! I paid close attention to every unusual sensation I felt in my body that month (and every month that followed). One day I was slightly nauseous before breakfast. Another day I thought my stomach felt hard. Then, one day I felt a sharp pain in my ovary. I had a headache one day. I had heard that some women didn’t have signs of pregnancy until they were well along, so it didn’t concern me that none of my symptoms were consistent.

A couple of days before I expected my period I took an early pregnancy test. It was negative. That’s OK, I thought, maybe I took the test too early. I still had two days and then I could take the test again. But, I didn’t have to.

I wonder if everyone thinks they’ll get pregnant right away like I did. It seemed so easy for everyone else. Why not us? Oh well, it was just our first month. Maybe next month.

I thought this every month…for two years.

Next Post: Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Isn't It Romantic?

Everywhere you go people are pushing strollers, laughing heartily as their baby smiles, carrying them close to their hearts and kissing their precious little cheeks. As a young married couple, you can’t help but smile that smile to your spouse that says, “that will be us one day!”

Andy’s younger sister had already had one child, but had just found out she was pregnant again. In the span of about two weeks, we also learned that three other young married couples were going to have babies as well! So, we wondered, why not us? Why don’t we start trying to have a baby? We’ve been married two years, that’s long enough to start a family. Oh, it will be so precious! I can just see myself pregnant and Andy kissing my big belly and all of those cute maternity clothes and me rocking a precious, tiny little baby in the chair that my mom rocked me in…oh, it’s going to be perfect!

Secretly I was excited about the attention that pregnancy and having an infant would bring. Selfish, I know. We decided not to tell anyone we were trying, because we wanted to see their faces when we surprised them with the news.

I thought about this non-stop from the moment we decided to try and get pregnant. I visualized the moment we would tell each individual friend and family member and what his or her face would look like. I came up with the most creative, clever ways to tell Andy when I got a positive result on the home pregnancy test next month and then our family and then our friends. Next month was going to be the happiest moment of our lives up to this point!

I got off birth control and started taking prenatal vitamins right away. I stopped working out because I was afraid it would hurt the baby. I started watching what I ate. I went out and bought tons of cute maternity clothes. I started reading the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” and a baby name book. I’ve been told I might have twins since my dad’s brother and sister are twins. I’ve always imagined having twin girls, so we picked out the names Emerson and Addison. We planned to call them Emmie & Addie. It was hard not to tell anyone, but the looks on their faces when we told them we were pregnant would be reward enough!

Next Post: Thursday, March 15, 2007

Saturday, March 10, 2007


My husband, Andy, and I are approaching the five-year mark of trying to have a baby in July 2007. At the recommendation of some who know our story, I’ve finally decided to take the time to create a blog about our struggles through infertility and our hopes of adoption in the future. The purpose of this blog is to share my heart with family and friends and to inspire and encourage others. It is my hope that anyone who has ever had a prayer go unanswered or wanted something “good” and didn’t get it might be encouraged by what we’ve learned. If you visit the site each week you will eventually see how God has used something that might seem unfortunate to bless us. He’s just great like that! Feel free to pass the link to this blog on to anyone you feel might benefit from reading it.

Most of the early entries will be backtracking. It’s an incredible blessing to go back to the beginning and see what my frame of mind was then and how far God has brought me/us. Andy and I are full of hope in God and excitement for what is to come. We are also humbled and thankful for everyone who has uttered a word of prayer on our behalf through the past four + years. Thank you all, and may God bless you in tremendous ways like he has us!

Disclaimer: If you are facing infertility or know someone who is, please know that I do not view our path as “right” and every other way as “wrong.” While I do believe scripture to be abundantly clear on many moral issues, the issue of whether or not to pursue certain infertility treatments is not directly addressed in the Bible. Furthermore, our choice not to pursue fertility treatment was not due to a specific interpretation of the scripture but rather to a sense of the Spirit’s leading of our lives at that time. God’s direction for one person facing infertility might be different for the next person. That is why it is so important that we seek Him and trust the leading of the Spirit in making decisions about our lives. I ask that you read this knowing that this is how God chose to work in our lives and know that I am not casting judgment on anyone in whose life He’s chosen to work differently. We grow when we face challenges, and the God who knows us best knows what we need.

Next Post: Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Index of Entries

3/10/07 Backtracking
3/13/07 Isn’t it Romantic?
3/15/07 Next Month
3/20/07 Negative, Negative, Negative
3/22/07 How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?
3/27/07 Wisdom From Fortune Cookies
3/29/07 Woman’s Curse
4/3/07 F-U-N and Wisdom from Rober Frost (by Andy)
4/5/07 My Fault? It's YOUR Fault!
4/10/07 Surprise! She's Pregnant—You’re Not!
4/12/07 Expectations
4/17/07 Prayer and Sin
4/19/07 Out of Control
4/24/07 Abraham & Sarah
4/26/07 Sovereignty of God
5/1/07 Back on Birth Control
5/3/07 Romanticized
5/8/07 Attack!
5/10/07 Alpha and Omega
5/15/07 The Wasteland and Children of Men (by Andy)
5/17/07 The Gospel Revealed Through Suffering
5/22/07 Adoption
(to be continued)