Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What I Didn’t Expect

I never thought it would be so hard to get pregnant.

I never thought it would be so hard to stay pregnant.

I never thought it would take this long. I'd turn 30 without having any children. I'd worry about how few kids we might have instead of how many we might have. I'd feel so out of control. I would be this far in the process and still feel like there is so much more to explore. This would consume so much of my time and energy.

I never thought my first doctor would refer me to an IVF clinic. I would see four doctor's and still no take home baby. I'd be in tears leaving a doctor's appointment. I would drive so far to see a doctor. I would feel like I knew more than my doctor. My doctor would hug me. My doctor would pray with me. I would want my doctor to prescribe injections. I'd get so used to disrobing for strangers.

I never thought I could talk about my miscarriages so nonchalantly. I would associate Thanksgiving, Tax Day, and 4th of July with losing babies. I would be told I had to have three miscarriages in a row before any testing could be done. I would actually have three in a row. My babies would meet God before I would. You could work with someone five days a week and have no idea that they have had three miscarriages since you've known them. I never thought I was so good at keeping secrets.

I never thought I would learn an NFP method other than sympto-thermal. A 70-year old widow would teach me Creighton. Words like uterus, ovary, and cervix would slip so effortlessly off my tongue. I would talk so openly about my cycles and fertility issues with women I had just met. I'd call PPVI to order a perforated condom. We'd rent a room near a hospital for the sole purpose of using a perforated condom.

I never thought having blood draws would seem like no big deal. I'd be on a first name basis with the lab ladies. I'd actually like the "mean" blood lab lady. The ladies at the lab would pray for me. They did female ultrasounds in places other than on the stomach. My ultrasound tech would hug me. I'd get kicked out of an ultrasound room because my bladder wasn't full enough.

I never thought my insurance file would be so thick. My co-pays for blood labs would be so low they wouldn't even bother to bill me. I'd have "female" surgery. We'd have to drive through snow and ice storms to make it to my pre-op appointments and surgery. I'd do a bowel prep in a hotel room. I'd wonder how many other women had done bowel preps at that same hotel.

I never thought I'd know what HCG, PCOS, CrMS, D&C, MTHFR, LUFS, and PAI-1 stood for. My hormones were messed up. My cycles weren't really regular. I had endo. So many seemingly unrelated things affect fertility. I'd be on so many medications and supplements. I would have gone so long without trying acupuncture.

I never thought this was something my husband and I would face in our marriage. There would be a section of my bookshelf dedicated to infertility. Sex would sometimes feel like a chore. We'd adopt a cat to fulfill our desire to nurture something. I'd still be working for my company six years later. My sister would face the same struggles.

I never thought I'd have a negative pregnancy test. I'd have so many negative pregnancy tests. I would go to the grocery store and buy a pregnancy test and tampons at the same time. A positive pregnancy test would fill me with so many conflicting emotions. My prayers after getting a positive pregnancy test would change from "Thank you God" to "Please help us get through this God."

I never thought I'd have a blog. I never thought the blog I never thought I would have would be about infertility. I would share some of my inmost thoughts and feelings on the internet. I would meet in person anyone I met on the internet. This post would get so long.

I never thought I'd sulk at baptisms, baby showers, and kid's birthday parties. The sight of pregnant women would make we want to cry, throw up, or cuss. I'd be jealous when other people announced a pregnancy. Seeing friend's Facebook pages would make me feel so sad. I would dread Mother's Day. I would feel like bursting out crying in public with no apparent provocation. I'd dwell so much on other people's comments. When I heard kids singing, "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage" I would want to yell out, "Yeah right!"

I never thought I would cry during a homily. Seeing young families at church would upset me. Prayer would be so hard. My prayers would go "unanswered" for so long. God would withhold this gift from us. I'd question God's plan. It would be so hard to place this in God's hands.

I never thought it would be this hard to get pregnant.

"Five times at the hands of the Jews I received forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I passed a night and a day on the deep; on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights, through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings, through cold and exposure. And part from these things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches." II Corinthians 11:24-28 (IF doesn't sound so bad now, does it??)

"We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…" II Corinthians 4:8-9

"Grace and favor you granted me, and your providence has preserved my spirit. Yet these things you have hidden in your heart; I know that they are your purpose." Job 10:12-13

Reflection Questions

  1. What did you not expect on this journey?
  2. How has the Lord helped you handle unexpected situations?
  3. How have you grown in faithfulness and trust in God?

An Irish Prayer

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.


  1. Good post and reflection. Thanks for sharing. I never expected any of this IF stuff either or being childless however it is what it is...and God wants to know what I'm going to do with it. I haven't totally figured that part out yet. :)

  2. I never expected to be infertile. It at times is still a shock. I try to calm myself when things get bad by saying that it is ok not to be happy in this life. I may be way more happy in the next.

  3. I never thought so many things about this journey also...it is a little bit crazy, isn't it? If there is one thing that I have learned through all the twists and turns I would say that it is how much God loves us- and how He has never left any of our sides.
    I love the Irish prayer- thanks for sharing! :)

  4. I definitely know what you mean about not expecting this. Your reflections are always so thoughtful and thought-provoking

  5. Thanks for this post - it really sums up a lot of emotions that I have been feeling, too. My prayers are with you and, again, thanks for the post.

  6. I REALLY enjoyed this post!!!! Thank you for sharring! This really hit home.

    Many prayers,