Saturday, June 25, 2011

Infertility background...

I think it's time I start writing out the details of how each gift of a child was given to me.  But to start things off, I am going to write the backdrop that led us to being able to have a family. 
I have mentioned in the past, I knew when my sister Abbie was born into the world, (she is turning 22 in 3 days!!!) that I wanted to grow up and be a mom someday.  I loved Abbie.  She was the best gift to my family.  My parents weren't expecting it, but that is how the Lord gives some of the best surprises. 
When I met Nick and we started our relationship, we both knew we wanted to have a family, and our plan was to not use any birth control when we got married, and just allow the Lord to provide us as many children as He wanted us to have. 

A few months before we got married, we were sitting around the dinner table at Nick's parents house.  And we were all joking about Nick and I getting pregnant with the honeymoon baby.  Nick's dad breaks in the conversation, and shares, "You laugh now, but what if you don't get pregnant right away..."
That sat in the back of my mind, and it didn't sit very well.  Yes, that could be a possibility, but that wouldn't happen for us. 

After we got married, I began to wonder if that first month we really would get pregnant.  I was not working anymore, and I had no intentions of finding a job because I was ready to go onto the NEXT thing in life.  It was like this checklist that I had in my mind.  First comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes the...  we all know :)  the baby in the baby carriage. 

My period came the first month, but I was not to be discouraged.  We ventured onto month two, and my hopes started to build again.  And once again my period came.  Hmmm...  I began to wonder how this getting pregnant thing really worked.  So over the following months, I started to research out charting your cycle on the computer.  Each month I could almost pinpoint the exact time, and as I would get closer to seeing if my period would come I would begin to do things like calculate the due date if we really were pregnant this month.  I already had a name book with a boy name written in it that Nick and I had chosen when we were 18, and a list of girl name options. 

When we got married God gave me a best friend that He knew I would need for this season in life.  Her name was Leah.  Leah had gotten married to her husband Dan 3 months before we had.  Our husbands introduced us after meeting on this PSU honors society retreat that they were both a part of.  I could talk to Leah about all my struggles and I felt completely safe with her, and she would pray with me and encourage me and point me to the Lord.

Leah and Dan announced in the winter of 2001 that they were pregnant.  I started to get excited.  Maybe God wanted me to get pregnant with her, and we could have our babies together and our families would grow up together.  That was my plan anyways. 

But that did not happen.  Leah had baby Gabriel in October of 2001.  I began to wonder if something was wrong.  I went in for a routine doctor appt, and I asked my dr. what he thought.  He told me that since Nick and I had never been intimate before marriage, that it could take up to 3 years, so just give it time.   When I talked to Nick about that, he said we just needed to wait.  So wait we did.   But I still was not getting pregnant.  I kept hoping.  I would even go to the dollar store and buy their pregnancy tests and take them.  Every single one would be negative and then within a few days my period would once again start. 

In summer of 2002, Leah was feeling not quite right, and she found out that she was pregnant again.  Something inside of me was screaming frustration.  God was NOT getting it right!  This was my time, to be pregnant with her. 
Nick was at that point willing to go to the dr. and get checked out.  His test results came back fine.  So Nick said we needed to wait and just see.  I was extremely irritated at this advice.  I did NOT want to wait anymore.  I wanted action - to be able to move forward with things.  I remember saying things to God like, "If I'm not pregnant by this time next year..."  trying to threaten God.  I had huge doubts in my faith through this season.  It didn't make sense to me.  Here I had "surrendered" the whole birth control thing so He could give us the family He wanted to have and HE wasn't taking advantage of that and filling our quiver full. 

THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF THINGS
Winter of 2003 Nick finally gave me the go ahead to find an infertility dr.  A friend referred me to a gal she had gone to, so we went to that clinic.  Finally I felt like things were moving. 
We started tests right away - our first test was this dye test that they shot in my tubes, and it made me feel super crampy.  That was how we spent our Valentine's Day.  I was excited though, because they said that sometimes it would clear things up and women often would get pregnant after this test. 
But a few weeks later that period showed up on schedule. 
They had me do temperature charting and take ovulation predictor kit tests.  Those showed I ovulated, but then I would start my period 9 - 10 days afterwards, which most women start 12 - 14 days.  We did a post coital test to see how long sperm survived inside of me (sorry if this is TMI), and it came back with no survival.  So we did it again just to make sure it was done right (Not exactly sure how we could have done it wrong, but okay;)  and it came back negative again. 
So she immediately started me on a basic dosage of chlomid to help me ovulate earlier with the hopes that it would increase the days after ovulation to allow more time for a conceived baby to implant in the womb.  They also started us doing insemination - where they would take Nick's sperm and wash it, and put it inside of me hoping my body would not kill it off. 
We did this for 3 months. 
Then she said she wanted to do a surgery to see if I had endometriosis.  With my severe cramps it was a possibility.  So that summer I went in for a surgery.  The results were that I had a medium case of endometriosis.  She lasered a lot of the sores from the endometriosis inside of me, and the hope at this time, would be that Nick and I would take the next few months and try on our own. 
We did.  But it became more and more like this brick wall I could not break down.  No matter what we did, I had this feeling we were not going to be getting pregnant. 

THE LESSONS AND PREPARATIONS GOD WAS DOING IN ME

I had a friend that was going through a similar situation.  God prepared my heart and deep down I knew she would be getting pregnant, but that wasn't what He had for me.  She did get pregnant.  And HE gave me such joy for her.  It is definitely a hard thing to have all your close friends getting pregnant and wanting to be a part of that and not being able to, completely out of your control.  He gave me the courage to have joy with them though.  I am so glad I got to be a part of all the celebrations and joys of their lives instead of being holed up in my own hurts and aches.  That was a TRUE gift from God because it isn't an easy things to be able to experience. 
Another one of the best gifts HE gave me in that is those friends including me as a part of their families during the day.  I would go over to their homes and hang out with them and their children.  I got to watch how they were raising their kids, and Nick and I would talk a lot about the things we liked, and the things we didn't like, and we would pray about it and God began to mold and prepare our thought process in how we would train our children.

For a few years I did a Precepts Bible Study.  There was one lady with children in junior high and high school that I grew to love to be around and respected.  She invited me to her home one time, and we talked a little bit about the infertility struggle I was going through.  She encouraged me that while I was waiting, why not do a Bible Study on what the WORD teaches on children.  So that summer I met with 3 other friends and we did exactly that.  We researched out and did word studies on parenting and prayed for each other and it was once more preparing my heart for how the Lord would have us parent - and the goals He wanted us to strive for. 

I remember one time being very frustrated with a guy that had been a part of our college group.  About a year after we were married, he came up to me at church and told me he was praying that the Lord would not allow me to get pregnant right away so Nick and I could enjoy being married.  I was so upset by that.  He didn't know that I was going through infertility.  However, looking back that was something that the Lord did lay on his heart to pray for us. 
Over the course of those first few years Nick started to share he was glad we hadn't gotten pregnant right away.  I didn't understand at the time, but he had just gone along with what I was hoping for, but he wanted more time to build our marriage foundation. 
So many times I wish I could back and cherish that alone time with him a little more.  Now, being married almost 11 years with four children, I would LOVE to have a week with just Nick to go somewhere just the two of us.  Why didn't I take advantage of that more? 
We have seasons in life, and we can live in joy in them, or we can live to be discontent and waiting for that thing to "fulfill" us.  God had to get me to a point of complete surrender to HIM before He could give me the gift He wanted me to have, which by the way are way better than I could have ever imagined. 

BACK TO THE STORY...
Winter of 2004, we went back to the dr.  We had not gotten pregnant on our own, so she suggested we try 3 more rounds of chlomid and insemination.  I fought it badly.  At this point I was DONE.  SO done.  I wanted to move on, and start pursuing the adoption process. 
Diane Comer had been leading a women's Bible study that I had been doing the worship for.  The first month of us doing treatment again, I saw on my temperature chart that my temperature was dropping again, and I knew I was not pregnant.  I was heart broken and devastated, and I had Bible Study that night, but I was in NO shape to lead the women into worship.  I stayed home that day, cried a lot in my bed.  And worked out my sorrow for with the Lord.  I was mad at Nick for making us try again, mad at the Lord that we were having to keep trying.  I did not want to have to start again and deal with two more months of disappointment. 
The Lord gave me a song.  A beautiful song from His Scripture that He had me play out on the piano.  And for some reason the WORDS comforted my heart and gave me courage.  These last few months of trying treatment, I would finish strong.  I would trust Him. 
Nick told me that he knew that it was hard to keep trying these last two tries.  But he said he knew it was what God wanted us to do.  And then Nick said, maybe if we are suppose to adopt, that our baby was not ready yet, and so that could be why we were still suppose to wait. 
And by His strength I did push through those last two tries.  And we did not get pregnant.  And that is where our story for starting our family truly begins...

1 comment:

  1. Kari, your blog is such a sweet reminder of how amazing you are since I'm not around you anymore. :) I wish I lived closer and could have you mentor me, as you have such a heart for the Lord and are an amazing mom I could learn so much from you!! Thank you for being such a humble servant of God's and being willing to share your stories. It always teaches & reminds me to lean more on Him.
    -becky

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