Updated: Jan 10
If you have read my story, you may have already guessed the challenge I dealt with in trying to conceive. Being an Anorexic patient for seven years did a number on my body. Malnutrition coupled with exercise addiction did more than just slimming my waistline and bringing me down to a tween girl's bra size. My heart, bones, hair, and reproductive system were all
impacted by the stress my body went through.
Once I hit recovery, things began bouncing back to normal for the most part. My slow heart rate increased to a normal 60 BPM, my fragile bones left their osteopenia state, the hair on my head grew back, and the fuzz that developed on my arms disappeared. The only part of me that didn't return was my menstrual cycle. If we're being honest, who really enjoys having their period? So, it's not like I was super bummed out that Ol' Aunt Flo hadn't popped back in for a visit. There are, however, certain upsides to having a period, such as bone health and the biggest one being, GETTING PREGNANT.
At one point my gynecologist prescribed me birth control in hopes that it would give me a cycle. The loss of a menstrual cycle for a lengthened amount of time can have a very negative affect on bone mineral health. By God's grace, the plan worked. My cycle returned with the aid of taking a pill every day. The plan was to continue on the pills for as long as my body continued to produce a cycle. There were a few times I went off birth control to see if my period would come back naturally, but it never did. By the time I got married, it had been
eight years since I had a natural period.
As you might've guessed, once my husband and I were happily living the married life, the idea of starting a family crept in quick. From the day we said "I do," we both knew that there would be a tough road ahead when it came to conceiving. What I underestimated was how hard the struggle would be, emotionally. For obvious reasons, after a year of adventures with it being just the two of us, I went off of birth control. We were ready for a family, but my body clearly was not. My periods stopped, just as my doctor told me they would. I was told that after this long, my re-productive system had more than likely shut down, and to not expect to ever see a natural occurring menstrual cycle again. Without a cycle, I wouldn't ovulate; no ovulation, no baby.
Months and months went by, and doubt struck me like a two edged sword. I feared the worst, and at times nearly gave up hope. My prayers never ceased though, because my God is greater. Within a year's time, my cycle re-appeared just as suddenly as it had vanished. I know there can't be many women out there who have cheered for joy, and texted all their friends in excitement, when they woke up and discovered it was their time of the month. I don't know which I was happier about- my body being back to normal, or the fact that my odds of getting pregnant just skyrocketed. So, this means I can get pregnant now, no problem! Wrong!
With the re-appearance of Aunt Flo, I thought getting pregnant would be a walk in the park. For some fertile mamas out there, it definitely is. For others, getting pregnant is a delicate, intricate, and complex tapestry of components which all must align perfectly in order, for success to be attainable. After seeking help from multiple fertility specialists, I took one big thing away from my experience. Getting pregnant is truly a miraculous gift from God, because there is A LOT that goes into conceiving a child.
For anyone who has ever battled with infertility, it is a monster of a storm. We're talking tidal waves of ups and downs. It is an emotional rollercoaster that can be traumatic for couples to get through. For Ben and I, it felt like the life we dreamt of was crashing down on us right before our eyes. The hardest part being the lack of having any control in the matter. You can will yourself to be pregnant, you can try all the tricks in the book, and all the fertility methods in the world, but God's plan is the one that will follow through. Believe me, I tried everything. The only thing I didn't try were fertility treatments, only because they weren't covered by our insurance and we simply couldn't afford them.
The more you try, the more heartache you feel, every time you look down to see only one little line on the fifth test you've bought that week. There's no sugar-coating it, struggling to conceive is hard, and it hurts deep. Ben and I found comfort in each other, but most our strength came from what God provided. If there's anything I've learned up to this point, it's that life is never going to go exactly the way we plan it, will it, or want it to. Sometimes, things turn out great and just the way we hope for them to. Other times, everything goes to hell in a handbasket.
The beauty in this is that, it's all just a reminder that we are not in control. Our Father in Heaven sees the bigger picture that we cannot see. He has a plan for our lives, that is what is best for us. No other plan that we create for ourselves will work. Eventually, if whatever we do doesn't align with His plan, it will fall apart. That does not mean we can't pray and ask God for His grace in certain areas of our life. He wants us to do that, because He wants us to seek Him FIRST. He wants us to fully rely and depend on Him, as we are created to cling to Him in our times of need (Proverbs 3:5). Through our weakness, He is made strong (2 Corinithians 12:9).
Women who are struggling with conception are in a desperate battle, where depression and anxiety lurk around every corner. This is not a fight you have to face alone though. There are so many times, I remember getting on my knees in front of my bedroom window. I stared up into the sky with tears pouring out, begging God to "make it happen". There came a point when I realized I had to surrender it all to Him. Loosening my tight grip on what I desired more than anything, and then passing the reigns over to God, was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I had to remind myself everyday of who I knew God was, and to trust in what His plan was. Maybe all this meant that we were supposed to go a different route in starting up a family.
I began researching adoption and foster care agencies. Ben and I contacted several organizations in attempts to get the process started. Throughout this time, I continued to take pregnancy tests every week. The ounce of hope I had left kept feeding me the notion that one might miraculously show up positive. It only takes mustard seed (Matthew 17:20).
One night while I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, Ben walked into the kitchen holding up an 88 cent Wal-Mart pregnancy test. It was one I had taken earlier, and must have left on the counter in our bathroom. "There's two red lines here!" I immediately
laughed, and said nice try. I told him it was probably just an evap line. Those had already thrown me off before too many times to count. I wasn't about to get played again. Still, Ben insisted that I take another, saying that this looked different from the other evap lines I had gotten in the past.
After seven, yes SEVEN, pregnancy tests all taken that night, a blood test at the doctor's office the next day confirmed it. I was pregnant. God is, indeed, so so good. In my case, God had intended for me to conceive our precious little Noah Jacqueline
all along. Others may not have the same or even remotely similar story to tell. What is important to remember is that God is good, and He will NEVER forsake you. Trust in Him with your journey. That doesn't mean give up all hope, but believe in Him to give you the true desires of your heart. Your Father in Heaven knows what is best for you, and He will
provide you with just that, if you seek Him first (Matthew 6:33).
View my story on the 700 Club
Spread a little human kindness by donating to Vocal Survivors.