Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Infertility: Part 2 | My Prayer

First, let me say thank you for your amazing support. Your stories have been very touching and encouraging. I'm so glad to have this community of women now that can understand what this particular struggle feels like.

Some really exciting things have happened in the past month regarding a different direction the Lord could be taking us on that wasn't originally what I thought our life would look like.

But first, I want to share briefly what my prayer for the past several months has been. My prayer has not necessarily been Lord, help me to get pregnant. My personality type lends way to becoming obsessive over something very easily. So my prayer has been that I will not become obsessed over getting pregnant to the point where it consumes my every thought and actions. But my prayer has been that I will be obsessed with what God's will is for my life. Because the thing is, knowing me, I'm going obsess about something and I would rather that be with whatever God has for me and my family then over what I think my life should be like. So as you think about us and pray for us, I would like you to join me in praying this same thing.

Ultimately we all want to be in God's will. I'll never forget last summer, I was leading Kay Arthur's precept class on Genesis at our church with a group of women. The entire study was on Abraham. So I studied MUCH about Abraham and Sarah and how she was barren and God promised them a son and they just couldn't believe it.

Almost 10 years went by after God promised this promise to them. 10 years! That's a really long time to wait for something. Well, as you know, they took matters into their own hands to try to fulfill God's promise in their lives on their own.

So they came up with the plan to have Abraham sleep with Hagar (Sarah's maidservant) and she bore Abraham a son and they named him Ishmael. Abraham and Sarah thought they had fulfilled God's promise and that the covenant for God's people and the promised Seed (Jesus) would be fulfilled through Ishmael.

Well, as we know that was NOT God's plan for them. He did in fact allow Sarah to get pregnant and she bore Isaac and the promise was fulfilled through Isaac.

The Bible describes Ishmael as "a wild donkey of a man. His hand was against everyone and everyone's hand was against him". Because of Abraham and Sarah's unbelief they created Ishmael. And Ishmael turned into a disaster and bred disaster.

The question Kay asked that will always stick with me is she said, "What Ishmaels in your life have you bred because of your unbelief or impatience in God?" What have I created in my life that has bred destruction or chaos because I wanted something to happen that wasn't the Lord's will and forced it to happen? And some of those Ishmaels have life long lasting effects, even throughout generations like in Abraham and Sarah's case.

That's why my prayer is that I won't get so obsessed with getting pregnant that I will force MY plan to happen instead of God's and it could create an Ishmael in my life and my family's life.

Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what HE had promised.
Romans 4:20

I so badly want to be this person whose faith does not weaken but is strengthen. "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!!" Mark 9:24

Thanks again for your prayers and support. I am so excited to be on this journey with you.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Infertility: Did That Get Your Attention

In February of 2008, Heath and I decided it was time to start trying for Baby #2. Ella had just turned 2 and it was time to start thinking it might be time if we want them to be close in age. Also in February, at about the same time we had just started discussing this, God very clearly called Heath and I to go on a mission trip to Sudan, Africa that would be for 2 weeks in July. We felt so undeniably called to go on this trip that we decided the baby making would have to wait until after we got back. We actually joked about starting to try in Africa and then if we found out we got pregnant we could name our baby Sahara or something really Africany. But then we got to Africa and saw are living conditions for the next 2 weeks and immediately knew that was NOT going to happen. You know what I’m saying? That’s just wrong.

Anyway…so after we got home from Africa, we were full of joy and excitement as we started this journey. And as the months kept going by and by and by and each month was full of negative pregnancy tests that joy and excitement faded quickly away in my mind.

You see, Ella, was not exactly planned, not at all…not even a little bit. It was against all odds that we got pregnant for two reasons:
1. We were being careful.
2. I don’t exactly have the most regular periods and from what I had heard that probably means I’m not ovulating very often .

But it’s because of those two reasons that it is SO evident to me of God’s timing and will for that to have happened when it did. And never once has that been doubted!

(Also, I later found out that Amanda and her mom had been diligently praying for Amanda to have a pregnancy buddy and I’m so thankful that God chose me for that, along with our good friend Sunni!)

So you can imagine our surprise when that test result (the first pregnancy test I had ever taken) was positive. I thought, surely I did something wrong while taking it. In fact, Heath was in such a state of shock he sat on the bathroom floor for about 10 minutes staring blankly at the directions looking for some kind of error. However, after a couple of hours went by and it started to sink in, we were like little kids in a candy store overflowing with excitement!

Even though I still to this day struggle with #2 on that list, I honestly did not think we would have a problem getting pregnant. We certainly didn’t with Ella, so why would something be different this time.

I had never heard of women who can’t get pregnant with their second child until I was doing some research about 9 months ago and came across this.

What is secondary infertility?
Secondary infertility simply means problems getting pregnant or sustaining pregnancy in a woman who has had a child previously. In some ways, women describe it as painful as primary infertility, because:
1. The causes of infertility are even more mysterious, since they have had a child before.
2. They don't usually have the support and empathy of others dealing with primary infertility, or even friends and family, because they are presumed to not have a fertility problem.
3. They don't know how to explain to their child that she or he may not have a sibling.

One of the most important factors to remember for those who can't understand why they are unable to achieve a pregnancy as easily as their first child is that, by definition, they are older now, and fertility diminishes with age. Furthermore, they may have always been of lower fertility, but had a lucky break the first time they had a child. Either way, secondary infertility can be extremely painful, but for most, is finally resolved with the birth of another child.

My thoughts immediately snowballed from there as I pondered the possibility of me having secondary infertility. I’ve been through fear and sadness but also have had peace. Looking back at how clearly God’s plan for Ella was has brought me immense amounts of peace. It is a great reminder for me that God has a plan!!! He had a plan. That was all part of His plan and this is all part of His plan.

This past 1 ½ years I’ve been studying a lot on waiting, the strength God gives us as we wait. I’ve studied a lot on Abraham and Sarah and the YEARS they waited for Isaac. I’ve read every passage there is on God opening women’s wombs like Hannah, Ruth, Rachel, & Rebekah. I love the story of Rebekah because it says that her husband, Jacob, prayed to the Lord on her behalf because she was barren. Such an amazing picture!

Medically we have not gone there yet. Heath and I haven’t had the slew of tests done on us or started any type of fertility treatment. I have not felt a peace about going in that direction yet. It might come but as of right now I feel the Lord is telling me to hold off on that.

We did, however, recently go through two months of homeopathic treatment where Heath and I were seeing a holistic doctor and going through acupressure and acupuncture. I also had to drink these crazy disgusting herbs 3 times a day for a month. (I have a video of me taking my last one that I will have to post one day so you can at least see how gross it is.) I did make several of my close friends and family try the herbs so they could testify to the disgustingness of them.

So what now?

That’s the question my heart is asking. Where do we go from here God? You know my desire. You know the desire of my husband’s heart. Even though Ella has not voiced wanting a sibling, (which I am so thankful for) you know she desires that, if not now, in the future she will want that.

What now?

I believe this is part of the “what now”. Me writing this for all of you to see…my blogging peeps. I’ve kept this silent for so long. When I’m feeling really down about it though, I have reached out to my group of close friends that are each other’s prayer warriors. But I know that I’m not the only one dealing with this or a similar situation. I would love to know your story!! I do not take Galatians 6:2 lightly. “Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Here in just the last few weeks, I have started feeling a new stirring of joy and excitement building up in my spirit. I feel like God is about to take Heath and I on a journey, an adventure, and I want you all to be a part of it. Mainly because we NEED your prayers. But also so God can be glorified in this story that He is writing for us.

Please know that this is hard for me to put out there. I just don’t talk about it much to anyone, family or friends. But I feel so strongly about this blogging community we have. There have been several times over the past few years that many of you have reached out to me and have shown such kindness of heart and words of encouragement that I feel comfortable sharing our deepest longings and desires with you all.

So I thank you in advance. I love you and I will keep you continually updated on this journey.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Ella & Laney!

One of mine & Kristin's playdates recently was at a mall that has a huge history of playdates for Sunni, Amanda, Melissa, Kristin & I. Ella and I hadn't had a playdate there in a while. It was VERY sentimental for me to go back with Kristin and her babies and remember how tiny they were when we first started meeting there. The first time we ever went, Ella was barely walking. And now she is 4. Crazy. Such good memories.


"Helping" Miles down the slide.

Ella's wish was that Laney could spend the night with her.

They are such sweet friends!!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ella's 4th Bday Party!

We had Ella's 4th bday party this past Saturday. We ended up having to wait 3 weeks after her actual bday to have it because every weekend in between was booked solid. But it was really fun to have a bday month for her.

The party was a tinkerbell theme, so I put on the invitation that you could bring your child dressed up. A few of the kids came in their halloween costumes and a few of the girls had on their tutus. It was so cute.

Here's our little tinkerbell. This theme was requested by Ella at least 6 months ago, which worked out really well for me since she was tinkerbell for Halloween!

We had her party at the same place we had it at last year, my parent's church. They have this really fabulous area called The Cube. It's like a McDonalds playground on steroids. The greatest thing about it is that it is totally closed in, so we can all just let our kids run wild and not have to worry about keeping up with them.

This giant red slide was definitely the hit of the party.


We were so blessed that Titus and Justus were in town this weekend and got to go to Ella's bday party. That was SO amazing for Ella. She has missed Titus SO much!

There were often huge pile ups at the bottom of the slide since it was so popular. Krystal was often there to help the little ones get out from underneath all the other kids. Thanks Krystal!

Krystal's sweet girl Karoline running up for another turn.

This is Ella's good friend, Annie! Aren't they both so cute in their tinkerbell costumes?

I love this picture of Ella's friend Colby.

I was amazed at how well Karoline could climb.

The Lazo's signing in at the party. We have missed y'all so much!! I'm so glad we got to see y'all.

Ella's other tinkerbell friend Alayna sliding down on her tummy.

Even the adults got in on the action.

Granddad going up with Ella.

The Todds section. Laney, Miles & Sam

Sweet Klaire (Krystal's other daughter)

The entrance to the party room.

Tinkerbell land. Where we had the party is also where Ella goes to preschool 2 days a week. So the party room is actual one of the classrooms.

We made these fun snack bags in the shape of butterflies.

Ella with the cookie wands she would hand out to all of her friends.

Heath's mom made Ella's bday cake again this year. As always she did an incredible job. I wish this was a better picture of it because it was so adorable.

Ella and Ava!

So many of Ella's friends were able to come. It was so much fun!

Singing Happy Birthday

And blowing out her candle.

The 3 tinkerbells.

One tuckered party girl.

Thank you guys so much for coming. I feel like I have been so blessed with amazing friends and it makes me so happy to know that Ella has also since the day she was born.

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