7 years married.
2 plus years of infertility.
1 round of IVF.
11 weeks pregnant with one perfect baby.
We are overjoyed and so thankful God has entrusted us with this life. Happy anniversary, Russ. I cannot wait to see you be a dad.
I was never a girl who grew up dreaming of being a mother. I’ve always been envious of those women. They seem to make something look easy that to me seems terrifying, beautiful, and messy all at the same time. So when Russ and I got married in our early 20s after spending the majority of our relationship living in different states, we knew we would wait. I always imagined the day would come when I was magically “ready” to be a mom. Almost five years later, all my fears were still there, and I realized I’d never be ready. How does one prepare for motherhood? But I was ready to take the next step in life with Russ. We wanted kids, we deeply wanted kids. I want to see Russ be a father. I want our kids to know the love of their grandparents, aunts and uncles, and community of friends that have loved us so well. I just never imagined we would have trouble. It wasn’t in my plan.
After ten months of trying, some minor tests, and no clear indicator or anything wrong, we went to a specialist. I have endometriosis. It’s not the answer I wanted. I had surgery for endometriosis in January of 2015 which revealed I had stage 4. This required a 6 month follow up treatment of Lupron shots, a menopause inducing drug that caused hot flashes I didn’t know existed. At the end of treatment, we hoped pregnancy would come naturally. When it didn’t, with every pregnancy announcement, every new vile of blood drawn, every story I heard on the news of terrible things being done to children, I didn’t understand. It’s hard to reconcile it all when I know the God I believe in to be good. I know him to be loving. I know him to be a miracle worker. I’ve personally experienced all those things. And yet, in this He had decided not to act yet. I learned, slowly, that maybe what he was doing in me in the midst of pain and not understanding wasn’t second best. I began to learn that maybe I could still be thankful in this too. That maybe thankfulness can look different at different times in life. That it doesn’t have to be loud and happy. It can be quiet, hard, and rooted in trust.
As the months of Clomid and Follistem treatments continued without success, we faced a decision at the end of 2015. My endometriosis was coming back with every month, and our doctor recommended IVF. After much thought and prayer we decided to go for it. I started stimulation shots in March, and on April 20, 2016 we found out we were pregnant. The gratefulness we felt in that moment couldn’t be described. It was time for loud, happy thankfulness, and we were so glad for the change. But I’m also glad for the season we walked through. Glad for the extra time, fun, and growth Russ and I experienced in our marriage. Glad for the community of family and friends who literally carried us when we needed it, a beautiful picture of the love of the church. Glad to learn how to be vulnerable and that faith sometimes seems more like holding on by a thread than being held onto. A person tempted toward pride, glad to be humbled a few times too. This too will be part of my story. And someday soon, God willing, part of our baby’s too. We can’t wait to tell him/her just how loved he/she really is.
If infertility is your story too, and this is just one more pregnancy announcement filling your feed and causing pain, I’m sorry. I’ve been there. I pray the peace and grace of Christ covers you in this time.
Thanks to Jami Leavitt for capturing this season in our life so perfectly. And maybe helping my bump out a little in a couple of these. Grin. Also, thanks to our doctor and nurse who have been so incredible through this process.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
Russ’s Outfit (always J.Crew…)