Thursday, December 26, 2013

Isolated, But Not Alone

I came across this very helpful blog post about infertility by Jeff Cavanaugh. The author expresses thoughts and feelings that we hadn’t yet untangled but had been experiencing. Here are a few points that resonated with us:
  • “My wife and I attend a church full of young families where people seem to have children all the time. Not only does such a church remind infertile couples of their infertility with painful regularity, it can also leave them feeling isolated and alone, out of step with everyone else their age in a different stage of life.”
  • “...Feelings of isolation and alienation are real. Friends in the church have seemed thoughtless at times, not considering how things they say might be hurtful; at other times they've been awkward, aware of our struggles but at a loss for what to say. Often the strain has been entirely our own fault—we've promised in our church covenant to ‘rejoice at each other's happiness and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each other's burdens and sorrows,’ but sometimes jealousy and bitterness sap our motivation to do any rejoicing or accept any comfort.”
  • “...Grief and pain that come with infertility can put infertile people in a spiritually dangerous position. While a godly friend might confront someone who's struggling with anger or lust, few people with an ounce of compassion would dare to confront a fellow Christian over the sins infertility can give rise to—anger, discontent, jealousy, bitterness, and idolatry among them.”
  • “Sometimes when infertile couples are in the throes of feeling isolated and desperate to be normal, they just need you to be a friend, to remind them that they are normal, that you like them, and that you want to live the Christian life side-by-side with them.”
I will be recommending this article to many people and returning to it myself.

Cavanaugh, Jeff. "How the Church Makes the Trial of Infertility Better (or Worse)."The Gospel Coalition Blog. The Gospel Coalition, 26 Dec. 2013. Web. 26 Dec. 2013. <>.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Family Discussion

Christmas morning involved tears and a big family discussion about infertility. After I said we were really excited to give one of our gifts, an eager family member exclaimed, “Are you pregnant?!”

I had specifically told that person the day before that I was not pregnant. “No. I already told you I’m not, but thanks for reminding me of the fact,” I less-than-graciously responded. This snarky comment immediately produced tears, and I felt like a jerk. We quickly apologized and hugged, then the whole family talked. It was a very open and helpful conversation.

The infertility journey is mysterious to everyone, including the couple and the people around them. The couple can withdraw and become overly sensitive, while others can say hurtful things or stay away in fear of offending them. As a family, we reached two conclusions:
  1. Never ask a woman if she is pregnant. If she is, let her tell you in her own time and her own way. Don’t ruin her surprise. If she isn’t, you will cause pain. A person dealing with infertility has to tell herself and her husband every month that she is not pregnant. Don’t make her say it again.
  2. Ask questions. There is no good way to insert “so, we’re still infertile” into a conversation. However, it can be a huge part of the person’s life. Give them an opportunity to talk about it. Some couples may not be willing to talk openly about infertility. Asking a gentle question at least shows you care and gives them an outlet if they want one.
We are so blessed to have family members that are supportive of and involved in our lives. I am convinced that few families would be willing to touch the infertility topic, let alone delve into it like we did. We are very thankful.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Dark Time

This month is the closest I have ever been to depression. After deciding to let myself grieve, the tears won’t stop. My husband doesn’t know what to do with his weepy wife. I am typically even-keeled, not the type of person to jump up and down in excitement or cry at sad movies. Last Sunday, I cried through much of the church service.

Some of the tears may be related to my lack of purpose in this phase. My wise husband encouraged me to take a step back from my part-time job and pursue volunteering instead. Maybe volunteering will help me focus on others instead of myself.

Our Christmas trip will be a good diversion.

Monday, December 2, 2013

On Grief

I turned twenty-eight last week. We always wanted to be “young” parents, but that is obviously not going to happen.

This blog post by Stacy Fulton really hit me today. Here’s a quote:
There's nothing wrong with the grief you experience and the intensity of feelings that may seem to overwhelm you at times. However, you must make a choice to work through the grief process and allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in you through it. When you ignore or push aside the grieving process, it only serves as a means to build walls, to become bitter and even unreachable.
Those who allow themselves to grieve properly, to feel, and make themselves vulnerable to GOD in the process will be the ones who come out on the other side of this changed. Regardless of the outcome, you will be changed.*
I can see now that I have built walls to protect myself, but they may actually be hindering me. By pushing away the grief of infertility, I am removing the occasion for the Comforter to step in. Regardless of the outcome of infertility, I want to be changed for the better through the experience. I want my faith to be stronger. I want to be refined by trials, not hardened by them.
*Fulton, Stacy. "Good Grief! Am I Going Crazy?." N.p., 22 Oct. 2012. Web. 2 Dec. 2013. <>.

Friday, November 29, 2013

After a Thanksgiving gathering, everyone wanted to gather and pray that the Lord would give us a child. They were so confident, like they expected God to answer their prayer right away. I found myself thinking, “Go ahead. Pray. It’s not going to change anything.” The thought surprised me. Of course, I believe that God answers prayer. I also believe that He is sovereign. He has intentionally placed us in a season of infertility. We don’t understand the reasons and don’t know how long the season will last. He is still God; He is still good.

While trusting God is good, unbelief disguised as skepticism is not. Skepticism protects me. If I don’t get my hopes up in the first place, I’m not as disappointed.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Kind Announcement

We are now in round two (or three) of friends having babies. We missed the first (and second) rounds completely. This one is harder.

I am very thankful to the friend who announced her pregnancy so gently. Having briefly struggled with infertility, she understands the mixture of pain and joy at pregnancy announcements. I appreciated her method for several reasons:
  • She made sure we were alone. Tears can be close to the surface, and pregnancy announcements may or may not make them overflow at bad times. By telling me privately, she gave me the freedom to cry in private rather than in front of others.
  • She told me directly and in person. Knowing the announcement could cause pain, she could have taken an easier route like a Facebook post or text message. The news would have been even more painful second hand.
  • She verbally acknowledged that the announcement could cause me pain. Her care and concern for me softened the blow. 
  • She gave me an opportunity to celebrate with her. Pregnancy announcements are exciting and joyous. My desire to have what she has should not be allowed to rob me of joy for her.
Thankfully, the tears waited until she was gone. Then, I retreated into a world of tissues and prayer journals.

A Poem and A Prayer

We're left behind again today.
I don't know how to feel.
Tears are streaming down my face.
Lord, what are you calling us to?
I'm in an in-between with no end in sight.
I never wanted a career.
I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and wife.
Now what?

Are You calling us to adopt?
To be foster parents?
Are You teaching us to wait?
Waiting for us to obey?
Good gifts come from You.
We don't earn them.
Should we try? (No.)

Give me patience and faith in the waiting.
Guide us to any steps we should take.

I try to include myself, plan events, stay engaged. It's hard when talk revolves around kids; I just can't relate.

I love kids. I love my friends and their kids. I'm thrilled for them when they are expecting more kids. So where do I fit in? Should I be the ever-faithful babysitter? Do I dare try to do a ladies event that isn't a play date?

It's a lonely place: infertility. My husband feels it, too. Few people understand. None of our local friends do.

Lord, please help us. Get our hearts in the right place. Align our desires with Yours. May we rely on You and be united. Give us grace to be thankful, whatever the circumstances.

In Jesus' Name,


Friday, November 22, 2013

The chiropractor said that the fused pelvis could contribute to infertility, but likely would not be a major factor. I had hoped that a heel lift and chiropractic adjustments would do the trick. Not anymore.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The chiropractor said that some women have been able to conceive after chiropractic care. She also took x-rays and saw that my pelvis is fused to a lower vertebrae. She said it likely was a birth defect.

I am actually relieved to find something “wrong.” So far, everything tested has come back normal. She gave me a heel lift to rotate my pelvis correctly. Here’s hoping!

Friday, November 15, 2013

I was praised today for holding babies in the midst of infertility. I love babies. Avoiding them would make infertility even harder.

At least, that’s how I feel today. Some days it is hard to be around our friends and their kids.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Testing Delayed

Dear Lord,

We learned that infertility testing will probably have to wait until February. I was hoping to resume right away, but a few months could be good. If it's Your will, may we conceive naturally before February. But, not our will, but Yours be done.

Please guide our thoughts and emotions as people around us announce pregnancies. May we rejoice with them and not grow bitter.

In Jesus' Name,


Friday, November 1, 2013

In spite of taking care of myself, I’m still not pregnant. We’ve agreed to pursue testing again. This time, I am going to advocate for myself better. Hopefully, I can find a doctor who listens and answers questions well.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sourdough is fun to make, and we love the taste! At least that change was a good one.

In other news, we are in another “hard to be around children” phase. Sometimes, it feels like we are the only ones without kids.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Praise the Lord for blessing me with a wise husband! On a walk, he listened patiently to my newly acquired “knowledge” and the corresponding confusion.

[Side note: I am starting to doubt that knowledge is power; knowledge seems to be stress in this internet age. Have you ever looked up your symptoms online? You will become convinced that death is around the corner]

Anyway, back to our walk. My wise and patient husband listened to me unload, then discussed options with me:
  1. Drastically change the way we live. Our grocery expenses would increase exponentially, we would have to invest in kitchen items (juicer, blender, etc.), and I would have to learn how and what to cook. 
  2. Forget about the research and keep on keeping on. 
  3. Make reasonable changes where we can. If gluten is a problem, I can cut down on my gluten intake. If canned goods are bad, I can choose jars when available.
We chose option three. Making a drastic change is not feasible right now. I will take reasonable steps with our diet, such as adding more vegetables and making sourdough bread. The sourdough process makes gluten easier for our bodies to handle.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


A friend told me about candida yeast today. I did an internet search about it and learned that it can cause infertility. To get rid of the bad yeast, you have to cut out gluten, sugar, and more. That sounds tough, but I would do it for a baby.

The web search led me in other directions. Apparently, many problems such as cancer and infertility can be caused by a high acidity level in the body. To balance the acidity, you are supposed to avoid one food and eat another. Then, there’s the “cave man” diet. Oh, and canned goods, food colorings, and processed foods contribute to infertility.

Which strict diet am I supposed to follow? And how am I going to gain any weight if I can’t eat anything? Oh, and stress increases the acidity in your body. If I wasn’t too acidic before, I am now.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What is my purpose in this phase? Our desire has been for me to stay at home with kids. As a result, I have never pursued a “career.” Now that kids aren’t coming, what am I supposed to do with myself? The demands of full time employment seemed to make our chances of conceiving even lower, so we have agreed that I will stay home at least part of the time.

I am learning that part time jobs in “my field” (if I have one) are hard to come by. The job search is exhausting, but I’m trying not to stress. After all, stress (and everything else) can contribute to infertility.

My desire is to volunteer with a ministry, but I have put that on hold until I have a job.

So, what is my purpose right now?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Prayer for Gratitude

Dear Lord,

Thank you for blessing me with a husband who loves You and me and will talk about both. Thank You for our conversation about gratitude this morning. May we be constantly praising You for the blessings we have received, not whining about the ones we want. The main area of desire that can turn into bitterness is the area of children.

We spent time with a very young couple who has been married only a few months. They got pregnant accidentally after one week of marriage. They were hoping to wait five years before having kids. We are happy for them, but our natural response is "Of course they're pregnant. Everyone around us gets pregnant by looking at each other. We can't for anything."

We reminded ourselves today that we all have our different set of blessings. They wanted the blessing of five years of marriage before kids, but they're getting a child. We want a child, but got the "blessing" of five years of marriage without kids.

Choosing gratitude in all circumstances is important, but difficult. Please help us to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks.

In Jesus' Name,


Saturday, August 24, 2013

We have enjoyed renewing friendships after our move. The one tough part is that all of our friends have kids. When we lived here before, we were one of dozens of young married couples. During the two years we were gone, all of them had kids. Literally. Some had two.

Well, we don’t have kids yet, but we still like them. Maybe we can fill the “cool aunt and uncle” role.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Another Prayer for Guidance

Dear Lord,

We have been trying to get pregnant for 2.5 years now. I know that You are the Giver of Life, so You have chosen to withhold a child from us thus far. I don't understand, but I trust that You know best.

I want to (and do) say that You will bless us with a child in Your timing. The struggle is what to do in the meantime. Do I drink special tea (I started drinking raspberry leaf tea today)? Do we spend an arm and a leg on tests? Do I gain weight or workout or stretch or go to the chiropractor? At the end of the day, You decide. So, these other steps seem futile or like I am trying to usurp control. I want to be obedient and take the right steps. Please guide us to them.

If it's Your will, please cause us to conceive by Christmas. Please.

In Jesus' Name,


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Prayer after Moving

Dear Lord,

We want this phase of life to be better. Fewer distractions, more depth, deeper fellowship, closer walks with you. Please give us wisdom in the next steps, specifically about infertility testing/treatments vs. special teas/chiropractors/exercise. Please guide us, and may we honor You in obedience.

You give good gifts to Your children. We are so undeserving, but receive so many good things from You. Our great(est?) desire is for children, and we see that gift being withheld. May we learn any lesson and turn from any sin standing in the way. We know, though, that we can never deserve such a good gift. But You give to the undeserving. While we were unrepentant sinners, Christ died for us! We trust You. Please increase our faith.

In Jesus' Name,


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Okay, we are settled in a new place and have agreed that I will not go back to full-time employment for now. Instead, I am going to eat well, exercise regularly, and get pregnant. I’m sure that the stress of full-time work, a long commute, and a lack of exercise have just been too much for my body.

I just need to take care of myself, then I will get pregnant.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We Can't Earn A Child

Dear Lord,

What do You have for us next? I just watched a video about adoption and sobbed through much of it. Is that our path? The couple in the video struggled with infertility for nine years!

Please guide each of our decisions. I am trying chiropractic. Some people suggest cutting out products with chemicals (shampoo, deodorant, etc.), others say to go the testing/treatment route. Please guide us in timing and each step.

May we rely fully on You, not making family ultimate. Our heart's desire children, and we trust You as the Giver of life. Protect us from the trap of trying to earn gifts from You. We do not deserve children. May we be reminded that Christ was the ultimate gift and that we have received salvation through Him. Help me to grasp that truth.

In Jesus' Name,


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I figured out why God hasn’t given us a child yet. If we had a child or were expecting one, we would have been less willing to move away from family again. That must be the reason. I’m sure we will conceive as soon as we have obeyed his call and life has settled down.

“They” say that moving causes stress and stress contributes to infertility anyway. So, I’m going to say no to the HSG for now.

I heard that chiropractic care can help women get pregnant. Since nerves control organs, apparently the wrong pinched nerve could cause fertility issues. My lower back has been messed up for a while. I will try the chiropractor until we move.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dear Lord,

We just decided to move back across the country in the summer. Our decision to move became so clear. Please guide us as clearly through fertility issues. Do we keep trying in the midst of transitions or should we just forget about it until settled?

We REALLY want kids. Honestly, I feel embarrassed moving back without kids. Our friends have all had babies since we left.

You open and close the womb, so what steps are we supposed to take? May we hear from You and be obedient.

In Jesus' Name,


Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Infertility Conundrum

Dear Lord,

We are in the middle of the infertility conundrum. We have been officially told that we fit the description of infertility and can see a specialist. The tests are invasive, expensive, inconvenient, and more.

How far do we take this process? How much money should we spend? Should money matter? When should we (or should we) adopt instead? I am not thrilled to go through the testing already, but fear shouldn't stop me, I suppose.

Please guide us. I know that You open and close the womb, so some (all) of the efforts seem somehow futile. But, You could put us through this trial to refine us before opening my womb. So much to think about! I feel peace in Your plan and excitement about adopting. But, we would love to have biological children, too.

Please help us communicate clearly with each other and remain on the same page throughout the process. Please help us to root out sin in our lives and honor You now and always.

In Jesus' Name,


Saturday, March 16, 2013

I read my husband some information about the HSG, and he was very sympathetic. Then he looked at a diagram and officially freaked out. We may wait on that test for a while.

Friday, March 15, 2013


HSG. They will do what, how? As painful as childbirth and very expensive? Thanks to my internet research, I need to think about that one.

Shouldn’t we fully rule out the progesterone drop first?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Test Results

Tests confirmed that male factor infertility is not the problem. That means it’s me, not him. More tests and treatments are available for female factor infertility, so I guess that is good news.

My progesterone level is good, so the doctor said that’s not the problem. I’m not a doctor, but I think the level would need to be checked on more than one day. Couldn’t it be normal one day and still drop too early? She wants to schedule an HSG. I feel like we have been put on the one-size-fits-all infertility track. I also need to look up HSG.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Infertility Consultation

We met with a doctor to start the testing process. She said that two years of TTC was long enough to meet with a specialist.

She said the specialist would want to see results from an ultrasound (which had already been done), blood tests, and a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). They would also want to make sure male factor infertility was not a cause. I had the blood tests done right away.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Two Years TTC

I’m still not pregnant.

Based on my research and observations, I think my progesterone level drops early. I should get that tested.