Wait: The Other 4-Letter Word

This is a guest post by my friend, Jeni.  I’ve known Jeni since 7th grade (!), and although I haven’t seen her in many years, I recently reconnected with her via Instagram.  I was loving her encouraging Instagram posts, so I asked her to share with us today.  I know you will be encouraged by her story, too.

wait-infertility

There are those who are soothed by a plan, who crave a visual journey laid out in goals and benchmarks and are extra excited if that plan fits onto an Excel spreadsheet.

I am not one of those people…except when it came to getting pregnant.

My goals were simple: 1) Get my Master’s in Speech Pathology, 2) Marry by 23, 3) Have a family at 25. (I don’t know why those were my numbers, but a young twenty-something thought they sounded good.) The first two goals would prove to be as easy as waking up in the morning compared to the seemingly insurmountable dream of having my own child.

I was told right away by professionals that my husband and I would not have a child without intervention and IVF was on the table after our first meeting. We ended up pursuing a completely different route before eventually conceiving (Yup, it happened. Take that “professionals”!)

But this isn’t about that first doctor meeting or how we conceived. This is about the journey in between… because while man had declared one thing over my body, I knew God had declared another.   

This is what I would cling to for the one, two, three, four years in between.

I was in my social circle’s prime-time for baby-making- that season when people make comments like, “Something must be in the water because everyone’s getting pregnant!” (except me). The first pregnancy announcement was not so bad as we had just started trying ourselves. But by the time that person’s baby shower rolled around just seven months later I was a hot mess in a pretty dress. That was the first (and last) time I left a baby shower and hid in the bathroom sobbing quietly. It was the last time because I didn’t attend most showers for at least another three years. The goal of having a child had infiltrated my ability to enjoy regular events in life. I wasn’t proud of that; I was hurting.

Somewhere in those four years I decided to get serious about prayer. I was physically doing everything within my power to have a baby, but the longing had long turned into a painful gnawing that never left.

Have you ever asked God for a word to focus on for the year? For those years my word was “faith.” That was the least fun word I could have received because it basically translated, “Hold on! It’s not happening yet. Wait.” Ahhh, wait.

Through lots of tears, lots of questions, and a bit of isolation I discovered a few things about waiting and the mindset I carried in that season. I had a change of perspective and an eventual emotional breakthrough that led me to peace with the process.

Although I knew I would someday be a mom, I had turned my future baby into my present idol. Ouch. Talk about swallowing a pill sideways. But it was undeniable. I was eating, exercising, sleeping, LIVING to get pregnant. It was easy to focus on His promise and neglect His command to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And while God loves to give us promises and always makes good on them, chasing a promise is a poor substitute for chasing God.

Just because I felt God had promised me a child didn’t mean I had the authority to override His timing on delivery. Again, ouch. Since I believed He was God of all, I had to respect Him as the God of timing as well. Did I mention this wasn’t comfortable?

To think I was waiting on a baby was incorrect and futile; to learn I was waiting on God was life-breathing and freeing because I knew He was faithful. I had to stop bowing to the Almighty Pee Stick and get back to bowing to Him.

Waiting was not a passive state. It was not running my physical body through the ringer and praying that ClearBlue would declare me “Pregnant” all the while feeling emotionally, mentally and spiritually defeated. There was an intentionality that needed to be switched on in my spirit.

My word “wait” evolved into “persistent, determined, expectant.” Waiting was no longer an anchor; it was my ammunition. I determined to live each day letting His promise be at rest in me because I chose to keep my eyes fixed on Him rather than my timeline or my ovulation cycle.

When we wait well it’s an act of worship. I turned up the heat on my worship time, prayer time, fellowship time…and while I can’t say that was the magic bullet that allowed me to conceive it sure did restore my joy.

I wish I learned to wait well sooner because it allowed me to enjoy life through that journey. The lessons from that season are sacred to me still. Out of all the rigamarole I went through to get pregnant, exercising my faith muscle really was the most important thing that I did.

Many thanks to Jeni for sharing her story and encouraging us.  If you’d like to connect with her, you can find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Image courtesy of UnSplash. Creative Commons Zero License.

11 New Books on Infertility and Faith

This post contains affiliate links. You can see my full disclosure here.

books-on-infertility

Did you know I’m a former librarian? Yep, I spent ten years working as a high school librarian. So naturally, I love sharing about new books. Here’s a list of 11 new books on infertility and faith that you might helpful and encouraging. I haven’t read these, so these are not recommendations. It’s simply a list for you to browse and see if you might find something interesting.

Infertility-Related Books

Making Friends with your Fertility: A clear, comforting guide to reproductive health by Sarah Rayner and Tracey Sainsbury.

Amazon’s Description: “From the onset of periods and puberty, through egg and sperm production and preparing to conceive naturally, to IVF and assisted conception, in Making Friends with your FertilityTracey and Sarah tackle them all with warmth and humour…” For more info or to purchase –>

books-on-infertility

Rising for YOU: Pressing Through The Sorrow Of Pregnancy Loss To Bring Comfort, Hope, and Light by Paige Anderson.

Amazon’s Description: “[This book] is a Christian nonfiction journal that will help women process the grief of losing a pregnancy. In this personal artistic journal, Paige Anderson shares her heartbreaking story of multiple miscarriages, using poetic creative writing and art inspired by the colors in a crayon box to mingle thanksgiving with grief.” For more info or to purchase –>

books-on-infertility

Fertility Foods: 100+ Recipes to Nourish Your Body While Trying to Conceive by Elizabeth Shaw and Sara Haas.

Amazon’s Description: “A complete dietary program for women seeking healthy pregnancy. Created by RDN certified experts, Fertility Foods provides you with powerful nutritional benefits and more than 100 recipes.” For more info or to purchase –>

books-on-infertility

Motherhood Reimagined: When Becoming a Mother Doesn’t Go As Planned: A Memoir by Sarah Kowalski.

Amazon’s Description: “…A single woman harboring a deep ambivalence about motherhood, Kowalski needed to decide once and for all: Did she want a baby or not? More importantly, with no partner on the horizon, did she want to have a baby alone? Once she revised her idea of motherhood―from an experience she would share with a partner to a journey she would embark upon alone―the answer came up a resounding Yes. After exploring her options, Kowalski chose to conceive using a sperm donor, but her plan stopped short when a doctor declared her infertile. How far would she go to make motherhood a reality?” For more info or to purchase –>

books-on-infertility

Brokenhearted Hope: Encouraging stories of faithfulness, healing, and hope in the midst of miscarriage and loss by Heather Shipley.

Amazon’s Description: When anticipation turns into unexpected grief, Brokenhearted Hope offers strength, encouragement, and comfort through the testimonies of those who have experienced the pain of miscarriage and loss. You’ll find yourself in intimate fellowship with an often silenced community of those who have experienced this tragedy that’s more common than you can imagine. Through faith, there is healing and hope for the future.  For more info or to purchase –>

books-on-infertility
Chasing Kites: One Woman’s Unexpected Journey Through Infertility, Adoption, and Foster Care by Rachel McCracken.

Amazon’s Description: “From the sterile isolation of infertility and its treatments to the emotional rollercoaster of adoption and foster care, Rachel McCracken gets it! She gets the heartache and the sorrow of the desolate valley called Infertility. She gets the dedication and work that it takes to blend a family. She gets the commitment and purpose one needs to help children rise from the ashes of abandonment and fear.” For more info or to purchase –>

books-on-infertility

Extra! [children’s book] by Kaeleigh MacDonald.

Amazon’s Description:  “All families are special… but some families take a little ‘extra’…Covering many family building options, EXTRA! shows that even when parents struggle to conceive they can go on to become a family and that being ‘extra’ is wonderful!  For more info or to purchase –>

Note:  Kaeleigh is my friend and she is running a book blog tour to get the word out about her book.  If you’re interested in finding out more about this children’s book, you can check out her book blog tour.  

books-on-infertility

Other Encouraging Books

These title aren’t directly related to infertility, but their topics are definitely relevant to anyone experiencing it.

Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado. 

Amazon’s Description: “When it comes to anxiety, depression, and stress-related illnesses, America is the frontrunner. Thankfully, there’s a practical prescription for dealing with them. Anxious for Nothing, the most recent book from New York Times bestselling author, Max Lucado, provides a roadmap for battling with and healing from anxiety.”  For more info or to purchase —>

books-on-infertility

Unshakeable: 365 Devotions for Finding Unwavering Strength in God’s Word by Christine Caine.

Amazon’s Description: “God is bigger than your current story. Bigger than fear or shame or that voice in your head that whispers that you are not enough, too broken, or too flawed. Join Him in a closer relationship—one rooted in truth and Unshakeable. In this daily devotional Christine Caine encourages you to find confidence to live as the person God created you to be.”  For more info or to purchase –>

books-on-infertility

Be the Gift: Let Your Broken Be Turned into Abundance by Ann Voskamp.

Amazon’s Description: “The idea that even in the depths of our own brokenness God can use each of us to be a gift to someone else is powerful—that He makes each of us enough to give to someone else. Just as powerful is the realization that in becoming God’s gifts to others, our lives become more abundant: “Maybe the only abundant way forward is always to give forward.” Ideas this powerful need to be put into action.”  For more info or purchase –>

books-on-infertility

Wait and See Bible Study Kit: A Six-Session Study on Waiting Well by Wendy Pope.

Amazon’s Description: “Spend six weeks with your small group, learning how to wait well by studying the lives of Joseph, Moses, David, Nehemiah, Abraham and Sarah, and Noah.” For more info or to purchase –>

books-on-infertility

Do any of these books on infertility and faith sound good to you?  Have you read any of them?  I’d love to hear your comments!

Title photo courtesy of Pixabay. Creative Commons Zero License.

Abby’s Infertility Story

This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

I’m super-excited to bring you this interview with Abby.  She blogs over at Waiting for Our “Baby Mine.”  I love her heart for spreading awareness and her photos that show it’s possible to keep a sense of humor during IVF.  I know you’ll enjoy this interview as much as I did.  (Note: Abby mentions her successful IVF cycle and her pregnancy.  Please be aware of this if you’re not in a good place to read about that right now).


infertility story

Q. Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Abby. First and foremost, I’m a Christian trying to live my life in pursuit of a heavenly home. I’m a wife to Thomas—a calm, caring fireman who is my absolute best friend and helpmeet. I’m a cat lady- a fur mom to four crazy sister cats. I work in special education and love to write. My family means the world to me, especially my niece and two nephews. I love all things Disney and even married my husband at Disney World!

Q. How long have you been trying to conceive and what issues are you facing?

My TTC road is complicated because it was a long road that lead to the point of even being able to try to conceive. My journey began when I was 19 years old, when I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis after months of going undiagnosed and being treated with narcotics for the pain. Once I was diagnosed, I had four minimally invasive surgeries within 3 1/2 years to try and keep the endometriosis under control. No matter what I tried, surgery was the only thing that could relieve my pain—and even that only lasted 9-10 months.

After my fourth surgery, three months after I had married Thomas, we were told that we immediately needed to have children or it was time for a hysterectomy. Because we both figured this was coming due to scar tissue build up and because we both have always desired to be parents, we accepted the reality that we were facing and started to try and start our family.

Three months into trying, we knew something wasn’t right. At month four, we called my reproductive endocrinologist and decided together that we needed to be proactive because otherwise, I’d be needing surgery in six months, yet again.

infertility story

We began fertility treatments in January of 2017. We went through two regularly medicated IUIs, but I had no reaction to Clomid whatsoever. We did two IUIs with injections, and I became pregnant from the fourth attempt, in May 2017. However, four days after finding out I was pregnant, I miscarried our May baby. We took a month off to let my body recover and began the initial tests to see if we were candidates for IVF.   Continue reading “Abby’s Infertility Story”