A Quick Note: I received an email today from a sweet lady who after her first child, was unable to conceive again. She was talking about how she wrestles with jealousy. I thought about her all day and felt led to write this. I hope she is comforted by these words. I pray that God blesses her with another child if she still continues to desire so. And I pray that anyone who is struggling to conceive a baby, keep one or is dealing with their own secret sins… reads this and feels the love God has for them.
I have some “female issues” that make it difficult for me to stay pregnant. In fact… my doctor told me that women with my various set of medical problems have a 12:1 shot at a child. That means, on average, I should expect to miscarry 12 times to have one successful birth. I was blessed to deliver my precious daughter after losing six children. I was eternally thankful to God for finally bringing such a beautiful miracle into our lives. I have only recently began to count it a blessing that I only lost six kids before having her.
Being that I am an older mother, we decided when Averey was five months old to start trying for another child. My OB explained that women who experienced infertility and miscarriage often go on to have subsequent children just fine with no problems. He said that sometimes – once you have been pregnant – the body has a way of fixing itself. So I thought awesome! We will get pregnant quickly and finish adding to our family before my 40th birthday. We moved full steam ahead charting, utilizing ovulation sticks and eagerly looking forward to the day that we got to see the pink line on a home pregnancy test.
It took seven long months before we conceived. And I remember rejoicing when I saw the pink line. But within a couple days… I started to bleed. I knew what that meant, and I began to seek solace in God. For the next two weeks I didn’t quite feel like my normal self. I can remember feeling the need to press into my Father. I prayed, and I journalled. I found myself talking to Him more. I got quiet and looked to hear Him comfort me. One day, I got a clear message from Him to be patient. He had let me know that I would be pregnant again in January which was only four months away. Hooray! I was filled with excitement and anticipation.
Before we had started trying for baby number two, I had a stern discussion with my husband telling him if I miscarried even one time after Averey… I would not continue. I forced myself to erase that line I had drawn in the sand and think about if I could handle any more losses. With God’s encouragement… we kept going. And true to His word… I did see another pink line the second week in January. After confirming this pregnancy with my doctor… I started to get excited. But the spotting made its appearance soon after, and anxiety set in. I prayed every day, and I begged Him to protect this child. I kept returning for more blood work and kept being told I was still pregnant. But a couple weeks later the bleeding got heavier, and it wasn’t long after I got the call from my OB’s nurse informing me that my levels had dropped to zero. I was no longer pregnant and was about to miscarry. Within a day or two the heavy bleeding started and I was crushed. This time the grieving was worse, and it took me about a month to feel whole again.
Fast forward seven months to today, and we are still trying to conceive again. I turned 40 in July. All my hopes for solidifying my family while Averey was a tiny baby… well… those desires are dead and buried. I now have two more losses under my belt. Twice I have had to trust God to heal my pain, walk with me through grief and give me the strength to continue trying.
What I can admit to you is that even with my deep faith and trust in God, I still struggle with jealousy. Honestly, I am fine if I see or know someone who is pregnant with their first child. I am thrilled for them because I know the awesome experience it is to raise your first born. I treasure every moment with my precious daughter, and I believe everyone deserves to know this kind of unconditional love.
I have been involved in a fantastic group for the last several years. But last semester… eight women became pregnant. For some, this was their second; for others, it was their fourth! And I am pretty sure that I had been trying longer than any of them. A couple of the ladies conceived during the exact months I did, and then I lost mine. Every week that I showed up, I was bombarded with growing bellies, cute maternity clothes and chatter about weight gain. I would migrate around the room and found it extremely difficult to find any women not talking about babies, breast feeding and possible pediatricians.
As a result, I began to feel isolated from this wonderful group. I felt completely empty and found myself with little to nothing to contribute. I became a shrinking violet, and it quickly seemed like I had zero in common with any of the ladies. Now, I realize as I write this, that if they read this… it might hurt their feelings for me to be this honest. But, my intention is to help others who find themselves in my situation. Ultimately, I mean no disrespect or condemnation to anyone. I want to make it clear that no one acted with malice or meant to cause me a single bit of pain. This was all me!
The stark reality was I wanted what they all easily had. I had a burning desire for another baby, and as each week went by that someone announced they were expecting, the more disappointed and sad I got. My losses and my inability to conceive quickly became my soul focus. I would get anxiety on our drive to the meetings, and I started to find reasons to not go. I longed for someone to talk to me about anything other than their pregnancies. I wanted them to realize I was hurting. I longed for empathy and wanted them to understand my pain. And even when I mustered enough courage to speak about my situation, I felt completely alone. I began to receive invitations to one shower after the next, and the unfairness of life began to consume me. Satan was doing his best to screw my world up. The enemy was working hard to make sure I was growing more and more bitter, and I can admit that there was a large part of me that was resentful of those women. It wasn’t long before God intervened and stopped the enemy in his tracks!
When the semester ended… with it came distance. And I began to clearly see my sin. I spent the summer reading books, writing in my journal and speaking with God. I slowly began to dwell on my blessings and not my losses. With God’s help… I refocused my energies to helping women who have endured a similar fate as mine. I joined the mentor program at my church to help others. I plugged into as many freedom classes as I could and equipped myself to move forward with peace. I eventually garnered the courage to start this blog when it became crystal clear that I had a passion to join God’s army to reach out and help women (especially those who share my circumstances) shed their secret sins.
I get asked all the time by friends and family why I would continue to put myself through all these struggles. They ask me “why can’t you just be happy with the one child that you were lucky enough to get?” All I can say is that my desire to have another child… a brother or sister for Averey… out weighs any fears I have. And deep down… I know that whatever happens… even if I have to go the distance with 12:1 odds… God is with me… giving me the green light… instilling in me hope that as many times as it takes… there will be another precious child on earth one day for Scott and I to love.