Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our Story

{I originally posted this in September, but am linking it up to Kelly's blog.  It is my infertility story.  I currently have an infertility prayer chain going, so email me if you would like to be a part of it: }

I guess it is unofficially infertility awareness week here at Something Beautiful (gosh it feels weird to say that instead of Called to Serve!) But today I thought I'd share a few more of the specifics of our story, and also a little bit more about my new blog name. I apologize that this is probably the longest post I've ever written, but I just couldn't cut our story back any more.

When Luke and I got married, I pretty much immediately felt ready for a baby. I tried not to bug Luke about it too much, but I was ready, and I was ready NOW.

Almost two years into our marriage, in June of 2010, Luke finally uttered those words that I had been waiting so long to hear: he was ready to start our family!

It was such an exciting time at first! I found myself immediately drawn to the baby section in any store we were in. I started mentally making plans for turning our office into a nursery. As friends announced their pregnancies I became excited, knowing our children would be the same age, in the same Sunday school class, etc. I made a huge list of all my favorite names, and extensively researched the meaning and history of each one. I found myself trying not to hope for a girl, but I couldn't help it. I even found myself trying not to hope for twins, but I couldn't help that either. I made up grand schemes about how I would reveal to Luke that I was pregnant, and even grander schemes about how we would tell our families, who had no idea we were trying. I pictured myself pregnant at Christmas, wondering what kinds of cute maternity outfits I would buy. I even wondered who was going to baby-sit on the day of my sister's wedding the following summer.

Did I jump the gun a bit? Obviously. But when you've been waiting two years to begin trying, you never think about the fact that you're not going to get pregnant right away.

My excitement didn't last for long. I had begun, as any other woman who is anxious for a child would, to chart my cycles. My alarm went off at 6 every morning, and I had to take my temperature with my special basal body thermometer before my feet ever hit the floor. In addition to that, I bought ovulation predictor kits and used those.

Day after day went by and nothing was happening. Week after week, and no change in temperature, no positive OPKs. Month after month, and not even a blip on the ovulation radar. Something was not right.

We had only been trying for three months when I first went to see a doctor. She was actually a nurse practitioner, and I liked her a lot. She put me on Progesterone to see if that would do anything. (Don't even get me started on how badly the Progesterone messed with me and my system!) I was due back for a follow-up visit in a month, but I would have to see a different doctor since the nurse practitioner wasn't allowed to prescribe certain medications.

My next visit with the new doctor was one of the worse experiences of my life. I wish I were exaggerating. I have never seen anyone with such a horrible bedside manner. She all but rolled her eyes at me in exasperation that I would waste her time with something so trivial. She told me I had nothing to worry about because it had only been a few months. She actually laughed when she asked me how old I was (25 at the time). "You've got plenty of time, honey." She might as well have slapped me across the face. She basically told me there was nothing she could do until we'd been trying for a year, and not to let the door hit me on the way out.

I cried the entire 45-minute drive home and most of the night after that. I was going through something that was shaking my entire world, and that doctor totally trivialized every hurt and fear that I was going through. I posted about it here, but obviously didn't say that I was seeing the doctor for fertility issues when I wrote it. Anyway, that night I vowed I would never set foot in that practice again. And to this day, I stand by that decision. No one should be made to feel that way.

After the doctor's appointment came the waiting stage. I knew I was stuck waiting until I hit that magic 1-year mark. More and more of my friends started announcing pregnancies and I wanted so badly to be happy for them, but I just couldn't. Jealousy took over which turned into guilt for feeling jealous. What a disgusting cycle.

Things changed right around the 8 or 9 month mark, because friends who had announced their pregnancies around the time we had started trying were now going into labor and having their babies. I couldn't escape the fact that I felt like I should have been with them. It still blows my mind that I could have a 6-month-old baby, and yet I'm not even pregnant. But anyway, as baby after baby was being born, I became extremely proactive about finding a doctor who would help me, even though we hadn't been trying for a whole year yet.

I looked for a new doctor and prayed that God would lead me to the perfect one. And He did not let me down. I went to a different practice with a new doctor who was the complete opposite of the other doctor I had seen. She was kind and compassionate and took time to explain everything to me. And she always asked for my opinion, and how I wanted to handle things first. I still feel extremely blessed to have found this doctor, and hopefully she will be the one who delivers my babies someday! But anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.

This doctor immediately put me on Clomid (a medication that induces ovulation), even though we had only been trying for 8 months. Honestly, the day she wrote that prescription I thought all of our problems were over. I thought those little pills were the answer. And I hope no one judges me for taking those pills. Yes, there are some side effects that I was not happy about and that might cause some people to be morally opposed to the pill. But I was desperate.

I went on Clomid in March, feeling so hopeful about the whole thing! Little did I know that I was in for a world of pain. I used OPKs religiously during that month, and still, nothing. Every test was negative, and as day after day went by, I felt my hope slipping through my fingers.

I will never forget the lowest day of the whole journey, and probably of my life. It was around day 21 of my cycle and I finally accepted the fact that the Clomid was not doing what it was supposed to do, and the problem was more serious than I had realized. I have never felt such pain in my life because the question I had been asking myself changed that day. Instead of asking, "Will I get pregnant soon?" I had to ask myself, "Will I get pregnant ever?"

I finally realized I had to let go of this. God's timing is perfect, and if I wasn't pregnant yet, there was a reason. It was around this time that I surrendered my lifelong dream of becoming a stay-at-home mom, and started thinking about going back to school. I knew that our future would involve either infertility treatment (something our insurance does not cover) or adoption, and neither of those things were going to be cheap.

The doctor put me through two more rounds of Clomid, increasing the dosage each time until she reached the maximum dosage that can be safely given. I had to drive to the office a few times each month to have my blood drawn to test the hormones to see if I had ovulated or not. I felt like a human pincushion, and had a permanent bruise on the inside of my arm from April - June. But the blood tests were such a blessing, because it meant I could forget about taking my temperature every morning or using ovulation predictor kits. It was sort of freeing.

It was confirmed that even on the high dosages of Clomid, nothing was happening. I got a call during my first week of summer vacation this year from the nurse at my doctor's office telling me that there was nothing else they could do, and that they would refer me to a fertility specialist. Since our insurance didn't cover that, and since I was going back to school in the fall, I told her we were just going to call it quits for awhile. I guess we are taking the Michelle Duggar approach now, and just saying that if God wants to bless us with a child, He will. We're not obsessively trying to make that happen anymore, but we're certainly not trying to prevent it either.

The past 15 months have been such a roller coaster of emotions. But I have learned so much. I thought that a baby was the only thing that would make me happy, and make my life complete. But now I realize that a baby comes with its own set of problems. God is making me go through this for a reason, and I know He has an amazing plan that I can only see part of right now. I was trying to fill my God-shaped hole with a baby, and that just wouldn't have worked. I thought a baby was the "something beautiful" that I was waiting for. But now I see that God is my "something beautiful." So that's what my blog name represents: God can turn my life into something beautiful through His presence. It may not even look anything remotely like what I had pictured, planned, and hoped for myself, but it is a breathtaking masterpiece nonetheless.


  1. Wow, thank you for sharing your story. God is so faithful and I know that He will give you the desires of your heart one day.

  2. My heart breaks for you. You are such a sweet loving girl and I hate this for you. Praying.

  3. I hate that you have had to go through this, but you are handling it honorably. That is horrible your old doctor treated you like that as well. I would email or write the facility, because something needs to be done. We go to doctor's for help -- not to feel belittled. I hope and pray that God guides you in the right direction and that when He feels the time is right, you will become pregnant. Life, though it does not always go as planned, is definitely something beautiful :) Have a great day.

  4. You are such a strong and beautiful woman, and I just know that God WILL bless you with a baby! Thinking and praying for you!

  5. Oh, Jessica, this post made me want to cry particularly that last paragraph! i love that you are just reating on the Lord and letting Him be your "something beautiful". I pray for you everyday, Friend, and I know the Lord has great things planned for you!

  6. Ahhh, such a hard story to hear. Praying that God will grant you much peace as you learn to be content in this season He has you in right now. So thankful that He knows what is best for our lives, even when we don't understand! Stand strong, friend.

  7. You are such a strong person and continue to remain so positive throughout all of this! It breaks my heart that you're having to go through this.. and I can only imagine how hard it is while your friends are all having babies! Stay Strong! I know God has a plan for you.. and you will make a wonderful Mother when it's time!

  8. So proud of you and for sharing your story! The last line was my favorite. I hope you will continue to feel blessed through your blog and by the hope that you are and will continue to give others!
    (I emailed your previous email account this week. Just wanted to make sure you got the message. If not, I can forward it to your new email address!)

  9. Jessica, thank you for your openness and honesty. Though I am not in this exact situation, I can relate to the disappointment, anger and grief that comes with unmet expectations about something so many take for granted. And I too can relate in the difficulty but also necessity of pressing into Christ for your refuge. His peace truly passes all understanding! You've encouraged me, and I will be praying for you! Thank you.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I never had the courage to blog about our fertility struggle, but I really wish I would have!

  11. Thank you for being so honest in your post. God knows the desires of your heart because He built them in. He'll provide in His timing!

  12. What a great post! Thanks for sharing your journey. Your last paragraph is awesome!! Keep trusting God's plan~ He is faithful!!
    (Here from Kelly's Korner)

  13. I found you through KK's blog- You captured the feelings perfectly! We were referred to the RE right after our failed Clomid rounds and since we weren't sure if we'd have the money we didn't go. Little did we know when we were ready that we couldn't get a referral haha! Luckily our first appointment is tomorrow and I am soo excited! God bless you on your journey :)

  14. Found your post through Kelly's blog and just want to share your pain. We went through IF for several years before having our child, and it was so difficult. I will pray that your miracle comes soon. And I can't underestimate the importance of finding a doctor you feel comfortable with--I traveled 2 hours to see my doctor, but stayed with her because I always left her office feeling encouraged and hopeful!


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