One of my least favorite words in the human language is the word “jealous”, I’ve always associated it with immaturity. That’s just my opinion but I feel like people should be happy for others and not covet what they have. I will say, times, when I am a little jealous of others, is when they’re places like Disney World or NYC and I’m like, “they’re having so much fun, I wish I was there!” But something like, “ugh I’m so jealous that they have so much money, they must be so happy” is a waste of an emotion. You never know if someone’s social media posts match what’s going on in their minds. So I’ve tried to be happy with what God has given me in life and adjust it where I can through Him.
With that said, there was a time in my life where I experienced jealousy like I never knew before. I was naive before we ever started “trying” to get pregnant and assumed it would happen right away. I was wrong and God humbled me so much. There’s a deep pain that comes with wanting a baby to grow inside of your belly, it not happen, and then seeing it happen for what felt like everyone else around me. It’s a kick to the uterus to walk into Target and see about 100 baby bumps shining in all their glory (for some reason pregnant women love to walk around Target). As I said, God humbled me so much in the midst of that journey.
We were told in premarital counseling by the pastor of our church, “don’t wait until you’re financially stable to have kids or you’ll never have kids” but we didn’t listen. We waited to even start trying before we both had full-time jobs and health insurance. I felt like I was doing myself a favor by saving us from the stress of having a child without insurance or a job that paid maternity leave. That was me being controlling and trying to tiptoe around God’s mighty will. So when I took my first pregnancy test and it showed up negative I felt like I had failed years of waiting and planning. We had timed it out perfectly, life’s supposed to work out just right when you do that, right? Nope.
I recovered quickly as I had been told by a lot of people, “most couples take a while to get pregnant” so figured it was normal. I can’t give specifics on how many pregnancy tests I took that weren’t positive as I had lost count all while being told, “it’s normal for it to take a year.” Let’s break that down, a month is 28-31 days; the first half is spent waiting on the right time to try, the 2nd half waiting to see if you were successful (I’m not getting into a science lesson right now but you know what I mean). A year is 12 months so 12 months of going through that routine is still a long and very draining time, especially considering a pregnancy is only 9 months.
There’s always the thought in the mind of an infertile, “if I had gotten pregnant this month I’d be this far along by now”. So after a year, you’d have a 3 month old. What I’m getting at is, don’t tell people “it’s normal to take a year” they don’t want to hear that. #rantover
What was great about my OBGYN was that she was super proactive. I told her through tears the trouble we were having and my fears of what it was. I’ve heard of people’s doctors dismissing them with, “just give it more time” and not offering much help. Right away she scheduled me to come back for blood work and after the blood work had me start taking this medication called Femara. I should not be a spokesperson for Femara, that stuff SUCKED. It’s essentially a hormone pill that boosts ovulation and increases the chances of getting pregnant. Any woman reading this, imagine all the roller coaster of emotions throughout the month jam-packed into 1 pill. It was awful and I couldn’t make it longer than a few months on it before I said, “screw this!”
That’s when God really started working in me. I had so much faith in that stupid little pill, thinking that was what I needed to get pregnant. The pill failed me, failed Chris and I.
I remember in the 2nd month of that hormone Hell, meeting a friend for coffee after work and going to the bathroom to have started my period. I cried the whole way home. I fell apart in Chris’ arms, asking him through sobs why it wasn’t happening for us. I never told the doctor’s office that I decided to quit taking the Femara but I did do something different.
One morning, back when Chris and I only had one car, I dropped him off at work and with my dog in the back seat (where 2 or more gather) I prayed out loud. I prayed for God’s dominion over my body and I prayed for the faith to believe I could get pregnant. I needed the faith I had the first month we tried to return. God led me to put my faith into action by ordering a onesie off of Etsy that said, “Worth the Wait” and believe that my body would grow a baby to fit into it.
I was attending a bible study at this time with church friends I grew up with. One of them knew what all we had been going through and asked if I had ever gotten my thyroid checked, which was something I struggled with coming to terms with. My grandmother had her thyroid removed years ago and I didn’t want to think it had been passed down to me. After discussing it with Chris and praying about it, I set up an appointment for a thyroid exam with my OB. It had been months since I quit taking Femara and once again I was sitting on the paper sheets of her exam chair. She was a little more solemn this time and said, “we can be more aggressive if you’d like” but I replied, “we’re just trusting God”.
Part of the thyroid exam was a TSH test done through blood work and the results that came back from that weren’t what I had hoped to hear. My levels were low, meaning I have a hypothyroid and needed to take medication for it. Another pill. I was also referred to get an ultrasound on my thyroid to make sure there wasn’t anything serious going on in it.
I had always thought my first ultrasound would be on my stomach to see a baby in it but it wasn’t. I had to lay flat on my back as the tech scrubbed through my neck with tears streaming down my cheeks. They had bible verses on the ceiling and Christian music playing and I was reminded to pray and settle my anxieties. The ultrasound came back clean.
I continued to pray for faith from God and we still tried our hardest to get pregnant. Taking the pregnancy tests was such a mind game by that point. I tried not to take them on work days so I wasn’t in tears the whole day if it wasn’t positive. One Saturday I decided to take one earlier than I should have, this was a few weeks after being on the new medication. It was positive, barely. The control line was as dark as it was supposed to be and its parallel partner was barely showing itself. I had read before that you could shine the flashlight of your phone on them to see it better so I did that just to make sure. It worked, there it was.
I ran upstairs and pushed Chris awake and said, “want to see a magic trick, if you shine a light on a positive test it shows up better!” and showed him the test with my phone glaring on it. I was honestly expecting him to not understand at all what I was saying but he started crying, we were finally successful. God’s mercies renewed a very defeating year.
I know there are people that took a lot longer to get pregnant than us, ones who still haven’t gotten there, and people that have had to endure loss. I wish I had a solution to all of those things but I do know giving it over to God brought me more peace than any pill had to offer and I believe it was faith that I was lacking. My daughter is the biggest blessing I have been given and was worth every tear shed. I would do it all over again for her and hope to raise her with an understanding of what a gift from God she was and still is to us. I love her more than I ever thought possible, her curiosity, willingness to learn, her sense of humor, how she has Chris’ eyes, and her silly facial expressions that Chris says are just like mine.
If anyone reading this is in the midst of the struggle and needs prayer, let me know and I will believe with you that we serve a God of miracles. All it takes is the faith of a mustard seed.