4.10.2013

Reflections on the Journey to Our Miracle

I always knew it in the depths of my heart: all the struggles we had getting pregnant would turn out to be an immense blessing in the end. 

The countless doctors' appointments (and opinions), the innumerable books and blogs, the late-night cry sessions and faith-building trials, and super-strict lifestyle changes weren't just preparing my body to create new life. All of these things were preparing us for the REST OF OUR LIVES. It's an insight I was thankful to have while we were still weathering the storm, but now, enjoying the fruits of our labor, it is a truth that I am becoming even more amazed with over time. 

...two pink lines...
Like every good Pinterest addict (yes, I confess...), I had every intention of telling the hubby in a "cute" way when God blessed us with a child, but when it came right down to it, I just couldn't hold my emotions in long enough to come up with a plan of action.

Instead, amazed that our hard work had finally paid off and our prayers had been answered, I began laughing and yelling uncontrollably at the 2nd pink line that appeared that morning. As it slowly began getting darker, my shouts grew louder. "Come here! COME HERE! I need to show you something!"

"What," he retorted, "Have you got a really big turd in there or something?" My husband is hilarious.

I pointed to the test laying out on the bathroom sink. "That's a 2nd line. THAT'S A 2ND LINE! I'm not seeing things am I?! Oh my gosh! It's happening! IT'S REALLY REAL! WE'RE PREGNANT!" The morning (more like all-day) sickness followed shortly after and our excitement continues to grow with each milestone (including late-night chow-downs and those lovely strong, swift kicks to the ribs).


...so, how did you do it?...
Calm down, I'm not going to go into all the lovely details here - after all, I don't want my brother-in-law to lose his lunch reading about the inner workings of his crazy sister-in-law's body. So, suffice it to say that I was broken.

After a year of trying with no good fortune and one very early miscarriage, I saw a doctor about our struggles. She told me I had PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), a hormone disorder, but because it was not "textbook" PCOS (I didn't struggle with weight, crazy excessive hair growth, or other typical symptoms), it would therefore be very hard to treat the symptoms I did have and even harder to get pregnant. I was told in that office visit that it was very unlikely that I would have a successful pregnancy without considerable medical intervention and/or expensive infertility drugs that may or may not be covered by insurance. 

I was crushed. And that's when I became even more broken. Because then, I was not only broken in body, but in spirit as well. 

I was silently angry with God and decided to take things into my own hands instead of trusting His perfect plan. I still loved the Lord, don't get me wrong, but I didn't give it all to Him; I TOLD myself I did, but I didn't. I clung to this diagnosis like a jealous thief and in the catacombs of my heart, I fooled myself into thinking I could fix things all on my own.

I read all the books and joined all the internet forums and completely changed my lifestyle. I started a strict, hormone-balancing, low glycemic index diet, changed my exercise routine, and began using aromatherapy and self-acupressure sessions to get my brain and the rest of my body "talking." And you know what? It worked...mostly.

Even though I got my body to work fairly well on its own, we still couldn't catch a break. It took one breakdown and my hubby's very stark reaction to open my eyes to the only barrier that was left: the one around my heart.

I prayed fervently for God's direction, and constantly He asked me, "Do you trust me?"
"Yes, Lord, of COURSE I trust you!" I would reply.
"No, you don't. You need to TRUST me."
And so it went for some time. I was so confused with these conversations, because I had tricked myself so well into thinking I had given Him control, while still clinging bitterly to my problems. 


Then, on a twilight walk one night over the summer, something struck me deep in my heart, and my eyes were suddenly opened to how bitter and angry I had become, hidden so well by the routine I had adopted. I stopped in the middle of the trail and cried out to God. I wept and prayed, and my burden felt lifted. God wanted me to TRUST Him FULLY with ALL of my being, and I finally understood what that meant.

The next day, I spoke with our pastor about being baptized (I was raised Catholic and was baptized as an infant, but had never taken the plunge of my own free will as an adult), and a week later I was baptized - an outward sign of my inner, complete devotion to Christ.

Two months later, we spied two pink lines in the window of a pee stick. 

...a purposeful puzzle...
Looking back, I understand why the journey HAD to unfold the way it did. I needed to be broken down and built back up as a new, better person, both physically and spiritually. Not only that, but all of the learning hubby and I did to make changes in MY life prepared us in ways we never thought possible to reach out to other people and help them in THEIR lives.

The road we had to travel to be blessed with our little miracle has not only made me more comfortable in and educated about my own body and made hubby a more compassionate, understanding, and amazing partner, it has also helped him to reach out to students in a way he never thought possible (or remotely comfortable). When female students have issues that arise because of "that time of the month," he doesn't make them feel ashamed or more uncomfortable as many male teachers have the propensity to do, however unintentionally. Instead, he always has a stash of chocolate at his desk and most of them now know the reflexology points on the foot to help ease those lovely monthly discomforts. 

Add to this the scores of students, Moms, and women I've met along the way, both those who have helped me and those whom I have helped, and the picture comes together. God is so good and His plan, however difficult it was to navigate at the time, was ALWAYS perfect.

...a poke to the nose...
So, now more than half-way through my pregnancy, what was it that inspired me to finally blog about this journey?  It was my wonderful, amazing, compassionate, hilarious and selfless husband.

At our first-ever Childbirth Preparation class last night, Dads-to-be (and even a few Mommies) squirmed a little at the detailed anatomy lesson and feverishly jotted notes as the instructor rattled off facts and fiction about reproductive mechanics and pregnancy. As for hubby and I, we would distract each other to share an inside joke and flash a knowing smile - we know this stuff backwards and forwards by now. 

And it was then, in that moment when he reached up to poke the tip of my nose with his index finger in the middle of class, that I realized how blessed we are to have had the struggle we did to finally sit in that room with about a dozen other pregnant ladies and their partners. That is not to say that we don't still have a lot to learn, but I stand in awe at all the ways that God has already prepared us for the journey into parenthood.

Only 94 days until we meet you, Baby D, and I can tell you this with certainty: you are already a miracle to us and loved beyond measure.  - Psalm 139 -
 



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