Battle scars. When will I settle in? 9w4d pregnant.

I wish I was able to let go and get excited about this pregnancy.  I wish I could experience the resounding JOY of a first time mom.  I wish I could DREAM about nurseries and bonding with my baby and dwell on our sweet future together.  I think about these things, but do I DREAM?

Instead, I feel cautious.  I am SO happy to be pregnant, so blessed to finally be in this place, but it is NOT the bliss I would have always thought it would be.  Leading up to my first ultrasound, I was nervous, my mind fraught with anxiety.  When could I OWN this pregnancy?  When would I settle into it?  When would I just ENJOY being pregnant everyday?  The ultrasound came and went and though I worry so much less now about whether or not it is real, I have to admit that I have yet to settle into it.  Yet, to wake up in the morning, overcome with feelings of joy and elation that we are PREGNANT.  In my heart I am so thankful and praise God each and every day for this little miracle.  I have been researching baby gear and look forward to putting together a nursery, but I still find myself…well, numb.

This numbness of mine has resulted from so many months of battling with infertility.  Unmet expectations, broken dreams, waiting, enduring, hoping, and so much failing.  A relentless cycle that has left my soul forever changed, my heart hardened.  As the months turned into a year + many months, more and more I began to protect myself.  I worked hard to keep the pieces of my life together.  I went into full on self-protection mode and was able to give very little to those in my life and in my community.  Month after month, I continued to reach out, clinging to any hope I could find in God, Google, or some new treatment plan.  Time and time again, failure.  After a while, I grew calloused, I had to find a way to cope with infertility and no longer allow it to own me.  I had to find a way to rid it of the power it had over me and find myself again.

Well, new life has begun in me and with it, I am trying to restore my heart.  As I learn more about myself and how I respond to pregnancy, I realize just how much work there is yet to be done.  This journey is far from over.  I want to feel again, to LIVE in the moment again.  I want to enjoy each and every moment of this pregnancy and this beautiful baby that is growing in side of me.  I don’t want my past to determine my future. I realize that infertility has shaped me in countless ways for the better of my future family.  I want my children to have a mom who feels their pain and disappointments, who laughs at their sweet jokes, and whom can cry when necessary.

I will regain my soft heart…one day I may even wear it on my sleeve again.  In the meantime, I just thank God for this amazing privilege of finally working towards becoming a mom.  A dream I had all but given up just a few short months ago.  I hope I can find myself settling in soon and I hope that this baby in my belly is in our life to stay.

 

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I had written this post last night and then thought I should sleep on it before posting it.  Part of me feels guilty for the feeling the way I do, for not being OVER the MOON excited.  But then, as I logged in to my Word Press account this morning, one of my dear blogging friends, Chanel, just found out yesterday that her baby had no heartbeat. This was her second U/S.  She had had a fabulous one just a few weeks ago.  Chanel and I received our BFP within days of eachother and so I have felt a special connection towards her and this baby.  I am heartbroken and so very sad for her and it just serves as another reminder of just how hard this journey really is.  There are no guarantees once receiving that long awaited BFP.  Please send her some LOVE!

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Depths and truths.

Lately, I have been consumed with fighting a lurking, ever near bout of depression.  It lies ready and waiting, waiting for me to give it a foothold.  Ready to destroy me.  It seeks to render me useless, denigrate my spirit and steal my joy.  As a result, I have noticed I am having an increasingly difficult time recognizing or shall I say appreciating the blessed things, the wonderful things, the joyful things that are going on in my life.  In my current bible study, we are encouraged to write down each evening the ways in which we have seen God move and work over the course of the day.  Most nights I can’t think of any “God sightings” in my own life.  Somehow, I can see His hand upon those around me…but mine?  Not really.

And so I think, what is wrong with me?  My vision is clouded, my ability to perceive the supernatural…gone, often without a trace.

Well, I am FIGHTING to regain my ground in this area.  I am no victim of infertility.  Infertility is ONLY going to make me a stronger, more beautiful, more compassionate individual.  I will be better able to relate to people, better able to love people, better able to feel people’s hurts.  I will know how to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those with rejoice.  For I have walked the road of hopelessness.  I have felt the pains of despair.  I have experienced the inconsolable cries of a womb longing to bring for life from its depths.

My words to myself: Receive God’s love.  May my eyes be opened and my heart be filled with JOY!

After all, I did get some GREAT news this morning!  + OPK.  YEAH!  IUI # 4 will commence tomorrow.

I am so thankful for this. I will not have to call in sick to work…my husband and I can just fit it into our morning routine before a little brunch with friends.  A gift from God.  I am gaining ground.

Abandoned…

The other night I cried my first tears in months.  Lately, tears seldom find their way into my day to day life.  More often than not, I feel numb to my emotions.  At times, I experience frustration.  At others, I feel apathy, an attempt to guard and protect my heart.  But yet, two nights ago, I found that the emotions so deep within, stuffed down and difficult to face and reconcile couldn’t help but spill forth.  As tear drops fell, soft wet spots formed on the pillow around my face.  The room was dark and quietness encompassed us as we lay awake in bed.  Me, trying to stifle back the sounds of tears.  The quietness, broken at times, by our discussion.  My husband and I were characterizing the depression that seems to be creeping into my life and overwhelming me at times.  I am slowly losing my desire to be social, slowly losing the desire to work out or put much effort into being intentional with friends or plan outdoor activities in our beloved wilderness.  Everything sounds like work.  Too much work.  I would rather sleep…sleep away the hours or read away my awake time while lost in a different world.  Worlds full of adventure, imagination, and dreams brought to fruition.

I slowly realize why I am feeling this way…

Apart from the obvious, our infertility pilgrimage, is the feeling that I feel completely abandoned.  I feel abandoned by my Lord.  I am so hurt. Where is He?  Does He hear my cries?  Does He weep over my broken heart?  Why won’t He allow me to feel more of His presence?  Why won’t he give us more direction, more hope?  How long will we have to endure this pain?  Will there be relief?

In my mind’s eye, I reassure myself.  I know that someday I will KNOW, wholeheartedly, that he has NEVER in fact abandoned me, NEVER forsaken me and has been/was with me the entire time.  Right now, it’s hard for me to see that, hard for me to feel that.

For now, I struggle to keep believing that our IMPOSSIBLE will become POSSIBLE.

Flesh and blood

During this pilgrimage of infertility, some passages of Scripture have taken on new meaning in my life.  One passage I find particularly enlightening to my plight is the following verses in Proverbs 30:

15 There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’:  16 the grave,c the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’

WOW!  I mean, I know we all inherently know this.  But do you realize the implications?  We are at odds against ourselves in seeking peace and contentment.   Our deepest selves, our physical bodies cry out for pregnancy, for child, for life to be brought forth from our loins. This is not simply some emotional desire within us but our own flesh and blood, created with a purpose to multiply and populate the earth.  AND, it is in NEED of fulfillment.

Sink your teeth into that.  Even as I read these words now, after so many times, they SCREAM at me.  Their message loud and clear – I am NOT satisfied.  Deep cries out to deep (Psalm 42:7).  The profound depth of this passage speaks to my own yearnings deep within me.  Together their voices are deafening.

Oh Lord, would you not atone this God-given necessity?  Hear our prayers for deliverance.  May we find solace in your arms.

Amen.

A unique story, all our own.

I struggle with this pain that I feel.  This sense of loss.  This sense of hopelessness.  How can I, someone who has soooo much feel so hopeless, allowing myself to sink into depression at times, when God has been so good to me?

It’s true.  He has been sooo good!

Working in the medical field…daily, I am in contact with people whose stories are so much more troubling than mine.  Stories of loss, full of heartbreak and physical challenges.

The mid twenties woman ravaged by a meningeal infection, now without limbs and forever wheelchair bound.  She can’t even scratch her arm or move an annoying strand of hair from her face.  Or the mid twenties something soldier fresh home from his tour of duty in Afganistan (x2!) only to be diagnosed with a devastating brain tumor…now confined to a nursing home, unable to communicate and move though everyone is pretty sure his mind is completely intact. Or how about the young thirty year old, born with a disease that progressively renders you immobile and mentally impaired with a young death a certainty. I could go on and on.  Each story humbles me, breaks me.  I am so thankful for the blessing of being alive, able to move, and able to communicate with those so dear to me.

I think of my friends who are still single…approaching their mid-thirties who have DREAMED of having a family of their own.  Friends who are so beautiful and would make the most wonderful wives.  Not only do they feel hopeless as to whether or not God will ever bring their knight in shining armor into their lives, but it is nearly impossible for them to even entertain thoughts of one day having a family.  It would only deepen the pain they are now experiencing.

I think of the homeless, the poor, those who grow up without families who love them.  Is it even fair for me to dwell so much on this pain I experience?  Is it selfish?  Have I lost touch with reality?

I have learned that it doesn’t matter.  We simply cannot compare.  God gives each of us the stories he desires to use to grow us, mold us, and make us into the people he has called us to be.  I think of the growth that has already occurred in my life as a result of this trying past year.  When my husband and I are honest with ourselves, we both agree that we are now in a much better spot in our relationship and in our walk with God than we could have ever dreamed of being in over a year ago when we started trying to conceive.  God needed us to walk into our pain and meet him there.  He needed us to be honest about it, feel our pain and experience it fully – to find him there, to lean unto Him there.  It makes us deeper, more understanding, more compassionate and thankful individuals.  We are better able to weep with those who weep and now have hearts with room to carry hope for others.

I wouldn’t trade any of it.  I would not trade a single day, month, or even the past year.  I love the story God has for my life.  He never promised it would be bliss, but he did promise a light load should we put our trust in him.

Matthew 11:30. “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

What does that mean?  To me it means that we, as a body of Christ, are to carry each other’s burdens, moving ever in hope towards his promise of perfect peace.

Thank you, Jesus, for this story of ours.  May we glean every last morsel of truth and character development from it.  May we be vessels of your glory and mercy in this world.