I never dreamed that God would ever ask me to share this publicly, but like all of us, I have a testimony and I pray that it blesses you, or someone you know to keep trusting in our Heavenly Father no matter how bleak things may look.
This isn’t a story with a sad ending of any kind. Actually my story hasn’t ended yet, because as I live and breathe, my life journey will continue to add new chapters. But in the scheme of my life story, there are chapters that broke my heart and had me asking the hard questions... Why me God? Where are you?
As I look back now, I know that He was there for me even in my mother’s womb. And I know that right now, all of the trials I went through led me to this moment to share my journey with you. Maybe you have never struggled with Infertility or IVF but I’m sure you have met someone who is, or has and maybe this series of posts will encourage them.
Within this three part series you will find things that encouraged me, little things I did to keep my faith and trust in God always. So before I begin, I pray that whatever you are facing that God speaks to you as you are reading and brings you the kind of peace that only he can give.
My husband and myself met very young at age 19. We worked hard at our jobs and spent our days saving up to get married. I knew the moment we met God had made us for one another. It wasn’t smooth sailing and we fought a lot in the beginning of our relationship. I look back and realise we were still kids who hadn’t fully figured out who we were yet. Essentially we spent years together still growing and learning about life, but through it all God was there correcting us and teaching us what it meant to be adults, to be partners and I praise Him daily for that, because without Him, we may not have made it, especially if we had of known the trials that awaited us.
Fast forward to seven years later, we were now a married couple still working hard and for two years we had been trying for a family. We always knew we wanted to have a large family so we wanted to start young. As the third year approached and still no pregnancy, I remember waking up one morning and sitting on the edge of my bed. As I pulled my socks on and got ready to go to work I asked the Lord.
"Is this really my life? Getting up, going to work, coming home, eating dinner and going to bed?" I heard nothing but I felt the heavy weight of my life, day in day out without any change. Nothing was exciting anymore. There was no growth spiritually going on and no changes in circumstance.
My husband and myself went to church when we could be bothered, but even that commitment had dwindled, choosing overtime at work over praising God. And every month when yet again I wasn’t pregnant, that gap between God and I grew bigger and bigger.
As I drove to work that morning I gave Him one last heart cry “God, please help me get pregnant.” I was hoping he would simply click his fingers and make it happen, I wasn’t prepared for the journey ahead. But that very day God answered, opened doors and took care of everything, just not the way I ever imagined.
Arriving at work that day I went about getting my jobs done. One of the girls who worked on the registers was going on her lunch break so I went up front to cover her. Since I arrived at work that morning, I had been getting sever lower abdominal pain. It had been happening for months but I just shrugged it off. I hated visiting doctors, so I stupidly held things off until they got bad. This day though, I was serving a customer and she noticed I was in pain even as I tried to hide it.
"Are you okay?” she asked. I nodded and tried to just get on with my work. “You don’t look okay. I work at the clinic around the corner I’m going to see if the doctor can squeeze you in.” As I handed her the change I insisted I was fine. She didn’t listen and walked out of the store with her groceries in hand. I thank God to this day that lovely lady chose to ignore me, because within 15 minutes of her leaving, she rang me and told me I had an appointment and I needed to get there in ten minutes. Graciously my boss covered me at the register and off I went to the clinic.
When the doctor called me in and asked what was happening, again I tried to play the pain down. “Oh you know, just a bit of lower abdominal pain, I’m sure it’s nothing.” She looked at me and frowned. “Are you pregnant?” I lowered my head and replied. “No, but I’m an expert at pregnancy tests,” I joked. “So you’ve been trying to get pregnant?” I told her we had been trying for two years, using ovulation kits and still nothing.
“Well, I think we need to get onto this. I’m booking you in for an ultrasound, blood tests and hold on...” she picked up her phone and began to dial. When the man on the other end of the phone picked up she placed him on loud speaker. “Hey Tim, look I know you have a heavy waiting list but I really want you to see this couple.”
“You know that’s almost impossible.” I heard the man reply. At this point I had no idea who this guy was and why I had to go see him.
“Sarah say hello to Tim.” I think I looked at the doctor like she was half out of her mind, but I did as she asked. “Ah, Hey Tim.” I was met with silence on the other end. Was he even still on the line? I thought. “So you have obviously been trying to get pregnant?”
“Yes they have for two years. I’m scheduling all their tests now.” More silence. “Okay. I don’t normally do this but I’ll schedule you in for two weeks from now, so make sure you have all your results sent to me and my receptionist will ring you with the scheduled appointment time.”
As the doctor hung up I was so confused, but she just smiled at me. For the next ten minutes I sat there still confused waiting for an answer to what was wrong with me, all the while she was on the phone scheduling my appointments for my scans and blood tests. Not only that, she was scheduling for my husband to have blood work and.... his swimmer count checked! Say What!
“Okay well you’re all set. Here are your appointments, be sure not to miss them because Tim will not reschedule if you can’t make it. He’s the head of the IVF program here.” I wanted to say I asked her all these questions and why on earth she was scheduling me to see an IVF specialist but in that moment the heart cry I had sent up to the Lord that morning came crashing into my mind.
The next few days I spent walking around in a daze and going to the appointments she had asked me to, along with my husband. I prayed that this was Gods way of assuring me everything was going to be fine and I would go back to that doctor with happy news. I never saw her again as my new IVF doctor took over from there, but I will never forget her and the doors God opened up for us. So you can probably see where I’m going with this. Things weren’t fine, and the punches kept on coming, but through it all God held our hands and never left our sides.
Two weeks from the day I saw that doctor we were now at the IVF clinic and sitting in front of our new doctor. I’m pretty certain that my husband and myself were both expecting to hear the problem lies with me. On part it did. “Sarah you have alot of cysyts due to polycystic ovarian syndrome and even more endometriosis.” Then he looked over at my husband. “Your count was Nil.” Say what again! That news hit us harder than I could ever describe in a post and after the doctor referred my husband to see another specialist, before continuing this journey we left the clinic devastated. Our attempts at having children were for nothing up to that point. We left wondering whether we were ever going to have children at all because things were not looking good.
Fast track another few weeks and we wound up at my husbands specialist appointment and we found out what the problem was. My husband carried the CF gene (Cystic Fibrosis) and was born without his vas deferens, which meant in the natural, he would never have conceived children. I want to say we handled things well, but that would be so far from the truth.
It hit my husband harder than I could ever describe and sent him into a downward spiral of depression. How he dealt with it, wasn’t pretty, he became angry and shut himself off from even wanting to talk to me. Finding out that you couldn’t have children is one of the hardest things to swallow, especially when you want them so bad. All your childhood you dreamed of meeting the one, getting married and having your own little tight knit family, to hear you never could have had them, was the hardest pill to swallow. But here is where God is so, so good I cannot even describe it.
I remember laying in bed soon after we found out the hard news. I tried to silently cry into my pillow as to not wake my husband. The hurt I felt was excruciating, and when you want something so bad you seem to see it everywhere. I could be driving to work and on a billboard would be a pregnant woman promoting a new supplement, every customer I served I swore was pregnant, my closest friends were having babies and there I was facing the harsh reality that I may never conceive my own.
I whispered to God, “I don’t know how you’re going to do it Lord, but please help us to have a baby. I trust you.” As I fell asleep that night I felt a peace wash over me, as if I was wrapped in the wings of an angel. All the pain I felt was replaced with a calmness, a sureness that God had this. I won’t tell you it was always that way, and later you will read about it, but for right then, I knew without a doubt that God was going to answer.
The next morning I woke up and received a call I was not expecting. It was the receptionist from the IVF clinic wanting to know if we would like to start our first round of Invitro in a weeks time. I was in shock. Someone had cancelled and they had an open spot. I bit at my lip and almost cried from the hurt I felt, because we did not have the money to go through with it. But something in me paused, and I asked her if I could get back to her the next morning as I needed to speak with my husband and she agreed.
As I went about finishing my shift my boss asked me if everything was okay. I explained to him that we had been offered a spot in the IVF intake but unless a miracle happened we would have to pass it up. He gave me a pat on the back and I got back to work. Later that night I spoke to my husband but there was simply no way we could get the money together in such a short amount of time. Besides, my husband was still unconvinced if it was worth it. Even if we did the treatment there was no guarantee that it would work or if my husband would even have any little swimmers in there. But remember that peace that washed over me I spoke about earlier? That peace stayed in place, an unshakeable knowing had dug its way inside of me and I just knew, no wavering, that God was in control of everything.
So often when I am struggling with something I go back to this trial in my life and remember that feeling, that absolute trust I felt in God through that time of my life. I search daily for that feeling again.
That night after I spoke to my husband about the IVF opportunity, we decided to go out to our life group. There was going to be a guest speaker and as sad as we were, there was something pulling us to go along. We hadn’t told anyone from our church about what we were going through, I don’t know whether we were still in shock, but there was certainly shame. As if it’s unfathomable that you simply can’t have children. But anyway, instead of sitting at home we went and plastered big bright smiles on our faces as if all was well in our lives.
As we began to pray that night the most miraculous thing happened, God spoke through this stranger we had never met before. He walked over to us and placed his hands on our shoulders. "God just showed me three babies wrapped in blue resting in the palm of his hands. That is his promise to you so hold tight." Well as you can imagine I broke down into a pool of tears. We told Him what was going on and he prayed over us a peace that only God can give while we face this mountain.
I went home that night more conflicted than ever. Maybe we weren’t meant to do the IVF now but surely in the future. Because God had just given us a word. Oh but how I underestimated the creator of the universe!
Look out for Part Two of God, IVF & Me- My Journey next week! Because let me tell you the story is far from over... Sign up to my newsletter at the bottom of this page and receive my blog posts straight to your inbox, or follow me on facebook.com/littlesparrowloved
I look forward to doing this journey with you, and I hope you love it enough to share,