Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Several friends have reached out to us lately, to express their love and support and to let us know they are thinking of and praying for us. We are so thankful for each and every one of you!

This journey is not an easy one. I would imagine that any journey that involves a long period of waiting can start to feel very challenging as time continues to move on without an answer as to when the waiting will end. Singleness is probably the best analogy to infertility. Or you could also think of it like a job that you're at, but you can't quit, get fired, or promoted...you're just stuck. Waiting, no matter what you're waiting for, can be incredibly hard to bear.

Our journey has felt like a long time, but I know there are so many others who have waited much, much longer than we have. I cannot imagine that, how much harder it must be for them.

The thing that has kept me going has been when God sends me little milestones along our path. Normally, milestones are equidistant markers to show progress through time or distance. But in our case, they are markers of thankfulness for this journey we're on and they have come in unequal intervals along this path.


When we first started trying to conceive, it was the starting line of this journey. I remember feeling so much excitement that we made that decision, and were ready to begin the next chapter of our lives - parenthood. The first few months were full of slight disappointments, uncertainty, and the beginnings of doubt.

I wonder how much longer it will take for me to get pregnant? Could there be something wrong? Surely not...we're both healthy and young. Did I do something to cause this? Did we wait too long?

Then I noticed my heart starting to get more sensitive. The thickness of my skin decreased. Every little comment and remark related to pregnancy and children would register easily with me. No pregnant woman or infant within a quarter-mile radius escaped my notice.

Then in the summer of last year, I received some slightly disappointing news from the doctor about one of my blood tests (that my progesterone levels were too low). Even though this is not much of a concern anymore, at the time, it was my first milestone. It was the moment where I broke down before God and realized that everything related to conception, apart from having an intimate relationship with my husband, was completely out of my control, and that I had been desperately and sinfully clinging to all forms of control I could get my hands on. This milestone and very valuable life lesson was the first marker of thankfulness that I experienced about this journey. I was thankful to have learned that I needed to give all control to the Lord. That I needed to stop assuming that my plans mattered more than God's plans.

A second milestone was within our marriage. This milestone was placed very shortly after the first because they went hand in hand. I realized that I had started viewing sex with my husband as just a necessity to procreate, and less on the expression of intimacy and love in our marriage. My former attitude had resulted from my sinful desperation to maintain control over the situation. But with this second milestone, I realized I owed Michael a big apology for taking all the fun out of the bedroom. He was gracious enough to forgive me. At that time, I made a commitment to fully turn our lovemaking over to the Lord, by praying that Michael would initiate sex during my fertile window, and if he didn't, then I wasn't going to initiate it because I didn't trust myself to not have the wrong motives. We have since reached a healthy balance, but this milestone was very necessary at the time, and I was again thankful for our infertility because it helped me to truly appreciate my man instead of just his seed :)

The third milestone resulted from my reaching out to others about my struggle. I began to share publicly that we were hoping for children, and that we were experiencing some emotional difficulties in waiting. The return of prayer support and encouragement from friends was amazing. Again making me thankful to have experienced infertility. I also started meeting others who struggle with infertility, which allows us to share a very special bond.

The fourth milestone occurred at the end of the summer. Michael and I had previously declined to lead the Newlywed/Young Married class at church because we had expected to begin a family. But the opportunity again presented itself at the end of the summer in 2011, and we felt like perhaps God wanted us to serve in that way before we became parents.

The fifth milestone was on September 1, 2011. My first doctor's appointment with Dr. S. You can read about it here. Great doctors are a joy to find.

The sixth milestone occurred in November when a friend who formerly struggled with infertility told me that because of my advice, she gave up control to the Lord and repented of her bitterness, and lo and behold, she became pregnant the next month. Not that I really had anything to do with her conception, but it greatly encouraged my heart that I'm on this path for a bigger reason. For a God-given reason.

The seventh milestone was on December 1, 2011. My first doctor's appointment with Dr. H. Again, great doctors are a blessing to find, and my appointment with her was awesome. She also followed up with me on December 29th and confirmed that everything appears to be functioning and looking normally.

The eighth milestone also occurred in December 2011. I started this blog and began finding other inspiring infertility blogs out there that really spoke hope and encouragement to my heart. I felt the Lord leading me to share my thoughts about infertility to hopefully help others on this journey. I never would have had that opportunity if I hadn't experienced infertility. It made me thankful.

The ninth milestone also occurred in December when we decided it was time to tell our families that we were struggling with infertility. This resulted in us feeling much closer to family, which made me incredibly thankful.

March 2012 marked the tenth milestone for me with the first meeting of Hope Does Not Disappoint. I again felt thankful because I felt the Lord reassuring me that all this pain I've been feeling has a big purpose in His ultimate plan, that He's doing lots of good through it.

I went downhill a bit since then, struggling back and forth with uncertainty of what to do, how to move forward, weariness from this journey. It became difficult to experience a thankful attitude because I just wanted the pain to end. So my most recent (eleventh) milestone happened only in the past two weeks, and it was in the context of our marriage again. There was a particular issue that has been a source of pain in our relationship for our entire marriage and much of our dating years. But just recently, Michael and I were able to communicate our feelings effectively and experience great healing that was so very needed. It was so beautiful to see that happen in our relationship. I know for a fact that had we not been on this infertility path, it would have been years and years from now before we would have experienced this healing, so it made me the most thankful I've ever been for infertility.

That's the funny thing about milestones for me. Each milestone is like hitting the reset button in my heart. I'll be trucking along, starting to get really weighed down by hopelessness, and then boom, I run straight into a milestone that God puts in my path that wakes me up and makes me realize that I don't regret a single minute of the pain we've been experiencing. The glory and beauty of each milestone greatly outshines the pain that's behind it in the past. It makes me truthfully say that I'm glad for every minute we've struggled, because I'm glad to have learned what we've learned and be where we are right now, this minute.

So if you're praying for us, please just pray that God will get us through the rest of this journey and guide us every step of the way. We desire His will and timing to be done, so we just ask that He prepare us for that plan of His. And maybe pray that in the meantime, God will put many milestones in our path to continue to help remind us to be thankful for it. Thank you all so much!

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