Saturday, June 17, 2017

When Life Isn't What You Expected it to Be


This post has been a long time coming, but I thought it was time to share my heart with you...

At times I wonder, "Who cares about what's going on in my day-to-day life and the life of my husband, Josh?", but part of the reason I began this blog was as a means to record our journey and the places God takes us. Our life is pretty simple and mundane, but I know one day I will want to look back at old posts and see how far we have come and also I know that I have some family and friends who like to be kept in the loop so here I go...

I have wanted to share our story on this space for a long time but honestly have struggled about where to begin. Also, I am not the best at being vulnerable and open but I want others to know where we are so they can pray and also for other women who are struggling... I want you to know that you are not alone.

Josh and I began the journey of growing our family roughly four years ago. After about a year or so of casually trying to conceive and not being successful, we decided to go see my OBGYN. After running some tests, they couldn't find any problem. My doctor prescribed some fertility medication and just told us to "keep trying".

Skip ahead another year and no baby.

After much prayer, we decided it was time to see an infertility specialist. After running more tests, the doctor still couldn't figure out what the problem was, other than that the ultrasounds did show some signs of an ovarian cyst. Cysts are fairly common so my doctor didn't seem too concerned and we decided to begin IUI treatments. Over the course of the next few months we completed 4 rounds of IUI. With each failed attempt we became more disheartened and discouraged.

Taking a step back and gathering wisdom from our doctor, we decided that I would undergo surgery to determine what exactly was going on in there. After the surgery, the doctor discovered that I did in fact have two large ovarian cysts and lots of scarring on my fallopian tubes. Of course, I didn't find out the extent of the damage until a week after the surgery.

When the doctor called us back in to go over my results, he revealed to us that he was able to get the majority of the cysts removed but because of the damage the endometriomas had done to my reproductive system,  more than likely I would never conceive apart from IVF. The news hit me like a ton of bricks. I completely lost it right there in the doctor's office. My sweet husband was so strong and even after the doctor left he just took me in his arms, stroked my hair, and reassured me that we were going to have a baby no matter the cost.

That weekend was one of the hardest of my life. Many tears were shed, Josh and I held each other while he whispered in my ear that everything was going to be ok, and we prayed for guidance and grace. IVF was really something (mainly because of the cost) that hadn't been on the table for us. For the first time, we began praying about the possibility and were open to whatever door the Lord had for us.

I would be lying if I said there hasn't been times I doubted God's love and goodness. There have been moments when I have grasped to understand why God chose this certain path for us. I have questioned God's wisdom and grace wondering why He blesses so many people around us with children -- even those who were NOT desiring to get pregnant -- all the while leaving me barren. I've struggled with many feelings of guilt knowing that it's my fault we can't conceive and how Josh deserves better. I have had thoughts of inferiority in my role as a woman. I've thrown myself a lot of pity-parties.

The truth of the matter...infertility is HARD. It's empty. Lonely. Isolating. It's a struggle that you are hit in the face with every day...seeing a mother with her child, passing a pregnant lady in the grocery store, receiving yet another baby shower invitation, discovering another friend on Facebook is expecting... I am not sharing this in order to gain sympathy but just to bring awareness to the battle that is infertility and as a means to comfort whoever may be reading this and in the same boat as myself.

I know the road ahead of Josh and I is still only just beginning. At times it seems like we may never be parents. Even today, after seeing more doctors, I was hit with discouragement and frustration. Life is a bit of an emotional roller coaster for us at the moment. We didn't choose this. Growing up, I never in a million years expected that I would be traveling this road. I had my future children's names picked out by the time I was 10. I've always dreamed of being a wife and a mama. Nothing else. It seems unfair. I have to fight against bitterness and for joy. I had the perfect life planned out. It didn't happen. I'm learning to throw expectations out the window. I'm striving to embrace the life God has for us.

Family and friends, please pray for us and with us. Pray for God to provide. Pray for wisdom as to what our next steps should be. We are very open to the possibility of IVF and adoption...very possibly, both. Adoption has always been very near and dear to our hearts and so we are praying for wisdom in that as well.

We know that God is sovereign and He is good. He already knows our future children and is working everything perfectly in order for when the time will be for us to meet them. I know in my heart that the wait and the pain will -- one day -- be worth it. God often chooses to receive the most glory out of the  most difficult seasons. I don't want to waste our story. I want it to be used to display God's faithfulness. I want it to bring hope to others who may be hurting.

I've been conflicted with the timeline of sharing our story. I kept thinking, I'll wait until we get pregnant or until we adopt but I want you all to share in the anticipation! I want for you all to be witnesses to God's unfailing promises.

However God chooses to grow our family I know it will be beautiful. I can hardly wait to see! Thank you, friends, for allowing me to share my heart. Thank you for praying for Josh and I and for our future little one. And for the other mamas-in-waiting, my heart is with you. I am praying for you that God would give you hope and strength and one day when you hold that little baby in your arms that you will stand in awe of God's faithfulness to you.

With all my heart, 
Hannah 

14 comments:

  1. Thank you for your sweet, and tender, and transparent heart. The more sensitive your heart is, the more vulnerable it is to pain. But also the greater is your capacity to love and feel for others. Thank you for sharing so that I can be one of the many who will be praying for you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Ms Alice. Your prayers and sweet words mean more than you know!

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  2. I was in your shoes for 7 years. I also had my babies' names picked out since childhood and I wanted to be a young mom. It can be the worst kind of sadness when you feel like a mom but have no baby. But, God's plan was different (and better) from mine. Eventually I got a diagnosis and God healed me and we welcomed a beautiful baby girl this past January. I found the answer to why it took so long when I looked into my precious girl's eyes for the first time. I hope this comes as encouragement. God is so good, so patient. Thank you for sharing your story, it was posts like this that made me feel not so alone during those years. I will pray for you tonight, for your precious baby God is preparing for you. I will also pray for your doctors to have wisdom as they care for you. Keep that hope alive in your heart, God keeps his promises! Psalm 113:9 <3

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    1. Kayla, thank you for reaching out and sharing pieces of your story with me. I know too well the pain and emptiness that infertility brings but like you, when I read others' accounts of what they were going through it gave me strength and encouragement. I hope it will do the same for women who read our story. I love the beautiful outcome of yours and appreciate your prayers so much!

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  3. Dear Hannah, I'm not married, and therefore in a sense do not even understand what you're going through. But just remember that we are very short-sighted. We cannot see what God has for us. So trust Him even this. He is too wise to be mistaken, and too kind to be unkind. "Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy" (James 5:11). May the Lord comfort your dear heart and may you rest in His everlasting arms!

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    1. Thank you so much, Ruth! God is faithful...

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  4. I'm so so glad you decided to share! No one should go through any kind of trials alone! Praying for you sweet sister!

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  5. Love you so much. Praying for you as you walk this difficult road. <3

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  6. Hi! I just stumbled across your blog through Instagram. It was a God thing that I found this post because I have been struggling with the exact same thing... Cysts on my ovaries otherwise known as PCOS. Recently my husband and I have decided to try for a baby and nothing is more frustrating and emotionally draining than trying to overcome infertility. Long story short, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story! It isn't over yet and I do believe that God works everything together for good... even tho I'm still learning to wholly accept that truth myself. Praying for you!

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    1. Laurel, I know the pain and frustration all too well. Praying for you and your husband as you go through this time of waiting and trusting. Thank you for your sweet words!!

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