Monday, April 22, 2013

bump #51: Infertility Awareness Week

Not sure what they mean by "Join the movement"
as this is not a club you really want to be a member of :)
"Unexplained Infertility"
After years spent trying to have a baby, this is our diagnosis.
Such an empty explanation.
Such an empty feeling in my stomach.
This week is Infertility Awareness Week... I feel like I'm aware of it every week, but it's nice to have it acknowledged and addressed because it is typically a hush hush topic.
I've kept it a hush hush topic.
Mostly because it's uncomfortable to talk about and, for us, for now, it's still unresolved.
But lately I've felt the Holy Spirit pulling at my heart strings to share this.  I didn't really want to. I mean, I only like to talk about things that are happy and fun {infertility is neither}. But today I'm coming from a place of honesty and I now realize how silly it is to simultaneously want people to know a bit about our struggle with infertility, but be too much of a scaredy cat to share it's impact in my life. I don't want to talk about how weak I am, how afraid I am that I'll never have children. It's embarrassing and something I keep private. But in sharing our struggles, there is humility. And I think I'm finally at that place. For the record, it's not an easy place to be. Even writing this now is painful because it makes it more real. But I suppose it's time to get real.
For the past three years, Andrew and I have tried and tried and tried to have a baby. {Recap here} They say you are categorized as "infertile" after 12 months or 1 year of unsuccessful baby making attempts. So does that make us triple infertile? Oy!
The reason I'm sharing this now {besides it being the designated week} is because I know we're not alone in this struggle and I want to encourage others who are facing a similar plight. I also want to thank all of you who (whether you knew about this or not) have been so kind and supportive. We are so, so grateful for our amazing family and friends who have surrounded us with encouragement, love, and prayers as we have travelled this very bumpy road of infertility {hence the name of the blog}.
I hope and pray that infertility is not something you ever have to experience. This has doubtlessly been the most difficult season in our lives.
There is not one single good thing I can say about infertility.
But there are many good things I can say about my God who is bringing us through this trial.  We stumble over the bumps and our hearts ache, but His promises hold true.
He loves us.
He will never leave us.
He will be glorified, even in this circumstance.
So this week, no matter what you're struggling with or what your circumstances are, listen to His heart for you...
He loves you.
He will never leave you.
He will be glorified, even in this.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

bump #50: guest post from husband

Brensbabybump has been my little outlet for our infertility woes of the last year or so. It's a safe place for me to vent about our struggle to conceive and, usually, try to find some humor in the suckiness. But lately I've been having a tough time getting my thoughts together. This has been a strange season, can I get an amen? And while it's always easy for me to post silly outfit pictures and other meaningless babble on my other blog, I've been neglecting this little space. So I thought for this momentous (?) 50th bump post, I would have my husband, Andrew who does write for a living after all, write about his perspective on our bump-less state.

*He's getting his doctorate in literature so if you see any grammatical errors on his part he owes me $5!

According to several medical professionals, I shouldn’t be here right now.  When I was born, I was breach with my head up near my mom’s rib cage.  If I hadn’t have been a C-section, I probably wouldn’t have made it.  Shortly after I was a born, a doctor told my mom that I had some sort of weird newborn disease and that I probably wouldn’t live very long (thankfully, he was wrong).  Fast forward four years and one sister later, and yet another doctor tells my mom after an exam that she has a septuated uterus and if she had gone to him before she had kids that he would have told her that having a baby would have been impossible for her.

Needless to say, I am acutely and personally aware that getting pregnant, let alone delivering a healthy baby, is a miracle.  I realize that calling birth a miracle is a cliché of epic proportions, one that can be easily dispelled by looking at the rapidly rising world population or watching a birthing video (which I’ve managed to avoid thus far, unless you count that one scene in Knocked Up *shudder*).  However, as a would-be father, I sometimes find that this tired cliché can be an unexpected source of strength.  Why do I think this?  Because I am proof positive that miracles can and do happen.

Brenda and I have been trying to get pregnant since just after we moved to Texas, and I’ll admit that when we first started, I wasn’t totally convinced we were ready.  Focusing on the three years of PhD classes, exams, and school-induced poverty, I could not help but think that we were rushing into something and that we’d always have more time to worry about kids later.  A very big part of me wishes I could go back in time and smack my three-years-ago self in his comically over-sized head.  I had no idea that nearly three years and several thousand dollars later we would still be childless with no inkling of what is actually wrong with us.  I thought time was an endless resource for us; turns out, it was (and still is) our enemy.

In spite of the uncertainty of our infertility journey and the instability of our lives in general as I finish my PhD and wonder if I will in fact have a job waiting when I graduate, I am absolutely, 100% convinced that Brenda and I will be parents, some way or another.  Why?  Because ever since I was a little kid, I’ve known that I want to be a father.   Even when I’ve wondered if the timing is right for us, I’ve never doubted that I want to have kids.  I know Brenda has said similar things on this blog before, but I don’t believe that God puts desires like these into our hearts just to disappoint us like Lucy with the football in “Peanuts.”  God gave us the desire to be parents because we will be parents.  The waiting may be the proverbial hardest part (now I’ve just Tom Petty’d myself), but one thing I’ve tried to remember throughout our wait is that God has not forgotten us and that his capacity for miracles has not been exhausted.  I am able to write this post because of a series of pretty huge miracles.  I know that however we are able to start our family it will be because of God’s miraculous love for us.  It may be hard to trust in that promise sometimes, but God’s faithfulness is not limited by our lack of it.  Thank God for that!
Monday, April 01, 2013

bump #49: perspective

It's April and it is going to be a very exciting month because so many of my friends are welcoming brand new babies into the world in the next couple weeks. It makes me super happy because I know exactly how longed for, prayed over, and loved these little ones are.

They are proof that God still works miracles and I've needed that reminder lately.

It is some kind of paradox that I can still be sad about infertility and not having a baby of my own, but at the same time, also be truly, whole-heartedly happy for my friends. Though I'm admittedly way happier for the ones who overcame infertility to get here than for the ones who "weren't trying and just got a surprise". But I'm happy for them all :) 

I think I'm almost to that place of acceptance, you know in the Kubler-Ross mumbo jumbo model. That is the technical term for it, no? Not that I don't fluctuate daily between denial, bargaining and what not!
But at this point it's easier to take a step back and let go of the sadness so I can share in others' joy.

Somehow my perspective changed.
Changed from "Why isn't it ever me?"
to "Your will be done."
It's been a gradual change, and really more of a struggle. I still can't understand why we have such great obstacles in our lives, but I'm learning to lean into Christ when it all gets to be too much.
His will, not mine.
I always dreaded April when it comes to infertility because April means the year is one third over. That means no baby this {calendar} year. For me it means I will definitely be in my 30's when we finally have a family. That used to really upset me. And 30 isn't even old, but in the world of baby-making it's when your biological clock kicks into overtime.
When I was young and stupid I thought I would be done having babies by the time I was 30.
Now I would be elated and consider myself beyond blessed to even have a baby at all,
yet alone in my 30's.
There's that change in perspective again.
In summation:
April is now a happy month.
30 is the new 10.
If it is God's will for me to have a baby it will happen.
Maybe it will even be one of those "surprise" ones. Here's hoping! 
Just as long as I don't set any new records in the oldest lady to have a baby category
I think I'll be alright.

 Disgusting or Determined?
Funny how your perspective changes.  But I'm still going with disgusting on this one.