life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


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The Big News.

I’ve just been seized with the desire to update my blog for the first time in months, and I thought I’d better take advantage of it before the moment passes!

Life has changed tremendously for Dayne and myself. After months of fertility testing for a conclusive diagnosis of what was wrong with me (everything with hubby is fine), we finally said “see ya later” to the fertility doctor and decided to try to get pregnant naturally. We were trying to trust the Lord (key word: “trying”) that if He wanted us to have children, we would one day… and if He didn’t, we wouldn’t. This wasn’t as easy for me to accept as it was to tell myself. Our plan was to go back to the fertility doctor in 3 months if nothing happened.

Our biggest hope, though, was to get pregnant without the doctor’s help. We didn’t feel this was necessarily an obtainable goal, given the evidence that I don’t usually ovulate on my own. After all the diagnostic testing with the reproductive endocrinologist, I was diagnosed with “mild” PCOS: although my glucose, insulin, and male hormone levels were all normal, my body wasn’t naturally producing enough progesterone and estrogen for my cycle to complete.

Anyway, during that first month away from the doctor, I busied myself adjusting my lifestyle: I had gone to a PCOS nutritionist who advised me to eat as many whole, natural, organic foods as I could, avoid as much sugar as I could, and switch to full-fat dairy (including Greek yogurt for added protein). I was dutifully shopping at Wegman’s and actually using an app called Shopwell (www.shopwell.com) to decode food labels. Hubby & I also invested in an elliptical, which I figured was not only better for my joints than a treadmill, but would be safe and low-impact for me to continue while pregnant. I really disciplined myself to use that elliptical, which surprised both Dayne AND myself. I was determined to correct my PCOS naturally as much as I could.

We were really trusting God during that time. I can’t say I wasn’t emotional about it and didn’t have a difficult time doing it, but I really wanted to give God the space to work since we’d been going to doctors and trusting them for almost a year.

To make a long story (and a lot of tears and a wasted pregnancy test) short, somehow I got pregnant during that first month. We were both in shock when we saw the pregnancy test with “Pregnant” clearly emblazoned on it the night we got home from Easter dinner.

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I am now 17 weeks & 3 days along with a healthy baby growing in my belly. It truly is a miracle.

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Baby K. says, “Hi!”

So that is The Big News! I am keeping two written pregnancy journals, and most of the details of my pregnancy and doctor’s appointments have gone in there, but maybe I will see this blog as a good place to record some of those things as well. I have just struggled with updating because most of what we went through was so private (and then the pregnancy was sort of a secret for the first trimester).

I do, however, think it’s good to share our story and what I was feeling with other couples who may be facing similar obstacles. I am beyond thankful that we got pregnant when we did and we didn’t have to go through more complicated procedures and lots of time waiting – but I did go through many of the same emotional struggles we would have gone through had we been trying to get pregnant the entire year. I’ve also tried to really digest what it means to fully lean on the Lord, no matter the outcome. It’s hard to watch couples who love God and would be great parents struggle to get pregnant, and it’s hard to understand why. It’s hard to watch a mother go through a miscarriage. It’s even harder to trust that, in the midst of these heartbreaking circumstances, God has a plan that is bigger than we can sometimes understand. I really had to trust that if we couldn’t have children, that God had a reason that I couldn’t see, even though I desperately wanted to become a mother and I saw that as my life’s purpose. I would have struggled for a long time (possibly the rest of my life) getting along with God if He had denied me the motherhood I really, really wanted. I don’t know how I would have dealt with it, but I was prepared to go through it.

I also want to mention that I am keenly (perhaps too keenly) aware that something could go wrong, that I could miscarry this baby. I know women who have had stillbirths. Even beyond delivery, I know that something could happen to our child any year of his or her life. This is what really puts my trust to the test… and reminds me that I am not God, and will never be God. I cannot protect my baby from everything, and even a mother does not love her child perfectly. God loves perfectly and deserves our full dependence… we are stewards of His child, really. And that gives me peace.

To everyone praying for a baby or a child, my heart aches for you. I pray the best for you and your family, and I pray that God would be close to you.


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Push Through

My Struggle with Possible Infertility

As I’ve thought about blogging while I’ve been home from work, it has been difficult for me to think about publishing an entry that I can’t put a positive spin on.  I’ve come to realize that I like to present everything to the world outside of me in a pretty little package so people will accept it and like me. I am a people puh-leaser and frightfully insecure at the root of it all.

I have realized that the only way I can authentically blog right now is to write for myself, not for an audience.

A few weeks ago, I went to a new gynecologist who diagnosed me with possible endometriosis and/or PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome. Neither of these are easy to conclusively diagnose, but my symptoms and medical history pointed to the possibility of both. Since coming off of birth control in April, I got a period at the beginning of May and nothing since. I’ve had daily (though not constant) pelvic pain, discomfort, and nausea that mimics morning sickness for over 3 months.

I’ve been through some pretty painful doctor’s visits and test check-ins where it was strongly suggested that I may be pregnant – and then getting those big fat negatives became a huge letdown.

I’ve never really wanted a period in and of itself, but I found myself jealous of women who have predictable cycles where their periods come every month like clockwork. My body couldn’t do that. Not even after 13 years of “training” on the Pill. I’m back to being 13/14 years old and wondering where my period is for months. But on top of that, now I have intermittent pain, discomfort, and nausea that prevent me from being a normal functioning adult.

Truth be told, the whole situation is making me frustrated and angry. So getting a diagnosis was a relief in the sense that I can name what I’m going through, but it led to even bigger questions and problems because neither one of those conditions has a clear diagnosis or a clear answer. My gynecologist literally told me to either get back on birth control pills or get pregnant. Kind of weird because birth control pills just mask some symptoms (although it positively prevents the growth of endometriosis if that’s what I have) and it will be pretty hard to get pregnant when I’m not ovulating. So I asked her about fertility and she told me not to worry about it because I’m “only 27”. Okay, I get it – logically I have at least 13 years left of “childbearing years” – but what about my life? What if raising children is what I wanted to be doing for the next 13+ years, not waiting to get started?

The day that Dayne and I went to see her, I was VERY resistant to going back on birth control pills because of my last experience with them, so I told her I didn’t want to go back on them and she told me to just monitor my (lack of a) cycle. We also discussed the Progesterone Challenge my previous gynecologist recommended, and she thought I should go through with it (with natural progesterone instead of the synthetic because it carries less risk of side effects) and then continue to do it every 3 months if I don’t get a period in between. That was that.

After we came home, that night was filled with arguing and LOTS of tears. One of the worst nights ever. Dayne called me out on being terrified that I might not be able to have children, and I am. It’s not that we wouldn’t try to adopt, but, from what I understand, that process can be excruciating (and incredibly expensive) and I know I’ll experience some emotional devastation if we’re not able to biologically have our own child(ren). Plus the fact that either route – trying to get pregnant naturally and then adding help, or adopting, could take years upon years. I thought we’d be happily off to starting our family within the next two.

I completed my Progesterone Challenge last week and I got a brief period a couple of days ago. The period was a relief but also a reminder – now we have to make some more difficult decisions based on a couple of inconclusive diagnoses. If I stay off of birth control, every month that I don’t get a period will be filled with anxiety and disappointment, let alone the pain and discomfort that I may inevitably continue to feel. If I go back on it, I will temporarily feel better but know that I am just “going through the motions” and waiting to go forward with another possibly very difficult 6 months (the GYN said I should be off of birth control for at least six months before trying to conceive, and I am currently in my 5th month) before I can truly move forward with what I want to be doing (trying to become a mother). And then there’s the possibility that we may start trying in the near future, and I could go see a reproductive endocrinologist/fertility doctor and feel like I’m moving on with my life.

The funny thing is that once you’re married, you have to make these decisions with somebody else who may disagree with you. I can’t just settle on what I think is best and run with it. We have to emotionally be in the same place to move forward. And that becomes a very difficult thing.