life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


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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.


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Sometimes Life Isn’t Pretty, but it’s Beautiful

Do you ever have times in your life when you know God is doing something purposeful with you? I know nothing in our lives is an accident, but I’m talking about seasons when you can clearly see God teaching you something.

I am in one of those seasons. I love these seasons because I get so excited about what I’m learning, growing closer to God, and how He is shaping me to be more like Christ. But, from a quick glance from the outside, these seasons can look like a weird time to be thankful.

I liken these seasons in life to our house. Our house is a MAJOR blessing. Does it look straight out of a Pottery Barn catalog or a Pinterest “Dream House” board? No. Do we have any new furniture besides some thrift store items and a $69 IKEA desk? No. Have we finally removed the freaky Dr. Seuss-looking rhododendron from our front yard? No. Am I sitting on a folding chair in front of aforementioned desk right now? Yes. Is one of our spare bedrooms dedicated to cats? Yes. Do we have one room filled with unpacked boxes for the foreseeable future? Yes. And does the dehumidifier sometimes startle me when it runs because it sounds like a flock of crickets? Yes.

However, if you could see the heart behind this house… we LOVE this house. We see a future in this house. We are taking steps to make this house our own piece by piece. We are making memories and growing our family in this house. And the house is already beautiful, we just need to enhance its beauty! It’s a process. Our house still has spiders and stinkbugs and scratches on the hardwood and undesirable paint colors and mess (sometimes smell), but we are going to tenderly take care of it because we love it, we bought it, and we see its potential as our house.

Dayne & I in front of our new house on move-in day.

And that is what God is doing with me and my husband. He’s invested in us, and He’s growing us in Him.

So… what does that look like in this season of our lives?

Well, sometimes it’s kind of funny. Like… we have ringworm. Dayne and I have ringworm. I joked about it when Dayne got what looked like a little bug bite on his arm, like, “haha, you have ringworm!”, but then my doctor told me I have ringworm and therefore Dayne has ringworm and now twice a day we help each other apply Lotrimin to all our “bug bites”. SO sexy.

Other times, it’s not so funny, but there is the opportunity for growth. I am currently going through some undiagnosed pain issues that have caused me to miss lots of work and to stop drinking coffee in the mornings and to otherwise completely revamp my daily routine. I am tempted to feel guilty, and like everyone at work is going to hate me, and to constantly think about all the work I need to get done, and to worry about being fired. But I am realizing – through a lot of prayer, a loving friend, a supportive husband, an overwhelmingly supportive boss, and time in the Psalms – that I don’t need to carry these worries. I have zero control over how I am feeling and I can’t diagnose myself. I can’t force myself to feel better and I can’t do a very good job at work while I’m sick. Jesus is the only solace I have, and He is completely in control of every little detail of my life. If I get fired, I get fired. If I can’t get the work done, I can’t get it done. If I can’t drink coffee, I can’t drink coffee. He will take care of me. He’s using this situation to change my perspective, i.e.: what does this look like from the angle of a sovereign, loving God? I think David and other Godly men of his time asked themselves this question a lot (Psalms 1-150).

Same with our marriage. Guys, marriage is HARD. Like, harder than I ever dreamed or imagined it could be. Like, please tell me someone is going to pay me for all this work I’m putting into our marriage. But the payment is our spiritual & emotional growth. And you better be thankful for that, because you’re gonna be in a tough place if that’s not enough for you.

Other times this season is funny and not so funny at the same time, like the Sump Pump Disaster of 2012. For a couple of days, our sump pump starting mysteriously dumping gallons & gallons of raw sewage into our yard. Where was it coming from? Why was it running through our French drain? How were we going to deal with the smell? Wonderful, yet unanswered questions. Our sump pump hasn’t run for a few weeks. It just suddenly stopped. It’s a mystery. In that, I’m learning to be comfortable with the unknown, and to not have to have everything under control or answers for everything all the time. To let God be God and to let myself be His.

So, even though it’s uncomfortable and I find myself praying for bravery a lot, I’m kind of oddly happy to be in this season. God is close to me. He is shaping me. He is showing me the reward bit by bit. And I’m learning to let go. Freedom in Christ is a beautiful thing.

“[Jesus] is not saying, ‘I will put you to bed, hold your hand, and sing you to sleep.’ But, in essence, He is saying, ‘I will get you out of bed – out of your listlessness and exhaustion, and out of your condition of being half dead while you are still alive.'” – Oswald Chambers


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A Tribute to 252

Yesterday, Dayne & I said goodbye to our apartment. Our itty-bitty, practically-on-top-of-the-Rt.-30-bypass, faces-the-garages-and-garbage-dump, beautiful, lovable, first-married apartment. The place I moved into mostly by myself (I dutifully carried my TV down the hill and up the stairs in the summer heat, wondering if I was going to make it). The place where I lived as a single gal for a month before we got married. The place where I had my bachelorette sleepover with some of my best girlfriends. The place Dayne tried to move his stuff into and it didn’t fit at all because I had already filled every nook & cranny with my stuff. The place where I got ready with my bridesmaids and out-of-town friends for my wedding. The place we came home to after our honeymoon. The place where we unwrapped all of our wedding gifts. The place where we fought, made up, loved each other, and lived life for the first nine & a half months of our marriage.

I took this from the car yesterday when we had finally loaded up the last of our stuff. Our apartment is the 2nd balcony up, to the left of the entrance. I came home to this, to my husband, everyday.

We both love our new house to pieces – we really do – but when we were locking up the apartment yesterday, we both got a little emotional (I, perhaps, got a lot emotional). It’s hard to leave memories behind, particularly if they are emotionally strong memories.

For me, it’s hard to think that someone else will be living there in that space, since it was the birthplace of the most amazing relationship I will ever have in my life. Dayne says we will make lots of memories in our new house, most likely more amazing memories than anything we’ve experienced thus far. He also says it’s our first real home. I agree with him. But I still think you will never get your first year of marriage back (although some people would argue that’s a good thing), and Apartment 252 held all the special memories of that time.

I’ll miss all the sunshine that streamed in, but I get to keep this guy 🙂