Monday, March 22, 2010

A post I'd rather not write...

This has been one of those posts I'd been debating on whether to write. Should I? Shouldn't I? Because when it's put out's well, out there. Then you are vulnerable to every awkward comment, pushy advice, and just plain ignorant responses from people. Don't get me wrong, not that I think you guys are not sweet, helpful, and super encouraging. It's more that word travels and running into people in public sometimes produces the results I mentioned before. But like I've mentioned before on this blog, I'm trying very hard to make it about the REAL me. Not just the pretty pictures I post, the fun craft ideas, the sweet memories I share...but the hard stuff too. The Good, Bad, and UGLY is what I want to be about. Because God has given us all a story of redemption and we should be sharing it. Encouraging others through it. So here is just a slight portion of my (and our) story.

In February, I heard the word I had been dreading to hear: infertile. I mean I had thought about that word, researched that word, and knew that the possibility was high. But to basically hear it come out of my doctors mouth, it was to say the least... surreal. All my life all I've wanted was to have a family and to be a mother. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and my life now. Nothing is really missing, but I know soo much more could be added. Obviously we are passionate about adoption and always knew we'd want to adopt. But I've always wanted to be pregnant and experience that whole kit and caboodle.

But with that one word, my dreams seemed to be snuffed out. Of course, my doctor was going on and on about mild fertility drugs and how it all works. I of course, was off in my own world thinking about how that one word was changing every dream I'd had for my life. All the thoughts of Scott's face when I would tell him we are pregnant, that first look when they put the baby in your arms, and taking them home to introduce them to their new life! She brought me back by asking one question: "Have you and your husband decided what measures you'd like to take to get pregnant?"

"Uh...well, we'd like to have a baby." is all I could get out. She went on and on about various options and how we'd need to discuss it. I asked a few questions, but no, we hadn't discussed what measures we'd like to take to get pregnant. We only had one measure in mind! ; ) and that's all we'd talked about doing while trying to get pregnant. We'd sort of counted my days and such things, but nothing regarding others joining the forces (i.e. medicine, doctors, tests, and such). I did ask for us at this time one of the key questions: money. "How much do these different options usually cost?" She just said that every insurance was different. And as quick as the appointment started, it seemed to end just as quick. Don't hear me doctor is lovely and wonderful. I would recommend her to anyone! This post is not at all about her, but about the baby making business my body is not providing! : ) She left the room, and the nurse came in to see if I needed anything else. I asked her some more questions as I was finally coming out of my cloud of "Is this really happening?" I walked out and was talking to the billing/scheduling lady more about insurance and payment options for fertility treatments. She told me that insurances are different when it comes to paying for the medications, but they pay nothing on the tests & appointments during the treatment. That made my mind reel, and I just simply asked, "Well, will it cover today's appointment then?" She said she didn't know until she submitted it, but doubted they pay anything on it. I asked how much the appointment cost and she said $136. That is when the emotions started to come!!!! Isn't it funny how little things make the gates open for emotions that are ultimately tied to bigger issues.

Let's rewind for a minute and talk about my history & the reason I came to the doctor on this day. I've been on birth control for irregular cycle and cysts since I was 16. My first year in college, I had decided to stop taking my pill because I hated being on medicine. Well, it royally screwed up my cycle and I had missed like 6 months. Then it was doing the opposite (get my picture) for only 3 days between my cycle. heard me right 3 days of nothing between each cycle which lasted for about 3 months until they stopped it with medicine. Anyways, after this episode they did some tests and determined I had PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). Since then, I've stayed on some form of birth control or hormone to help regulate everything. Switching doctors at college, then back at home, and then to my most recent...every doctor has differing opinions on if I really have PCOS (it's a hard thing to diagnose). Flash forward several years, and I am again having the problem I had years ago with the stopping for months. THIS is why I went to the doctor. I knew they needed to make me start again: 1. for health reasons (it cannot be healthy to go without this for a long time and i was starting to feel that) 2. yes, we did want to get pregnant.

So I was a little bombarded to immediately hear the word infertile. Obviously, with my history I knew that this could be a possibility. I just thought that we might have some conversations asking us more questions and helping us make sure we were counting the days correctly. Other stuff before immediately talking fertility medicine. I asked her something along those lines, and she pretty much said that these options were our hope of getting pregnant.

Anyways, back to my breakdown in the hallway... I just couldn't believe that it was going to cost us this much for just the mild stuff. What if that didn't work? Would we go on to more extreme measures? What if... What if ... What if...

So I finally cleaned up my act, asked the nurse (who happened through the hallway) more questions, and since Scott was still at work, I went to a dear friend's house for some encouragement. She had me to take heart, believe and hope in the Lord. Her story (though different than mine) gave me hope and reminded me that doctors can't determine everything. ONLY the Lord can.

We've been so busy preparing for Fostering that I've almost been too busy to touch this raw development in our life. We know we are going to do nothing right now (besides the normal old way) to help us get pregnant. To be honest, I realized just yesterday, that I had let my heart believe that adoption and fostering will be it for us. I realized this when my sister was talking with me about a stroller. We'd been debating since not knowing what age child we'll foster, which kind to get. She said something that all of sudden made me think..."Well, you might want to go ahead and get the kind with the carrier so you'll be ready when you get pregnant."

When I get pregnant. She didn't say if..she said when. She knows our situation and it made me realize that I had just assumed we would never get pregnant without going through all the fertility meds help.

I had seemed to even be content with it. Being content is obviously NOT a bad thing, but I think it was a faith issue here. I had given up faith that God CAN make us pregnant. I know whether God decides to give us a child through my belly, fostering (for just awhile) or adoption that HE IS IN CONTROL and can do AMAZING things. I just have to hope and trust in HIM.

Anyways, that is just part of our story. I'm so interested...what is your story? Is it infertility, cancer, dealing with the loss of a loved one, singleness, living with fear of the unknown, debt, struggling marriage, or the million other things in this world that leave us longing and hurting.

Let's all take heart, believe God, and wait on Him to write the rest of our story instead of presuming we know what He'll do.

"Now to him who is able to do far MORE abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the GLORY in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
Ephesians 3:20-21


Nichole said...

Let me just say that my tears are flowing right now, Sarah. Just flowing! Maybe because as I type, I am holding my sleeping baby, one of the sweet children that the doctors said I would never have. And I'm watching the other one fast asleep on the couch. About 5 years ago, I can remember having a similar conversation with my doctor. I was 24. What 24-year-old newlywed can stomach the words, "You'll likely never have children."? I remember feeling like my insides had been ripped out. BUT... I didn't lose hope. My problem was the exact opposite -- endometriosis. I elected for surgery and then followed it up with a year's worth of hormone therapy treatments. At first, we did have to fight with our insurance to cover the $500/month shots, but they did. Talk with your doctor about how she codes the treatments. Our doctor explained to our insurance company that it was medically necessary and advised. Fast-forward a year... I'm through with my treatments, don't get back on BC, (I mean, the Dr. said we'd have a hard time getting pregnant and was already suggesting Clomid), so we were AMAZED to learn we were, in fact, pregnant! A month before we decided to "officially" try. We just had fun with it. ;) I learned so much that year about God's sovereignty. About His love, His timing, and His plans. I'm thankful I underwent the surgery, and the treatments. I don't know if that helped make my womb more fertile, but I do know that I trusted God would make me a mother somehow. And He did, twice over. Don't give up hope, and try not to get discouraged. You will be a mother, and you will be an amazing one! Tiffany Logsdon has PCOS too, and after medication, was able to get pregnant with beautiful Emma. God will show you the way, and provide for it. I will continue to pray for you guys. Thanks for sharing your story.

sarahe said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! Though we are not yet at the point of even trying to find out if my medical issues will cause fertility problems, I struggle with the reality of knowing that with the chronic conditions that I have, I will most likely never be able to be the active mother I had hoped to be. Having a child terrifies me b/c I don't know if my body can handle it. It's in the Lord's hands. Hugs to you, and thanks for your vulnerability!

RachelD said...

No advice, so stories...just a GREAT BIG hug and a sincere "I Love You!"

Missy and JP said...

Hey Sarah Beth! I am so excited to have found your blog- I clicked on it from the list of registered followers of my blog and I have to say your story is so beautiful! I love your heart for Jesus and for the world...Scott is so blessed to call you his wife! Thanks for sharing your story and your talents with us....your story about POS hit really close to home as my sister was given the same "diagnosis" at a young age. They have been TTC for over a year and are also exploring adopting. I know your story would be an encourgement to her....I believe Jesus is sooooooo much bigger than the label "infertile". I will keep you and Scott in my prayers as you continue on this journey- I wish you lived down the street! Much love to you friend!


Jessica said...

Sarah Beth,
Wow! It's like the story of my life about 5 years ago. I know exactly how you feel. All the emotions are bad enough without the feeling of knowing you might never have a child of your own. However, I always told myself - God wouldn't have put the desire in my heart for children if that desire wasn't going to be met. And here we are 5 years later and I have the most wonderful little girl who is almost 2!! It took me a while to let go of the, well, bitterness and turn it over to God. That's a hard thing to do sometimes even when you know it's the only thing you haven't done. And of course, I still have problems with PCOS and maybe I won't be able to have another, but I have the only one I could have ever hoped for. And when the time comes and you do get to experience pregnancy and the birth of your child - you will be a much more thankful and gracious person. I know that I am. I understand that God's timing was so much more perfect that mine could have hoped to be. If not, I wouldn't have Madison! So, keep your head up and keep praying like crazy. I will have my church group praying for you all too. Thank you for sharing your story so we could share ours! Love you Sweetie!


SECPumpkin said... guys are so encouraging! Thanks for all your sweet words and sharing your HOPE filled stories! God is GOOD. And I see it through all of your lives and stories!

SurvivorBlessing said...

I know I am late in reading this but I wanted to add that I know how this must feel.... God is good and knows what He is doing, it's just sometimes so hard to see that before the blessings hit you.

I am just as real as you are and wrote a (what my friend called) "raw" post about my feelings to this subject. If you are interested in reading:
I appreciate you sharing the hard stuff. It's called "scars that are a tribute to God's mercy and grace"! At least, I am fighting to see it this way.

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