Jesus Follower | Word Stringer | Avocado Eater

A Loss, a Baby & Secondary Infertility

 

After five years of marriage, my husband and I decided we wanted a baby. 

Sad to say, I don’t recall checking with God much about this, but He didn’t send a concerned email so I laid my clothes on the bed next to Doug’s and bam—prego.

Phone calls, nursery plans and a roomy pair of overalls became the norm. Until I went in for my first ultrasound at twelve weeks and the technician looked strange. 

Nice lady, but I could tell she couldn’t tell, so I studied her face. 

“Everything okay?”

“The doctor will go over everything with you.”

“I thought there would be a heartbeat by now.”

“He’ll look at all of this and give you a call.”

I left the office feeling the same way I went in: pregnant. But when the house phone rang a few hours later, everything changed. 

“Hi. Is this Carrie?”

“Yes.”

“This is Doctor So-and-So. I reviewed your ultrasound and unfortunately you have what’s called a Blighted Ovum.”

Two foreign words with zero meaning in my life suddenly sounded like a disaster I couldn’t get out of. He continued with few words and quickly got to the cruel punchline. 

“Your body will probably do the work on its own to pass the tissue, but if it hasn’t after about a week then we’ll schedule you for a D & C.”

Tissue?

I politely thanked him for who-knows-what and hung up. Did he even say he was sorry? My memory fails me but it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Stellar bedside manner can bring comfort at the moment, but it doesn’t bring your baby back. 

Ironically, my husband had a mission trip to India scheduled that week.

“I can easily cancel my trip and stay home.”

“No, it’s okay. You’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. Plus, there’s not much you can do here.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yep. I’ll be fine.”

So he left and I cried. 

Not because I was by myself—because my uterus stopped being an oven and started working overtime to vacate the area. After three days of writhing, pain pills and napping, I came out of my cave and answered the doorbell to bouquets of flowers from friends and family.

One of my friends said she was sorry but quickly followed with, “Well, at least you know you can get pregnant!”

Good point, I guess. Didn’t ease the sting of losing a baby though, and I soon vowed to never comfort anyone with, “Well, at least….”

 

New Hope

“You can try again in three months,” said our doctor.

I felt better after three days and totally normal after three weeks. Three months? Seemed like an awfully long wait for a baby we wanted yesterday.

Three months later our clothes got tangled in the washer and bam—prego. 

Forty-two weeks later a long, skinny ginger boy entered our world and changed everything. We kissed him excessively for two years and then decided to go for bambino number two.

Photo by Jens Johnsson on Unsplash

 

I don’t recall checking with God on this either, but He didn’t send a concerned text so Doug and I jumbled our jeans and bam—not prego. 

Then we danced a little jig and bam—not prego again. 

Then I took more vitamins, he wore more boxers and bam—not prego again.

Of course, my fertility already peaked and my egg quality declined daily, but with 32 years of wise wisdom at my hip, I figured conception would be a breeze because the first two were a breeze. Twelve months later we realized we had entered the world of secondary infertility. 

 

Secondary Infertility: noun “The inability to become pregnant or to carry a baby to term after previously giving birth to a baby.”  

 

The next few sentences might be considered slightly grody or too descriptive for some. Feel free to get a bowl of cereal and bear down, or close up shop and move on with your day. 

Either way, you’ve been warned and I apologize for nada. 

On the days I thought I might not be pregnant (again), I found myself in the tiniest room of our home, alone. The rest of our space felt wide open, but this room… with only a porcelain seat… felt like a ridiculously tall, crowded box. Ten-foot ceilings didn’t impress me when all four claustrophobic walls were reachable from where I sat. 

Every month my frustration and confusion increased: another visit from Aunt Flow meant no fetus. 

Fetus? That word always sounds weird to me. Embryo? Pin dot? Whatever. The point is, we didn’t have one.

Add an additional twelve months to the above scenario and you would’ve found me in that same little room with my jeans around my knees, thinking, praying and whispering these words every 28 days, over and over and over again:

“Your timing, not mine. Your timing, not mine.” 

If you’re waiting for something, I challenge you to try those four words until you can say them with confidence and peace. 

Just before the two-and-a-half year mark, a series of events blind-sided us in a good way, culminating in a new pin dot. A bump. A peanut. An unexplainable new life.

Forty weeks later a blonde butterball boy entered our world and changed everything. We were living in a 5th wheel… in the mud… in Mexico… but that’s a different post.

I am well aware people in this world wait six, eleven, twenty years before ever having a child in their home. But since I’m not into comparing pain, please remember this is only one story in a sea of millions.

 

Fast Forward

Of course, there are pros and cons both ways, but I admittedly never wanted my kids four-and-a-half years apart. 

  • I thought they’d never become friends. 
  • I assumed the older one would get annoyed by having such a younger brother.
  • I thought the younger one would get ditched.
  • I worried we’d never be able to play family games altogether.
  • I thought we’d never agree on a movie. 

And even though some of those things proved true, twelve years later I can honestly say I feel 100% content with their age difference. Yes, it would’ve been cool to see them in high school together, but not paying for two colleges at the same time might prove fantastic. 

Being four-and-a-half years apart means they never argue about clothes, girls or sports. But that still leaves toothpaste issues, towel stealing, cereal hogging, music styles, chore blaming, movie disagreements, and serious wrestling inequality.

They’re capable of fighting like raccoons and bringing the snark, but every night they still say “Love you” before they hit the hay. 

I’m reminding myself of two things:

  1. Relationships trump age.
  2. God knew exactly what He was doing while we waited.

 

Changed Perspective

Yesterday morning, in the midst of writing this post, I met a woman with seven kids, ages four to twenty-four. Do you think she wonders if her oldest and youngest will ever be friends?

Are you waiting to adopt? 

Waiting to conceive? 

Worried about your kids being too close or too far apart? 

Wondering if they’ll ever stop fighting or ever start loving?

Dump all that in God’s lap and remember this:

  • He knows what’s best.
  • He knows the desires of your heart.
  • He doesn’t work with our same calendar system.
  • He’s rarely early and never late.

 

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. -Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)

 

Do you know someone who might need some encouragement in this area?

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15 Responses to A Loss, a Baby & Secondary Infertility

  1. I wrote down your phrase “Your timing not mine. Your timing not mine,” in my journal two months ago when I first read this post. It’s been a hard journey with the Lord walking through some discontentment I feel in my life about unanswered prayers and disappointments. I have reeead this post several times for encouragement in the last two months. Just this week, I began to feel a shift in my emotions toward these unanswered prayers. While I still can not say “Your timing, not mine,” with as full confidence as I would like, I am choosing to walk by faith, as the apostle Paul, and learning to be content in all circumstances. Thanks for your vulnerability in sharing the hard stuff to encourage others (me) along the way.

    • Wow, Megan. This is one of the most moving comments I’ve ever received. I’m sorry you’re dealing with unanswered prayers and disappointments. I trust God will reveal things to you in His timing that will make Him feel closer than ever. I love how you’re choosing to walk by faith though, while you learn to be content. SO much easier said than done, I know. Sounds weird to say, “My pleasure,” in regards to your last sentence, but I’m grateful God keeps giving me words. Such a boost to me when I hear of others being encouraged. Keep on pressin’ on!

  2. Hi Carrie,

    I just finished reading your newest post, A Loss, a Baby & Secondary Infertility. I’m still loving the way you can get a point across so well. “Your timing, not mine. Your timing, not mine.” That really resonated with me for I had posted something very similar to that on Facebook just yesterday concerning the sale of our house and our move to WA. When it’s not in God’s time, you can’t force it. When it is God’s time, you can’t stop it.” I need to keep reminding myself of that as we wait for the right buyer. The real estate market here is very slow and our home is far beyond what most of the people in the area can afford.

    Keep up your excellent writing. I thoroughly enjoy your style and your wit. God bless you and your family.

    John Kahler

    P.S. When we wanted to start a family we just went to Tijuana and brought back two little boys, brothers, who are very close in age. Sometime I will have to tell you the story about their birthdays. According to their birth certificates, they are only five months apart.

    • Love this, John, especially the quote you put on Facebook. We trust while we wait, knowing full well God is working behind the scenes, preparing things just for us. Thanks for your kind words and for joining the conversation!
      And wow… I knew the boys were close in age, but five months?

  3. Carrie-
    Wow!! I never knew all this my friend ! Powerful!! Thank you for being vulnerable. God is so good and HIS timing is perfect!
    Carin

    • Yep–doesn’t ever seem to make sense in the moment, but His timing is always perfect. Thanks for reading and stopping by, Carin!

  4. Love your posts. Thanks for sharing. Waiting is hard – but He renews our strength and we will mount up on wings like eagles. Blessings to you and yours.

    • Thank you, Karen. You’re right on both accounts: waiting is hard, and He DOES renew our strength. Thanks for the great reminders.

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