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Category Archives: Faith

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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When You Don’t Wanna Bloom Where You’re Planted

  When the Mary Englebreit craze invaded 1996, I joined millions of other fans and hung her calendar on my wall. I liked her one-two faith punch: “Everything is a risk. What if it doesn’t work out?”  “Oh—but what if it does?” Over the years my floral style changed, but I now see that she produces… Continue Reading

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The Day I Deleted Her

  Just because two sets of parents are good friends doesn’t mean their offspring will follow suit. So was the case with Chelsea and me. We saw each other every summer at Mount Hermon and ran through camp together while our parents hung out and caught up. It took 358 days to bring us together… Continue Reading

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Do It Afraid

  “No Fear,” claims the American lifestyle clothing brand. “Fear not,” the preacher says.  “Do not be afraid,” Jesus commands. Sounds brave. Courageous. Bold. I want that; I’m guessing you probably do too.   Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash   But we’re human. And some of us deal with fear. How we deal with… Continue Reading

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