Wednesday, November 28, 2007

one giant step forward

We have an appointment with an infertility specialist in St. Louis on January 23.


I'm fully at peace with this decision. However, if our options are not what we would like them to be, then we will shift gears and move on with adoption paperwork and the homestudy. Either way, 2008 could be a big year for us, Lord willing.

As we research our options and get ready for our consultation, I may put up some posts here explaining different forms of assisted reproductive therapies. As I learn, I'll share the knowledge. ;)

But for now, I'm going to enjoy the Christmas holidays. That, and cover all of this in much prayer.

Love,
Glenna

Monday, November 12, 2007

Taking a Break

I have made an executive decision to take a break over the holidays. I can't imagine taking a real break, but in relation to this blog and to paying attention to details, I think I may take a few steps back. Focusing on all of this is hard on a day to day basis, but it is highlighted especially over the holidays when we see family and friends, when we see how other friends' children have grown, when we have to explain why we haven't pursued adoption or more in-depth fertility treatments when we've planned to do so in the past......and given that this is our fourth time through the holidays while trying to conceive, all of this becomes harder and harder each year. During the holidays we see people we haven't seen since last Christmas, and there is always the inevitable question "so, how are things with trying to get pregnant?" As if I want to discuss that over Christmas dinner!!

So, in honor of taking a break, I get to honestly tell people "I don't know. So, how are YOU doing?" when I get the "how's the baby thing going?" question.

We are hoping to get an appointment with an RE in St. Louis in January (or thereabout). That's all I can tell you, especially since I haven't actually picked up the phone and called said RE. But, maybe that will take some pressure off of our current au natural cycles, and I guess I can add that to my answer to the inevitable baby question.

Does anyone ever think they just can't do this "trying to get pregnant thing" anymore??

Hello, cycle 43. I'm not real happy to see you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'll never understand this body.

I have had THREE (count them, 1-2-3) positive OPK's in a row on days 18-20. That's WAY sooner than last month when I was on Clomid. So, yeah....an unmedicated cycle where my body is doing something on it's own. Amazing. Unfortunately I had a wicked stomach virus in the middle of all of that, so I am surprised my body did anything. But, still...positive OPK's. In my opinion, that's news worth posting about!

(Just thought I'd let you know.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sweet Sorrows

I prepared this post for my other site, but I thought it right to post it here as well so that you know that I am learning much right now. Infertility is only half the battle right now--there are so many other things that are difficult right now. But, here are my most recent thoughts:

There has been much on my mind lately. I can hardly put into words how hard the last two weeks have been. Actually, the last six months have altogether been difficult like I've never known my life to be. After a while, the piling on of suffering begs the question, "How long, O Lord?" My heart constantly cries out within me. The burdens and heartache of ministry and the church, the weight of infertility, the loneliness that accompanies both of these hardships, even the stressful, physical ramifications of such things....sometimes I wonder how much more I can bear. There are days when my heart is so heavy that all of my day to day living seems trivial in comparison.

But, oh, how God can use even the smallest of sufferings to draw us close to Him.

I have been learning some valuable lessons, things I would not have otherwise learned had it not been for my circumstances. A few weeks ago, I immersed myself into the book of Acts. Reading about the daily sufferings of Paul and the early church have encouraged me so much. Comparitively, my life seems so easy and carefree. And yet, I know that it is not so. Constant rejection and insults, tense relationships, and things outside of my control like infertility remind me that there are some hardships that I have known in my short life, that I am knowing now. I want to say with Paul that I am content with whatever state, that in Christ I can be content no matter my station, possessions, hardships, whatever. Now, I know it seems incongruous, or just wrong to group infertility with hard things that happen to me because I am a Christian or because I am in ministry (with my pastor-husband). I don't have trouble conceiving because I am a believer, necessarily. I don't have headaches or stomachaches because I am a Christian. But, Paul (2 Cor. 11:23-33) endured beatings and imprisonment, danger from false brothers and countrymen (for the cause of Christ) AND danger from rivers and the cold, the wilderness, sleeplessness, exposure, lack of food. As John Piper says, "Rivers don't get all over you because you're a Christian!" (It's okay to laugh at that statement; I did.) And yet, Paul groups those types of sufferings together. I listened to a sermon series on suffering by John Piper last week. (They are available for uploading [as I did on my iPod; how terribly convenient it was!] here.) In this sermon series, Piper fleshes out why at times it is okay to group sufferings together--sometimes suffering is just suffering, no matter the reason. The point is--how do you handle that suffering (no matter how great or small)?

In the midst of hardships, what I want is to be, like Paul, sorrowful yet always rejoicing (2 Cor. 6:10). It seems that Christ is teaching me this most miraculous thing, and it IS a miracle because I look at certain situations I am currently facing and thinking, "this is IMPOSSIBLE!". To look at it with both sorrow AND joy seems even MORE of an impossibility! To be able to do so must be a gracious gift of God. I have prayed for encouragement--not a reprieve because I realize that maybe a reprieve is not what is needed right now--but for encouragement in the middle of sorrow. At a time when I feet like all is lost, when I watch my husband bear the weight of the world, when I question our calling or our future, I am amazed at the gift the Lord has given me: joy in my sorrow. Miraculous joy and sorrow at the same time. How can this be? Answered prayer is all I can tell you.The Lord has used specific people--unexpected people--to speak words that are a balm to my battered soul. He has used His Word to calm my fears and to give me comfort: Lamentations 3, Isaiah 12, Mark 10:1-31, among others. He has used the public reading and proclamation of the Word to edify me, reduce me to tears from both sorrow and deep, abiding joy. I do not know how I woke up with a song in my heart this morning apart from the comforting presence of the Spirit. He is my sun and shield, my ever-present help in the time of trouble. Whom have I to fear? What can man do to me?

There are so many moments of question. I wonder what to do next, what steps to take. Will the Lord take away my suffering? Is it even right to ask for that when I am being so blessed through these difficult days? The only answer I can give to you is this: His grace is sufficient for me. For His power is made perfect in my weakness. "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

*Please do not come away from this post thinking that I am comparing my troubles to that of Paul or the early Church, or to those of missionaries and the persecuted Church worldwide. That is not my aim. Obviously, I am not enduring physical beatings or imprisonments or death. But, I cannot deny that our life has been difficult for the past two years, and even more so the most recent six months. My goal is to examine all of this and call it "gain" for the sake of Christ. I want to embrace any suffering the Lord appoints (because I DO believe that both suffering and blessing come from His hand [and might they not be the same thing?]) and I want to be sorrowful yet always rejoicing. I have so very much to learn, but I praise God for the way He has directed my steps thus far. He has shown me much grace and He is closer than my very breath.

-glenna-

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lamentations

I know someone out there is wanting an update, so I figured I would let you in on my little secret: another month of hopes has ended in a sea of tears and despair. It hits me harder some months than others. I wonder why, after some 42 failed cycles, I would not be accustomed to the disappointment. I wondered that today. So did William. It's hard to look in one another's eyes and speak about hope when our hearts are so visibly broken. I can barely see through the sheen of tears to even write these words. I was so hoping that we would be celebrating some sort of miracle this time.....which is what I hope every month. In desperation, I think, "It's not like we're asking for that much, Lord! It's not like we're asking to be rich or famous. We just want to be parents." But, maybe all He is asking us for is patience.

So many have asked us, "What now?" Truthfully, I do not know. It would be easier if someone would just say, "Glenna, do this. This is what is best, this is what is right." I would gladly let someone make the decision--any decision, at this point. William and I both go back and forth--adoption? reproductive assistance? nothing? What to do...
We do have some tentative plans, but because we change our minds so much, we are kind of keeping things to ourselves at the moment. When we feel like we can act on our decision, we will let you know what the plans are. I can tell you this--no medication or assistance for the rest of this year. That much I do know. Other than that, give me a couple of weeks or so.

This is just not something I thought I would still be dealing with nearly four years from the starting point. Some days, like today, the sheer weight of it threatens to crush me completely. It is at this time that I can't help but cry out, "How long, O Lord?"

"So I say, 'My strength has perished,
And so has my hope from the LORD.'
Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness.
Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me.
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul,
Therefore I have hope in Him.'
The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently
For salvation of the LORD.
It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke in his youth.
Let him sit alone and be silent since He has laid it on him.
Let him put his mouth in the dust,
Perhaps there is hope...
For the Lord will not reject forever,
For if He causes grief, then He will have compassion
According to His abundant lovingkindness.
For He does not afflict willingly or grieve the sons of men....
Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?"

Lamentations 3:18-29 31-33, 37-38


Please uphold us in your prayers as you always do. And, if you know me other than through this blog, please don't call right now. I am needing some time. Thanks.

-glenna-

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

what the heck?

Would you believe I actually had a positive--TRULY positive--as in, the test line was darker than the control line--positive OPK on day 27??????????????????????

Craziness. Looks like this will be a long cycle.

(No, we did not go in for the IUI, even though I had a positive. Are you kidding me? It was cycle day 27, for crying out loud!!)


Just thought you'd like to know.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

same old, same old

We're roughly around day 17 at this point, the point where I should be starting the progesterone gel except that I do not have confirmed ovulation at this point. So, no gel. I "think" things happened, but because I have these stupid issues with OPK's....well, who's to know?

We are still thinking through our issues and praying...we're not sure what to do. We might finish this cycle (minus the IUI) and ask for a referral to a specialist in St. Louis. But then we have this reservation about pursuing the IUI that has such poor success rates, especially with people who have our specific infertility hurdles to jump. Would it just be a waste of money?

Needless to say we have a lot to pray about and think over....and I'm just tired of waiting at this point. Feeling a little stressed today about the whole thing.

I'm sorry I'm not giving you a "real" update, but there's not really any news at this point. Sorry.

Thanks for praying and continuing to read, friends.

-glenna-

Thursday, September 6, 2007

second verse, same as the first.

Clomid, Round #2, and maybe an IUI.

Today I started popping pills again. Our hopes of possibly conceiving "on our own" came to a dismal ending over Labor Day. I talked with my doctor's office when renewing my prescriptions, and I asked about a different form of ovulation detection such as sonograms. Basically I was told, I "must have a positive OPK" for them to do the IUI. They don't measure follicles and all that jazz at their office, and understandably so--they are an OBGYN office, not a Reproductive Endrocrinologist/Infertility Clinic. Still....bummer. I know my body doesn't respond to those tests. We'll try it, but bar a miraculous occurance, I'm thinking we won't get to the IUI this cycle either. Which leads me to the next question....what next? Go to St. Louis to the infamous Dr. Paneda?

Maybe. We'll cross that bridge if and when we come to it. Anyway, I take my regular 5 day dose of Clomid followed by 5 days of Estradiol, and I am going to use a Progesterone gel that my doctor prescribed--which I'm not really sure what it does, and it's not clinically proven to help, but some people find it effective (for what, I wonder?). Still, it can't hurt anything and even though it's amazingly expensive (and no, my insurance covers NONE of this, in case you were wondering), we'd like to give it a try on what might be a our last shot, at least with this doctor.

You can pray for us, of course. I appreciate all the sweet comments I've received from old friends and new. We are in a season of doubt, I think. Not that God CAN do this...of course He CAN. But, we struggle to understand why He seemingly won't do it. It comes back to our belief in His sovereignty, and maybe we are just weary. I think that's it: weary. There are some other things in our life unrelated to infertility that are wearing us down day by day....I think it's too much sometimes. But, this is what the Lord has appointed, so we lean on Him to carry us through.

I may not be updating as much as I did last cycle. I need a break.

Love,
-glenna-

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Only Infertility Song I've Ever Heard.

I ran across this video on YouTube. All I can say is: have some kleenex handy. You will need it. I find the abortion rates vs. the number of infertile couples really....ironic and painful.

If you are not infertile and you are watching this video, and it evokes some sort of emotion in your heart, mutliply that feeling by about 10,000 and now you know how we feel a lot of the time.
My disclaimer is that of course this song does not highlight the faithfulness and sovereignty of God. I always try to keep His goodness at the forefront of my mind.
But at any rate....here's the only song about infertility that I've ever heard.

Friday, August 24, 2007

it's alright.

As sad and discouraged as I was on Wednesday, I was surprised to have Thursday morning dawn bright and new, and full of the promises of the Word to comfort me. Meditating on the Word has been so good for my soul the past two days. The Lord has really comforted me, and I am thankful to have had so many people praying for me.

I realized that it is not such a bad thing to have to keep praying, keep waiting, and keep learning patience. If anything, it is part of my sanctification. REgardless of how many months we wait, or if we never even see our prayers answered in the way that we want, we know that He is always been faithful and that He always will be faithful. If He can be glorified in this, then so be it.

As far as what's next...well, we wait for the rest of this cycle to come and go. We are praying that pregnancy might occur in spite of our failed attempts to go in for the IUI. Even though I never got a positive test, I am nearly certain that ovulation did occur. So, we are praying for hte next week or two. And then if the answer is "no" then we'll move forward with another round of fertility drugs and hopes of actually doing the IUI. I will be asking my doctor about other means of detecting ovulation.
But...we'll cross that bridge if/when we get to it.

Thank you all for your kind comments and prayers. You are a blessing to me!

xoxoxo,
-glenna-

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

No IUI this month.

Dr. said that since it's taking so long for me to ovulate, we'll wait out this cycle and try again next time.

More waiting.

I don't want to talk about it.

-glenna-

Monday, August 20, 2007

No news is no news.

Day 21.

As you may have guessed, I am still waiting.
Could it be that Clomid adversely effected my ovaries? I don't know. I'm going to give it a couple more days, per Dr. C., and then I'm calling to see if they can do an ultrasound to see what's going on. I keep thinking, even if I DO ovulate this week, it's SO late...is it even worth it to do the IUI this late in the game? Maybe I should give up the idea of even doing the IUI this month if I'm not responding to the Clomid and am ovulating just as late as I do without the drug.

It's getting hard to keep staring those negative OPK's in the face first thing every morning. It's hard to drag myself back to bed and tell my husband "it's a no" who is anxiously awaiting a positive.

I'm tired.

-glenna-

Friday, August 17, 2007

absent LH surge and missing sleep

I am trying not to get frustrated by my delayed LH surge. For the record, it's day 18, and I had reeaaallly hoped to have this whole thing done and over with at this point. But, that is not what is happening, and there's nothing I can do about it except wait, and try to take every anxious thought captive in obedience to Christ.

My doctor called this morning and left a message on my machine (I was at work) to see how I was doing since she hasn't heard from me in 18 days. I expressed my frustration about the continual negative OPK's, but she said, "Well, you typcially have longer cycles anyway, so I expect it will happen in the next few days. Just call me when as soon as you get a positive! I'm anxiously waiting!" Love her. I love that she called to check on me even though she has a heavy patient load of women who are having babies right and left and making her job easier. And, I love that I called her back and was patched right through. Mentioning the word "infertility" on the phone must strike fear in the heart of the receptionist causing her to page her employer ASAP. :)

An unfortunate part of this waiting period is that anything like this always affects my sleep. Night after night after night I lie awake wondering, digesting every possibility over and over again. I usually try intercepting those thoughts and praying over them instead, but even my prayers become worrisome, pleas of "what if?" So, you can pray about this for me. Pray that I would truly take every worry or care and compare it to what the Word tells me. Like the song from the previous post says "I know the Lord is nigh, and would but cannot pray. For Satan meets me when I try and frights my soul away." You can pray against that!

A welcome distraction to all of this has been work. I began in-service on Wednesday and have been busy every day this week. Open house is tomorrow, followed by a busy Sunday (they always are for those of us in ministry!), and then a day off. I have one more day of in-service on Tuesday, then another day off, and then--school starts on Thursday and I will be working every day at that point. (I'm a teacher's assistant in a 4th and 5th grade class in a local Christian academy, for those who were wondering. I did this for a short time last semester.) All of this will help keep my mind off the wandering LH surge that I am anxiously awaiting. :)

As always, thanks for reading, praying, and for encouraging me with your comments.

xoxoxoxo,
-glenna-

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Words that Comfort

I have been thinking a lot about the words to John Newton's hymn "Help My Unbelief." I need the grace and help to believe even the most basic of truths. As I am waiting still, here are the words that are a comfort to me:

I know the Lord is nigh, and would but cannot pray
For Satan meets me when I try and frights my soul away, and frights my soul away.
I would but can't repent, though I endeavor oft;
This stony heart can ne'er relent till Jesus makes it soft, till Jesus makes it soft.
Help my unbelief, help my unbelief, help my unbelief. My help must come from Thee.

I would but cannot love, though wooed by love divine;
No arguments have pow'r to move a soul so base as mine, a soul as base as mine.
I would but cannot rest, in God's most holy will;
I know what He appoints is best, and murmur at it still, I murmur at it still.
Help my unbelief, help my unbelief, help my unbelief. My help must come from Thee.

Words: John Newton, 1725-1807
Refrain: Clint Wells, 2005
You can hear a clip of this song here.

I love the line "I know what He appoints is best and murmur at it still." How true! I know that what He has appointed for my life is what is truly best and what will bring Him most glory. He is sovereign over my fertility (or lack thereof!) and He is good, even in His possible "no". I'm praying for faith to keep on believing that He is good, that His possible "no" is still a good gift.

-glenna-

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not today.

Needless to say, I am getting impatient. I had hopes that the Clomid would speed things up, but obviously I was wrong.

And now, I will most likely have to deal with my work schedule now since I start in-service tomorrow. I do have a couple of days off next week, but surely by then this will all be behind us (says the ever-hopeful me). But, now comes the awkward conversation with my boss about why I need to miss orientation. Thursday would be a GREAT day for an IUI since I only work during the morning on that day. I guess I will pray to that end now.

I think my struggle today is where it has always been--God's timing. I will have to spend some time in the Word today regaining a proper perspective.

Hopefully we'll have news soon....

xoxoxo,
-glenna-

Saturday, August 11, 2007

some thoughts from my journal this morning

CD12, 5th and final day of Estradiol, negative OPK

"So we are taking one day at a time. With each morning that results in a negative OPK, I get more and more antsy and impatient. I also notice that today I am weepy. I feel that dwelling too much on the possibilities might put me over the edge. But, what immediately comes to mind after writing that are the words "great is Thy faithfulness...morning by morning new mercies I see." Words that steady my restless heart. One of those "mercies" is the overwhelming support we have received from friends, family, church members, even strangers (ahem, online friends, anyone?). By daring to be transparent, we have enjoyed the repercussions of being prayed for and encouraged. My friends and family are constantly asking how I'm feeling on the fertility drugs. They want to be notified when we finally head to Cape for the IUI so they can pray during that time. What a blessing people have been to us lately! I am grateful to God for encouraging us through His people.

It is difficult not to be consumed by this--this endeavor to get pregnant. Already I feel overtaken. I'm trying to rest in contentment in the Lord, but my mind runs rampant, recycling every possibility. And as I've mentioned before (in my journal, but maybe not here), if the Lord grants us a child through this I am nearly convinced it will be twins. Don't know why...other than that that is what the prayer of my heart is. Most of my prayers don't go beyond the plea for children through this IUI. I can't really go over the negative posssibilities without nearly being paralyzed by fear and grief. My heart constantly beats: "It MUST work, it HAS to work." But I know that's not true.

The Lord knows my heart, and may His will be done. But I'm praying that twins are part of His desire."

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

Still ticking the days off one by one. I write to keep myself sane during the waiting. I'm sure the two week wait will be much worse. :) I'm drawing much comfort from Lamentations and Romans right now (random, I know, but Romans is where I'm reading right now, and I was directed to Lamentations from another blog, so that's why the two different books.). Whatever the outcome, may God be praised.

xoxoxoxo,
-glenna-

Friday, August 10, 2007

Still Waiting...

Still waiting for the smiley face on the OPK. Not yet....so this is taking longer than I thought. I guess I thought the Clomid would really speed things up, but maybe not.

Thankfully I did not have any headaches yesterday--which was a relief because the headaches I was having earlier this week were terrible. Another small thing I'm concerned about is if this takes longer than a few more days and I end up having to schedule the IUI after in-service starts next week (with my job at the Christian Academy). That will be awkward...and hard to get in since I technically can't miss orientation.

So here's a specific thing you can pray for: that I get a smiley face on the stick this weekend (preferably Sunday) so that I can have the IUI on Monday or Tuesday (before in-service starts on Wednesday). I guess I'm worrying too much about the details, and as I laid in bed last night for a long time thinking about the possibilities, tossing & turning because of restlessness, my husband said, "You don't need to be worrying; that's probably not helping your body right now." He's right of course, and I kept praying, "Lord, help me to let go of this and to trust in You." Over and over and over again until I fell asleep. I can't help digesting constantly what "might happen." More often than not, I think that I'm not sure how I'll handle it if the nurse calls with negative results at the end of this. I guess I'm borrowing trouble right now...since we are not at that point yet. See? Yet again....I need to put my hope in Christ, not in this procedure or its outcome.

Trying not to be a nervous wreck....

-glenna-

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Clomid does not make me crazy. (edited)

Thankfully.

I am through with the Clomid and have moved on to the Estradiol. No major side effects, so that is an added blessing.
I have so many thoughts about all of this running through my head, but I'm feeling very private about those since so much of this entire process is known to family and friends. So, instead of sharing here, I'm doing a lot of journaling, praying, laying awake in bed thinking. I have no idea what the outcome will be of the drugs and IUI. I'm anxious for it to all be over; it's just a waiting game entirely. But, this post is just to ensure you that I have not had any major side effects from the drugs (so far).

Keep praying, please...


-glenna-

EDIT, August 8th: But, after 24 hours of Estradiol in my system, I have had a 24 hour headache that I went to sleep with and woke up with. I finally broke down and took something for it.
Aleve, take me away!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

moving forward

Beginning Clomid in T-minus 2 days.

After 5 days of Clomid comes 5 days of Estradiol. I did turn down the $200 tube of Progesterone Gel this time around. (!!!!) Wait for a positive OPK and the call the doctor when I get a smiley face on the Clear Blue OPK stick.

The IUI could feasibly happen by the latter part of NEXT WEEK!!!!!

Prepare ye the way for mood swings and emotional rollercoasters!! Clomid does not have the reputation for making women nicer people. ;)

Please be in prayer for us....

-gm-

Saturday, July 21, 2007

sometime in august....

is when we will begin the stuff.

The "stuff" being Clomid, the OPK's, the IUI and the hormones (which I assume to be progesterone).

I am strangely excited about it all--not even hating that I will be taking ovulation-inducing medicine. For the record, I don't have major ovulation issues, but the Clomid *should* give a much-needed boost.

I spoke with Dr. C. the other day about all of this...and might I add that I LOVE having a doctor who calls me personally and leaves messages on my answering machine. Not a receptionist or a nurse, but MY doctor calling and when I call her back, all I have to mention is the word "infertility" and they patch me right through to Dr. C., whether she's in the middle of something or not. Finally--the word "infertility" is good for something! :)

Anyway, Dr. C. gave me the details about everything, so unless I am pregnant this month, we'll start all of this at some point in August, Lord willing. However, we are praying specifically that we conceive THIS month to avoid the IUI. Please pray with us!!!!

I'll update as things get rolling....

-gm-

Thursday, July 12, 2007

tears, for a different reason

I had a chat with my doctor yesterday about our options as far as pursuing an IUI is concerned. Thankfully, she was very kind and positive about doing the procedure for us. I swallowed tears around the huge lump in my throat as I explained that coming around to an IUI was a difficult decision--that people often say "Why don't you just DO it? What's taking so long?" I told her that emotionally it was a hard place to come to. She nodded and said, "You know, Glenna, infertility patients are under the same amount and type of emotional stress that chemotherapy patients are under! No wonder it's hard to come to a decision--you're under a lot of stress!" I so appreciated her empathy.

My doctor (who I'll refer to as Dr. C. from now on) needs to meet with a colleague who performs IUI's more frequently than she does, so she is supposed to call me in a couple of days to figure out the timing of it all. We will most likely combine the IUI with a round of Clomid, a common fertility drug to make sure we've got all our eggs in one basket, so to speak (pun intended). If my body cooperates, we'll begin this process about mid-August, which will put the actual IUI procedure in late August. I used to think that I would keep all of this as private as could be, but so many people know of our inferitility, that I know they will want to know details and results as they happen. For that reason....I guess privacy is one thing that goes out the window, along with dreams of "easy" conception. It's just part of infertility, I guess. I've accepted that, and I'd rather have people praying specifically for us at specific times than to leave everyone in the dark for the sake of my privacy.

It's a tricky thing--pursuing reproductive assistance. I know many people out there think that pursuing treatment is evidence of a lack of faith in God. And in some ways, I suppose it could be. It was for me for a long time...which is why I put off the option of IUI. I needed to get to a point where I am trusting God to provide children, not modern medicine. And yet, I think infertility can be described as a "condition" in the same way that many bodily issues are. We simply have parts of our body that don't function the way they were "intended" to function. My husband has a pancreas that does not work. At all. If he did not take insulin daily, he would die. His medication, through the grace of God, keeps him alive. That might be an oversimplistic or faulty analogy, because with reproductive organs--a LIFE is the goal or end result, not simply overall health. I have wrestled over and over with whether or not having reproductive assistance is the "right" decision. Are we reflecting that we are not trusting God with our fertility? At this point, we are comfortable pursuing some help. We are not "creating" life. We are simply trying to make the conditions more favorable for conception to take place.

Ultimately, though....we know that it lies in the hands of a Sovereign God. No matter how easily or with difficulty life seems to be conceived, it is always a miracle at the hand of a mighty Creator. So, if the IUI fails the first or second time, we'll know that it was not what God had for us. And we'll move towards adoption more aggressively. Not that adoption is a sure-fire thing. God may say "no" in that area as well, which will mean that we have to simply wait or accept "no".


I will say, though, that I left Dr. C.'s office yesterday with tears in my eyes, but for the first time in a long time they were tears of hope, not despair.

I will keep you all updated as things unfold. We COVET your prayers! We want to guard our hearts, to be cautiously excited, but to NOT stake all our hopes in a procedure. We want to continue looking to the Father for the miracle of life. We want to rest in His sovereignty, even if He continues to say "no". Please pray that He WOULD grant us this request of a child or children--we ask boldly for that daily. But also pray for us should His answer be "no". We still want to walk faithfully in obedience to Him.
And as a woman, I covet prayers for myself emotionally. It is a tough thing to walk through without my heart being exposed and vulnerable. I feel entirely exposed.

Thanks for praying for me yesterday.

xoxoxoxo,
-glenna-

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Nervous

I have my regular, yearly check-up tomorrow with my obgyn. I'm not nervous about the appointment itself, but it's my first time to see my doctor since August of last year when she gave me the results of our last tests and HSG (Hysterosalpingogram. You know you're infertile when you can pronounce AND spell that word!). My doctor had referred us to St. Louis to an infertility clinic. We thought about it for a couple of months. And a few more months. And then it turned into nearly year. We never went to St. Louis because we just couldn't get "there" emotionally. I know--it sounds like a flimsy excuse. But, unless you are facing reproductive assistance, you may not quite understand.

Now has come a time where we are comfortable with pursuing IntraUterine Insemination, otherwise known as IUI. A minimally invasive procedure (among infertility reproductive technology), this procedure simply puts the sperm as close to the egg(s) as possible, in hope of naturally occurring conception. We have been told by two doctors that this is a good option for us. And while the success rates are not as fabulous as I would like for them to be, we thought we would give it a shot before we commit to an unknown time frame where we would be wholly devoted to adoption, feeling free to opt out of infertility treatment while pursuing adoption. Even if it doesn't work, we'll at least know that we tried before potentially signing an adoption contract that asks us to refrain from infertility treatment while committed to the adoption process.

Here's why I am nervous. I know my doctor will ask why we have not gone to St. Louis. I don't know if I can put it into words exactly why we have not done this, although I can think of many reasons/excuses right off the top of my head. And really, it's more discomfort on my part rather than my husband's. I can't really put it into words other than to say: I don't want to go and have to redo all the testing, have multiple visits to tell us what we already know, have brand new work-ups to simply get us to the point where the doctor is ready to do the IUI. Not to mention that we are two and a half hours (at least) from this clinic, which will require many trips back and forth, nights in hotels (that we can't afford), among other inconveniences. Wouldn't it all be worth it, you might ask? Sure, if it works. Which is no guarantee. My doctor here said that she has done IUI's in the past and could feasibly do ours, but she is more comfortable sending people to St. Louis.

So she can do it. But will she? That is the question I'm nervous about. If she consents, I'd like to do it the month of August, if possible. I will start working again about mid August, so it will be hard to get to my appointments anyway, but I can manage it much better than if I had to get to St. Louis.

But, let's not put the cart before the horse. Pray for me tomorrow. I'm not very brave in front of doctors and don't know how to be pushy when I need to be. I'll update when I have news to write about. I always cry after going to the obgyn because there has always been some negative news or reminders about our infertility. For that reason alone, I dread my check-ups. They make me sad.

xoxoxo,
-glenna-

Thursday, July 5, 2007

the ocean and infertility

I was sitting on the beach last week, watching the waves crash onto the shore line in front of me thinking that yet again, we are not pregnant. It was hard to hold back the tears, even though I feel that I should be used to this by now. I sat in the sand, praying in desperation for....something. Hope. Children. Faithfulness to God in spite of my grief, in the middle of my grief, because of my grief. I watched the rhythmic pull of the tide, with each crash of water, powerful waves crept towards my feet in the sand. I remembered the passage in Job (a fitting book when one wonders at her circumstances) where God says that the waves of the ocean can only go as far as He allows. In essence, God says, "little wave, you can only go this far, and no further up the shore than that." And the wave--powerful though it may be with the force of the Atlantic behind it--must obey, must submit to a Sovereign Creator. And so must I.

This may seem a disjointed train of thought, but what I reckoned with on the beach is that the God who holds the sea at bay is the same God who holds my fertility in His hands, as well as every other aspect of my life. He is the same God who is close and tender when He says, "No, not this time." Maybe His restraint in my life is not really like His keeping the mighty oceans in line, but maybe it is. I know that it is for my own good. And, as only a mighty and powerful Creator can hold the waters in his hands, He is letting me glimpse His glory in the midst of infertility.

Blessings, friends.

-glenna-


"And I said, 'Thus far you shall come but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop.'"

-God, in Job 11:38, NAS

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

prayer for a friend

Please pray for my dear friend, Amy. After nearly a ten year battle with very painful endometriosis, she is going to have a hysterectomy in July. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.

Sorry for the smattering of short posts. A lengthier one is coming soon....

-glenna-

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

letting the cat out of the bag

Adoption is now in our plans, if the Lord wills. :)

You can read more here.


Thank you for praying for us. I think this blog could turn into more of an infertility-meets-adoption type of blog. Or it may continue to be a place for me to digest my thoughts as I long to be a mother. The latter is probably more likely. :)

xoxoxo
-glenna-

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

it seems to me that pregnancy announcements come in threes.

or twenties.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

mother's day hard for many people.....how I have been blessed

Mother's Day is a difficult day for lots of people. While most people celebrate their mothers or being a mother, for someone walking through infertility it can be a nightmare as we consider how to manage emotions. Church can be the hardest part of it all, unfortunately. Services are oriented to honor the oldest mother, the youngest mother, or the mother with the most children.; all mothers are asked to stand....while the infertile woman ducks her head, being one of the only women (if not THE only woman, as is my case) in church still seated in her pew. I am not a man, but I can imagine how difficult it must be for men when the same event is repeated on Father's Day.


To avoid pitying myself (something I do way too much!) I have tried to spend the past few years focusing on my OWN mother and grandmothers....remembering to be thankful for the gifts that they are. Last year, I handled myself rather well during church, although I fought tears when my husband (the pastor) asked the mothers at church to stand so we could pray for them. (Thankfully, being a man who longs to be a father, my husband is very sensitive and does not make a big deal out of either parent-oriented holiday.) I survived the day last year, mostly impart to a phone call from my grandmother. My grandmother called to thank me for her Mother's Day card, but also to tell me that she was praying for me all day long.


She, too, knows infertility very well. After seven years of trying to get pregnant, my grandmother accepted the probability that she would never conceive. She and my grandfather adopted my dad as a three month old baby. He was the joy of their lives; they could not have been happier. It was four years later (so that would be eleven years of infertility), my grandmother went to the doctor with an upset stomach. She was, however, pregnant! A miracle! My aunt is a testimony to the fact that God can do the impossible. But....my grandmother likely spent many Mother's Days grieving in her heart. In the 1950's, infertility was little-understood and probably rarely talked about. My grandmother truly knows how I have felt. And her phone call was to encourage me that God can do amazing things, that we should trust in His goodness, that He is good regardless of whether He gives us children.....and a wealth of other things about the character of God. "But," my grandmother said in a compassionate and understanding voice, "days like today are hard, aren't they, honey?" I can hear her saying it even now in my head, and it brings tears to my eyes. The compassion was just what I needed


I was blessed last year on Mother's Day.

This year, my blessing came a bit earlier.


At school today (I'm a teacher's assistant), Tyana--one of my third graders--handed me this, saying "I know you're not my mom, but I wanted to give you a Mother's Day card anyway."





My first Mother's Day card.

I will treasure it always.


There are several students in my 3rd and 4th grade class whose mothers are nowhere to be found. Several are being raised by grandparents or aunts. In the students' art class, they were to make Mother's Day cards, and I had the heartbreaking chance to read some of them. One particularly caught my eye: "Dear Mommy, I love you. Happy Mother's Day! I miss you, will you PLEASE come home soon?" That was from one of the students who has quite possibly never really known her mother since her mom abandoned the family years ago. I have noticed that the behavior of a few of my students (the ones with such hard family problems) has gone from bad to worse. After talking with the principle about it, I realized that it is because Mother's Day is drawing near.....and they have no mother.



My heart hurts for my own yearning to be a mother, of course, but my heart simply breaks over and over when I see the little faces of my students....who I know have no mommy (or daddy for that matter) at home to help with homework, to make lunches, to tuck them into bed, to pray with them, and to do all the world of things mothers do for their children.



As I think of Mother's Day this year, I will not solely focus on my infertility. I will be thankful for my mom and grandmothers, and tell them so. I will hope for a call from my grandmother. I will think of and pray for my students at school. I will treat the difficult children with a little extra grace because I know their little hearts yearn for a mother to hold. And I will carry my Mother's Day card with me all day long.

xoxoxoxoxo,
glenna

Monday, May 7, 2007

noticed

I think one of the difficult parts of infertility is that people don't know how to treat me. They know we have been unable to have children, and so instead of offending us by constantly asking "how's it going trying to get pregnant?" they say nothing at all. And after a time, it feels like people forget that we have this huge ache in our hearts, unless we constantly remind them...which feels like complaining or calling for a constant pity-party. I kind of feel sorry for those who are close to us because they can't win for losing when it comes to "how to deal" with us and "our situation".

In the being kind by not mentioning it, our hurt gets forgotten, it seems. And I just don't have the heart to remind people that we carry a constant ache when it comes to children (or the lack thereof). When someone happens to remember or notice....well, it means the world.

Last night at church, one of the boys in my Sunday School class approached me. He might be ten years old, but he loves babies and little children and is good at watching them even at his young age. He came up to me after the service last night and said, "Miss Glenna, when are you going to have a baby so I can come baby-sit?" It was a question that both pierced my heart but also made me smile. "Well, Caleb," I answered, "We really want a baby, but God has not given us one yet. We pray and pray that He will bless us with a baby, but for right now we have to trust that He is being wise in saying 'no'." I then steered the conversation to another woman in the church who would certainly love to let him watch her baby while she got some things done at home.

It kind of made my heart ache, but at the same time....it felt strangely good to have it acknowledged that we still do not have children. It sounds weird, I know. But maybe you know what I mean. It also sounds terribly selfish to need to be noticed....I realize this. But, part of my reason for this site is to hash out my feelings about infertility. Other people have accepted our infertility and moved on, but obviously we have not. Can I just say that instead of being bothered and annoyed by a ten year old's innocent question....I felt strangely blessed??

A post about Mother's Day is forthcoming....

xoxoxox,
glenna

Thursday, April 19, 2007

three years

It was April 19th, 2004.

We made a decision that we thought would quickly alter our lives. We decided that one purpose of marriage was to grow our little family of two.

And so we began "trying", as everyone does. Being the researcher of the family, I did my homework and was soon immersed into a world of thermometers, BBT charts, ovulation prediction tests, and fertility websites. I thought, "6 months at the most--we'll definitely be pregnant by October." October came and went. So did November, December, January, February, and March. And then it was April again. And so, as all the books told me, after 1 year of unsuccessful trying, we were now labeled "infertile". Armed with a year's worth of monthly charts, I went to the doctor as soon as we hit the one year mark. A round of routine bloodwork revealed no immediate problems, so other tests were ordered. And reordered, after the results were poor. And again, the results were dismal. After saying that the chances of me ever conceiving "on my own" were slim to none, my doctor recommended a specialist in Memphis.

It was a cruel blow, I remember. I had walked into my doctor's office expecting to be handed a prescription that would fix all our problems. The diagnosis of infertility that required special doctor-assisted reproductive therapy....that was not what I had expected. Almost as soon as I got to the parking lot of the doctor's office, I burst into tears. And I sobbed and sobbed all the way to our house where my husband was packing our bags for our vacation (we were leaving in a matter of hours). It was hard timing. We grieved. Oh, how we grieved.

But we went on our trip, and the further we got from Jackson, Tennessee, the further away, it seemed, was our infertility. We returned with broken hearts, though, and packed up our house as we were moving in 4 days to Missouri where my husband would be taking a new pastorate.

So we packed. And I pushed my heartache down into the deepest moving box I could find, with all my other belongings. It resurfaced when I unpacked in the house in my new town. And from then on, another year passed where I sought to shove away my sorrow while it was ever trying to resurface amidst other battles of ministry and the newness of our life in Missouri.

When we hit two years, we decided it was time to try the doctors again. I found a physician I loved, and had her take a look at our troubles. She ordered all kinds of tests (many were repeats). She even tried an invasive procedure that we were sure would help our chances of achieving the dream we ached for. The procedure gave some good news, but did not (obviously) bring our dream to life. Another round of repeat tests showed that our diagnosis was the same. We, again, were devastated. And my doctor who I had had so much faith in said there was no more she could do....we'd have to go to a specialist in St. Louis.

And that was eight months ago. I've been holding on to that referral for eight months, but have been unable to pick up the phone to make an appointment. My heart won't let me go there.
And while my dear husband and I sit and grieve over a dream that may never come to life, we wonder what we should do. Should we pursue treatment? Should we give up on conceiving altogether? Should we adopt? Should we simply wait and pray? Do we limit our faith to "slim to none"?

We don't know what to do. Three years, while but a breath to some of you, have taken their toll on our hope. Funny thing, hope. You can squelch it down, but it returns at the oddest times. When your heart physically aches as you watch a young family pushing their stroller, when you can't breathe as your friends announce their pregnancy (or possibly their second or third), when sleep eludes you because your mind races with the possibilities of "never" and "how will we cope?".....hope surprises you. It sneaks up on you. Even when you don't want it to.

I have no idea what this fourth year will bring. I can't imagine it being any different than the last three have been. And yet, with all of our heart, we YEARN for it to be different. We ACHE to see our dream in person, wiggling and cooing, before our eyes. But because we sometimes seek to preserve our sanity, we have to limit how much we allow ourselves to hope. We ask that YOU not give up on us, though. Please do not let your hope for us run out. We need your hope to lean on. Please pray for wisdom for us. Pray for hope. Pray that God would bless us with children. But, pray that He would be glorified no matter what.

In all of this, it is by grace that I can always say that God is good. Our life is but a breath; to Him be glory and honor forever and ever. Amen.

-glenna-

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

sharing your burden with others....

Twice this week, in two different places, I ran across this video. It's short, and has music, so make sure your speakers are on when you watch it. "Empty Arms" is a good way to share with others your burden of infertility. Most people who have never been infertile have a hard time understanding why infertility is such a hardship. And while they won't understand completely unless they've walked in our shoes, they can learn to empathize, which is what we need at times. My one major qualm with this video is that God is left completely out of the equation. I think the reason we have hope at all is because of Christ. Not that He has promised us children, because He has not. But, because He is our one Hope, our Reason for living. His sacrifice on the cross is what frees us and redeems us. I truly don't know how people walking through inferility without Christ can survive the grief that infertility inevitably brings.

I would recommend that you consider using this video if you are struggling with how to share your burden with family or friends.

"Empty Arms"

blessings,
-glenna-

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Dear Friend

"Will you be someone who understands?
Will you understand when I
tell you that I need a
friend
Who will liesten as
I share about my
journey through
infertility?

So many others
have had only advice;
Miracle stories,
herb teas, and new
love-making positions.

Will you understand month
after month when I need to share
My disappointment from another unsuccessful attempt?

Will you understand when I tellyou that I rage and pound my fists at God
Because He doesn't seem to hear me or take away this pain?

Will you know to pray for me when I can no longer pray for myself?
Will you know to send me a card to remind me that I am not alone?

Will you understand the tears that well up when you tell me you are
pregnant?

Will you understand that I celebrate with you, yet long for the day,
When a friends pregnancy doesn't remind me of my own barrenness?

Will you understand when I start to pull away when your tummy begins
to bulge?

As much as I long to share in the excitement, I find the ache too much
As other women encircle you and the conversation turns to motherhood.

Will you understand when I dont' come to your baby shower?

I can't imagine the strength I will need to hold back the tears
In the midst of baby clothes, breastfeeding tips, and birth stories.

Will you understand when your baby is born and I don't come to visit right away?

Please know that I long to hold your child and congratulate you in person
But holding a newborn in my arms sprials me into a place of envy and pain.

Will you understand that my empty arms are still heavy with the grief they carry?
Will you understand that your greatest joy is my greatest sorrow?

When the months turn into years, and you are expecting your second child
Will you understand that I still long to bear a child in my womb?

Will you still be my friend?"

By Kim Notehelfer


*I read this in a recent issue of Stepping Stones, a Bethany Christian Services Publication that offers Christian support for couples facing infertility or pregnancy loss. For more information, go here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

book recommendation

I just finished reading a book that I wanted to pass along to you. This is actually the second time that I have read it, and it was an encouragement the second time around as much as it was the first.

Jennifer Saake, who began the online ministry known as Hannah's Prayer Ministry, is the author of Hannah's Hope, a book full of biblical encouragement for couples going through the difficult hardships of infertility, miscarriage, and/or adoption loss. While perfectly able to sympathize with her readers (Saake is no stranger to any three of the above mentioned hardships), she also points those who are traveling similar paths to Christ for identity, hope, comfort, and security. There is also a section at the end of every chapter for "Burden Bearers", those who may not have ever experienced any difficulty in trying to grow a family but who know someone who has. What an insightful section to include after each chapter! There are also suggestions on how to start support groups within churches, how to cope during family related holidays or events (like Mother's and Father's Day, baby showers, baby dedications, etc.), and how to conquer bitterness that so often seems to take root in many people who are battling infertility. I feel as though I could have penned some of Saake's thoughts at times.





I strongly recommend this book if you are struggling to start a family (whether by conception or adoption). I also recommend Saake's web ministry at www.hannah.org. There you will find resources as well as forums where people are encouraging, supportive, and most likely are walking in your shoes.

I think I made a similar post on my last infertility-related blog that I shut down. So, if this is a repeat, just bear with me. :)

xoxo,

-glenna-

Friday, March 23, 2007

this happens all the time

The other day I was getting out of my car, getting ready to go into a shoe store, when I saw a young woman....not more than 17 or 18 who was entering the store. She had what looked to be a 3 year old little girl on her hip, balanced precariously around her hugely pregnant belly.

And I thought, how is that fair?

And then I rememberd, oh yeah. it's not about fair. It's about the sovereignty of God, which I will never understand, but in which I trust implicitly. And just because He has blessed others with children does not mean that He has blessed them more than He's blessed me. It just means He's blessed me differently. What? Did I expect the rest of the world to stop having children until I had one of my own? I guess somewhere deep down I did. And still do. And when my friends are having their second and third.........while I wait for one......I have to remember that it's not about me anyway.

Adversely, I think about how impatient I am and I think, God will never allow me to be a mother. I'm too impatient.

I know all of my logic is flawed, but sometimes I can't think about anything else but the why? God....This is not wof infertility. I always conjure up images from my life--reasons why I don't deserve children, or why I would be a horrible mother. I'm sure they are no different from thoughts every other woman has had in her life. but I still try and rationalize it all in my head. The truth is, I don't deserve children. No one does. If you disagree, remember the depravity of man. It's so real...and has been since we fell dead in the garden. No one deserves anything good. What we do get that's good....grace. From God. Jesus: grace personified. Taking my place for wickedness that deserves hell and separation from God.............this freedom, this belief that in and of itself is a gift from God.......This is not what I deserve.

And that, that comforts me when I start focusing on what I don't have. Look at what I do have: Christ!! And I am comforted in knowing that He wounds that He might heal. And knowing that infertility has purposefully passed through His fingers to me....that is what makes it bearable. I couldn't bear it without Him and His incredible grace.

I realize I'm recycling thoughts that I've already expressed here, but sometimes it does me good to do so in order to regain a right perspective.

Blessings, friends.

-glenna-

Monday, February 19, 2007

handling "The News"

One of the tricky things about infertility is how to react to the news of pregnancy from friends or family.

What's hard about it is that deep down inside, maybe in a cobwebbed corner of the heart....the infertile person is happy for a friend who is expecting. There is some joy--no matter how big or small--when news of a new life reaches the ears of an infertile person (let's just say "woman", though since that's what I am). I mean, it IS a new person--a new life--that is something to be celebrated! But, it's the initial reaction to The News that is difficult to handle.

A couple of years ago, when William and I were just figuring out that something might be "wrong" with us because time had passed and we were not conceiving, it became real apparent real fast that the rest of the world would not just stop having babies just because we couldn't have one. I don't know what I expected--maybe that no one else would have a baby until I had one? That's silly, but there's some sort of completely ridiculous expectation that I had that people would have the courtesy to stop having babies until I could have at least one. If you're not infertile, then you're probably wondering what kind of selfishness had possessed me. If you are inferile (or have been in the past), then I'm sure you know what I mean. Yes, it's selfish, but that's something that infertile people really struggle with. At least I do. When I realized that the rest of humanity would continue to reproduce despite our failed attempts at doing the same, it then became an issue of how to handle the situation when people excitedly told me their News of pregnancy.

I learned quickly how to paste a smile on my face and to mumble something about "how happy" I was for them. Usually, though, I felt the blood rushing to my face and away from the rest of my body while faking a smile. Sometimes I thought I might faint....of jealousy? Is that possible? Or maybe....I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that I could not achieve what seemed to be the most basic of things to being a woman. (As if any of us truly has control over anything! That's funny!) I don't know. My logic has always been flawed when it comes to infertility, but I always had a hard time controlling my emotions in the beginning when people shared The News with me. It was especially difficult being part of a church community that valued the family so very much and encouraged families to grow. At any given time, 4 or 5 women could be pregnant in the church (which always seemed like a lot per capita at that church). I remember during the first year of TTC, at one point there were NINE babies due in our little church! I guess that it was during that time that I became a pro at handling The News in public. (Or so I thought, anyway.) Maybe it was the frozen smile plastered on my red face. Maybe it was the tears that always inevitably rushed to my eyes. Maybe it was my absence of heartfelt congratulations. Or maybe people just simply did the math and knew that we wanted children but nothing was happening and sensed it might be a difficulty. Whatever it was...people began to sense that blurting out The News in my presence in a large group of people wasn't the best of ideas. I have to admit....the sensitivity that people acquire sometimes seems to be a Godsend.

It was not long until people began to tell me The News through a phone call or a one-on-one conversation. Even though it was still hard to take....I appreciated being able to react in the privacy of my own home. I appreciated very much.

When we moved to Missouri, we moved to a church with an "older" congregation. Most people had grown children or at least elementary age children. A few younger couples close to our age began to pick up on our desire to have children....our high view of the family....our view of children as a blessing from the Lord. And since then...some couples decided to add to their families. And now, we are in the midst of our own small baby boom at church. Once again I am having to get used to handling The News. I can't say that I enjoy it, but time has passed and now I realizing that sometimes in life you have to stop being selfish, and you have to recognize that God chooses to bless others in ways that are for their good all the while blessing you in a way that is good for you. One way is not better than the other. It's just different. And you must rejoice with those who are rejoicing.

I'm not saying it is ever easy. It's never easy for me. But, it's not the same as it was 3 years ago. Maybe God is pulling away some of that selfishness. I'm talking about one tiny speck at a time....but maybe He is at work.

And, if you happen to be reading this and you have to pass on The News to a person struggling with infertility, let them know in a letter or email or phone call so they can react privately and then be genuinely happy for you when they see you in person. Sometimes we just need to be able to cry in private, to grieve over a dream that may never come to life, to get out our emotions without having to worry about people around us. If you are reading this and you broke The News to me in this way.....thank you. It matters. It matters to me.

-gm-

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Struggling today. There seem to be babies everywhere, and people having babies, and people ooing and ahhing about babies and pregnancies. I feel surrounded by it, as though I can't escape it. Even my lessons (both this week and next week) for the kids' Sunday School class have something to do with babies being born and barren couples being given children of promise. I don't know why it is striking a nerve with me so, but today it feels suffocating. I'm tired of watching other people living in abundant blessing, families growing without ever even acknowledging that that might be something one cannot simply expect. I don't mean that I'm angry that others are blessed in the area of family growth and I'm not. I mean, that people just expect this, as if it's a right. I guess I used to live that way too. I don't know why it bothers me so.

I won't pretend to be strong today. My heart, it hurts today.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Questions about Suffering

Another month of trying to conceive (TTC) comes quickly to a close for me. As I inch closer and closer toward the 3 year mark (April), I am trying to take a new view of infertility. The thought of beginning a 4th year of TTC is hard to swallow, especially when friends are having their second and third children during the time that we've tried unsuccessfully to have our first. I sure never thought I'd be here. It seems that so often I say to myself, "I will not be here next year--I will not be battling infertility this time next year, I will be a mother a year from now." As if I can control any of this! If I've learned anything, I've learned that I have no control. As much as I want to do something to change this, I can't. It's just not within my reach. And I guess that's a good thing.

William and I have been talking a good bit about suffering lately. I don't know if infertility directly falls into the category of suffering, but some days it sure feels like it. But, my question is--Is suffering really such an undesirable thing? I mean, doesn't Scripture teach us that as we suffer we come to know Christ and His character more and more? I realize that we will always pray for children, will always pray for God to open my womb, will always pray that God would bless us with children however He deems appropriate. I can't imagine ever not
praying that. At the same time, should I always pray for suffering or difficulty to end in my life? If it is a means through which I may draw nearer to Christ, should I pray that it come to an end immediately? I'm convinced that Christ is more concerned about my holiness than my happiness. If that is true, should I be praying that my life be easier and "happier" ("happy" according to my standards, which would equal motherhood, I suppose) or should I be praying that God would refine me, make me holy, make me like His Son no matter the cost or process?

I do not know the direct answers to my questions. My husband heard a sermon on suffering that he wants me to listen to. When I do, I'll be sure and relate my reaction here. What if our church community taught us to rejoice in suffering instead of praying for an immediate end? How would that change our view of suffering?

Again, I know that far worse suffering than infertility exists in the world--I'm not even sure infertility qualifies. But, if it does, then I have a lot of questions....even as my heart yearsn for children today.

Feel free to comment.

-glenna-

Friday, January 26, 2007

Back up blogging....

I shut down my last blog that was centered on my battle through infertility. I was going through a season of privacy and unwillingness to be open about my struggles. But, for reasons I'm not sure I can explain, I'm ready to be transparent again. Maybe this time, if I come to a point of privacy, I can just take a break instead of shutting down the site. :)

I know there were a few readers who were still hanging on to my last attempt here, so I hope I regain their loyalty. I will try not to bail on you!

There will definitely be more to come here....

Blessings,

-glenna-