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.