I've been scared to write this post because somehow I think my blessing is going to be canceled or erased by putting this out there. But today, I'm tackling that fear.
I have been told by 3 OB/GYNs that I will never get pregnant naturally. I did infertility treatments with my ex-husband and didn't get pregnant, so I believed this to be a true statement. After going through that experience, I vowed I would never do in vitro fertilization. I wasn't going to force nature to give me a child. I had plans to adopt children and settled on that being my lot in life. I made a point to tell men on dates I couldn't have children in case they were expecting a healthy 30something woman to be fertile. Thankfully, my last boyfriend didn't view me as some heifer that was only good for birthing him tons of kids and also wanted to adopt. We got married in May and hoped for the best, but had started discussing adoption immediately knowing it would take a miracle for me to get pregnant.
On day 1 of our honeymoon, I was already having female issues. Since not everyone wants the gory details, let's just say I had abnormal bleeding. This continued daily for the next 4 weeks. It was scary because even as a nurse, you don't know how much blood is TOO much blood. I saw a gynecologist who informed me this wasn't normal (duh) and ran a bunch of tests. She also had the gall to tell me I should start using birth control because if perhaps the bleeding was caused by polpys in my uterus or cancer, it could cause problems for the baby if I got pregnant. In the same breath, she said, "Granted your chances of getting pregnant naturally at age 39 are slim to none" without even knowing my history of infertility. Needless to say, I left her office feeling defeated, angry, and once again, like I was a failure as a woman.
When a woman is told she can't get pregnant or has a history of miscarriages, she feels inadequate. This is something women are supposed to be able to do. This is how we were designed. Why else do we have this friendly reminder of our fertile-ness every month? Our hormones fluctuate, rise and fall, and give us the gift of a monthly period even if we aren't trying to get pregnant. This is how the female body was created - to be able to have children. When you so desperately want children and can't have them, it doesn't compute in your mind. Why would God give me these parts that don't work? What's the point?
I came home from that appointment, curled up in bed, and wept. A small part of me had hope that maybe I could get pregnant. Maybe the doctors were wrong. Maybe God would give me this miracle baby I had been wanting for 10 years.
If I'm being honest, any last sliver of hope or faith died in me that day. I yelled at God and after sobbing for an hour when I had no tears left, I told him, "Ok, I'm done. I'm done hoping for this miracle. I'm done expecting. I'm giving this back to you." I got up, washed my tear-stained cheeks, and made an appointment with my friend who specialized in foster care and adoption coaching.
I completed all the tests my gynecologist had ordered, including an ultrasound. I went to my follow up visit ready to hear the words "cancer," "hysterectomy," or "life-long birth control" to manage the bleeding which hadn't stopped yet. The doctor was stumped. Everything was normal. There was one thing she could try but it wasn't a guarantee. I opted not to do this and went home to discuss the options with my husband.
We decided to not do the procedure and hope the bleeding would somehow stop. Since we didn't have answers and I was still bleeding, we scheduled a day of prayer and fasting. This has always worked for me in the past. Not to necessarily get radical healing or answers from God, but to find peace in the situation.
We went out of town on a marriage retreat and opted to start our prayer and fasting when we returned. I had an unbelievable appetite that weekend but attributed it to my increasing workout routine and weight lifting schedule. When we came home, I was feeling refreshed and excited to tackle the foster/adoption process. Since my periods were irregular prior to even getting married and I didn't really even know the difference between my mentrual cycle and the daily bleeding, I wasn't positive when I even had my last one. I started calculating the dates and realized I should be getting it any day.
But it didn't come. My husband denied my skepticism that I might be pregnant. (The hope had died in him too). I kept hearing a little voice say, "You already know." I didn't believe it though. This was impossible. We were ready to start applying to become foster parents.
As I have said about many things in my life... God had other plans.
To say I've been fearful during this pregnancy is an understatement. Not even the typical fear about miscarriage in the first trimester, but a complete sense of unbelief that this is even real. Up until I could feel the baby move just 3 weeks ago, I was convinced it was dead inside me. I held my breath at every OB visit until I heard the heartbeat on the ultrasound. I felt relieved for the next hour until the gripping unbelief came back. That voice reminding me, "You aren't capable of getting pregnant or carrying baby. This is too good to be true."
I have been scared to write this post because I might jinx my pregnancy or even worse, have to face everyone I know and try to convince them God is good if my baby doesn't live. Because the blessing of this pregnancy is just too good to be true.
When you've experienced trauma in life, this is a common theme when good things come your way. You don't believe they will last because they usually don't. I'm a data person. When the numbers keep lining up that way, why would I expect a different outcome? That's not mathematically realistic or probable.
If you're struggling with feeling like something is too good to be true, I'm there with you. Or maybe you're struggling to believe things will ever be good or joyful in your life because you've spent so many years enduring pain, shame, and disappointment. The only advice I have for you today is to recognize the unbelief and fear you're feeling, and process it.
For me, this looks like journaling and praying to God. Speaking to the voice that constantly reminds me, "This is too good to be true," I say phrases such as, "I'm worthy of good things. I'm worthy of this blessing." I haven't mastered tackling this unbelief yet and it might not happen until I see my baby graduate from high school, but I'm working on it.
And so can you.
Because, you deserve good things too.